Thursday, January 15, 2009

Gov. Pawlenty's Stale State of the State

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty delivered his State of the State address in St. Paul today. With the state facing a $4.8 billion deficit, today would have been a great time for the Governor to start demonstrating strong leadership, instead of his usual partisan attacks (not to mention the unnecessary personal trips with his wife on the State's dime).

No such luck. In a speech that was filled with references to the kitchen table but limited on specifics, Pawlenty offered little evidence of innovative ideas:

Cut spending. Cut taxes. Rinse. Repeat.

We should be used to a lack of vision on the part of the Governor. Pawlenty's only current major economic initiative, the JOBZ tax-free business incentive program for Outstate Minnesota, is "unfocused" and poorly administered according to the nonpartisan Office of the Legislative Auditor.

For someone hoping to run for President in 2012, today's speech was a disappointing performance. But it's even more disappointing to five million Minnesotans who deserve better. Let's hope that the DFL majorities in the State House and Senate can demonstrate the leadership Tim Pawlenty lacks.

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