After all the hoopla regarding the election settles down and people begin to realize that now is the time for those who were elected will be expected to keep election promises. How are the Republicans going to do all the things they say they will do? How will they trim our gigantic debt without new taxes? How will they do that without damaging our infrastructure? How will our city, county and school districts be impacted by the cuts that will be necessary? Who will be lost in the shuffle?
Will they cut spending to those in need, the poor and elderly? Will this new legislature cut aid to cities, reduce the expenditures on education and health care? Or will they do what Gov. Tim Pawlenty did, expect users to pay fees and failed to distribute money that was allocated to school districts to balance the budget.
If you remember, our property taxes were affected. We paid fees for services that were previously provided as part of our regular taxes and increases on fees that were already there. Our county and city services were impacted adversely. School districts are still waiting for allocations that are two and three years old.
Any of us who think that the budget will be balanced without pain are living in a fantasy world. We all will suffer, only the degree is in question.
Our legislators promised tax cuts to business to provide jobs. I will wait rather impatiently to see how many full time "Living Wage" jobs will be provided and will these new jobs include health care and pensions paid primarily by those employers. Or will they be like Walmart and Target and have those people on public subsidies for those things.
How many new fees will be added for services? Maybe we should be charged a fee for fire protection. Maybe police protection should be charged on a per call basis. We should be charged to plow our street when it snows? The added fee possibilities are endless. A good way to cut costs, right?
Our newly elected representatives talked about cutting wasteful spending. Good slogan, but no specifics for us to judge whether something is wasteful. They now must decide what they were talking about. I wonder what it will be?
I also want to see how effective our three new people are. Will they be advocates or anything? Will they author bills to solve problems like our previous legislators did, or will they fill the seats and vote how they are told. Time will tell.
We all are now in a wait and see position. Did we make good decisions, or were we fooled again?
John W. Shirts is a Woodbury resident.