A Washington Post news item reports that as of today it has been 116 days since President George W. Bush last conducted a news conference. He's had seven news conferences in his 26 months in office, an average of about one every 110 days or so, so he's about due for one.
News conferences may not be a perfect forum for the discussion of public policy but in today's world of sound bites and orchestrated photo opportunities, they're the best chance for unscripted, challenging questions to be presented to the president. And the best leaders will tell you that the ideas and policies that go unchallenged are usually the ones that can inadvertently lead an organization down the wrong path.
Taxes will increase
Financial burdens will be shifted to local councils and boards
According to a recent poll, most Minnesotans are in agreement with Gov. Tim Pawlenty's plan to balance the state budget.
Most Minnesotans agree with a course of state budget cuts without any increase in taxes.
This approach is sound in theory. Unfortunately, it may be impossible to fix the state's budget deficit without any tax increases.
The state might not technically raise taxes. Local governments almost surely will be forced to.
Through reductions in state funding and more unfunded mandates, Minnesota's communities will be forced to carry more of the load. These tough times will force cities and counties to examine every penny.
This will probably be the best outcome for the current state fiscal shortfall. No matter how much local governments cut, most will be forced to pass the burden on to local property taxpayers.
Taxes will go up throughout the state. Those taxes will be levied at the local level, where residents have the most input and insight.
If there is a sunny spot in the gloomy state budget picture, it will hopefully be a shift in taxation and control from state government to local councils and boards.
--Owatonna People's Press
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