Thursday, January 07, 2010

A perfect example of the problem we face

From today's Startribune comes an attempt to make an issue out of nothing-state funding recipients fear reprisals from Governor Pawlenty if they try to challenge un-allotment.  There is no evidence given for this allegation, other than some vague statements from a lobbyist.
"There's always that possibility in the political realm that, I suppose, you could be penalized for acting," said Gary Carlson, a lobbyist for the League of Minnesota Cities."
That is three qualifiers in one statement.  Also quoted are the Minnesota School Board Association, another lobbying group, and the medical director at HCMC. So lobbyists and government workers may possibly have a potential fear of retribution.  And this is front page news.

But the real story here is that a government funded hospital, the Hennipen County Medical Center, actually considered taking the governor to court to reinstate the funding that was cut by un-allotment. 

The government wants to sue the government for more money.  Think about that for a minute. 

HCMC, which says it is-
 operated by the Hennepin Healthcare System, Inc., a public subsidiary corporation owned by Hennepin County.
 - wants to use your tax dollars to pay lawyers to petition one branch of government, the judicial, to force another branch of government, the executive, to give it more tax dollars.  According to the lobbyist quoted above, the cost of such a lawsuit would be 'hundreds of thousands of dollars'.

It is bad enough that we have cities paying lobbying groups to get them more money at the state capitol.  Because, really, having legislators represent towns to the legislature isn't enough, we need a whole seperate system to decide how to allocate our tax dollars.  But now we have a medical institution that is funded by tax dollars that actually rationally considered spending hundreds of thousands of tax dollars in an effort to get more tax dollars.

The ruling by Judge Gearin centered on private individuals who sued to restore government aid directly to them.  That is the entitlement mentality that we have come to see from many Americans today.  But the medical director of HCMC was not himself harmed by the un-allotment cuts, other than seeing his annual budget made smaller.

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