Fighting Back Against Debt SpendingFebruary 14, 2010 at 7:43 am | Posted in Political | 1 Comment
The following is an open letter to my state representative, John Benson, in the Minnesota State House:
I am contacting you regarding the 2010 Bonding Bill likely to come up for a vote Monday. The Senate version of this bill, which was voted for by your SD43 colleague Senator Bonoff, represents a dereliction of fiscal duty to constituents during tough economic times. As I am sure you are aware, the State of Minnesota already carries a debt burden cresting 7 billion dollars. Against that, adding an additional $1.2 billion may seem insignificant. But the inconceivability of these number does not render them unreal. At the end of the day, we are talking about real wealth confiscated for such ignoble purposes as upgrading exhibits at the Minnesota Zoo, expanding trails, providing the City of Rochester with a new volleyball court, and providing the City of Blaine with a new women’s hockey center, among other pork projects.
Forgoing any argument regarding the appropriate role of government, is now really the time to make such investments? What reasoning, backed by what evidence, supports placing our already indebted state into further debt for these projects at this time?
On your campaign website, you proudly proclaim to have been “given the opportunity to live the American Dream” by immigrant grandparents who “worked hard and played by the rules.” Did those rules and work ethic entail taking on more debt than one could pay? During your celebrated career as a public school teacher, would you have conveyed to your students a tolerance for spending beyond their means? That which does not work in Minnesota households does not work in the Minnesota House. I urge you to take this opportunity to distinguish yourself among your colleagues by taking a stand for fiscal responsibility and applying the same values which enabled your American Dream to the business of government.
I sent a similar letter to my state senator, Terri Bonoff, rephrased to convey my displeasure regarding her vote. The personalization was as follows:
I noted on your blog that you gave up a promising marketing career to stay at home and take care of your children. I must say I envy your family’s capacity to set such priorities. My wife and I are new parents and recent transplants to your district. We both work, and cannot feasibly sustain our family on a single income. I believe this is due in part to a greatly devalued dollar, caused in no small part by unrestrained spending at all levels of government. A mere 30 years ago, my father sustained his family on an income less than that which I made at my first job in high school. He was able to do so because the dollars he received were worth significantly more than those I earn now.
I would ask you to consider how government spending, particularly debt spending, translates to a loss for constituents like myself of both current real wealth and future earning capacity. When we have the money to spend on trails and hockey rinks, we can debate whether we should. But please stop spending money we don’t have.
Thanks to Minnesota Majority for notifying voters of this bonding bill.