‘Cone Of Silence’ Becomes Roar Of Hostility

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — With Minnesota’s state government closed for business, the focus shifted Friday to who’s to blame.

The shutdown started at 12:01 a.m. Friday, the product of an ongoing dispute over taxes and spending between Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican legislative majorities. Talks fell apart well before the deadline, leaving state parks closed on the brink of the Fourth of July weekend, putting road projects at a standstill and forcing thousands of state worker layoffs.

The heads of the state’s Republican and Democratic parties each say the other side is responsible.

Minnesota GOP Chairman Tony Sutton called Dayton a “piece of work” and accused him of inflicting “maximum pain” for political reasons.

Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party Chairman Ken Martin laid the blame on Republicans, saying they drove the state to a shutdown to protect millionaires from tax increases sought by Dayton.

“Shame on you for putting the interests of your rich campaign donors ahead of the well-being of the constituents you are supposed to represent,” Martin said.

The Alliance for a Better Minnesota, a left-leaning group supportive of Dayton, plans to run weekend radio ads in three popular vacation areas blaming Republicans for the impact of the shutdown, including closed state parks. The group also debuted a “shutdown shame” website.

Though nearly all states are having severe budget problems this year, Minnesota stands as the only government to have shut down, thanks to Dayton’s determination to raise taxes on high-earners to close a $5 billion deficit and the Republican Legislature’s refusal to go along. The shutdown would be Minnesota’s second in six years as the partisan divide deepens.

Here, as in 21 other states, there’s no way to keep government operating past the end of a budget period without legislative action, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Even so, only four other states — Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Tennessee — have had shutdowns in the past decade, some lasting mere hours.

There was no word early Friday of any plan to continue budget negotiations.

Even before the final failure, officials padlocked highway rest areas and state parks, herding campers out. The full impact will hit Friday morning as thousands of laid-off state employees stay home until further notice and a wide array of services are suspended.

Critical functions such as state troopers, prison guards, the courts and disaster responses will continue. On Friday morning, former Supreme Court Chief Justice Kathleen Blatz will begin the court-appointed job of sifting through appeals from groups arguing in favor of continued government funding for particular programs.

Dayton addressed the looming shutdown at about 10 p.m. Thursday, emerging after a day of fitful negotiations with legislative Republicans to say the two sides were still fundamentally divided over how much the state should spend the next two years and that the shutdown was inevitable.

“This is a night of deep sorrow for me,” Dayton said.

Republican lawmakers had gathered at the Capitol for hours, demanding that Dayton do what he had said for months he would not do: Call a special session so they could pass a “lights on” budget bill to keep the government running. The governor insisted he would not give up that leverage without a total budget solution that incorporated the many facets of state spending. The governor has sole power to call a special session, but once one starts, it’s lawmakers who will decide when to adjourn.

“I think the governor’s insistence that we pass a full budget is not going to be of much comfort to Minnesotans who are going to see delays on the highways because construction projects stop,” said Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, R-Buffalo. “It’s not going to comfort people who can’t use our state parks, or who can’t get a driver’s license.”

Officials in state parks had already started herding out campers Thursday, saying it would have been too difficult in the dead of night. Also Thursday, people rushed to get driver’s and fishing licenses at offices and service centers that would be locked up by morning.

A stoppage in Minnesota also halts non-emergency road construction, shuts the state zoo and Capitol, and stops child-care assistance for the poor. More than 40 state boards and agencies expected to go dark.

The shutdown in retrospect was something of a slow-motion disaster, with a new Democratic governor and new Republican legislative majorities at odds for months over how to eliminate a $5 billion state budget deficit. Dayton has been determined to raise taxes on high-earners to close the deficit, while Republicans insisted that it be closed only by cuts to state spending.

Even after the shutdown looked like a certainty, Dayton and Republicans did not soften their conflicting principles. Dayton said he campaigned and was elected on a promise not to make spending cuts to a level he called “draconian.” He said he has been more flexible than Republicans in trying to compromise in order to acknowledge their principles.

“I’ve gone halfway, and I’m not going to go further,” Dayton said.

Republicans have been equally firm. Republican Sen. Michelle Benson said earlier in the day she wouldn’t budge on raising taxes or new revenue in any form.

“If we don’t start taking a different approach to how we manage our government, we’re going to swing from one bad economic circumstance to another,” Benson said. “We can’t just keep throwing more money at government and hoping that makes things better.”

Dayton has proposed raising taxes on couples earning more than $300,000 and individuals making more than $180,000. He said Thursday night that he had offered to target the tax increase to even higher earners, those making more than $1 million a year.

Republicans have opposed any new taxes or new revenue sources, arguing instead that the state should rely on spending cuts, including deeper reductions in health and welfare spending than Dayton is willing to accept.

Some GOP moderates have talked of breaking the impasse with other means of raising revenue, such as eliminating tax breaks or authorizing a casino. Dayton has said he is open to such ideas.

Lawmakers now face the prospect of spending the holiday weekend at parades and events in their districts, facing a public who can point to an oversized symbol of gridlock at the state Capitol. Some admitted that Dayton might have the upper hand politically.

“I personally think the Republicans will probably be more damaged than the governor” by the shutdown, said freshman Rep. Mike LeMieur, R-Little Falls, who toppled an incumbent Democrat in November. “The fact is that we’re all up for re-election again next year, and he’s not up for three years.”

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2011/07/01/effects-of-shutdown-already-felt/ Effects Of Shutdown Already Felt « CBS Minnesota

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  • Joe Hanson

    “I’ve gone halfway, and I’m not going to go further,” Dayton said.

    Governor Mark Dayton – holding Minnesota hostage, day 1.

    • Bb

      Republicans are holding Minnesota hostage because they don’t want to tax their rich buddies that keep them in office. Really you are that naive, I personally am tired of footing the bill for the top 2 percent, I also am tired of footing the bill for corporate welfare. This is what happens when tea baggers get into office, let it be a lesson to the rest of the country what price they will pay if the allow these right wing nut jobs into office.

      • tt

        Right, Bb. These morons are too stupid to see the truth.

        • MN Nice

          MN nice at it’s best? Morons…stupid….anything else you want to add?

