OTHER OPINION: STALEMATE | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

OTHER OPINION: STALEMATE

Millions of reasons to compromise

Posted: June 14, 2011 - 6:07pm

Did you happen to catch the news late last week about the megabucks being spent across Minnesota in response to the budget stalemate in St. Paul? 

No, the money isn’t being pooled into funds to help the disabled, elderly and others who seem destined to be hurt most by spending cuts. Neither is it going to go toward offsetting taxes, offering incentives or in other ways stimulating businesses, allowing them to hire, jumpstart the economy and bolster the state’s bottom-line revenues.

Wouldn’t that be nice?

Instead, millions are being spent to produce and air propaganda, television commercials pushing polarizing political messages from unions and other special-interest groups. As if we don’t get enough truth-stretching and reality-violating attack ads during campaign seasons. 

According to an Associated Press report, those groups include the fiscally conservative Taxpayers League of Minnesota and the Alliance for a Better Minnesota, a left-leaning coalition of liberal organizations.

There are better ways to spend such serious coin — especially during tough times.

So by spending ungodly amounts, these groups are challenging out-of-control government spending? Does that make sense?

Try selling it to Minnesotans when a government shutdown starts costing them millions. In addition to other costs related to a statewide public work stoppage, nearly 40,000 laid-off state employees will be due severances and cash for unused time off, according to their contracts.

That’ll be in addition to the $5 billion projected budget deficit that still needs to be fixed, that needed to be fixed since the Legislature convened, and that somewhere along the line stopped being priority number-one, replaced now by political preservation.