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Obama Touts Rybak’s Incompetence


The current President last night told Congress:

Because of this [porkulus] plan, there are teachers who can now keep their jobs and educate our kids. Health care professionals can continue caring for our sick. There are 57 police officers who are still on the streets of Minneapolis tonight because this plan prevented the layoffs their department was about to make.

The Minneapolis reference was inspired by Mayor Rybak’s revised 2009 budget proposal. Rybak had to propose a new budget due to the State’s reduction in Local Government Aid (LGA), but that cut was offset by some stimulus money:

If allocated equally across the city, the Governor’s proposed cuts to Minneapolis for this year would have lead to the elimination of 161 jobs, including 57 sworn officer positions and 19 civilian positions in the police department and 27 firefighter positions. Mayor Rybak’s proposed budget avoided those deep cuts by:

Federal Stimulus – The Mayor is proposing to use one-time funds provided by the Federal Recovery and Reinvestment Act to pay for 76 positions in the police department, including 57 sworn officer positions which would have otherwise been cut.

The loss of 57 cops was predicated on equal cuts across all City departments. Equal cuts across all departments reflect an inability to set and hold priorities. The Mayor tells us that public safety is a top priority. If it is, why would he cut cops at the same rate as miscellaneous bureaucrats?

An across-the-board cut is a symptom of bad governance. Electeds are supposed to make tough choices, according to their professed priorities. Clearly, R.T. did not. He gave no special consideration to public safety when reducing the City budget.

Then, Congress bailed him out for his irresponsible action as Mayor. For a while. Notice that the stimulus funds being used to pay for cops is a “one-time” payout. How does the Mayor propose to keep those 57 cops on the job next year? Is R.T. counting on another bailout from Uncle Barry?