          • richard

            Don’t forget idiots.

            • MN Nice

              I didn’t think you’ld get the sarcasm!

      • Matt

        I think the top 2 percent is sick of footing the bill for all the wellfare and food stamp babies. Democrats are holding MN hostage because they don’t want to stop supporting their POOR voting base. It goes both ways Bb

        • UNIMPLOYED

          Middle Class is tired of paying a higher percentage than the rich do. Middle Class pays 12.1% and the rich only pay 9-10% of their income. IS THIS FAIR?

          • Lower Middle Class man

            That 9-10 % that the rich pay make up well over 70 % of the total taxes paid – I say that is much better that the 0 % that the lower 1/3 pay. Why does everyone say lets tax the rich – those are people who hire people and belp pay their benefits. Anyone is free to take a few chances and open a business – work hard and do well – If you want it, go get it !!! – Oh ya, you would rather get something for nothing!!!!

            • BooHoo

              I’m sure that the SALES TAX that the rich pay when they make big ticket purchases more than make up for the difference. The tax the rich program that Dayton is running won’t even cover the difference. He needs to get a different look on his face, he looks like an idiot.

            • richard

              GREAT QUESTION! Why is it unfair to ask the wealthy to pay AT LEAST as much as I do (Me 12% them 10%) of their adjusted gross income. I have posted this question several times….funny, nobody has an answere.

              • Matt

                12% of $50K is $6K, 10% of $250K is $25K. Who is paying more? This doesn’t even consider higher property taxes on more expensive homes or more sales tax on money spent.

                • Linda

                  Richard is asking why the rich do not pay the same PERCENTAGE that he does–and I am asking the same. As to the sales tax, we pay sales tax, too. Granted, I am not paying tax on yachts or luxury cars. but I sure won’t feel sorry for those who are buying and, therefore, paying taxes on those items. And, if they don’t want to pay property taxes on a multi-million dollar home, they don’t have to buy one. Sorry, but the poor-me approach of millionaires doesn’t play with me.

                • Who is Keeping MORE?

                  It’s not about who pays more! I pay more than someone who earns less than me just as well but if I pay 12% and they pay 12% I’m not complaining like you are! Typical BS from the greedy rich who think we middle class don’t know math and don’t see the manipulation of figures….50k-6k=44k and 88% of money made they get to keep and 250k-25k=225k so the rich get to keep 90% of the money they make. You see, I see the BS in your math. Figures don’t lie but the rich liers spread their BS figures! The extra 2% or 5k in your example that you get to keep is the reason you easily get richer and richer and the middle class struggle to get ahead. I’m sure the person making 50k would like to keep 2% more or 1k just as well! So hell yea, I’m for taxes on the top 2% to be the same percentage as me. And not only that, I also am a job creator…own a business and hire people….so the top 2% are NOT the only ones who create jobs!!!

                  And to you DFLers, I’m not one of you who supports a government that thinks spending my taxes on creating more middle income government jobs is a good thing. Neither am I for a government that throws my tax money at programs that aren’t neccessary or that work efficiently. At least you know the GOP supports the top 2%, but if you think the DFL supports the middle class then you are sadly mistaken as they spend out of control which still causes the middle class to pay more in the end. You want to blame Pawlenty so much, but you DFLers forget who was controlling the governments pocketbook for the past ??? how many year???

              • The Tick

                I’ll answer your question, Richard, but you won’t like it. I suggest you go read the latest Tax Incidence Study and I mean really read it. The only reason that the highest income decile pays less in total state taxes as a percentage of their income (their tax incidence) is because they spend less of their money consuming (sales tax) and they buy less expensive homes relative to their income. The top decile average income was about $400k and the market value of their homes was also about $400k. All of the other deciles have homes that are 2-4 times their income (excluding the lowest decile).

                Again, the reason the highest earners have a lower tax incidence right now is because they are saving money and living within their means. I’m sure you and Linda below would be just as incensed to see them throwing money around buying new cars and luxury goods even though that would immediately drive up their tax incidence. In short, they’re damned if they do and damned if they don’t. The only answer that satisfies is to confiscate their money and spend it on more state programs, i.e. “From each according to his abilities. To each according to his needs.”

            • What???

              Lower Middle Class man
              Maybe everyone should stop the “they make jobs” rhetoric as there is no proof of this to support. However, there is proof that they have not been hiring new workers and you can tell this by the unemployment throughout the country. I have proof that supports that claim. Where is your proof that they are making new jobs with the tax breaks?

            • Greedy Rich Man

              I’m sure the rich pass up on the government tax money thrown their way in the form of low interest rate loans, grants, subsidies, etc…etc. NOT!!!….just look at some of the GOP politicians!!! Like the rich don’t get something for nothing??? The size of a man’s pocketbook is frequently used as a power tool to get something for nothing! Those of us who pay taxes that aren’t in the top 2% may also be mad at those who pay 0%, but I’m sure there are plenty of us who pay taxes are also mad at the top 2% that get to keep 2% more of their adjusted taxable income as well.

      • out of control government

        NO it is the Governors Fault. He is given a budget. Stop trying to work around that budget to get more money. Figure out a way to make that budget work. Just like the rest of us. We don’t get to go ask people for more money just because we feel like spending more and don’t have enough, NO you have to figure out a different way to make it work by giving up certain things. They cannot just continue to raise taxes for people to give them more money to spend. Cut certain things out starting with Welfare. I don’t like going to work every day and I sure as hell would rather be at home with my kids but that is not ethical. You work to pay your bills, Money is not meant to just be handed to you because you decided to pop out 6 kids you can’t afford. Deal with it on your own and stop depending on everyone else.

    • Unimployed

      Governor Dayton isn’t holding the state hostage the republicans are, and tax the richest 2% and it would be over.

      • The Tick

        Only increase the budget 3% and it would be over. Any other simple solution?

        • darth ninja

          Only increase the budget 4% and tax the top 2% an additional 2%. We might actually have a surplus or be able to pay for the stadium bill.

    • DTM

      At least he went halfway. Repubs barely budged.

    • Joe

      1/2 way sounds reasonable to me? This is still democracy right. All on one side is a dictatorship. Both sides need to meet in the middle and concede a bit. 1/2 way is fine with me.

