By Dan McGrath

By now we are used to the grim economic news that fills our newspapers and airwaves on a daily basis. What people are interested in is a plan to move forward toward economic recovery. On this question, however, two very different conversations are unfolding.

In Washington, the conversation is about how to get our national economy moving again, how to create jobs, save homes, provide health care, and help people get back on their feet. At the center of these questions is the role of government. In tough times, what can government do for people that people cannot otherwise do on their own?

In St. Paul, Governor Pawlenty has shaped the debate squarely on cuts, cuts, and more cuts. He has focused on tax cuts for corporations as well as deep cuts to essential public services that Minnesotans need now more than ever due to job losses and home foreclosures. Cutting the jobs of public employees who provide the vital services we all depend on and who are themselves essential to our economic and social well-being.

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