Senate Health and Human Services Committee believes the state budget
can be balanced without increasing tax rates. He advocates more use
of private insurance in human services. He believes the historical
vision for the state as expressed in the U. S. Constitution and the
Northwest Ordinance should be reaffirmed. He believes more control
should shift from the federal government to the states and from the
states to local government.
For the complete
interview summary see:
Readers have been asked to rate, on a scale of (0) most disagreement,
to (5) neutral, to (10) most agreement, the following points discussed
Average response ratings shown below are simply the mean of all
readers’ zero-to-ten responses to the ideas proposed and should not be
considered an accurate reflection of a scientifically structured poll.
1. State budget.
(3.9 average response) Minnesota can
enact a satisfactory state budget by limiting its spending to natural
growth in state revenues without increasing tax rates.
(4.4 average response) Citizens of
the state should rely more on privately financed insurance for health
and human services and less on state appropriations.
(3.3 average response) Minnesota
doesn't need a new vision. It needs to affirm the historical vision of
the U.S. Constitution and the Northwest Ordinance.
(5.4 average response) A trend to
involve the federal government more in state issues and the state
government more in local issues should be reversed.
Richard C. Angevine (2.5) (5) (2.5) (7.5)
2. Insurance. I do
agree that people need to take more responsibility for their health
care but I am not convinced that pushing it all to private insurance
is the answer.
3. Vision. We need
a clear vision of where we want the state to go in 2011 and beyond.
The Constitution, etc. provide guidance but need to be interpreted
within the context of the world that exists in the 21st century.
Branstad (0) (0) (2.5) (2.5)
1. State budget.
Satisfactory to those on the top of the economic ladder, possibly. To
those in the middle and working class who have been forced to pay more
and more in property taxes due to past state budget cuts? To the poor
who have seen the services they rely on be cut to the bone? No way.
2. Insurance. Sen.
Hann's comparison of our state health care program to the Soviet Union
is the exact sort of unproductive and inflammatory rhetoric that we
need to avoid. Absurd comparisons like that do nothing to move the
3. Vision. Maybe
it's Sen. Hann's background in the wealthy SW suburbs, but school
districts in outstate Minnesota simply can't raise the sort of revenue
to provide the same quality education as his home district. Having the
state fund education actually fits within the Northwest Ordinance
cited by Sen. Hann. Education Funding one of the core tennants of the
Minnesota Miracle so every child in Minnesota should have access to
quality public education, not just the kids in the rich suburban
schools. We do need a vision for moving our state forward - and
looking back 150 years is not the way to do it.
Federal-state-local. It's ironic that many of the same folks who want
to keep the federal government out of state issues are quick to have
the state dictate to local groups how to work. Sen. Hann seems to
claim that because the state provides the bulk of education funding,
local school districts have lost control. If that were the case, why
are members of Sen. Hann's party trying to dictate even more to local
school districts? By proposing a statewide teacher pay freeze, that's
literally taking control away from local districts to determine how
much their teachers should get paid. When Sen. Hann and others in his
party continue to cut LGA (another large part of the Minnesota
Miracle) at the same time as proposing limits on local property tax
increases, they are guilty of the same behavior they complain about.
Anonymous 5 (10) (10) (7.5) (10)
Kennebeck (0) (2.5) (0) (0)
A. Lundeen (10) (7.5) (7.5) (5)
However, affordable privately financed insurance simply is not
available for many - including myself.
3. Vision. Just
for discussion, a thought is that the wholesale and indiscriminate
availability of education has contributed to the proliferation of
Federal-state-local. I believe the State should recover some
authorities the local governments have abused: regulatory and
inspection services. Consider Minneapolis, a difficult locality to
build, maintain, even improve, property. There are many injustices
promulgated by local governments who operate without restraint.
White (0) (5) (0) (2.5)
2. Insurance. Yes
and no. Some can and should. Some cannot.
Federal-state-local. The claim of a trend is unpersuasive.
Dennis L. Johnson (10) (10) (10) (10)
1. State budget.
Why not? Sounds like a reasonable idea. Those who love to spend
other people's money until it runs out will have to use more
imagination to keep their beloved programs running.
Privately financed insurance is the way to go, with exceptions only
for the indigent. This is the only way to keep competition in the
picture; a government program only grows.
3. Vision. The
"new vision" is usually just a cover for expensive new programs.
Beware this holy grail.
Federal-state-local. Who let this conservative wolf into the
progressive henhouse? Why, such radical thinking should have been
screened out as usual. Next you will be listening to Michelle Backman!
