"This will be an excellent year to see if the Republicans have the kahunas, the moxie, the strength, to hold firm. They don't have much power right now, but they still control one leg of the bar stool."
As much as I would love to take credit for coining the new name for our new Governor as being "off the Walz", I cannot. It came up during a podcast yesterday, while discussing the Governor's new (highly inflated) budget. My vote for his name was "Taxing Timmy", but that was lame compared to the winning entry. So "off the Walz" it is, and as the expression goes, if the shoe fits - wear it.
"Off the Walz" must think the rest of us are just a bunch of hayseeds out here in fly over land. That we can't figure our way out of a room with three doors. What do I mean? On the campaign trail, many amounts were brought up for how much of a gas tax increase he wanted. The one mentioned the most however, was 10 cents a gallon. So we all figured that would be the amount he proposed. Wrong. He proposed 20 cents. Why? He thinks there will be weeks of negotiations with the stingy old Republicans (who want zero), and then eventually settle at splitting the difference at 10 cents.
Here is the biggest problem with "Taxing Timmy". He has not made the case for any tax increases. None, what-so-ever. In fact, as most of us know, we have been over taxed so much, we have a surplus. And we want our money back.
Then why do we need an increase in a gas tax? In his mind, our roads and bridges look like Third World. Falling apart. We had one bridge fall years ago (due to a design failure), and that always becomes exhibit "A" on why we need more money. We have enough money, thank you. Now let's spend it wisely.
How about education? He wants to spend a boatload more to "fix our achievement gap". Really? There is not one smidge of empirical evidence that money will fix that issue. Changing the way we educate will. Out of the box thinking. We have plenty of money to do the job. Look at some of the charter schools. Montessori schools. Any formula which works. But to throw money at a broken system? Even "rocks and cows" should be smarter than that!
This will be an excellent year to see if the Republicans have the kahunas, the moxie, the strength, to hold firm. They don't have much power right now, but they still control one leg of the bar stool. If they can mute the Governor on his money grab, their stock with the party faithful could go up considerably. However, if like in the past, the party leaders get round heels and weak knees, 2020 will be a bloodbath for the MN Grand Old Party. Why? Hundreds, maybe thousands of previous donors (like me), will turn their collective backs on them.
The show to watch this spring will not be so much the one in Washington - that will play out. The show in St. Paul is the one worth buying a ticket for. We will soon find out of our elected representatives are made out of lead, or rubber. The tale of the tape is coming soon...