Republicans Need To Stop Letting Democrats Define Compassion In Dollars

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The Fargo Forum had a review of the first half of the legislative session up this weekend, under the ridiculous headline “GOP progress is problem for Dems in North Dakota Legslature [sic]“.

Glad to see the Forum casting the first half of the session in terms of what was good and not good for Democrats. You gotta love it when they put the bias right in the headline for you.

Anyway, in the article was this juxtaposition of Senate Minority Leader Mac Schneider (D-Grand Forks) griping about tax cuts and House Majority Leader Al Carlson (R-Fargo) defending the GOP spending agenda:

But the Democratic Party sees the first half differently. Senate Minority Leader Mac Schneider said the Legislature hasn’t been as focused on addressing the needs the oil boom has created in western North Dakota, effectively cutting property taxes and finding ways to prepare the state for life after the boom.

In particular, the lawmaker from Grand Forks said, “something has to give” with the tax cuts for corporations and individual incomes that passed, as well as the oil extraction tax cut, which “puts our future in jeopardy.”

“I think we are taking a scatter-shot approach,” Schneider said. “When you try to be everything, you miss an opportunity to do the things the people are really concerned about.”

Carlson noted the Legislature is looking after North Dakotans. “There’s a $2.4 billion reason in the (Department of) Human Services budget to show that we care.”

That comment from Carlson made me cringe. As if compassion can have a dollar figure attached. As if dollars spent were the proper metric for sound policy.

Democrats in North Dakota are not very good at winning elections, but they are very good at getting Republicans to govern like Democrats by controlling the terms of debate.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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