By Rep. Linda Runbeck
Around the country, people are upset about stagnant wages, fewer hours worked, globalization, ever-growing entitlements, wasteful government spending, VA waiting lists, you name it. We must ask, “Is more government the answer to fixing these problems … or is more government the problem?”
In Lawrence Lindsey’s new book, “Conspiracies of the Ruling Class,” he believes the Ruling Class has failed us however well-intentioned it may be. Elites in government are trying to run our lives, help us with every problem, he says, and have amassed too much power over the people. They’ve made some problems worse.
He argues that redistributing the wealth of top earners through increased taxes and spreading transfer payments to those unable or unwilling to work has made the problem of inequality worse. The rich, in order to pay fewer taxes, changed their behavior by working less, saving, and sheltering more wages. “So the rich got poorer by their own choice, but the poor got less in benefits.”
Government has weakened our nation by creating dependency. Abraham Lincoln warned: “In all that the people can individually do as well for themselves, government ought not to interfere.” Yet, with programs of free food, free cell phones, free housing, free health care and more, government destroys the work ethic while expanding its own power. Meanwhile, the non-government entities of our society lose the capacity to do for ourselves and our communities.
MnSURE exemplifies failings of big government. MnSURE has spent nearly $400 million since 2013 creating a still-flawed Byzantine website (erroneous enrollments of 17 percent). It disrupted people’s existing health care, forced them unto a government health plan (only four choices) which, for the self-employed, unemployed, and small businesses increased premiums, co-pays and deductibles by 50 percent and more. It also forced people, without notification, unto Medicaid, resulting in liens on their property to recover costs when they die.
When 12,000 child care providers were coerced into a government union by the Dayton administration, they fought back. The union had nothing to offer them, but wanted the increased membership clout and the annual dues. Fighting off powerful unions was costly and intimidating for care-givers in licensed child care centers, churches or home-based family businesses. Fortunately, a judge ruled the Governor’s action unlawful. When the eventual vote came, an overwhelming 72 percent of providers voted no.
Elites run the Met Council, a hotbed of planners who will reshape how we live, where we live, and how we transport ourselves. Their Thrive MSP 2040 plan will severely limit the number of single family homes in the suburbs, driving up the price; it will increase multi-family housing in the suburbs, requiring housing densities of five to 10 units per acre. It will spell out for each city how many units should be affordable. There will be few new roadways because we’ll be using transit. Thrive 2040 was approved in 2015 by the 17-member appointed, unelected Council, which has been given the authority to tax.
You’ve heard about public schools for 4-year-olds, but in the not-too-distant future, you’ll hear the education establishment call for schools for all children 0-5. This is how government plans to fix the achievement gap. Minnesota is already spending $900 million biennially on various child care assistance and early childhood learning programs to serve children under the age of 5. A system without parental choice, without parental involvement and paid for by taxpayers is one more example of expanding government for the sake of government.
In summary, be skeptical of government solutions and any promise that, by spending more money, government can fix these things.