Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Get out the big stool

For the authors of this letter, and we might as well seat the Star Tribune editorial board as well.
Thank you for your April 30 editorial highlighting the fast approaching demographic changes in Minnesota. The retirement of the baby boomers means that, by the year 2020, our state will have more seniors than kids in school. This will have a dramatic impact on state budgets and policies.

A growing group of state lawmakers is working to draw some attention to this issue. And we would like to bring these "2020" issues into this year's state elections. To that end, we are working with the Citizens League on hosting a potential gubernatorial debate on this topic of generational change. Minnesotans should demand that policymakers at all levels of government address the education, health care, transportation and pension issues that these demographic shifts will cause.

We can change laws and budgets; but we cannot change demographics. The time to prepare is now.


The so-called “2020 Caucus” has been running around crying the boomers are coming, the boomers are coming! for a couple of years now. But, there are a couple of things this group doesn’t do. It doesn’t caucus together; just check the voting records of the members. And more significantly, in Spot’s opinion, it has not come up with a single policy suggestion. For something so important as these legislators suggest, you’d think they would be able to come up with one idea among ‘em. Nope.

What’s it all about, Spotty?

Ah, grasshopper, the answer reveals itself in the letter above. And we would like to bring these "2020" issues into this year's state elections. The 2020 Caucus is simply the principal plank in the re-election platform of a group of junior legislators who feel vulnerable in what shapes up to be an anti-incumbent election year. It is an empty vessel to hold political aspirations.

Don’t believe it? When the campaigns heat up, ask the 2020 Caucus members, say Spot’s own senator, Geoff Michel, what specifically he proposes to do about the demographic freight train he professes to worry so much about. You can ask him about membership in a party that uses substantial Minnesota Care surpluses to plug holes in the general fund. You can ask him about opposing gas tax increases when it is obvious that we have a huge shortfall in transportation funding. Ask him if he really thinks we’re that stupid.


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