  • Sam I am

    Hey every one – the world is still turning.

    Dayton you have not compromised one bit.

    • jim

      actually, dayton HAS compromised. it’s the republicans who haven’t.

      • Mark "FAIL" Dayton

        Actually, I’ll tell you where Dayton has not compromised! Pass what you agree on…”NO” says Dayton. All or nothing = nothing and government shutdown. Nice compromise Dayton! Hey you’re right, now THAT’S COMPROMISE

    • Shirl Mann

      sam I am,,,your o k with the radical republicans protecting the rich who have already assisted thm in sending the jobs overseas????????? WAKE UP PEOPLE

    • Joe

      The article just said he went 1/2 way. Did you even read it? I’d say that’s a bit…

  • SK

    Minnesota citizens are the casualties here. And the state workers are Minnesotan citizens and taxpayers so they will hurt from the shutdown as citizens as well as employees for the state. The state workers and their unions are not the problem. They are a small part of the entire state budget and it is just a political gimmick that people keep trying to make them an issue. I doubt that they will get back pay, but if they do, it will not be a significant dollar amount in the entire budget.

    GOP legislators need to get the entire budget done. There is no reason at this point to do a partial solution. It all needs to get done and done NOW. THEY are the ones who broke that trust during the regular session when Dayton looked at the Agriculture bill and felt it was very close to his and signed it. AND then the GOP introduced stuff into the state government bill that impacted the real status of the Agriculture budget. Why would Dayton trust them? And why would he think that they would make progress on the compromise if he signed some of the bills, when they haven’t in the past 6 months.

    • kieron

      And don’t forget, this is all from the party that STILL hasn’t paid their campaign debts, as far as I understand.

      • Tom

        @ kieron

        I am very liberal! That being said if you wondering about the money that the GOP owed counties for their recount Tom Emmers paid that bill off. Emmers cleaned up Tony Sutton’s mess.

        • NonessentialOne

          The GOP probably thought they could write off the expenses on their taxes and then never pay it anyway…sigh. This whole situation is a mess. but that said, would someone PUHLIEEZE put a muzzle on Tony Sutton?!?!?!?!? He is only helping to drag this situation into the sewer further with name calling and insults.

      • Jake

        So, does that completely irrelevant issue make the DFL’s relationship with former Rep. Wiener relevant somehow? I prefer keeping the school-house attacks on “character” out of a meaningful debate about policy issues, but I reckon people who think those sorts of attacks are effective will always make them if they think it improves their chances of prevailing.

  • Steph

    Very disappointed with our state’s government. The fact that the officials we elected on both sides have not yet learned the fine art of compromise, yet put thousands of people out of work and add to the downfall of an already struggling economy, are a local and national embarrassment. While Governor Dayton will not accepting a salary during this time, I hope the others that sit around the table will do as much.

    • michelle

      he doesn’t need his salary… he is one of the ultra-rich!!!

      • jim

        would YOU give up YOUR salary? even if you had other means to support yourself? would you? huh? would you?

  • Jo Poshek

    Governor Dayton has performed above and beyond in his efforts to produce a real compromise on the budget, the republicians have not. The moneyed people who helped republicians get elected have them all in a choke hold on revenue at the overall State’s well being. Shame on them.

    • Jake

      @Jo, your argument has become a talking point mantra, but it isn’t supported by the facts involved. It is far more apparent that Dayton is beholden to the public unions who want 10 percent increases and more. Seriously. 6% is far greater than inflation, and nobody is saying what will be “given up” by agreeing to $34 billion.

      The issue is not about defending high income earners’ money. It’s about whether the state budget needs to grow more than 6% to appease the people who put Dayton in office. And it isn’t the wealthy who have the “choke hold” but rather the GOP seems more influenced by middle income “Tea Party” types who believe government has grown too large and government employees are paid too much compared to those footing the bill.

    • Mel

      Wouldn’t most farmers qualify as “rich” under the Dayton tax code? Help me understand how taxing farmers and business owners is going to help? I wonder how many of these other states that the article addressed raised taxes to balance their budget. While the libs accuse republicans of catering to their wealthy voter base, Dayton is aldo catering to his union and welfare recipient base. It goes both ways people, but at the end of the day, Dayton is our Governor. The burden of the responsibility rests on him. That is the nature of the beast. I wonder if this is why Dayton was an unproductive senator.

      • Brady

        Mel, go back to 5th grade civics class and pull your fingers out of your ears.

        It is based on “net” income. Yes, farmers earn 100’s of thousands of dollars when they sell their crops or livestock. However, by the time they finally pay off everything it took to raise those crops or animals, they “net” very little.

        Of course, that is much different on the corporate farms and all their tax loopholes (oh forgive me GOP – available tax avoidances)

  • Mn hurting from Rep. Failures

    Funny how the previous republican Gov. Pawlenty passed on this mess to Dayton and now the republicans are making their stand. This is a farce. If you live in MN, it is evident that two terms of a republican Gov. have lowered our standard of living. Hang in there Gov. Dayton…the state needs you and appreciates your commitment to turning around Pawlenty’s failures.

    • Ferris Lind


    • michelle

      Pawlenty had to work with a Democratic controlled House and Senate at the time. He compromised and THAT is why we have a deficit!!! At least there was no shutdown…

      • Citizen

        T-Paw did not compromise. The legislature overrode his vetoes and made them irrelevant. And the Minnesota courts overturned his presumption of vetoing item unconstitutionally. T-Paw never worked WITH anyone.

        • Dale in IGH

          So in other words it was the Democratic Budget during the T-Paw years that was kicked down the road? If I remember correctly, TPaw was trying to veto several parts of the bill that would have reduced the overall budget. Libs find it a great talking point that we are stuck with this debt because of Tpaw, but as you point out, it was acgtually the Democrats that forced it thru.

          • Angell

            Great point Dale! Citizen has made many post boasting that it was Pawlenty’s fault we have a deficit in the State of MN. Now he is eating his words. Must taste awful!

          • One SIded

            Funny how the liberals say “tax the rich”, tax the rich”, tax the rich” and then some of them “rich” liberals are caught cheating on their taxes!

