Representative Tom Rukavina says he finds a little irony in Governor Tim Pawlenty’s travels around the country telling people “about the evils of government” and how the federal stimulus package “isn’t any good.”
On the House floor, Rukavina notes that “when the chips are down, the chumps get going,” and in this case “out to Washington DC with not just one hand out, but two.”
Rukavina says the federal government is not just providing 75% of the flood assistance, but Minnesota is taking the Federal Medicaid Allowance Percentage (FMAP) money that it just recently got and is using it to cover the rest of the flooding assistance.
Rukavina said it’s “kind of money laundering.”
Rukavina pointed at Representatives Tom Emmer and Steve Drazkowski. “I often sit here, many many times and listen to you basically say the same tune and sing the same tune, that government doesn’t do anything right. But in this case we’re here because it does do things right.”
Rukavina noted that wages in Minnesota have dropped $6.5 Billion from 2008 to 2009. He considers that a catastrophic emergency and thought about adding an amendment to the flood bill to address it, but didn’t.
“That evil stimulus package, Representative Emmer,” Rukavina said is responsible for Minnesota having enough cash right now to deal with the flooding. The FMAP money could have been used to keep a hospital open in Rukavina’s district. Rukavina notes that Emmer has voted against flood relief in other bonding bills that totals $203 million for other communities that were devastated by flooding.
Rukavina then took on Governor Pawlenty’s and Representative Emmer’s favorite assertion that tax cuts create jobs. He pulled out state statistics on job creation. Under Governor Rudy Perpich there were 39,000 jobs gained per year, under Governor Arne Carlson 45,000 jobs gained per year, under Governor Jesse Ventura 22,700 jobs per year, and under Governor Tim Pawlenty 624 jobs per year.
“That’s seven jobs a county every year,” said Rukavina of Pawlenty’s tenure.
“Representative Drazkowski and Representative Emmer in particular, government can do good things.”
“Taxes do a lot of good things and revenue does a lot of good things for people and this is an example today, and I bet my two friends whose names I just mentioned are going to vote yes today. We all should. But we better think about the catastrophes that are facing us in two months.
“Anyone who thinks we can balance this budget in the next two years without some new revenue source is either a BS’er or nuts in the head. Representative Emmer, I know you’re not a BS’er.”