Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Truth: The Anti-Nick

The six Republicans who helped the DFL override Governor Pawlenty's transportation bill veto have been pretty vocal lately. Almost all of them have complained that they are being targeted by purists who want to kick them out of their own party. They have got the attention of the local media and they have complained to their caucus. Their story is well known.

We've also seen plenty of utterly predictable responses from the liberal and self labeled centrist noise machines, the disingenuous basement dwellers who may or may not write in their underwear but definitely believe that adhering to a coherent political philosophy somehow makes one an intolerant simpleton.

Yes, it seems like we've heard from the vocal minority, whether we want to or not. But on the other hand, I've yet to see reporting on the quieter constituents of the override six. Not a newspaper article, not a news report by a station that claims to care. I guess if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.

I set out toward Ron Erhardt's home district to find a local watering hole. I hunkered down at Al's Bar, next to Minikahda Golf Club. Al's would be about a three-wood from Erhardt's district, that is if one can afford it. Most people in Erhardt's district can't vote themselves a $96 per diem like the one Ron Erhardt and his fat cat buddies gave themselves last year.

It was at Al's that I met Bill. Bill is a retiree living in Erhardt's district. A working man his entire life, he prides himself on making an honest living and saving for his retirement. But now a much larger portion of his savings will go to paying the taxes that Ron Erhardt decided to raise. He'll be paying those taxes for the rest of his life. We all will, until we die or move away from our Minnesota homes. Minnesotans will be forced to places like Alabama.

Bill didn't approve of Erhardt's vote. "Republicans are supposed to oppose tax increases. It's in their party platform. When Erhardt ran, he said he was a Republican," he said quietly. "Now he wants to add a clothing tax."

Sure enough, not satisfied with raising taxes by $6.6 billion already, Ron Erhardt is leading the charge to increase taxes on clothes. One doesn't ask a proud working man such as this if he could afford to pay an ever-increasing tax burden. One got the feeling that the extra money wasn't the worst part, it was the fact that Erhardt lied to him. There are a lot of people like Bill in Ron Erhardt's district. Men and women, honest people, young people and retirees who worked hard all their lives. These people deserve to be told them the truth by their elected representatives. And maybe, just maybe, they will make Ron Erhardt a retiree.


Post a Comment

<< Home