Esme’s Blog: Getting Paid For A Shutdown

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Word that legislators are going to continue to get paid during a shutdown is already drawing furious complaints from state employees who are about to lose their paychecks.

But it’s not just government workers who will be without paychecks. It’s thousands of workers who do work with and for the state. For example, SRF Consulting, a highway engineering firm out of Plymouth, will have to lay off 120 people.

Gov. Dayton has said he will not take his salary. Some Republicans will no doubt point out that Dayton is a wealthy man. True, but the vast majority of the people who will be laid off in a shutdown are not rich.

The Republican legislators and the governor are pushing the state to the brink at a time when the economy shows signs of a double-dip recession. Legislators need to feel not just the heat, but the pain of not getting a paycheck. A compromise has got to happen. Maybe not getting paid will make it happen sooner rather than later.

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Comments

One Comment

  1. State Legislators did not pass a viable budget says:

    There are very good reasons why the Governor is elected separately and also why the budget bills require his approval. The Legislature did not pass a budget that met the requirements of the elected officials.

    1. Trayce Olsen says:

      If the programs don’t paid neither should the politicans.

    2. Jake says:

      An arguement from a 5th grader. WHICH elected officials set the ‘requirements’ for the current Legislature? Name some names, PLEASE.

    3. Captain America says:

      Mn legislators are proposing a 6% increase in the budget, Dayton wants an additional 9%, He is out of touch and extreme. He has a balanced budget and he should sign it. The budget he vetoed is the largest in MN history. If the state shuts down it is totally on the Governors shoulders. Stand strong GOP as MN is already in the top 8 in taxation in the nation.

      1. Vern says:

        The budget is only balanced in terms the GOP has an optimistic prediction for revenue and depending on a federal waiver for medicaid which has never been granted to any state asking. Hocus pocus by the GOP

  2. Eva Young says:

    Legislators should give up salaries during shutdown.

    1. Republican legislators says:

      We Republican legislators Will never give up our pay! We Want to Make the middle class and poor be so poor they have to live on the street!!! you are all Truble. More money for us!!! You all are horable workers!!! Our plan of geeting rid of unions and the middle class and the poor is going t work!!! I hate all of you!!! We are going to win!!! 2012 is our year!!! I need a new home.

      1. oh boy says:

        Gosh, I hope your not a real legislator, where did you go to school?? Learn tospell if you want to make real decisions.

  3. MaryH says:

    Perhaps they will be more “motivated” to find a solution if there is no money come in to their homes. In fact they should be fined $100 a day for every day there is a shutdown.

    1. kieron says:

      Individually fined, in fact, and for far more than $100..

    2. Your Mother says:

      Yes, wouldn’t that be a novel idea? Americans get fired for doing a bad job at other companies when they make the company lose money. The United States of America is our company, and the employees, that work FOR US, need to be fired for their terrible job performances!!!

    3. mommy monkey says:

      If any one of us were in a job where we lost billions of dollars – would we get paid? If teachers are going to be held accountable for what happens or doesn’t happen in the home and have their pay checks tied to scores – then perhaps legislature salaries AND benefiets should be tied to their success or failure as well.

  4. mn_me says:

    I keep hearing things like the legislators are “doing the people’s will”, but it seems they think that they only represent those that supported them when they were elected. I thought they represented everyone in their district. Silly me. I completely disagree with trying balance the budget on the backs of the poor and the most vulnerable in the state. Everyone in the state should pay their fair share of taxes to ensure that the services we all use (roads, airports, hospitals, schools, police/fire departments, etc) are there when we need them. Minnpost.com posted an interesting exercise – try balancing the budget yourself http://www.minnpost.com/fix_minnesota_deficit/. It really comes down to an issue of values. What is important to you about where you live?

    1. Swamp Rat says:

      Right ON! Now that is MN chutzpah being said from the silent majority! Too bad the GOP legislators do not realize this!

    2. Guy says:

      So … YOU support requiring the “poor” (who currently pay NO taxes but DO use police, fire, roads, etc) to start PAYING in to support these things … and then you say that the legislators are the bad guys. Shame on YOU – you are WORSE.

      1. Jake says:

        WRONG, just SO WRONG. Many of the ‘poor’ get HUGE tax refunds EVERY spring, have cell phones, travel to Hawaii, Alaska, the Caribbean, etc. The media almost NEVER reports it. They drive nice vehicles, have cable, internet, definitely EAT TOO MUCH, yet couldn’t fix a FLAT TIRE if their life depended on it.

