As the stimulus bill is being fought over in the Congress of the United States, and as the Repugnicans fight to get provisions which would truly help people removed, and as the Repugnicans continue to insist that stimulus means reducing taxes on the rich, similar budgetary chicanery is going on elsewhere, especially in states unfortunate enough to be stuck with a Repugnican governor.
Consider Minnesota. Down through the years, Minnesota has been deemed one of the more enlightened, progressive states. I mean what other state has produced a Garrison Keilor or an Al Franken? Well, Missouri produced Mark Twain and Illinois produced Carl Sandburg...but, you know what I mean!
The governor of Minnesota is a christianist wingnut by name of Tim Pawlenty who lives the typical Repugnican ideology which holds as a matter of principle that it's better to have principles than people with jobs.
So, a couple of weeks ago, the Minnesota gov unwrapped his 2010-11 budget proposal. You know already what's coming:
Tax cuts for the rich (corporations).
Oh, this sounds good: Increased funding for K-12 education.
Uh, oh. Steep reductions in money for higher education, local government aid and health and human services.
More bad news: "adults without children would no longer be eligible for state health insurance programs, while coverage for adults with kids would be limited to those earning less than 100 percent of the federal poverty level ($21,200 for a family of four). It's estimated that 84,000 Minnesotans would lose their health insurance under the proposal."
And more bad news. The increase in K-12 spending comes with a mandate that all school districts have to implement a "compensation system that bases teacher salaries on student performance." [That doesn't work, by the way; and is grossly unfair in every respect; and no teacher worth his/her salt would consider such a stupid proposal!]
It also seems to me that no politician should be able to vote to reduce someone's health insurance without taking a comparable cut himself or herself. And if a politician voted to cut off completely someone's health insurance, then he/she should lose their health insurance also. Seems only fair.
More at The Minnesota Independent, here.