Putting Principles above Privileges to Save Both

Gov. Dayton believes government makes Minnesota special, specifically the entitlements it endows and the privileges government bestows. Republicans believe in Minnesotans; if government respects the constitutional principles of individual sovereignty, private property and the rule of law, Minnesotans will prosper.

By Tony Sutton Chairman, Republican Party of Minnesota

In a video message released on Monday, Gov. Dayton explained his unwillingness to end the shutdown of state government saying, “I believe that the future of Minnesota is at stake.”

The future of Minnesota is, indeed, at stake. What makes Minnesota special is at the heart of the budget impasse.

Gov. Dayton believes government makes Minnesota special, specifically the entitlements it endows and the privileges government bestows. Republicans believe in Minnesotans; if government respects the constitutional principles of individual sovereignty, private property and the rule of law, Minnesotans will prosper.

That is a fundamental disagreement not to be compromised for the sake of a face-saving budget deal for the governor. As President Dwight Eisenhower so insightfully noted, “A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.”

Gov. Dayton’s call to compromise, to meet in middle, wherever that middle might be, values privilege above principles. A Dayton compromise elevates the collective good over individual sovereignty, the needs of government over the rights of property owners and arbitrary legislation over the rule of law.

That is a compromise that ought not be made, for as Gov. Dayton says, “the future of Minnesota is at stake” – and a people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.

Gov. Dayton, true to form, spends much of his op-ed expounding the fallacy that if government does not provide a service, it goes unprovided.

Gov. Dayton agonizes over public funding for higher education, yet recently reported, the University Law School and the Carlson School of Management are planning for a future without public funding. By doing so, they emulate the University of Virginia School of Law and Darden School of Business, which in 2005 eliminated state funding in exchange for freedom to operate with minimal state and university oversight – less government, more freedom, more responsiveness to students rather than regulators and bureaucrats … and greater private contributions.

Gov. Dayton also fears loss of in-home care for the elderly, support for people with disabilities, special education funding and “denying affordable health care” to the disabled, senior citizens and families with children.

It is fortunate for the elderly, people with disabilities and children with special needs that Republicans understand compassion better than Gov. Dayton understands economics.

Whether it is education, care for the elderly, the disabled, senior citizens or the vaguely open-ended “families with children,” the question is not ought the most vulnerable among us be cared for, but how best do we ensure their care.

Why pour more resources into a K-12 education system that has produced one of the largest achievement gaps in the nation? Why pour more resources into government-run health care programs that provide less-than-adequate care to low-income individuals, cost the state billions of dollars and yet provide a reimbursement to physicians that discourages them from providing more than minimal care to patients in government programs?

Republican-sponsored legislation passed during the session contained numerous reforms providing the funding and the opportunity for low-income individuals and families access to education and health care opportunities the majority of Minnesotans take for granted. Republican reforms moved in the right direction – away from government control of fundamental personal decisions, away from second-class citizenship for low-income individuals toward greater choice and personal responsibility for all. Obsessed with raising taxes, Gov. Dayton vetoed the reform.

That is some of what is at stake for the future of Minnesota.

Gov. Dayton preaches a lot about “taxing the rich,” but he has yet to explain how raising taxes creates growth and prosperity. He has not explained how higher taxes on the rich lessen the already high tax rate on middle-income Minnesotans (whom Gov. Dayton says are “over-taxed”). Gov. Dayton hasn’t explained how higher taxes necessarily fix dysfunctional state programs that persistently fail Minnesota’s most vulnerable residents. Instead, Gov. Dayton vetoed a balanced budget that actually addressed the concerns of vulnerable and under-privileged communities he claims to care about.

Yes, Gov. Dayton, Republican legislators have insisted and will continue to insist on principle over privileges because a people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both. It is principles, not privileges, that produce the prosperity that makes compassion possible. And prosperity is what is at stake for the future of Minnesota.

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Source: http://www.mngop.com/news.asp?artid=687
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