        1. Guy says:

          Uh … this was SARCASM. I was poking fun at the idea that the “poor” (who frequently get 100 % tax refunds) should pay a share…

          1. Swamp Rat says:

            @guy & Jake;
            Getting a 100% tax deduction is a rarity. With the except of only basic GA assistance &/or GA medical if you can get, everyone is subject to paying income taxes on all income including unemployment, Social Security, and even subsistence wages. Also, tax refunds can be recaptured by the state and Federal governments for monies or taxes paid in excess for medical assistance etcetera. That’s what the Governor has been trying to tell us and the GOP won’t budge over this “fact”!

            So don’t tell me some lower wage earner is having a spending spree with his/her tax refunds. That ain’t true! If it was I wouldn’t be here commenting to set you folks straight!!!!

            However, if you look at the aggregate taxation percentages paid per dollar by lower wage earners it is more per capita than a wage earner earning over $200,000 [adjusted] a year! Ask Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, and others and they will agree with me. However, the higher wage earner does have more tax breaks and tax deductions to deal with so in the end the tax level per dollar is essentially lower per dollar earned!

          2. David J. Conklin says:

            >the “poor” (who frequently get 100 % tax refunds

            We don’t get that either–Pawlenty cut the amount we get back. Now if he had followed my advice and gave 100% back then the economy would be more stable and could grow.

        2. David J. Conklin says:

          >Many of the ‘poor’ get HUGE tax refunds EVERY spring, have cell phones, travel to Hawaii, Alaska, the Caribbean, etc. … drive nice vehicles

          BULL ROAR! 1) the rental tax refund comes in August and 2) Pawlenty cut the amount we get–I’ll get $399, 3) I’ve never been to any of those places and i don’t know of anyone who has, 4) I don’t even own a vehicle–I have to take the bus.

    3. Republican legislator says:

      We Republican legislators Will never give up our pay! We Want to Make the middle class and poor be so poor they have to live on the street!!! you are all Truble. More money for us!!! You all are horable workers!!! Our plan of geeting rid of unions and the middle class and the poor is going to work!!! I hate all of you!!! We are going to win!!! 2012 is our year!!! I need a new home.

      1. CHESTER says:

        rebublican legislator your a moron get a real life!

  5. Swamp Rat says:

    @V-d-Jour
    As usual Victim Du Jour you are full of the proverbial political flatus beans!!! Stop blaming the Governor for everything that is wrong with state government. The real truth of the matter is that the GOP controlled Legislature–truly ignorant of high school ECON 10. basic CIVICS 103 [aka political science], basic administrative Parliamentary Procedures {IE aka-the arts of compromising and Constitutional knowledge] and, stalwart historic political leadership–could have had a workable straightforward state budget months ago!!!

    A vast majority of MN households, on a smaller scale, do the very same budget balancing 24/7 without all the vicious vitriolic rigmarole displayed the lackluster GOP legislators. Compromises like—A spending freeze, some scattered necessary trimming budget cuts, tax reforms, and elimination of some high end tax credits with progressive[but fairer &/or minor] tax increases as proposed by the Governor—could quickly balance the state’s immediate budget and drastically erode future impending budget shortfalls. There might ,most likely even be a “bankable” revenue surplus if the economy ‘slowly’ turns around.

    If a shutdown does occur this state will be in a condition that could lead to default and/or economic Depression like it has never experienced. The GOP should realize this and take immediate leadership action to curb such from happening. Compromising to correct the impending budget calamity and doom is the key to success.

    The party of Eisenhower, Nixon, and Reagan had better get its MN act together. Funny how we haven’t heard the GOP comment about not receiving their paychecks during this impending calamity!

    1. Your Mother says:

      This is sick. And so many of these Republicans are Christians. Perhaps we should make their churches and other non-profits (!) pay their fare share of taxes once and for all. Work is work and it matters not whether you volunteer or are hired at some other sorry-ass low-wage job with no real benefits and job security. I think government employees should feel what it’s really like and get the same benefits the poor get. The laws would change overnight. The sad state of affairs is that so many Christians (I’m one of them!) would rather support wars, junk foods and countries that have dictatorships than their own people. How crazy is that? I think we might have to get rid of our government workers because they seem like corrupt “middlemen/women,” and only in it for themselves.

