This column appeared in yesterday's Winona Daily News and is reprinted with the permission of the author. Bluestem also recommends today's column by WDN online editor, Jerome Christenson, Minnesota used to be better than this.
by Thomas Trehus
The United States was founded on a basic principle of negotiation called compromise. The founders of this country, in all of their genius, knew the dangers of one single political ideology conquering all.
James Madison, John Jay and Alexander Hamilton knew the only way to make government work for all the people was to separate power and balance the factions that influence government.
Since then, compromise has been the only solution to getting things done amongst the two political parties. If the principle of compromise has been the only strategy to meet the needs of the people, then why haven’t our local representatives compromised in trying to balance the state’s $5 billion budget deficit?
By all means, it is admirable for a politician to stick to his/her campaign promises.
Greg Davids and Jeremy Miller both campaigned not to raise taxes, but to balance the budget through spending cuts.
Mark Dayton was elected governor by claiming he would raise taxes on the wealthiest Minnesotans to balance the budget.
Whether you agree with either of these philosophies, both were elected and both stuck to their beliefs when they took office, until Dayton did not. The governor released his budget with not only income tax increases on the wealthy, like he promised, but with spending cuts as well.
He compromised, twice actually, once in February and once before the legislative session ended.
Davids and Miller on the other hand, released their budget bill holding firm to their Republican Party principles.
The session ended while Davids and Miller did nothing to compromise with the governor on behalf of the people of Minnesota.
The result of saying no to compromise is a government shutdown starting July 1 that would halt most construction projects and cause 40,000 public employees to lose their jobs.
The impact will be devastating to the economy. We need to call Rep. Davids and Sen. Miller and thank them for holding firm to their campaign promises, but remind them that when governing, compromise is essential.
Davids can be reached at (507) 951-3893. Miller can be reached at (507) 474-2562.
Bluestem author note: Thomas Trehus, who grew up in Houston County's Wilmington Township, attends the University of Minnesota. His post, Thomas Trehus: Thissen will improve Greater MN infrastructure, education and health care, was published in January 2010, as part of a Bluestem series by Greater Minnesota DFL activists writing about why they supported different candidates for governor.
Photo: Thomas Trehus staffs a booth at the Houston County Fair.