            Party line supporters can only blame the opposite party….they are consistantly inconsistant. The legislature passing spending bills but the governor gets the blame, but when their governor is in office it is now the legislature to blame.

            I don’t remember, but did the republicans even try to over turn Dayton’s veto?

            • Citizen

              No, the GOP did not try to override the Governor’s veto.

          • Citizen

            @Dale. You have two Citizens posting here. One is me, the Populist, and the other is…. I have no idea. But you are all getting us mixed up, so I will once again withdraw from posting. There is little left to say on this subject anyway.

        • spend less

          So if the legislature over rode his veto that would mean the debt on our state falls to the hands of the dems. They were in full controll of the house and senate. So you see what we got. Now the repubicans have the house and senate and they are tring to hold the line on spending. This is so simple to see.

          • Claire

            Not for Citizen,

            He would rather cast blame on the Republicans for evrything wrong in his life.

            • Citizen

              @Claire. Nice to see someone else is posting as Citizen and has you confusing the two of us. I am the Citizen who can’t stand you, and this is my last post because this topic has been done to death. And, by the way, I don’t blame the GOP for what is wrong in my life, because my life is really quite wonderful. I blame the GOP for what it is doing to America.

        • Darby

          The only veto over ride was for the gas tax. Pawlenty signed the budget then tried to unallot, which was determined to be unconstitutional. He did veto the tax increases which were not over ridden . Given that Pawlenty should know what the rules are the shortage on the budget is on him as was his solution.. As was his pattern, Pawlenty was trying to find an easy way out. http://www.mnbudgetproject.org/research-analysis/minnesota-taxes/tax-proposals-policy-changes/2009-tax-policy-changes

          • dan

            So Darby, What you are saying is that Pawlenty wanted to lower the budget, but was denied by the courts so he was stuck with what the Democrats passed off as an unbalanced budget. Great point

      • Tom

        @ Michelle

        Apparently you didn’t hear T-Paw at the last debate that he left MN with a budget surplus! Where is this surplus?

        Michelle we did have a govt shutdown when T-Paw was Gov it lasted about 8 days.

      • lost faith

        Michelle Mr. T-Paw’s did have a shutdown in 2005.

      • Crazy Rep

        Not one is buying your snake oil.

        • Brady

          Give Michelle a minute – she’s out re-writing wiki to remove any evidence of T-Paw’s shutdown.

          Wiki Whacking!

    • Willis

      Blame the other guy if things aren’t going your way. That’s a true sign of strength and ability to take ownership. Bravo! Well done. (here’s a hint on how to start, no really, listen, it’s really quite simple: Stop spending everyone’s money, it’s not the answer to this problem).

  • TOM

    Vote them all out in 2011 and 2012, until they are all gone, YOU ARE FIRED

  • Deb

    Hang in there Dayton!! Benson can just realize we can make some cuts, and still raise the taxes on the upper crust, she just doesn’t want to give up her perks!!! ALL CONGRESS NEEDS TO TAKE NO PAY DURING THIS TIME!!! ALL! Anyone of them Republican or Democrat, NO PAY, till they settle this!!
    REPUBLICAN’S holding Minnesota hostage!!!!!!!!

    • Melissa

      Does that include Dayton!!! When is enough spending enough in America, what would happen if you lived outside your means! The only difference with is all us hard working Americans are the ones that suffer! I am middle class and if I spend outside my means I suffer the recourse no one is there to bail me out. Someone needs to start looking out for EVERYONE!!! But it is about time someone says enough is enough whether I agree with them or not! I sure hope those Republicans stand firm and make what to me is going to be the that could possibly give us a chance! Tell me what good is printing money and taxing the only ones that can afford to keep this country and our economy going going to do. I think we need to start in the capital and the white house and when they give up their money then they can come to us!!

  • StraycatStrut

    We are already the highest taxed state in the Union…… time to get it together and cut the spending FIRST before the usual Demcrat problem solving event of “raising taxes”. The problem is spending. Hopefully the state cut services to the Gov Mansion on Summit.

    • kieron

      Citation needed for statistic of “highest taxed state,” please.

      • dan

        Number 11 out of 50 states according to the Stte of MN website. Looks like 39 other states have figured out a way to run a State without further burdon on its citizens

  • Deb

    Well Mark they know how to negociate!!!! You can bet that the republicans will not suffer!!

    • Tim K

      And how do you lnow that ?

      • Socialsim Rules!

        We can make the republicans kowtow to our demands by merely shutting this government down. Yes, very cool.

        • Mike

          go get a job

          • Pragmatic in MN

            Lets keep in mind that there is about $3 to $4 Billion more in this budget than the last budget. Roughly a 5% increase, I don’t know about the rest of you but in this current economic environment if you get a 5% raise you should be greatful and live within your means.

            Inevitably a tax on the wealthy leads to a tax on the middle income. Do we really want to go down this slippery slope?

            • Tom F

              Any proof? Bold statement from someone with no evidence.

              • Crazy Rep

                Agreed Tom F.

              • Lucifer

                The state’s last budget forecast anticipated a shortfall over $5 billion over two years starting in July 2011.[7] Estimates by state finance officials show that maintaining all programs currently mandated by state law would cost $5.8 billion more in the next biennial budget than the $33 billion the state spent in the prior biennium.[8]

                The Governor wants to make budget cuts and raise some taxes, whereas Republicans oppose increasing taxes and rely on cuts. Gov. Dayton, a Democrat, wants to spend $35.8 billion, funded in part by a $1.8 billion tax increase on the state’s top earners, whereas Republicans who hold House and Senate majorities say they will not spend more than $34 billion and they reject any tax increase.[9]

                The $34 billion offered by republicans is a 3% increase over last years actual spending. Dayton wants a 8.4% increase to offset lost stimulus funds (another Obama Failure). Seems to me a 3% incease is pretty generous in this economic environment. This shutdown is TOTALLY Dayton’s fault and I hope our conservative legislatures stand firm. He11, keep the government shut down until after the 2012 elections when most of the remaining progressive liberals will be gone.