      1. Janitor. says:

        They get free life time health care, dential care, and eye care. for there hole family. Free Glasses, cantacts, free medicen. and big pay checks. Its time the give up some of that like everyone in the public and privet. they keep taking our benafits away but they get to keep theres? there is something wong here? a lot of them own, have stock, shares in places like best buy, and the oil inc. call you legistlaters today and tell them to take a pay and benafit cutt today! Save your job abd everyones jobs!!!

      2. David J. Conklin says:

        >And so many of these Republicans are Christians.

        They claim to be Christians. That doesn’t mean that they are one. That’s why Jesus “By their fruits ye shall know them.” They didn’t comprehend the message: In as much as ye have done it unto the least of these, ye have done it unto me.”

    2. Annoyed State Employee says:

      So Swamp Rat… what you’re saying is that the GOP controlled Legislature should basically write the Governor a blank check? How can Dayton expect to ask for so much for the budget when he’s not getting that much to spend? He’s planning a deficit budget, and nobody sees a problem in that? So, how is he planning on paying off the deficit he’s budgeting for? You think he’s really only going to tax the rich? HAHAHA

      I’m both a republican, AND a state employee… and I think Dayton is completely in the wrong. I’m a member of AFSME and I don’t agree with anything they are saying. I’m a state employee, so you know I’m far from rich, hell I’m barely getting by. Then Governor Dayton is playing hostage with my paycheck.

      They should all be looking at cutting benefits for those who don’t need them. I had a friend/roommate who refused to look for a job, so I kicked him out.He wound up getting an apartment completely paid for including utilities. He didn’t feel like working, so he gets rewarded with free rent. I work my but off, and can barely pay my bills. How is that right? Stop paying the way for lazy as hell people. My wife has a friend who has had about 12 abortions over they years, 8 of those were payed for by Minnesota Medical Assistance. Now she’s stuck being pregnant because she didn’t get on MA fast enough… but guess what… MA is paying for her pregnancy. How can people like her get away with that? It’s because Minnesota feels the need to take care of everyone and anyone. Why don’t people like them have to take care of themselves? It’s because of Liberals like Dayton and yourself who want people to be dependent on government.

      Discriminate on who actually gets state assistance or county assistance. They should sell off some of the empty school buildings they closed down. Sell off vacant land. CUT SPENDING!!! Lower taxes for everyone! Stop trying to govern on a deficit! If Dayton doesn’t have the money coming in to spend, then he shouldn’t plan on spending it in his budget!

      My wife and I aren’t going to get our three kids new bikes if we don’t have the money to also pay the electric bill. But Dayton want’s to spend money he doesn’t have coming in. In the private sector, he would get fired. But this is government, so he just puts what ever spin he wants on it and the liberal media just runs with it.

      People like you make me sick. Open your eyes and mind and you’ll see that conservatives are the ones actually trying to help people. Liberals/Democrats are just trying to keep people dependent on government instead of having them bettering themselves,

      What do people consider a fair share of the rich? Should millionaires only be taking home $200,000 out of $1.5M. Liberal politicians won’t be happy until the US is a communist nation. God help us if that ever happens.

      1. Swamp Rat says:

        @your mother
        Sorry to see that you are so rabidly angry that you are blinded see that this MN economic crises was years in the making and when the present Legislature is impotent and gridlocked to act no one wants to make the hard choices.

        As former Governor Arne Carlson has recently suggested forget the politics, the posturings, and ersatz economic prognostications and just look at the basic mechanic of the state’s budget.

        With all budget matters and things being equal and on a laid out observation field budget cutting, spending freezes, and generating new revenue streams should be a straight-forward task. Minnesota households are trying and, hopefully, succeeding to do this daily. Again keep the vitriolic or histrionic politics out of the budget equation as well as the past political buffoonery..

        The MN GOP has its good ideas with some required compromise and tweaking to do as well as the Governor Dayton with his proposed tax reformation on the high end “wage” earners. So what truly is the problem in St..Paul with everyone?

        The answer is so simple that an eight grade general math student or struggling family wage earner can see the solutions. Again, forgetting the politics and heated political nonsensical legislative chicanery the answers are right in front of everyone.

        Just take a “non-biased” objective look at the total budget then equally excise every department, program, and expenditure outlay. Next, reform the income tax revenue streams so that everyone pays their fair progressive tax percentages. The Governor’s tax on higher incomes can be tweaked as well as the GOP’s no new taxes or no tax programs. Somewhere in all this with and in the spirit of bi-partisanship and compromise will come a balance budget and maybe a surplus if the country’s present rate of inflation doesn’t rise any further! What I just presented will work if people would realize there have to be sacrifices made, everyone has to work together, and we all start believing in the basic American core values.

