Demand answers, not just sound bites

By: 
John Mueller, news@newpraguetimes.com

It has become sport in recent years for people to point out things they don’t like, they believe are flat-out wrong or broken in our world today. The next time you hear someone kvetching about something being wrong, consider asking at least one simple question.

What’s your solution to make the situation better?

Politicians are the most common likely to complain about a situation with little or no suggestion for how to make the situation better. And if you think it’s bad now, wait until this summer and into the fall when the campaign season kicks into overdrive. Any politician who complains about an issue without a detailed plan on how to fix the problem should be discounted.

Last week, Sen. Rich Draheim, R-Maple Lake, was critical of state DFLers, who the voters have placed in the majority of state House and Senate, for spending too much of the state’s surplus on their preferred programs. He deemed the spending ‘reckless and unsustainable.’ He is partially correct. The level of spending enacted in the previous legislative session is likely unsustainable, but it is not reckless. In fact, one could argue it was calculated to serve the most number of people possible, a move DFLers hope will keep them in the majority in both chambers of the legislature.

Sen. Draheim noted issues he and his constituents care about – ag, education and housing – won’t get much attention in the coming legislative session. If money was allocated during the last session to programs addressing any of those three issues, could someone who doesn’t possess the same level of concern for the ag economy, the classroom and housing, call it reckless spending? Sen. Draheim was rightly critical of DFLers who control the House and Senate for spending on their pet projects. Some of the state’s budget surplus should have been allocated to permanent tax relief. He noted non-metro areas of the state should now have the necessary resources to fund needed road and bridge maintenance and improvements. Even if the funding has been in place for years, apparently the DFL gets no credit for it. It’s too bad our world is so polarized we can’t even admit the plainly obvious, even when it is factually obvious.

Yes, the DFL-controlled House and Senate passed a law prohibiting of certain forms of restraints used by school resource officers. But the move to pull the officers from schools was enacted by city councils, oftentimes at the behest of their legal counsel, not state DFLers. Fortunately this is not an issue in New Prague.

The point is we should not take whatever talking points our lawmakers offer at face value. We must ask questions. When he addressed school shooters a few weeks back, Sen Lieske, R-Lonsdale, noted school districts need to have police officers in their buildings and special glass windows and locks to protect students. Given the hundreds of windows and doors in New Prague’s school buildings, upgrading the locks, doors and windows will likely require a bond referendum or additional state funding for Minnesota’s 3,354 public and private schools. That funding was notably omitted from his potential solutions to the issue of how to prevent mass shootings.

Offering half a solution or no solution is not really a solution. Sadly, however, it is viewed that way, thus we will continue to hear folks wildly rant about the woes of high taxes, clip art state flags, spending, immigration, how elections should be conducted and most every other topic dividing us today without many realistic solutions or options.

We can stop, or at least reduce it, by asking questions designed to reach the best possible, workable solution.

Category:

Publication:

Suel Printing Company

Copyright © Suel Printing Company
All Rights Reserved
200 Main St E
New Prague, MN 56071

Phone: 952-758-4435
Fax: 952-758-4135

If you would like to receive a FREE digital edition with a paid print subscription please call 952-758-4435.