            • Not greedy

              @Pragmatic in MN actually yes, I want to go down that route, raise the taxes

            • moth

              ya know it said in Sundays paper it has increased each year for 40 years at 11% a year…I don’t get a 11% raise every year who does?

              You have this much money that’s it DAYTON now spend it wisely

              • Wasteful spending has to stop.

                I agree with moth. there so much wasted spending on data analysis projects that usually end up no where. In addition, every department has positions where people have been put into because they are the favorite son’s and daughters of the department. They pay well, but have little substance. I think if we looked over every department budget, flow charts we could find where this money is being wasted. Eliminating this wasteful spending will enable the front line service providers to more effectively serve the public.

                • jordanj

                  Good idea, but we can post all day long with no changes. We vote people in thinking it will change, but it does not. What do we do?

                • Citizen

                  @jordanj. Civil disobedience is always an option. We can protest in the streets and on the capital steps. Remember the 60’s? It was the people in the streets and the demonstrations, the sacrifices of the freedom riders in the south, the courage of a lone black woman on a bus, and more that helped obtain truly equal civil rights and women’s rights. Helped end a war in Viet Nam. We have to show the politicians we are serious about these issues and sometimes that means putting ourselves on the picket line. At the minimum, it means writing your legislator or calling his/her office. I do it all the time and rarely do I get a response, but I keep up the rhetoric. And then we all have to follow through and vote them out!

    • bill

      Yah, like the libs are any better! Worse, this stste is becoming another California thanks to the libs and M.N coward, I mean nice.

    • Anti-Teabagger

      The Republican Party: Our Bridge to the 11th Century

      • Willis

        Wrong. Modern liberalism is the path to not only the 11th century, but to complete RUIN! What a moron. Can you libbies grow up this century, and realize the tea party and the like are all about moving forward with a strong nation, a prosperous one with liberty for all. Remember that in history class did you attend ever? You’re so hung up more than likely on being afraid of religion and believe all republicans are out to make people poor, the typical spoon fed lines from self destructive demoncrats, lines that are that are eagerly swallowed by you.

        • Tt

          Wrong. Modern Republicans are selfish moronic imbeciles who only think about themselves. Their time is over. Wake up and stand together and fix this country, or there wont be a country left for anyone.

          • Citizen

            As the rich and the corporations loot this country and send those windfalls to the Cayman Islands or to tax shelters, our enemies stand watching and waiting for the right moment to pounce. As the taxpayers and citizens squabble among themselves over who is right or wrong, our enemies still wait. They are patient. They own a lot of investments in America. Our land and resources are valuable to them. They bide their time while the wealthy and the corporations betray the majority of the citizens and our government does nothing. Divide and conquer has always worked throughout history.

            • Middle of the road

              Divide and concur is working perfectly now by the DEMOCRATS and REPUBLICANS alike.

            • The Dude

              So true. Just wait until everyone here has to put their eyes on the big prize–the federal gov’t. shut down is next and it’s gonna make this look like a speck. The real economists know that the middle class is gonna pay–that’s where the money is on the federal level. While the caliphate holds their meetings during this Arab Spring, we idle.

            • Umpire

              Dear Citizen-

              No divide and conquer this morning, just common sense ! The people who work have said through their representatives that the idiotic spending of big government must end. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. We are a nation of workers and capitalists, not Marxism and unending welfare programs. That message is coming to Washington very soon too.

              Your point about our enemies: “our enemies still wait. They are patient” is right on! It seems at last you are finally agreeing after all your populist writings that America must continue MAJOR spending on keeping our national defense strong!

              Welcome back to the Republican Party!


              • Citizen

                @Umpire. Please do not insult me by welcoming me “back to the Republican Party.” Our enemies do not care about either party. The Roman Empire fell from within despite its powerful army and wealthy citizens. The barbarians waited patiently at the borders. I think Pogo said it best a long time ago, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

                • Umpire

                  Just having fun with you Citizen! I knew it would not take you long to reply!

                  I can’t help but notice that you did not chastise me for suggesting national defense needs to be a continued priority for America. At least we agree on that, correct?

                  You said, “The Roman Empire fell from within despite its powerful army and wealthy citizens. The barbarians waited patiently at the borders.” This is very interesting to me.

                  Are you now advocating closing our borders, finishing the border wall, hiring more INS agents, conducting more raids, deporting more illegals, etc., etc.? Are these not the modern barbarians that threaten to destroy The American Empire?

                  If you agree with this line of thinking, you sure are sounding more and more like a Republican to me these days!


                • Citizen

                  @Umpire. We are rotting from within just as Rome did. The barbarians were opportunists just as our enemies will be. I think of China before I think of Mexico. Mexico has already de facto taken over Texas, California, New Mexico, Arizona where the Hispanic population already comprises over 50% of those states’ population. No, the Chinese have managed to lure our corporations to their country and they have access to much of our technology. As the U.S. grows weak internally and economically largely because of corporate defections outside the U.S. border, they are the ones I fear. The Chinese are the oldest civilization on the planet and are just as inscrutable as they have ever been. They have the demographics and the economic might. Remember that old saying that he who has the gold makes the rules. The Chinese have but to nationalize the U.S. corporations over there….

                • Umpire

                  You make sense as always, even if you do always seem to believe conspiracies are everywhere! But you failed to answer my questions:

                  1.) Do you favor shutting done our borders and strictly controlling immigration?

                  2.) Do you favor even more spending on National Defense?

                  Thanks for your reply!


                • Citizen

                  @Umpire. To answer your questions. Having worked on the immigration side of the federal government, I can tell you that the borders can be controlled but never closed. If you put up an 8 foot fence, the illegals will get a 10 foot ladder. Both the cost to add security at the border or to deport illegals from the interior is prohibitive–taxpayers would never stand for the costs. I think spending on defense for the United States should be whatever it needs to be to keep us safe–I am against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We are fulfilling our NATO obligations in Tripoli–but that is all we should do. Now that Gaddafi has been declared a war criminal I predict that conflict will be over soon. Sure wished that would have happened with Saddam Hussein. My biggest concern right now is the ongoing failure to raise the U.S. debt ceiling. That has to be done whether any of us like it or not. We can ill afford to throw the world’s financial markets into turmoil if it isn’t raised. Our enemies will love the show and our allies will be furious with us. I have long been concerned about world markets and finances.