        Forget the machinations of extremist politics and political ignorances, Forget the name calling in the confused debates over the present economic crises while remembering that we as a state and nation can rise above the calamities before us. What so difficult about that?

        1. me says:

          Excellent response. The problem is that the majority of people in the legislature have a superiority complex. They are always right, whether Democrat or Republican. And no one can be the bigger man and actually really look at the other side’s ideas and maybe just tweak things just a bit, so everyone get most of what they want. No one will get everything they want and need to get their act together and realize this

      2. David J. Conklin says:

        >What do people consider a fair share of the rich?

        The upper.1% of our nation saw their income grow by 385% from 1970-2008. The bottom 90% saw their incomes drop by 1%. So, the fair share for each should have changed by the same amount.

  6. Jean says:

    Esme’s Blog is right on – and so are the comments from those saying the legislature should NOT get paid a salary or per diem if a special session is called. They didn’t do their job – and were paid. We shouldn’t have to pay them again. The comments about being fined $100 (or more) for each day they’re in session without finalizing a budget are also Right On! Maybe a combination: no paycheck, no per diem AND a daily fine would get them to so some serious compromiaing to settle the budget impasse.

  7. Dee says:

    So how do we put a stop to this madness??? Regardless of whether these yokel idiiots should give up their pay, how to do we enforce a serious penalty to the morons forcing a shutdown? WHAT CAN WE DO???

  8. David says:

    Yes the republicans did pass a budget which did Increase spending 6% over the last two previous. Dayton wants 4 billion dollars more.

  9. Amy Reierson says:

    Know one should get paid especially when people who live pay check to pay check and rely on things like Adaption assistance are being told that things like this will be held back because of the shut down. My family and I rely on the assistance to help make our bills every month. It effects my two daughters and their great grandmother who has Dementia and we care for in our home, not just my husband and I…

    1. Guy says:

      So you “adapt”ed (the word is spelled adOpt) the kids as a “meal ticket” – nice.

      1. bob says:

        Hey “Guy”
        there are plenty of kds that need to be adopted from hennepin county. if you think the ‘meal ticket’ seems so good, why don’t you step up and adopt one or 2 of them?

        1. Go Michelle says:

          Michelle Bachmann stepped up and fostered 23 kids.

        2. Guy says:

          Right at this moment; one of my grandnephews is upstairs playing on my xbox. I regularly take the grandkids out to events, games, zoo, museums, etc. And I don’t spend my time worrying about getting paid for it. If I “adapt”ed kids; I would do the same. Adoption should be because you care about the kid – NOT THE MONEY.

  10. Kathy says:

    I am so scared! I don’t understand how anyone in our government can even think this is acceptable. There must be something they can do to avoid this. This will have a terrible domino effect and those of us who are already barely making it, will finally go under. I just can’t see how our best interests are kept in mind here. Really, shut down the government…I know I am not alone with I say, I am furious, scared and just plain sick and tired of this CRAP!! It is a bunch of CRAP! They absolutely should NOT be paid and they SHOULD be fined a months’ worth of salary if they can’t get it together. COME ON!!

  11. Rico Suave says:

    I see the victim class is out in force today. I’m down with the fines. Fine the guv and all the dems that didn’t vote yes for the GOP budget with the needed cuts. Then give the GOP legislators bonuses for doing their job in the face of the outrage and resistance by the “gimme more and take it from others” class. Then for good measure fine the losers who work in our bloated, over-paid morbidly obese government. Fine away. Fine like the wind! Stay thirsty my friends.

    1. kieron says:

      Fine the GOP for fiddling with ridiculous ideas like banning something that’s already illegal. How’s that for fiscal responsibility? Brought to you by the Party of No Ideas.

    2. goodmonster says:

      Rico is Right on. Seems to me the GOP is proposing idea after idea, compromise after compromise, and the DemocRAT Govenor is in refusal and throwing a hissy fit like a spoiled brat. Government has got to live within there means just like the rest of us. Rico, do I know you?

      1. me says:

        Dayton specifically said he would not entertain a budget that did not BRING IN REVENUE. Read the stories. The GOP is not coming up with ANY idea. Dayton would give up the tax increase on the upper 2% if they found a different way

      2. David J. Conklin says:

        >DemocRAT Govenor

        As compared with the conservative Nazi’s? Play nice or it’ll come back to bite ya!

