The largest share of the No Tax approach to balancing Minnesota’s budget will fall on the sick, mentally ill, and disabled in the Governor’s new proposal.

Mr Pawlenty has already slashed programs for healthcare and daycare for the poor and focused his his attention on building prisons and increasing incarceration to control the effects of poverty in Minnesota. The state has reached half a billion in prison expense for the last fiscal year and five years of double digit prison population growth.

Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Kathleen Blatz has stated that the “difference between that poor child, and a felon, is about eight years”.

Minneapolis arrested 44% of its adult Black Men in 2001 under the supervision of the Governor’s appointed Public Safety Director Rich Stanek, who was forced to resign after the racial slurs he commonly used were printed in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

“Children that are victims of failed personal responsibility are not my problem, nor are they the problem of the state of Minnesota” was Tim Pawlenty’s statement to Andy Dawkins and David Strand when they asked if he would support programs for abused and neglected children.

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It’s not just the meanness of the politics that are so hard to bear, but the lack of foresight and refusal to grapple with the critical underlying problems of the people making public policy.

These are generational issues that continue until the cycle is broken. The economics of short sighted politics don’t make sense.

Federal Reserve board directors Art Rolnick and Rob Grunewold have well researched and established the effectiveness of early childhood programs.

Chief Justice Kathleen Blatz states, “ninety percent of the youth in our juvenile justice system have come through child protection”. Identified and treated early, young children can be given the skills to succeed in school and our community.

Ignored because of our anti tax paralysis, the serious issues faced by children in child protection are not dealt with until behaviors become uncontrollable and someone gets hurt (it is exponentially more costly to institutionalize people over their lifetimes than it is to give them the skills to lead normal lives).

Three million children per year are reported to child protection agencies, 90% of the children in juvenile justice have come through C.P., and almost all felons have come through J.J. The cost of extensive institutionalization, the crimes they commit, their impact on our schools, city streets, and quality of life are profound.

Early childhood programs with more training and resources for child protection workers would save us billions in prisons, schools, courts, insurance, and pain as at risk children become functional adults instead of felons and preteen moms.

Home values within our inner cities are often half (or less) than they would be in a safe suburb. The insurance estimates of crime alone in the U.S. are between one and one point six trillion dollars annually.
It is costing us a fortune to ignore the maintenance of our bridges, courts, schools, and children.

It is time to counter the short sighted and inaccurate assumptions of the anti tax people. Our quality of life has suffered terribly wrecking our bridges and ruining our children.

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2 Comments

  1. The stats on child abuse are wildly exaggerated. One of the main reasons so many poor children are statistically at risk is because their parents are simply too poor to afford an aggressive defense in Family Court. They have become a part of the stats and a part of the lie being perpetuated by the child abuse industry. What we now have on our hands is a system run by zealots who believe that money=good, no money=bad. The children of the poor are taken away from their families for any trivial reason having nothing to do with abuse or neglect and displaced with middle class families who, despite having abundant financial resources, are paid very well to foster and adopt these children of the poor. For much less, we could help poor children and their families create a better life for themselves. Historically, some of our greatest citizens have come from humble beginnings. We must stem the arrogance and sense of entitlement that permeates child protection. Children are being brutalized and murdered in foster homes and adoptive homes. This system simply does not work!!

  2. A responsible human being will not say this statement: Qoute”“Children that are victims of failed personal responsibility are not my problem, nor are they the problem of the state of Minnesota” was Tim Pawlenty’s statement to Andy Dawkins and David Strand when they asked if he would support programs for abused and neglected children.
    What a shame that politicans want to run for the Excutive Chair of the land with no care for the Minnesotan children.
    Vote with your human side folks and not on what you hear from politicians who just want to stay in power doing nothing for the children of our land.

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