On social media today, Rep. Pat Garofalo (R-Farmington) posted this simple message:
I guess that seems logical. Of course it is only really logical if you also say to “take money” when there is a deficit. You know, like the many years of deficits we had under Gov. Tim Pawlenty and the Republican led state House? That statement could be considered completely logical if he would have agreed to raise taxes a small fraction to cover our spending.
I pointed that logic out to Rep. Garofalo, but he was unable to agree with me, saying:
“the [surplus] money belongs to taxpayers”
“the deficit wasn’t by a lack of tax revenue, it was caused by excessive spending.”
Maybe it was excessive spending, but spending on the roads shrank, and state buildings were falling apart, but maybe he is right. Regardless of whether it was excessive spending or not, the bills were passed by the legislature and signed by the governor, the expenses were encumbered, and we taxpayers became responsible for covering those debts.
If I were to follow Rep. Garofalo’s logic on excessive spending, I could only say that we have a surplus today, so we didn’t spend enough? That doesn’t seem quite right. Finance is not always black and white, nor is there only one solution. Representative Garofalo is one of the least logical representatives. He seems to speak without thinking often. Let me rephrase that, he hits the “post” button without thinking. And if he is thinking, his statements can only be an illogical need for reassurance from people who think like him, or a desire to insult others. It is time for legislators like Pat, and many others, to start being more diplomatic, and to think outside their party box. It is time for them to stop fanning the flames of partisanship.