Western North Dakota reminds me of the Laurel and Hardy 1930 comedy “Another Fine Mess”. The problem is this mess isn’t so funny.
State government and the legislature is controlled by republican politics and they are hell bent on spending but not investing in our future. And when you only have as a priority, tax breaks for out of state oil and gas corporations and spending without making the hard choices to invest this is the kind of mess you get.
It is easy to spend money. It is much more difficult to make the tough decisions to invest.
North Dakota Republicans are now big government spenders in charge!
Money will be flowing like honey from the Capitol, but little will be invested in North Dakota’s future!
State government has lost control of energy development in North Dakota and now they will try to patch things up by further misguided spending.
In the meantime communities will have to march on the North Dakota Capitol to get a fair shake at resources to try and regain control of their communities. The republican party controlled government refuses to share risk with the communities. Instead they want to dole out money every two years like throwing candy at a 4th of July parade.
Everyone will be focused on negative impacts that have been allowed to compound over the last 8 years. And the approach will be to spend, spend and spend more without any sense of what the long term outcome should be or might be.
From infrastructure, to housing shortages, to schools, to food lines, to wage disparity, outrageous pricing of housing, shortage of labor, healthcare lines, stressed law enforcement,emergency service personnel fire fighters, city and local government officials. You name it and they are stressed to maximum, yet we are ever so proud of the oil and gas wealth being bestowed upon our state we want to give them immediate tax breaks. Fix the public’s problems first! and begin investing in our states future. A future that says to the next generation we are leaving you opportunity better and more permanent than ours.
I do not believe that the true wealth of our state is measured in oil rigs, or barrels of oil.
Our wealth as a state is measured in our ability to invest in our future and our future is defined by the young people having a good paying job in North Dakota. It is measured by the quality of education of young people. It is measured by the care we provide to our elderly and for the less fortunate among us. It is measured by the quality of place we provide and the environment we are surrounded by each and every day.
Yes, this is “Another Fine Mess”, and it will be interesting to see how the republican controlled legislature and Governor Dalrymple try to spend their way out out of this mess during this session of the legislature. Here is a link to the Dalrymple article on state budget.
They will certainly have the money to pour out, but will they be willing to accept the responsibility to make the hard choices to put money into “investments” for our future?
They have failed so far. It took a constitutional measure to force their hand. Unfortunately that measure does nothing to allow for investments NOW when they are truly needed.
What thoughts do you have on leadership in this session of the State Legislature? Share your thoughts and comments below.