  12. MC HAMMER says:

    I saw that one coming! State workers get laid off and Libs still get their checks! Man thats my kind off job! Dayton better get off his A– And sign the bill or he be looking for another job!

  13. kieron says:

    And cons still can’t seem to pay their bills, a la GOP not paying up what they owe. How that fiscal responsibility workin’ out fer ya?

  14. T.L. says:

    I totally agree with Esme and commenter Jean. “No paycheck, no per diem AND a daily fine” is a good start. I cannot believe that they wasted all that time with the anti-gay marriage garbage that’s already illegal. If we didn’t do our jobs, we’d get fired. Maybe we should just fire them all. No pay for no work, just like everyone else.

  15. ronda says:

    They shouldn’t get paid. They didn’t finish their jobs in a timely manner. And as a foster care provider (and as of yesterday, not an essential person) I am not getting paid to care for two individuals that live with me. They shouldn’t either!

  16. Jeff says:

    The GOP legislature was elected in 2010 because they promised they would slash government spending.

    GOP, stick to your guns. Don’t increase spending. Don’t give in to governor Dayton.

    Governor Dayton, sign the budget legislation.

    1. Dustie says:

      Watch the YouTube video “The Truth About the Economy” by noted economist Robert Reich (he served 3 presidents – Carter, Bush, Clinton). You are absolutely wrong about what the GOP legislature is trying to do to correct Minnesota’s financial problems – the rich/super rich need to start paying their fair share of taxes. Governor Dayton is correct and has my full support.

  17. K. Soucek says:

    This whole thing makes me so mad! This could be the kick that middle America needs to go right over the edge! This economy is so far in the dumps in more ways than one. Why not, let me open my wallet a bit more for you…oh, sorry…there’s nothing in it any more! Shutdown government, send the workers home with no paycheck, cut off unemployment, don’t hire any new employees (even though politicians and government will candy coat it and say unemployment has dropped-BULL), cut at the very heart of America just a bit more – Middle Class – see what happens! It will get worse, not better. You need us, so you’d better do YOUR JOB and get your butt in gear. What a bunch of clowns. Definitely, they should not get paid for ANYTHING! Because they are not doing ANYTHING. If I could afford it, I’d buy them ALL clown noses and they would be forced to wear them 24/7 until they figured this out, as we “hired” them to do. Make sure you think about what this will cost to millions, before you put your individual pride first. Come on! Get real and negotiate and settle this. For crying out loud…what a bunch of clowns!

  18. Gabe says:

    I think that there should be a Minnesota constitutional amendment that requires that state budgets be passed by the closing of the legislative session. If legislators and the governor don’t pass a budget by the deadline then they should get their salary reduced by $1000 each day they go past the deadline until they get a budget passed. Shutting down government is absolutely irresponsible and pathetic. I don’t know how democrats, republicans, and independents in the Minnesota government can go to sleep at night thinking that shutting down government is OK. Government is unfortunately far from perfect and all the political parties need to learn to compromise. Minnesota and the United States is in the middle of sad and pathetic politics that completely disrespect the principles of what it is to be American.

    1. Marilyn Scott-Wilkes says:

      AMEN!

  19. Bill Clinton says:

    Minnesota’s budget shortfall is easily solveable. Simply reduce welfare spending to the national per capita average or the average of the surrounding 4, 5, or 6 states. That simple change eliminates the budget shortfall.

    1. Guy says:

      Reduce it to 10% BELOW what you suggested & get all the welfare leeches to self-deport to other states.

      1. Dustie says:

        How about deporting the rich/super rich leeches who are not paying their fair share of taxes which is creating this problem. Deport the rich to some other country in the Middle East maybe.

  20. Tim says:

    ya know, 4 years from now Youll be looking back and thinking about how poor You thought You were 4 years ago and Youll reallize that these indeed are the good times. no matter how bad they seem. What we are going thru right now is a cakewalk. WAIT until You have no job. no government help and no way to get money to feed Yourself. Think it couldnt happen? think again

    1. momiesmonkey says:

      Each and everyone of us is a blink away from the unemployment and food line. Darker days are ahead for us all.

    2. Minnesota, Welfare Capital of the World says:

      It’ll never happen, Tim. Not in Money-sota.

  21. Jake says:

    Ah, Amy Koch has just said that they won’t take any more pay EITHER, so what will you die-hard libs use for an excuse now??

  22. Dustie says:

    I’ve written 2 comments and neither have posted. Wondering why. Possibly a censor with an agenda?

