By Jake Rossen
By Jesse Marx
By Michelle LeBow
By Alleen Brown
By Maggie LaMaack
By CP Staff
By Jesse Marx
Does Gov. Tim Pawlenty have enough baling wire to hold the state budget together until he can run for national office? That's the slow-motion melodrama being played out at the Capitol this session.
Pawlenty's contorted efforts not to utter the word "tax" have become silly enough to be the premise for a Monty Python skit, were the whole thing not so injurious to the long-term health of the state. Roads gridlocked? Well, let's wait a year or so and then ask the people to vote on whether they want to siphon more than $4 billion out of the general fund. Revenues not keeping up with expenditures? Well, let's just pretend inflation doesn't exist.
In deference to the tender, Bush-like sensibilities of our fearful leader, we won't use the "T" word for the rest of this piece. There will, however, be plenty of F-bombs flying around. Here's a detailed--but still abridged--list of revenue enhancement measures (whew! almost said the "T" word!) either enacted, proposed, or endorsed by Tim Pawlenty, whom we call Governor Fee.
Not every new fee may hit close to home--but keep reading. It turns out that everyone from beekeepers to divorcées will be paying the price for Pawlenty's dishonest promise.
But those are the "other people"--the poor, young, elderly, disabled, unlucky--aren't they? Not so fast, my friend. Do you drive a boat? How about a car? In the land of make-believe budgets, you too are throwing more ducats into the governor's coffer.