Or even, heaven forbid, Rush Limbaugh.
Hoehn (0) (0) (0) (0)
3. Vision. I
disagree with the premise of this question, viz. that the "less
government" stance is the historical vision of the Constitution and
Federal-state-local. I disagree with the premise of this question,
that the federal government is more involved with issues that are the
states. The federal government has a role in issues of fairness and
equity and is the only way we can achieve fairness for the middle
Groucho (2.5) (2.5) (0) (7.5)
1. State budget.
Conceptually this type of budget control is possible. However, when
an institution is damaged so badly by neglect and when available
funding is directed to poor investments, a tax rise may be necessary
to repair the damage. Past Governors such as Anderson, Quie, Perpich
and Carlson recognized this reality. Governor Pawlenty used "tax
expenditures" to promote the colossal failure of "JOBZ". Present
Republicans are hoodwinked into thinking jobs are created by the
wealthy and not by widespread demand for products and services. No
one wants to raise taxes, but the infrastructure has been so neglected
and the revenue stream so damaged, that new revenue is the only way to
keep the state solvent and fix the damage done by people who have no
vision. We had a governor who bullied his way around the Capitol
for four years, always pointing at problems but solving few. He left
the state to live in Mexico, never to be involved in any further
capacity except promoting himself. Then we elected another
self-promoter who kicked the fiscal can down the road for eight more
years until what was solvable with slight adjustments is now almost
insolvable even with major revenue increases. The cost of government
as a % of (GDP) has gone down and we are harvesting the fruits of past
leaders but we are not planting the harvest of the future. No nation,
no state, no city, no school district, no business, no family has ever
become more successful by not investing in their future. We have
eaten the milk cow, we have used the furniture for firewood and the
roof has begun to leak. It's time to get a grip on a vision before
our state is not habitable.
2. Insurance. It
is a vague question. By the nature of the question, does
"privately-financed" mean "for-profit"? Does it mean individually
qualifying for and buying a health plan? Also, is this question
discriminating among citizens and legal-resident non-citizens? Health
care should be understood as a right. By the way, health care and
treatment of an enemy POW is a legal obligation, so let's get off a
high horse about who "deserves" care. The fact that the entire
country could be one pool for health care is realistic and possible.
You do not know when and who will be hit by illness, whether causal,
genetic or accidental. Pool selection and other ways to discriminate
are not moral.
3. Vision. The
Constitution has many interpretations and is purposefully vague in
some areas. Senator Hann only acknowledges David Hann's
interpretation and thinks everyone in the world is out of step but
him. Thankfully, he has been and still is in the minority of
Federal-state-local. "Local control" is a popular and attractive
concept however, Republicans have a very selective playbook that
dictates when they want to employ or reject local control. Many of
the bills Hann has introduced or supported are specifically to take
away local control. He wants to supersede city control of handguns,
sanctuary policies and spending. He wants to take away the rights of
school districts to negotiate directly with their employees, how to
negotiate salaries, whom they can hire and with whom they can sign
contracts. The Civic Caucus ought to question some of these
statements using their critical thinking.
Rossing (7.5) (10) (7.5) (10)
Anderson (0) (0) (0) (0)
1. State budget.
Define "natural growth". What constitutes "natural growth" in a
changing environment and changing dynamics of industrial and consumer
Isn't that the problem today? People on a low or fixed income cannot
afford privately-financed insurance.
Federal-state-local. We don't need states being pitted against states.
Also define "issues".
Willard B. Shapira (0) (0) (0) (0)
1. State budget.
Those who take the most out of this society should be required to put
the most back in. It's called tax fairness, a term little-known and
less-appreciated by Republicans.
2. Insurance. If
the government exists for any reason, it is to meet the needs of all
of its citizens and its priority list should start at the bottom of
the society and work its way up.
3. Vision. I don't
know what the Northwest Ordinance stands for but I think changing
times require broader interpretations of the Constitution without
abandoning its precepts. How could the framers ever have envisioned
Tea Party people?
Federal-state-local. Dead wrong. I am a democratic socialist and if
given a chance, we could right many of the wrongs of a capitalist
plutocratic oligarchy we have had forced upon us.
Hennessey (7.5) (7.5) (10) (10)
1. State budget.
Natural growth, natural decrease; depends on the state of the economy.
Either way, government has to live within its means, just like normal
2. Insurance. Yes,
privatize as much as possible, all kinds of services, not just health
care and whatever "human" services are.
3. Vision. Imagine
that! We already do have a vision.
