My Point of View: All levels of government turned into chess matches

Published 10:00 pm Monday, November 13, 2017

My Point of View, By John Forman

It seems to be getting harder and harder to get much done on the national, state and local levels in government. More people than ever are covered under medical insurance, so everything is going great? Then why are medical bankruptcies up all over the country and why does Minnesota have to help people making $70,000 a year pay for their medical coverage?

John Forman

Politicians on both sides played a win or kill the bill game on replacing Obamacare. The governor is saying no one told him the federal government would not be able continue to pay Medicaid bills if they keep putting people on Medicaid, but Iowa just south of us rejected Medicaid at first because they knew it was too good to be true. The people of Maine just passed a referendum requiring their state to put more people on Medicaid, but the referendum says nothing about how to pay for it. Many look at European countries and just see the free medical coverage and choose to ignore the 20 percent national sales tax that is in place in most European countries to pay for it. Could it be that Mayo Clinic Health System is looking at the reality of our state’s Medicaid system and projecting income of 25 cents on the dollar when they look at the need for consolidation?

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Alternate energy is mandated by the state and we need to increase our tax base in Freeborn County. The wind farm developers have followed all the rules to put wind turbines in Freeborn County, but now some board members want to change the rules — no wind turbines in our backyard.

The watershed board has spent a lot of time and money to follow all the rules set by the Department of Natural Resources so we should see dredging soon? Now we find the size of the project has been scaled back by the DNR, and there is proposed legislation to put a moratorium on all dredging in Minnesota.

The Minnesota Legislature and the governor negotiated a budget and tax bill, but then the governor decided he was the loser in the negations so he is using the line item veto in a way it was never intended to be used to get another shot at the game.

All levels of government have turned into chess matches, where the goal is to capture the other side’s pons and checkmate their leadership. Chess is a game where many matches end in a draw; if you feel threatened you play for a draw. When politicians play for a draw, the people lose. A draw means nothing happens. When there is a major emergency such as storms or disease, we seem to be able to work together for a common goal, but not on our everyday problems.

It will be interesting to see what happens to the tax proposal going through the House of Representatives this coming week. The proposal has some things I like and some things I don’t like, but overall it is a good proposal, and I would like to see it get some bipartisan support, but I doubt it will happen because it is a Republican proposal and the chess rules will only allow for the opposition to totally defeat it or stall until it dies. Some say dropping deductions for state tax would hurt high tax states like Minnesota but last year only half of the taxpayers itemized deductions; the rest used standard deduction from tax table. The proposed tax legislation increases the per person deduction, which should leave even more people using standard deduction table. I assume the people using itemized deductions would generally be higher-income earners, so the negative impact would be on the higher-income families and should fall into the tax the rich talk of liberals. But, I think the chess game has already started.

Government should run like Monopoly, where you trade Baltic Avenue for Mediterranean Avenue, and some free rent if you land on it. You eventually get a winner, but each side has some wins and losses along the way, and every deal makes sense to both sides at the time it is made.

John Forman is a member of the Freeborn County Republican Party.