Friday, August 24, 2007

Find the non sequitur 

In reply to a Times editorial that argued against a special session for Minnesota's legislature, DFL Senator Tarryl Clark declares "there is no longer a debate." Declare your side has already won? Cute.

Watch for the non sequitur in the first three paragraphs:

A recent St. Cloud Times Our View argued against the need for a special session to address the Interstate Highway 35W bridge collapse and the overall decay and safety of our bridges and roads. Since that time Minnesotans have suffered through another huge setback. People drowned in flooding in southern Minnesota. Raging waters destroyed homes, businesses, roads and bridges.

There is no longer a debate about whether we need a special session; rather the question is what critical issues we should take care of during that session.

We are at risk of losing entire towns in southern Minnesota. The metropolitan area has a huge hole in its transportation system that has a daily effect on people's lives and commerce. We must act now in both of these areas and also we should address the larger infrastructure issues the bridge collapse has made real.

Did you see it? Why do we need to address "larger infrastructure issues"? What in these sentences indicate that a special session is needed to deal with "larger issues"?

We have a reserve fund. It pays for emergencies. If there's not enough money, or if you think it draws reserves down too low, pass a bond to pay for what is needed to replace what is lost.

What are her critical issues? I again quote from the SCTimes three weeks ago:
We hoped all along the governor would be willing to compromise and we're glad to see he's willing to be flexible and move Minnesota forward. Hopefully, (a special session) would be about jobs and infrastructure, including transportation, bonding and Local Government Aid.
And in today's editorial she does it again, blaming the governor for the failure of bridges:
In each of my two years in the Minnesota Senate, lawmakers passed bills that significantly increased transportation funding. If either bill had been signed, millions of dollars of funds would have already been spent to address those unmet needs. If we were to pass such a bill in a special session, we could begin making our roads and bridges safer much sooner.
Look, we all have unmet needs. I've referred to this as my 25% short principle, but in general at any point in time we have limited resources and unlimited wants and needs. Your choice is to limit what you want, or find a way to make resources unlimited. Government fulfills its wants by force through taxation, thus it is an imperative to a nation that it finds a way to limit that force.

Senator Clark does not know these limits. Having already provided prudentially for emergencies with reserve funds, she now wish to take advantage of twin tragedies in Minnesota to attempt the impossible: to satiate her politically class' insatiable appetite for other people's money to satisfy her political supporters. (Follow the money.)

Special sessions are not for investing. They are for fixing, unless you're a political fixer.

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