Federal-state-local. Yes. That government is best which governs least.
The people closest to the problem know better (1) what the problems
are, and (2) how to solve it. Let them. Share the experience so others
can learn from it. Ours is not an imperial or dictatorial system, we
are not ruled by "philosopher kings," as Plato advocated about 2,500
years ago. (And we are still trapped in this flawed ideology.) Quite
to the contrary, most of our politicians are just power-drunk pompous
asses with clay feet, with very rare evidence of any wisdom beyond the
Cairns (0) (7.5) (0) (5)
1. State budget.
Tax expenditures need to be part of the equation too. Data today
points out the regressive nature of the tax system. Changing this
needs to be a priority
3. Vision. A new
vision of how government operates is critical. Nothing in Hann's
comments deal with systemic change in the way services are delivered.
The concepts historically are useful, but making government work when
we have 5MM citizens, mobility, technology, etc. require completely
Federal-state-local. In some systems, yes, but for transportation
(air, highway), communications, etc., a US system is far better than
50 different state systems.
Barnum (10) (10) (10) (10)
3. Vision. But
good luck with getting the majority of the people of the state to
first understand it, and second agree on this point.
(Bill) Hamm (10) (0) (10) (10)
1. State budget.
Pushing control, decision-making, and funding back to the local level
is fundamental in recapturing creativity as well as educational
excellence in Minnesota. The aggressive socialist experiment that has
paralleled the rise of white collar public employees’ unions has been
a miserable failure in the state of Minnesota as well as the US of A.
Time to get back to what really works in America, Americans.
2. Insurance. I as
adamantly disagree with this elitist concept as I do with the
WCUPE's(White Collar Union Public Employee's), proposals to venture
further into socialist health care efforts. Everything the insurance
Companies are doing for us, we can do for ourselves profit free
through Cooperatives. The locally controled framework for this already
Eliminate all the "Carrot and Stick" controlling funding mechanisms.
Make this method of coercion forever outlawed as a means of Federal
Government controlling States, and States controlling Local Units of
government. Open up all our public meetings to public input as it was
less than 40 years ago. Return us our voice and control.
Federal-state-local. Absolutely, without question and in every way
possible we need to end this not just reverse it. This is the
Kielkopf (0) (0) (0) (2.5)
3. Vision. Are you
kidding? The Northwest Ordinance?
Schmitz (7.5) (2.5) (0) (2.5)
1. State budget.
The limitation on this is how to manage in times where that growth is
limited or even flat. Also that growth is not necessarily related to
inflation. So there needs to be more involved than just that growth.
Additionally, it does not allow for those emergency problems, floods,
etc., nor fund programs that the taxpayers demand.
2. Insurance. We
are seeing that the costs of insurance have increased similarly to
public programs; containment is the solution of choice, I think.
3. Vision. That
assumes that nothing has changed in a couple hundred years.
Federal-state-local. The idea that local control is effective and
efficient is a great sound bite but not realistic. This is the same
party that is saying to school districts "we don't trust you to
negotiate with your teachers", and we will set state tests to measure
student progress. One or the other, please.
Anonymous (0) (2.5) (2.5) (2.5)
Terrry Sluss (0) (2.5) (0) (2.5)
F. Durenberger (na) (na) (na) (na)
Please have Hann
send me a copy of the Northwest Ordinance which I presume will be
taught in Eden Prairie schools by teachers without tenure.
and Ruth Hauge (2) (5) (1) (4)
To solve the
budget crisis, there must be a combination of elements to bring the
budget into line including some income tax increases--not indirect tax
increases such as fee increases, property tax increases etc.
Jennings (4) (4) (2) (7)
I would have liked
him to describe how we might redesign some government functions. I’m
OK with fiscal conservatism but not if it means crappy roads and
ignoring health needs.
Jackie (4) (0) (4) (4)
Heegaard (0) (5) (0) (5)
Miller (0) (1) (0) (0)
Let me get out my
musket; that’s a vision from antiquity. The morons are coming! The
morons are coming!
Prest (0) (0) (0) (5)
3. Vision. Whose
interpretation of the historical vision? If it is Senator Hann’s I
would have to give this question a zero. Why would we assume the
vision doesn’t require adaptions when everything around us is
changing? That is an inadequate and polarizing response to a needy and
changing world and a huge deficit. Is Sen. Hann selectively choosing
not to honor the verbiage of the state constitution that requires the
state to provide an adequate and equitable system of public education?
