The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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August 18, 2013

Sky didn't fall in state budget deal

(Continued)

So since taxpayers are expected to do their part — dig down deep, what should be expected of government at that time? A quick look at the Minnesota Management and Budget Salary for Slocum in year 2011 shows a salary of $70,195. In 2012 his salary was $73,227— a 4.3 percent salary increase. (www.beta.mmb.state.mn.us/salary-data). So in light of a salary freeze, hiring freeze, and cost control measures, those that your tax dollars are supporting are asking more from you so the “sky is falling” rhetoric doesn’t materialize.

The General Assistance money Slocum said was eliminated was not — it was converted to block grants to counties. Poor children were not booted off health care, and as shown, higher education was not doing its part to help government live within its means.

It’s time for government to realize we cannot continue programs on auto-pilot. It’s time to reexamine priorities and spending and come up with new ideas, innovation and balancing the state’s checkbook just like you and I do. Slocum can blame whoever he wants for a shutdown but the Legislature did its constitutionally mandated job — the governor, through his veto and being disengaged, shut down government, all while the letter writer got a raise and expected you and me to pay for it.

Mary Lynn Scott is a homemaker and co-founder of the local Friends of Freedom group. She lives in Le Sueur.

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