Minnesota plows while Wisconsin protests
Feb. 20, 2011
MINNEAPOLIS: Protests in Wisconsin have knocked the protests in Egypt off the front page. In Egypt, they protested against a dictator because they want freedom to find a job paying more than $2 a day. In Madison, they are protesting against a governor because they don’t want to pay $2 toward their retirement. As for freedom, the Governor says these teachers and government employees are always free to look for another job.
Snow has shut down Minneapolis today (Sunday). Not completely, of course, but it closed the airport long enough to give me an extra day or two here. But I ain’t complaining. We had a fine crowd up in Staples last night and I’d a lot rather have my flight canceled after a show than before it. Minnesota poked fun at Oklahoma with their 20 to 30 inches a couple of weeks ago; now it’s Minnesota’s turn to show us how to deal with half as much. They’ll be plowing snow for awhile.
On the way to Staples I got to stop at the boyhood home of Charles Lindbergh. It’s at Little Falls, on the west bank of the Mississippi River. They have a museum, and even if you know a lot about this aviation hero you’re guaranteed to learn something new. For instance, he attended eleven different schools, and at the University of Wisconsin he quit after three semesters before they could kick him out for poor grades. But then he went to Flight School, and he did ok.
Wisconsin and Minnesota are more than neighbors. In 1928 I said, “A child born in Wisconsin is taught two things. One is to love LaFollette, and the other is to hate Minnesota. Wisconsin is never doubtful. You can always count on it doing just exactly what the other forty-seven states don’t.”
Governor Walker is never doubtful, and he’s got governors across the country, both Republican and Democrat, watching because many states need to do exactly what Wisconsin is doing. And if you asked these governors, I bet they are all irked by the President’s meddling in Wisconsin affairs. While Mr. Obama admits he’ll spend 40 percent more than he takes in, these governors are forced to balance a checkbook.
Mr. Obama is an intelligent man. No argument on that. And I bet that if you go back into his childhood, all through school, and on up to recent years you’ll find that he was in a lot of clubs and organizations. He was probably president of a few. But I bet out of all of them, he never once served as Treasurer. If he did, and he managed that account the same as he’s managing the one he’s in charge of today, the club would be defunct.
Minnesota’s Governor Dayton is using the old fashioned approach to balance a budget: raise tax rates. Dayton is counting on folks not leaving just because of higher taxes. But if General Mills, Target and the billionaire Pohlad family, for example, pulled up stakes and moved to Florida, he’ll face a deficit worse than Wisconsin. Illinois already raised their tax rates. The Illinois governor announced, “I haven’t heard of any rich men leaving, and I know for a fact we’ve added fourteen Democratic Senators from Wisconsin.” Well, it’s a good thing he raised taxes; it can take a lot to feed and house a wayward Democrat.
Historic quote by Will Rogers:
“Somebody with a sense of humor built St. Paul and Minneapolis close together. They were born the “Twin Cities”, but since birth they have grown together. Now they are locked. One can’t do anything without interfering with the other… The Mississippi River is between them, but Lord, that don’t stop ‘em from cussing each other. What should separate them is the Pacific Ocean.” WA #152, Nov. 8, 1925