Does Sen. Hann believe we can do that with fewer resources or through
destabilizing districts’ budgets through shifts? We certainly require
an evolving vision that takes population growth, consumption of
limited natural resources, the importance of education in prosperity,
the growing gap in wealth, the number of our citizens without access
to preventive or adequate health care, and the inextricable link
between higher taxes and state prosperity.
Federal-state-local. This position is oversimplified. I believe in
local control but appreciate that there are issues and resolutions
that can only be successfully implemented with state and federal
support and leadership. Does Sen. Hann believe in the authority of
local school districts to raise property taxes for schools? Or would
he choose to have the state authority usurp local authority through
I have had the opportunity to meet Senator Hann at a coffee shop and
find him to be a nice person with simplistic and polarizing ideas. I
heard him be advised that the best way to move ahead in politics is to
create a crisis.
Milton (na) (na) (na) (na)
Do you know who
this guy is, and what he stands for? Yesterday, Senator Hann
introduced SF 805 that strips away completely the health care benefits
for public employees. It will amount to a $15,784 cut in our family
income, since my wife is employed in the MNSCU system. That is about
one-third of her take-home pay. It means that -- if it passes -- our
home and thousands of others will go on the market or be foreclosed.
You had convinced me that Civic Caucus was the successor, at least in
spirit, of the old Citizens League, which in 1971 played a key role in
the "Minnesota Miracle." That you stood for fairness, and for
equitable sharing of the burden of digging out of the ditch
Bush-Cheney-Pawlenty drove us into. That's not true if you hand the
microphone to the Senator Hanns. (Stan Holmquist and Nick Coleman
would turn over in their graves!)
Sen. Hann and his new majority would also cut pension benefits for
state employees, while at the same time protecting high-income
earners, whose tax rates are lower than in 1999, and who pay a smaller
percentage of their income in state and local taxes. So Senator Hann
wants to protect the affluent Minnesotans, and impose the pain on
state employees. That's the Civic Caucus idea of fairness?
If these new Senate leaders hate government so much, why did they run
for office? If they hate public sector employees so much, will they
eventually want every citizen to police his/her own street, put out
their own fires, educate their own kids, plow the snow in front of
their own houses, build their own sewers? And, then, logically, why
not ask us to defend the country, home by home, with assault weapons
as permitted by the NRA? No more defense budget: lots of dollars to
Minnesota look like without public services?
Cox (10) (10) (10) (10)
Our government has
simply grown too large for our society to sustain. We do need to limit
our spending to the revenues that we expect, and cannot keep trying to
create plans to raise ever-increasing amounts of revenue. Our economy
will never become stable again if we create a government that is
completely dependent upon federal gifts, when our federal treasury is
Bright Dornblaser (3) (1) (1) (4)
Fraser (0) (0) (0) (2)
Tambornino (0) (0) (0) (5)
"figuring it (the budget in this case) out" Sen. Hann only wants to
make sure that the populace is punished with shifts, making permanent
the unallotments and going back to the same tired mantra that the
Constitution is not an organic growing document but a set of rules
appropriate for the time they were written, but cannot be appropriate
for the way this county has evolved. We cannot afford this odd
attitude that insists that we are the same county as in 1789.
William Kuisle (10) (10) (10) (10)
Erhardt (0) (0) (0) (0)
Sen. Hann is a
classic very conservative ideologue spouting nonsense. Unfortunately,
he and others of his ilk control the legislature. Most of the new
legislators have very little perspective about the reality of
governing. In addition, they read from the extreme right wing playbook
when they speak.
Quie (4) (10) (0) (10)
Lutz (0) (4) (2) (5)
Carolyn Ring (7) (9) (4) (8)
Detert (0) (0) (0) (4)
Press (5) (10) (5) (5)
Carlson (10) (10) (10) (10)
I applaud Sen.
Hann for his vision. The only suggestion I would make is that our
budget needs to include saving for the next business cycle downturn.
As we move through the recovery phase of the current cycle, we must be
putting money into a rainy day fund, from which we can draw when the
next inevitable contraction occurs.
RobertJ. Brown (7) (8) (10) (10)
Halstead (5) (0) (0) (4)
There are some
issues that exceed the capability of some levels of government and
guidance and assistance are necessary. Likewise, some use assistance
inappropriately while others are paying unnecessarily.
Stone (10) (10) (10) (10)
is being expressed for a state reserve fund.
Schluter (4) (3) (1) (4)
Mr. Hann did not
offer much in ideas to keep our state out-performing other states and
to get out of the budget problem we are now having.