Friday, July 01, 2005


Pawlenty's Fiscal Follies

As I type this, the State of Minnesota is in the midst of a near-total government shutdown, brought deliberately by Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty and his friend and ally, Republican House Speaker Steve Swiggum. Pawlenty and Swiggum said yesterday afternoon that even though the Democrats had given up their plan to undo part of the Ventura-era tax cuts on Minnesota's richest 1% (tax cuts that Pawlenty designed when he himself was in the State Legislature), and their opposition to the racino, that still wasn't good enough and that they wouldn't talk with the Democrats any further. This is all about Pawlenty's plans for higher office. He wants to be on the national Republican ticket, as either President or Vice President. But the national Republican Party has let it be known that the only way to be named to that ticket is by opposing any kind of tax increase -- even (or especially) if it's undoing the massive tax-cut giveaways to the rich that Pawlenty helped ram through the Minnesota Legislature back when he was still in it -- giveaways that put Minnesota in the deep financial hole it's been in ever since he took office.

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