    1. Guy says:

      Did you use any bad words … or even a bunch of stars or dashes or something where you self-censored bad words? This posting software seems to filter those.

      1. Dustie says:

        Dope, I don’t use bad words in comment/blogs.

      2. Dustie says:

        Whops, I didn’t mean “Dope” – I meant “Nope.” 😦

  23. Dustie says:

    Watch a 2 minute YouTube video entitled “The Truth About the Economy” by economist Robert Reich. Also read a June 17th news article entitled “Pawlenty’s Super-Rich Tax Cut proposal if he becomes President (God help us all): http://money.cnn.com/2011/06/17/news/economy/pawlenty_taxes/index.htm. Watching and reading this video and new article explains a lot about why Minnesota is in a grave financial situation. Governor Dayton is correct and the Republican legislature is trying to take us down the wrong path as T-PAW did.

    1. jan says:

      Robert Reich is a statist – the principle or policy of concentrating extensive economic, political, and related controls in the state at the cost of individual liberty.

      1. Dustie says:

        Bull-pucky I say. With liberty comes responsibility in a democracy.

  24. Mark from Minnesota Tax Waste says:

    As a conservative myself, all Legislatures should have no pay as well. Let them feel the pinch.

  25. You're Sick says:

    I’m rich. Keep you grubby hands off my money. IT’S MY MONEY, NOT YOURS.

    1. Dustie says:

      Well, good for you that you’re rich. Then step up to the plate and pay your fair share of taxes.

  26. nightshift says:

    They should have two special sessions of the leg. The first should be for a constitutional amendment for citizen initiate recall of legislature. Then to compromise on the budget.

    1. marc says:

      Don’t quit your night job.

    2. Dustie says:

      Minnesota voters should have a right to recall their legislature just like Wisconsin is working on. Our current legislature does not know the meaning of negotiations and compromise – it’s their way or the highway. And we’ll all be paying the price if the state government shuts down and lays off workers. I say thank our higher powers that we have a responsible Democratic Governor that is willing to negotiate and compromise or we’d have the same nasty situation that Wisconsin residents are facing. Governor Dayton has been more than reasonable in his attempts to compromise and the legislators just call him nasty names. Very juvenile I say.

  27. Marie says:

    No, they should not get paid and their paychecks should go back into the debt to help pay it off… sure that would make them do their jobs. Also, they should be out asking the people in their districts what they think and would like than take that back and get a budget that works from all walks of life . Yes, it’s a dream know.

  28. Marilyn Scott-Wilkes says:

    If State employees don’t get paid then neither should the congress, we saw a bumper sticker last night that says it all “Elephnats and A$$’s screwing the masses” WHY should the state or the people PAY because these jackasses can’t get it right! I admire Gov Dayton for sticking to his guns on the other hand more and more jobs are leaving the state or hiring illegals to work our jobs that are willing to take less then what ligetimate poeple would make. Some on Congress get your crap toghther and get it RIGHT you have nothing to lose but a lot of others DO! HAPPY FATHERS DAY!

  29. Chuck says:

    I made the mistake of watching WCCO this morning. Esme Murphy conducts interviews as though she’s on the DFL/AFSCME/Education Minnesota payroll.

    Normally I watch KARE because they tend to report the news without interjecting their far left opinions. Maybe someone can teach the lefties over at WCCO that current levels of growth in government are unsustainable.

    1. Dustie says:

      I’d say you’re a bit sarcastic for sure. So the righties (sorry that may sound sarcastic now too) might need to be looking at increasing some revenue streams by having the rich/super rich star paying their fair share so the rest of us can enjoy our liberties along with our responsibilities.

  30. KM says:

    According to a Special Report put out by The Tax Foundation in March of 2007, they looked at who pays America’s tax burden, and who gets the most government spending. Hands down, the lowest income earners pay the least in taxes (even to a negative value as they get for example, the earned income credit AND their paid taxes back) and use the greater amount of government services. The highest income earners paid the most in taxes while using the least amount of government services. It is time we stop making the higher income earners the scapegoat to fund some of the lifestyles of the lower income earners.

    Yes, right now I am part of that lower income earner group, I currently live in subsidized housing after coming out of a bad marriage. I work part-time and am in school, working to become self sufficient. I see the people who live here and the losers who live here who do not want to work, but yet who drive nice cars, have nice clothes and eat better than I do. Many of the women here keep having kids by different fathers, the boyfriends moving in, then out when the relationship sours (which doesn’t take very long it seems!). People live here illegally, but most often it cannot be proved, and the retaliation factor (usually car damage) makes it better to mind your own business. I hate living here and cannot wait for the day when I can say “adios”!

