My Point of View: Cover needs and plan later for the wants

Published 8:03 pm Monday, February 18, 2019

My Point of View by John Forman

John Forman


I like the slower pace of outstate living. That’s why I stayed in Albert Lea. Many people have said similar things about the outstate lifestyle, but then they seem to add a bunch of expectations to the lifestyle. I don’t want to have bumper-to-bumper traffic, but I do want great roads. I don’t want the population density of the big city, but I do want the best police and fire protection. I like the slower pace of life, but I need high-speed internet, and even though it is available for a price, I want someone else to pay that price.

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Don’t get me wrong, I want all of these things, too, but has the governor’s budget included them all as a priority? There is a diference between wants and needs. Democrats see a large budget surplus and want to spend it. What we all need to see are the unfunded education mandates and the unfunded pension plans for state workers and realize that there is really not much of a surplus if we fund these programs the way we should. Can we afford the best, or should we be looking for the best buy? We should cover our needs and plan later for our wants.

We need to prioritize our wants and needs and come up with a spending bill that the state can afford. Education would top my list. State mandates should be paid for with the help of state funds, and the rest of the services would be debatable as to the amount of funding levels from state and local taxes. We need to remember that the budget is a give-and-take negotiation. How much are we willing to give to get the things we want but may not need. Margaret Thatcher once said that “the trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”

The state attempts to redistribute wealth by giving more aid to cities and counties with lower property values to help with infrastructure costs. Lets put some faces on big-city high density population areas with higher property values. Isn’t that where our kids and grandkids are moving? They were willing to give up the slower pace of rural living for the monetary and social rewards of the big-city life. Are we now asking our kids and grandkids to provide us with the same things we could not or would not provide them to keep them here?

On a local level we have some people protesting wind turbines, and half of the turbines have been moved to Iowa. It is interesting that property taxes on those turbines would have been enough to eliminate the need for county tax increases. Will the protesters make up the difference in these property taxes? No. Instead, the mill rate has been increased to cover the expected shortfall, so the hardest hit people will be the businesses and residents of the city of Albert Lea. The statement by one of the township people at the county wind turbine hearings still rings in my ears, “We do not nee a larger tax base in our township because we get free money from the state to build our roads and bridges.”

We need to realize there is no such thing as free money. It is taken from someone. The expected result will be future tax increases on everybody.

Just a side note, less than 1 percent of abortions are preformed as a result of rape. One worldwide study gave the No. 1 reason for abortion to be the baby would be the wrong sex, usually a girl. China at the time only allowed one baby per family. If you support abortion on demand at any time during pregnancy, I guess you can’t worry about the reasons.

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