                • Umpire

                  I know you claim to be a Populist, but in a two party system that choice isn’t realistic. You sure sound more like a Republican than a socialist Democrat to me Citizen.

                  Glad to see you favor a strong defense and tightening our borders even if you are reluctant to say it.

                  Have a great 4th!


            • Citizen of what?

              If you’re that paranoid you should probably become a citizen of some other country that isn’t being stalked and pounced on by enemies. Maybe Canada eh?

      • bs

        You would love a tea-bag.

    • Anti- Bigger Govt

      Please explain how a 6% increase in overall spending is a cut?

      • joe hatcher

        dont you think its odd that the same party that wont raise taxer on the rich will turn around and have two outstate senators introduce a bill for a vikings playground that willnot affect the taxes of there own district? the replublicans in doing that proved that they will spend beyand oue meens as long as it dosent effect them

      • ThinkItThrough

        Because the state population grows every year and everything costs more. How much did gas cost two years ago? Healthcare? Construction materials? If you have have to provide more expensive services to more people on the same amount of money, then you have to cut services.

    • Bb

      Then maybe you should cut corporate welfare to the rich, I would think your very tiny little nipple would be more than sore from that. Ya go after those that have nothing, while the rich rob you blind, you right wing little twit.

      • Sara

        YES! What amazes me is that the “right wing twits” that you see on here defending the Republicans/protection of the rich from taxation are suffering all the repercussions of this and getting NONE of the benefits.

        It does not make sense to side with the “right wing” unless you are rich. Otherwise, you are just their stupid pawns.

        • John

          People who expect the rich to support everyone else are worthless maggots!!

          Sarah before you post look up your facts about who Dayton considers the rich. Small business owners & farmers are just a couple.

          • Another common man

            Really? You can’t be a farmer or small business owner and be rich?!? Is that a law?

          • Les Johnson

            “People who expect the rich to support everyone else are worthless maggots!!”

            Except nobody expects that.

            Minor detail you may have thought to consisder before your “worthless maggots” comment, don’t you think, Johnny boy?

        • The Tick

          @Sara: “It does not make sense to side with the “right wing” unless you are rich. Otherwise, you are just their stupid pawns.”

          Or perhaps there are those of us that think people should be rewarded for working hard, taking risks, getting an education, selecting a valued profession, saving and investing, and taking personal responsibility for ourselves instead of relying on the government to take care of us. The fact that Dayton has inheritance guilt and has never actually had to work to support himself does not invalidate the values of those who have.

    • ItsTheSpendingStupid

      Revenue is not the issue here, it’s the spending. We have a budget, if fact we have a budget increase. Simple – live within those guidelines, just like the rest of us.

      “Tax the Rich” is just another delusional diversion of the problem from Dayton. Divisive politics of envy works well on weak minds.

      By the way – I say you owe me $1million dollars, but I’ll compromise on half that. Just as meaningful

      • Just Cause

        @tsTheSpendingStupid No it’s not the spending, it’s the economy. Because the economy is down, unemployment is up, spending is down which results it decreased revenue

        • jordanj

          So Just Cause, are you spending as much now as you did 4 years ago? Duh….so budget the money we do have with spending cuts as every Minnesotan has to. Live within our means!

          • Just Cause

            @jordanj comparing a government budget to a family budget is just wrong, if you told a CEO of a company with 20,000 (or 5k) employees to treat his/her company budget like he does his family, he’d laugh at you.

            But OK, lets go with your analogy, if my family had budget issues because we didn’t make enough to make end meet I’d first cut luxury items (Pawlenty did that for 8 years, I have friends who work at assisted living homes, he crippled them).

            Next I would increase income by getting a second job (in government speak this is revenue increase through tax increases.). If that still didn’t solve it my wife would get a second job….

            So basically we’ve done cutting but we’ve been unwilling to increase revenue for 8 years, time to take the next step.

            I never answered your original question, my income has went up 30% over the past 4 years so I spend more and I’m taxed more. I’m fortunate.

            • The Tick

              “Next I would increase income by getting a second job (in government speak this is revenue increase through tax increases.). If that still didn’t solve it my wife would get a second job….”

              Nonsense. This is not equivalent to the government raising taxes. The government would actually have to provide a service that citizens voluntarily purchase for your comparison to be valid. If Dayton would like to sell hotdogs and brats to fund his spending plan, then I’m all for it. A much more apt analogy would be you see your neighbor across the street come home with his weekly paycheck and realize he has the money you need. You confiscate his check and solve your problem. You see, the difference is that you coerced your neighbor into giving you money just as the government can compel you to pay taxes.

              You also confuse raising revenue with raising tax rates. If an economy is growing, then the exact same tax rate will bring in more revenue in rough proportion to the rate of growth of the economy. Consumption taxes are inherently more efficient and stable than income taxes, but that’s another matter.

              • The Dude

                I would just like to say…your choice of “The Tick” has made my day. I loved that cartoon!

                • The Tick


                • The Dude

                  Right on! Glad to know you were true to your name! Spoon!

              • Just Cause

                @The Tick “You also confuse raising revenue with raising tax rates” No sorry I didn’t, I was using the childish analogy given to me to best map out what a government would do that is analogous to a family budget.

                Governments don’t have to provide a service, that citizens voluntarily buy to raise revenues. You can look it up if you’re still unsure, but there is actually a law that states our local, state and federal governments can increase taxes.

                For federal it actually in the constitution “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States”, kinda cool isn’t it

                • The Tick

                  @Just Cause

                  You didn’t really read my comment. Of course the government has the power to levy taxes, but that is not the same thing as an individual getting a second job and increasing their income. It’s weakly analogous in that both actions, the 2nd job and raising taxes both raise income, but my analogy is far more equivalent. I could make it more equivalent by having your entire neighborhood vote to take your neighbor’s paycheck, but I think that’s already understood. In order to be equivalent to what an individual does the government would have to offer a service that I could voluntarily decline just as an employer could voluntarily decline to offer me a job. If the government were to sell some assets, now that would actually be a fair comparison to what an individual or a family could do (eBay to the rescue), but raising taxes is simply not the same thing or even a very good analogy. The government can legally coerce while the individual needs to engage in a mutually agreed upon exchange.

