On Saturday, April 25th, the Minnesota 4th congressional district GOP held its convention. It was a great example of the resurgence of the GOP. The room was alive with enthusiasm and energy. There were many great speakers, and the room was full of current and future leaders.
One of those speakers was Minnesota house minority leader Marty Siefert.
He spoke, in part, of the Minnesota budget deficit that is the subject of much current debate in St. Paul. He assured us that Gov. Pawlenty has his veto pen ready, and that the GOP caucus is united, so the veto of the DFL tax increases will not be overridden.
Mr. Siefert described the Minnesota budget battle as an opportunity to actually shrink government. Rather than simply cave in to those demanding yet more taxes to fund yet more spending, he said that the Governor's veto will force the legislature to make the hard choices, and live within the revenue stream already extracted from taxpayers.
I am profoundly grateful that men like Mr. Siefert are willing to serve in the legislature.
The contrast between the state and federal governments could not be more stark.
At the state level, the budget must be balanced, and the governor is demanding accountability from the legislature, and enforcing discipline to protect taxpayers. We will have to set priorities, make choices, and - horror of horrors - say "no" to some things. If the GOP caucus holds together, Minnesota's government sector will shrink, for the first time in many years. When it does, Minnesota will learn that life goes on.
At the federal level, budgets are never balanced, and our president is demanding spending rather than accountability. I don't think discipline is in the lexicon. It seems that everything is an emergency, and we don't say "no". The GOP has not held together, so the "mob rule" of the left is set to grow government in massive and dramatic ways. The federal government leviathan will grow, and with that growth, more of our freedom and independence is lost.
In 2010, we will have an opportunity to send new leadership to Washington. We need to make sure that that leadership knows about discipline and saying "no".
We have 18 months to prepare. Let's make the next 18 months count!