16 February 2008

The Methods of Weasels

They don't want to do the smart thing, which is to issue bonds for the bridge and other transportation needs. They want to jack up taxes, on the cusp of recession (their words), in order to issue bonds for bullshit, unnecessary local pork projects.
A hockey arena in Hallock, an orchestra hall for Minneapolis (which already HAS one!), upgrades to the John Rose skating rink in Roseville, the “Prairie Ecology Center” in Jackson County, an ATV trail in Kittson County, the Thief River Falls multi-events complex, an ice arena for Crookston, a senior center in Mora, the Hinkley Fire Monument (The whole town is still living off a 100-year old fire; very sad), wxpansion of the Saint Cloud Civic Center, the Pine Grove Zoo in Little Falls, the Northwest Hennepin Family Center (no OTHER place for families to go?) the Austin Area Success Center (oxymoron alert) improvement to the Duluth Convention Center, the Voyageurs Heritage Center, the Alden Community Center, the Blazing Star Bicycle Trail, a snowmaking machine for the Battle Creek Recreation Area (preemptive move for the coming of global warming), Heritage Village Park in Inver Grove Heights, the Mayo Civic Center, the Southern Minnesota Women’s Hockey Exposition Center (thing about women's hockey, it's not possible to play it on rinks that men use, apparently) a community Center in Pemberton.
Not only is the sleight of hand ugly, the speaker of the house and her strange little sidekicks are holding their breath and will turn blue over their transportation bill, which they declare as the only one they will let out of the legislature, or there will be no transportation bill:
House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, DFL-Minneapolis, and Senate Assistant Majority Leader Tarryl Clark, DFL-St. Cloud, said both chambers plan to vote Thursday on transportation legislation that would raise an estimated $8.4 billion over 10 years for a massive building program. The legislation would:
-- Increase gasoline taxes 7½ cents a gallon.
-- Levy a half-cent sales tax increase in the metro area.
-- Boost license tab fees.
"This is the bill," Kelliher said. If it doesn't pass, the House will not take a run at a second bill with a lower price tag. House Majority Leader Tony Sertich, DFL-Chisholm, agreed. "No games. One bill," he said.
There's the DFL's definition of bipartisanship; accept their terms, or they'll withhold bridge money and let it sit in the bank. Oh yea; to hell with what the public thinks:
KSTP/Survey USA Poll shows that the vast majority of Minnesotans oppose the tax
increases contained in the Democrat's transportation plan:

54% oppose a metro-wide sales tax, 62% oppose an increase in license registration fees & 62% oppose an increase in license tab fees.

(T)his poll should make the DFL's transportation package (filled with tax increases) D.O.A. when hearings begin at the capitol. Will Democrats listen? I doubt it.

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