  31. I wish you well says:

    II have a few disabled friends in Section 8 housing. They see the same things you do. New boyfriend, new baby. Drive up from Chicago, no problem. just live off the Mn taxpayers. I lived by the projects on the Eastside of St. Paul. Disgusting. You sound like a great person and good luck to you!

    1. Tony Rozycki says:

      good comment

  32. StraycatStrut says:

    Its very clear the Gov….Mark Dayton….. has no clue what he’s doing. Why did 40+% of Mn voite and endorse this clown anyway? Raising taxes in a recession, poor housing market is absurd. A $34 Billion budget equates to(approx) $6400 per man woman and child in the state (MN population 5.304 million). Further equates to $25,641 for a family of 4…and he’s telling us its not enough….? Out of touch he is!

    1. Time to get real says:

      What you failed to recognize is he inherited these problems . . . he didn’t create them. Unfortunately these situations do not create themselves and they do not happen over night or in one term . . . look to the past political leaders or those who lacked leadership. You may not have voted for him but the majority did. Maybe the lesser of all evils in some folks eyes. Cutting is not always the answer especially if the impacts of those cuts are as dramatic as some of them will be. It is always about make the state look good so the lower levels of government will have to deal with it and make them look bad. There are some tough decisions that need to be made and it is going to take some concessions from both sides. They were all elected to serve ALL of us and not just their constituants. If they had all done their job earlier we likely would not be looking at a potential shut down of the bulk fo state government . . . which will impact local governments and their services also. It is time they suck it up and do their job in the best interest of the majority of the taxpayers.

      1. StraycatStrut says:

        Your comments well taken….. but Dayton was elected to “fix” problems not just tax the rich…. throw $$$ at problems and kick the can down the street hoping problems disappear. He’s needs to do something and step it up rather than rely on his puppy dog scared looks!

        1. Dustie says:

          Governor Dayton has negotiated in good faith and moved significantly from his original position. He is trying to “fix” problems left from 8 years of T-PAW’s poor leadership. Both the Governor and the Legislature need to negotiate and come to a compromise before all of us pee ons start paying with higher property taxes (property values have continued to decline and the taxes continue to go up).

  33. Dustie says:

    Governor Dayton was elected as he was the best candidate and the most voters voted for him. That’s the way it works in a Democracy. Calling him nasty names doesn’t really help anything and just makes you look silly “StraycatStrut.

    We are NOT currently in a recession. The Planting Dollars website provides the following information about the end of the recession:

    Although it may not feel like it, the recession has been over for quite some time. In fact, 2011 has started off with a bang, the Dow Jones just crossed 12,000 and reached highs not seen since 2008, employers are beginning to hire, albeit slowly, but for many they’re just not feeling the optimism that 2011 is starting to sprout.

    The Recession Ended When?

    Most sources that I read seem to peg the end of the recession towards last summer (2010) sometime. However, the National Bureau of Economic Research indicated the the trough of the downturn occurred in June of 2009 so we’re clearly long gone from bottom, but at the same time, we’re still quite a distance from the potential top.

    1. Michael says:

      Another liberal living in a fantasy land (rhymes with Candy Land).

      1. Dustie says:

        Michael, ignorance is bliss . . . we need more revenue intakes AND less spending. Just the facts.

  34. Sick of hearing it all says:

    Go ahead and make the cuts recommended at the state level . . . then do not complain when your local property taxes go up because you as a homeowner still get the marcket value homestead credit BUT the city you live in does not get the reimbursement from YOUR tax releif. Your state government just imposed a state property tax because the City will now need to increase their levy to cover for the non-reimbursement for YOUR tax releif. This is only one program that while it looks good to make the cuts at the upper state level you are not being told of the implications at the local level. Be careful what you wish for with the state budget because it can and will come back to bite you with your local tax bill. That is the simple truth . . .

  35. Jodie Lachapelle says:

    Maybe they should all try to live day to day and paycheck to paycheck like most of us do.. Do you think they could live on less then 15,000. a year.. HELL NO but some of us do it. They need to have their pay froze for a while and see what it is like to live day to day.. If they close down it will be even worse for some of us who are single parents. We wont get our child support.. Will they pay it back with interest ?? NOPE.. I work two jobs just trying to keep my head above water here. I have to teenagers. It seems like once I finely get ahead the government always has to mess things up… TAKE THE PAY CUT AND LETS GET ON WITH THIS .. Dont make others suffer cause of your greed for money.. Give up your paychecks for a month and live like the rest of us… Stop your vacations and all your spending and see what real life is like for once.

