Some politicians like to say yes, yes, yesPublished 9:49am Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Column: My Point of View, by Al Arends
Being a parent is one of the hardest and most important jobs in the world. It takes patience, kindness, love and firmness and a passion to do a good job.
Love and kindness sometimes get in the way of doing a good job as a parent. As the child continues to grow and mature, he or she is continually asking to do more things or needs more money. It is at those times when a parent must show good judgment or he can spoil the child.
A politician is much like a parent. People elect him to office and then they come to him continually asking for things, and they all seem very important. The stuff they ask for is limitless and generally it all sounds good and so it’s easy to say yes.
The poor need more help and assistance. The children need better education. The farmers need insurance against bad weather. The people need better roads. The hunters and the fisherman need more and better land and lakes. The athletes and the public need bigger and better sports facilities.
The list goes on and on, and they all are good ideas and sound so good. Now the problem is, how are we going to pay for them?
Here’s where being a politician is easier than being a parent. The parent has to make decisions based on what he can afford. He is spending his own money, while the politician is spending other people’s money. And if he gives in and says “yes,” he will probably get more votes in the next election. People will say he is so kind and he is looking out for our best interests, but is he really? Is he like the parent who continually gives in and spoils the child?
I believe this has been happening to us not only on the federal level, but also on state level. If we go back 45 years, Minnesota has its first $1 billion budget. Today, we have $38 billion plan. That has an annual increase of about 8 percent per year. During that period of time, Minnesota was No. 1 status and at one time, I believe, we had worked our way down to No. 13, but the politician in my example has caved in again and we are back to third place. No surrounding state ranks as high as Minnesota in taxing its citizens. It is interesting to note that the average income in Minnesota 45 years ago was about $5,500. If wages had kept up with the government’s budget, the average wage would be about $150,000 today.
It is disappointing to hear the news, even our own local newspaper brag about the great job our current Legislature has done by increasing taxes and balancing the budget.
According to Professor John Spry of St. Thomas University, each dollar of government spending takes $1.25 to $3 out of the private sector. If we assume that it is $2, the private sector will have $4 billion less to increase wages, add more employees or start new businesses. Now you can see why wages have not kept up and the average salary in Minnesota is only $46,000. It is due to big government spending.
Yes, the politician, and especially the Democratic politician, is very kind and thoughtful by giving us what we ask for. But he has to take other people’s money to be able to say “yes” to all the spending. What does it get us? Lower wages, more welfare, fewer jobs and a welfare state much like what we see in Europe.
If that is what the public wants, keep electing the politician who continually says “yes,” but don’t expect to have a country that was built on the principles of liberty, freedom and the right to own property.
Albert Lea resident Alan B. Arends is a member of the Freeborn County Republican Party.