                • The Tick

                  I would also add that I’m not completely opposed to the government raising additional revenue, but I’d like to see it in the form of a consumption tax. Not only does that reward good behavior such as saving and investing but it is intrinsically proportional, i.e. the more you consume the more you pay in direct proportion, and it discourages tyranny of the majority or economic bills of attainder as everyone has some skin in the game.

      • Tom


        You lost the revenue argument when T-Paw and the GOP had tp ask US Bank to set aside alot of money just in case the state could not pays its bill with his last budget. So if we didn’t have a revenue problem there would have been no reason to ask US Bank to have that money set a side just in case.

  • joe

    We are not the highest-taxed state in the nation. In fact, we’re below average. It’s amazing how conservative lemmings insist upon this mantra.

  • Cache

    Will you quit posting when they don’t get back pay? It has been clear from news reports that here will be no back pay. To get back pay there would have to be reworking of contracts.

    • Jake

      How about leaving the “non-essential” goverment functions shut down until we’ve saved 2 billion, and then we can all agree to the remaining 34 billion dollar budget, link arms, and skip happily into the future.

      • DJP

        I agree. If something is non-essential, lets keep it out of the budget. HOWEVER, I do not agree with everything listed as non-essential. I saw some of the councils listed as non-essential that we COULD do without…Latin American…Asian American…Hispanic, etc. Why do they all need a council…are they not all Americans?? THAT would save money. I am sure there are more “councils” that are not necessary and could remain closed.

        • jordanj

          I agree, all citizens of America should think of themselves as Americans PERIOD. Enough of the hyphenated Americans.

  • Fact

    Might want to check your facts. Unemployed state workers do not get any form of back pay.

    • kieron

      @ Fact what do you expect from this taxwaste guy? He camps out somewhere south of MN and gloats and/or complains about anything he disagrees with. Also, no such website exists, but then maybe that’s kind of the point.

      • Mark from Minnesota Tax Waste

        You might want to goggle Minnesota Tax Waste and see what shows up

    • Mark from Minnesota Tax Waste

      Really, you might want to read their contracr

    • Jake

      They will draw unemployment checks, however . . . .

  • Liz

    Can I still get a marriage license in Minnesota?

    • Sarah in Outstate MN

      No, you can’t. The law states you can get one 6 months before getting married, but you must file within 1 week after getting married.

      • CHESTER

        NO state laws don’t specify that you buy your marriage license 6 months before the get married but sorry Liz no licenses for anything will be avalible

        • Cache

          Can get one, not must get one 6 months in advance. Words

      • Les Johnson

        I got a marriage license less than 48 hours before my wedding, so I’m not sure that’s true, Sarah…

        • Congratulations Les!

          In New York, last week?

    • Local Government is still open for business

      Call your local government offices and ask…can’t remember if they issue them or if they’re done via the state government offices.

  • rtn

    It’s funny how Ziggy and the Vikings are awfully silent.

    • Does anyone want to listen to the taxpayers?

      Maybe silent as far as public statements or information is concerned but they have been anything but silent among themselves. Dayton and the Wilfs are in daily contact with each other. Once the budget crisis is over, you will see a stadium bill shoved through very quickly with no fanfare, just increased taxes for Minnesota tax payers.

      People on both sides of the stadium issue don’t seem to really understand “the bottom line” which, in its simplest form, places the cost sharing at $425 million Vikings, $350 million local community and user taxes, and $300 million all taxpayers (approximate dollar amounts).

      Both sides are passionate in their feelings about this issue and attempt to make this a “right” or “wrong” argument. There is no right or wrong with this, it’s simply a matter of making a choice as to how taxpayer money is to be used; therefore, the taxpayers, not Dayton, not the Wilfs, not the legislators, should be the group who decides the outcome.

      Unfortunately for both sides, our elected officials are, for the most part, making their decisions on either their personal beliefs or on how they may personally benefit, not on what their constituents want. Again, that is a case for a state-wide referendum to settle this issue once and for all.

      • darth ninja

        The Vikings are a state symbol. We held out long enough and made back the money on the Metrodome long ago. The state is getting less of the burden than other places across the country. The state will also be able to generate lots of revenue in future NCAA Final Fours (which they weren’t going to get another one in the dome) and a Super Bowl. We put the stadium bill off as long as possible and if the tax payer had to vote today it would go through by a hefty margin.

  • mary

    Dayton wants to raise taxes – and he can’t even tell us what he needs the money for! What kind of logic is that?

    • Cache

      What find of laziness or willful ignorance are you showing. it was called his budget proposal. You can not see it now as the state shutdown

      • MN Nice

        MN nice at it’s best? Lazy….Ignorant….anything else you want to add?

  • Keith

    Folks, we did this to ourselves. We elected a congress that campaigned on the idea that we are taxed enough and need to stop our wasteful spending and then turned around and elected a governor that campaigned on the platform that we need to “Tax the richest Minnesotans”. Guess what folks, I would bet that the largest portion of “rich” Minnesotans donated to the “No more taxes” congresspeople. You all should have seen this one coming.

  • Bob

    Dayton the “bobble head” is playing up to the typical majority of the nanny state liberals. When will he and they learn that we have a spending problem and the conservative citizens of this state are finally standing up holding their elected legislators feet to the fire and telling them DON”T give in. Dayton could get his “tax on the rich” if he cut the same amount out of the budjet but he won’t because all he knows is how to spend.

  • Mike Merker

    well this doesn’t faze me but, how isn’t this shutdown Daytons fault? He vetoed a balanced budget, he ordered his staff not to meet with the leadership to negotiate a budget. After only 30 minutes of negotiating Dayton took his ball and went home.
    Republicans passed a bill to keep the lights on and to keep negotiating and Dayton vetoed that! So yeah it’s The trust fund babies fault, glad he doesn’t need to take a paycheck since he has never needed one.

    • Cache

      Ignorance runs rampant. The bills passed were not balanced, meetings were longer than 30 minutes. How did the GOP pass a lights on bill when there was no special session? Ignorance and lies are spreading like flies on dung

      • MN Nice

        More MN nice at it’s best? Ignorant…liers…anything else you want to add?