  36. Kate says:

    I work for a Private Practice that also sees Medicaid folks. Our revenue quit June 1, we stopped being paid for individuals with that source of funding. I told my boss he doesn’t have to pay me until July 1 (and I’m hoping some agreements are in place by then). I’ve also told him if I were him I’d retire and I’m trying to find a reliable job. Helping the poor is great, but I was managing all the business operations and cannot do it for free, I’m down to doing it all in 10 hrs a week now, trying to continuously have a second job. Our government gets boundless perks and those of us serving them are broke. I was proud of what I did, now I’m embarassed by it. Maybe it would have been easier on lots of us if the State wouldn’t have continuously told folks they could use these services. They told us we can’t stop seeing folks we already see, but they do not know when (or if) they intend to pay anyone.

  37. Tony Rozycki says:

    For whatever it’s worth compare the grim expressions on the recent blog close-up pix of Mark & Anthony. I know from experience that government can be stressful!

  38. David J. Conklin says:

    1) Did the politicians recommend cutting their incomes by the same percentage as they want everyone else to?

    2) How about a mass recall campaign on July 5th if there is a shutdown?

  39. Brad says:

    Are you all kidding me? If I “hire” a painter to paint my house, or an electrician to do some wiring, plumber to clear a clog, etc… do they, after declaring the job “compete”, get a pass and MORE PAY just to come back and FIX what they were hired to fix in the first place just because they didn’t get it right the first time?

    Not at my house, and definitely NOT if it’s because they didn’t get along with the boss, which is US, by the way!!! Parties don’t matter, WE do.

    They (the “Legislature) should ALL agree to BOTH not taking the pay, AND taking the same cuts they are proposing!

    Perhaps there should be a “Better Business Bureau” for elected officials!?!?

  40. Tony Rozycki says:

    In California the State controller will dock legislators $400 a day until they reach an agreement on how to close the $9.6 billion California deficit.

    1. Kmander says:

      How did you guys get that to work? What steps did you have to take?

      1. Tony Rozycki says:

        Good question Kmander!! I don’t know, am a Minnesota guy who read about it in Time magazine. I got the impression from the short article it’s just the CA plan & may not have yet gone into effect. May need to dig deeper. I think their Governor Bown is very experienced & creative, & doubt if the GOP is as strong there as here at this point in time. According to the article, the California “State controller” is involved.

        1. Tony Rozycki esq says:

          The California State Controller has more authority than the California State Treasurer. California has also passed a couple Propositions that apparently helped make this work… to create a direct personal financial incentive on each of their legislators to reach a timely State budget agreement.

          In CA the Guv & the “Controller” both had to oppose their own party to make it work.

          (I was stationed at Ft Ord CA one year the 1st time Brown was Guv.)

  41. Jim Kirby says:

    Common sense would be the more people to support the more bills one would have. Can the legislature realize that there are more people and of course there will be more bills. Not everyone is blessed with a silver spoon. Again it turns to the separation of the one’s that have and the one’s that have not. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

  42. Jerry says:

    Governor Dayton Stand Your Ground!

    The GOP should be ashamed of what they are doing. They get away with the freshman tatics of RED HERRING by holding a flag in front of Voters while eating some apple pie. They are just protecting the rich and greedy!

  43. Jerry says:

    Esme keep up the great reporting, your Sunday program is fair and balanced.

  44. Lynn says:

    Esme< I am more than OUTRAGED!! These Legislators should be DOCKED thier pay from 12;01 July 1,2011 to the Actual Up & Running of this states gov't. They vote along Party Lines instead of thier constituants who voted them into thier jobs. Why can't they hear us?? We should hold elections ASAP to REPLACE ALL of MN Legislators NOW!!! That would save us the headaches we will be forced to enure untill the next scheduled election. Because don't fool yourself they will ALL be voted out of office. Any employee at any bussiness who cannot do thier job in the time frame alotted them gets fired! Be ready legislators- u r about to get a look at the REAL WORLD!!

  45. Kmander says:

    I believe everyone should vote for a “no-namer” instead of politicians we know. They can’t be much worse than the ones we do know.

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