Republican Budget

Last week, Republicans in the US Senate dropped all pretense that they honor the institution of the Senate or our democracy. They rushed through a tax bill so quickly that even the Senators voting on the bill did not know what was in it. The bill is a massive giveaway to corporations and the super-rich, at the expense of everyone else. The party that used to call itself “the party of fiscal responsibility” voted to run up the federal deficit by $1,500,000,000,000. When “trickle down” doesn’t work—and it never has—Republicans will become fiscal hawks again and use the deficit as an excuse to cut Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

Polls show that a majority of Americans oppose the tax heist, but for congressional Republicans the vote was a huge win. Their billionaire donors are getting a nice return on their investment.

The same day, Mike Flynn pleaded guilty for lying to the FBI about contacts with Russia. We know that Trump and Putin colluded to get Trump elected.  Clearly, corporate oligarchs respect no institutional norm, procedure, law, or national boundary as they work to steal all the power and wealth of this nation.

Republicans in the Minnesota legislature are following the same plan. In May 2015, Republican Speaker Kurt Daudt forced a vote on a 90+ page bill that members had no time to read. In 2017, Republicans again worked behind closed doors to slam through giveaways to their friends. Legislators were urged to pass complicated bills with little discussion so they could “get to conference” where the real bill could be written in the back room. Republicans crafted a tax bill with huge cuts for the wealthy and extorted Governor Dayton by threatening to shut down the Minnesota Department of Revenue to get it signed. Now the state’s budget forecast shows a deficit and more budget cuts may be coming.

Minnesota’s next governor will face this situation again. That’s why we need a governor who will stand firmly with ordinary Minnesotans; a governor who understands who Republicans work for and how far they will go; a governor who can’t be bullied or intimidated. That’s why I’m running and that’s why you should support me.

Weekly EmailLeo Alfred