        • Cache

          Definition of IGNORANCE
          : the state or fact of being ignorant : lack of knowledge, education, or
          * On
          Mile Merker stated the the GOP passed a balanced budget. Far too many people have shown the fallacy of that.

          Entry from World dictionary

          an intentionally false statement:they hint rather than tell outright lies

          Entry from World dictionary

          an intentionally false statement:they hint rather than tell outright lies

          Mile Merker sated that Dayton met for only 30 minutes

          Your comment is gracious?

          • MN Nice

            A definition of IGNORANCE and name calling accomplishes what? The GOP is the only party that tells half truths? Do you have any solutions that both parties can agree on? Anything constructive you can offer? What’s your definition of “Minnesota nice?”

            A comment expresses an opinion. I did not give an opinion. Is my comment gracious? No, it wasn’t a comment, it was a question. Was the question gracious? Absolutely, it was courteous to allow you to answer whether you believe that calling people names is being “Minnesota NIce.” Your answer to that question will determine my opinion. You answered the 2nd question because you wanted to add more.

            • Cache

              I notice you choose not to chastise the negative comments directed towards Governor Dayton. Ignorance, lies, lazy are all descriptive terms. Bobble head, bug eyed twit, crazy man, off his meds are all comments you choose to let fly as acceptable. There are plenty other comments set is a negative derogatory tone that you do not comment on. So perhaps your Mn Nice is not really altruistic. As seeing that you are selective and the direction of your selectivity why should I care of your opinion?

            • Quentin

              You were called out and shut up.

        • dept. of redundancy dept.

          You already said that, MN Nice.

    • Just Cause

      wow, I hadn’t read it before this morning but the Republicans in the middle of a contentious budget battle included amendments on limiting abortions, bans on some stem cell research and voter IDs. Did they try to cause the shutdown?

      To me including this in the “lights on bill” is like having a house on fire, and then throwing gasoline on it. But maybe the story was wrong…

  • Umpire

    Socialists 0-Capitalists 1

    Today it seems there just may be some hope for the future of business in Minnesota. Thank you GOP for standing tall together. Now on to Washington!


  • n0mig

    Isn’t it amazing how the conservatives never think they possibly made an error? The Gov. told them to bring a total budget while protecting the aged, the infirm, and the poor. This kind of thinking is too radical for conservatives who are concentrating on imposing their version of Christian beliefs on everyone, i.e. no abortions, no gay marriage, protect the traditional family and human life while giving the go ahead to a “Make My Day” law for gun nuts.

    Gov. Dayton has tried to work with the Republicans but, if you think you are “The Chosen Ones” you never compromise. We may be shut down until the next election.

    Ever notice when they show photographs of Republicans they are universally white, middle aged or older, and overweight?

    • Tart

      “Ever notice when they show photographs of Republicans they are universally white, middle aged or older, and overweight?”

      Wow! you sure make a lot of valid points Nomig… Way to bring a solid argument to the table.

      Some peoples kids I tell you.

      • MN Nice

        More MN nice at it’s best? Old…overweight…anything else you want to add?

    • dan

      You must have been in the closed door meetings all week to get this inside scoop. Did you not read the papers when they stated the GOP offered a temporary budget so the State would not have to shut down? Didnt think so, I guess Dayton wanted a July vacation.

    • Hunter

      Ladies and Gentleman, n0mig provides us with an excellent example that our MN herd needs to be thinned out some. Holy Shmoly, ignorance at it’s finest.

    • Tom


      I agree with you! We might not be where we are if the GOP hadn’t wasted all that time with those other issues that had nothing to do with the budget. They may have scored brownie with nutty social conservatives, but how many social conservatives got pink slips recently from the state? But on other hand there might have been social conservatives who got pink slips if they work for the state and they probably thought it was small price to pay to be able to stick their nose into other peoples busniess regarding abortions and gay marriage, etc.

  • fred

    some people actually expect politicians to do their jobs……good luck with all that.

  • Al

    Daytons compromising approach is: I am going to hold my breath till you give me what I want! Which by the way is the typical DFL art of negoitiating. You don’t do what I want and I will strike.
    I feel for those that really need the help but there are thousands out there playing the government trough game too!!

    • Cache

      The GOP approach was No. No. No. No No. No. No. No No. No. No. No No. No. No. No No. No. No. No No. No. No. No No. No. No. No No. No. No. No No. No. No. No No. No. No. No No. No. No. No No. No. No. No No. No. No. No No. No. No. No No. No. No. No No. No. No. No No. No. No. No No. No. No. No No. No. No. No No. No. No. No No. No. No. No No. No. No. No No. No. No. No No. No. No. No No. No. No. No No.

      • dan

        And Dayton approach is spend, spend ,spend, spend money we dont have……..

        • Philly


          We need more money…the rich have money right?


      • CACHE

        Hey stop using my name!!!!

        • Jeffrey

          Small Cache is so few ideas to share he coulndt even come up with his own online name. What a bozo

          • MN Nice

            MN nice at it’s best? Small…bozo…anything else you want to add?

            • Cache

              There are plenty of mean, nasty people posting on the board. There are plenty of people on this board can not respond to a thoughtful post with anything but insults, or name calling. Derogatory comments when you ca not make a case is the norm. CACHE is one of the worst for doing this. I have posted quit a few things with no response. Post something silly and look at the response. These people are pathetic
              Cache has been my nickname from my boyfriend for 20 years. Too bad CACHE. Quit using my name.

      • Tunnel Vision

        And the DFL approach was NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO.


        Either way the DFL apprach was the same…. NO!

        And your point is what??? Nevermind, I know what you point is…ALWAY BLAME THE OTHER POINTS OF VIEW!

  • EJ

    Too bad the Republicans were so busy worrying about gay marriage instead of working on the budget. They might have actually been done by the deadline if they had focused on economic issues instead of their religious agenda.

    • Mike

      and the bug-eyed twit and his stadium is any different EJ? Drink more kool-aid from your lefty teet

      • Les Johnson

        Yes it is different. We didn’t need any anti gay amendment. Period.

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