Seeds Of Future Problems In Minn. Budget Deal

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota’s leaders made a deal that will probably end the nation’s longest state government shutdown in a decade, but they didn’t really solve their budget problem. Instead, they just shuffled it down the road to be faced another day.

An agreement between Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and GOP leaders will delay schools promised aid and convert future tobacco settlement money into cash now. If lawmakers sign off on the deal in the next few days, it would end a two-week shutdown that spread pain to all corners of the state.

Thursday’s deal came after Dayton abandoned his long push for tax increases, a painful move he said he made after hearing in recent days from residents around the state who just wanted an end to the shutdown. Yet the deal — although Dayton got about $1.4 billion in new revenue that many Republicans will find hard to swallow — brought more criticism than relief.

“There’s still going to be a deficit coming out of this that has to be resolved,” said Charlie Kyte, who heads a group of school administrators who have endured years of delayed aid payments.

Democratic Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk called the deal “a borrow-and-spend proposal that does nothing to solve the long-term financial challenges.”

In some ways, Minnesota is a microcosm of the budget standoff in Washington. Federal leaders are struggling to attack deep-rooted budget problems and may resort to short-term fixes as part of a deal to raise the debt ceiling.

The latest Minnesota plan follows the same formula that had the state gripped by deficit after deficit for much of the last decade. When Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty was in charge, the state dug into a billion-dollar tobacco endowment, tapped into federal stimulus money and emptied reserves to paper over budget problems. Deficits disappeared but quickly returned.

It’s a fallback position stemming from intractable political divides: Democrats for years have pushed tax increases Republicans wouldn’t allow, and Republicans sought deep spending cuts that Democrats couldn’t stomach. Facing a $5 billion deficit this year, Dayton sought to raise income taxes on the highest earners to soften reductions in planning spending. Republicans were bent on holding spending to $34 billion, the amount already projected to come into the state treasury over the next two years.

On Thursday, Dayton surrendered on raising taxes, while Republicans gave in on spending more money. Dayton said the state government would be back in business “very soon,” but he didn’t say exactly when.

Disappointment came from some on the left who hoped Dayton’s push for top-tier income taxes would prevail, bringing the state permanent new revenue to protect funding for social programs. The Rev. Grant Stevensen heads a coalition of Twin Cities congregations that demonstrated earlier in the week at the Capitol, urging lawmakers to raise taxes.

“We don’t live in a poor state, and there’s no real budget crisis, but there is a moral crisis,” Stevensen said. “We don’t seem to be thinking of each other as we put this budget together as people who are creating one great state together.”

Some on the right weren’t happy, either.

“Certainly we’re not doing any end zone dances,” said Rep. Mike Benson, a freshman Republican from Rochester. “Realistically there are some things that are going to go down hard. Sounds to me we’re kicking the can down the road a little bit with the education shift, but we’re not raising taxes.”

Another first-term Republican, Rep. Ernie Leidiger of Mayer, said he hasn’t decided whether the deal will get his vote.

“We should have spent less. It’s a problem all over the country, and it’s certainly a problem here in Minnesota, and we must continue to work on it,” he said.

Tom Horner, who ran third in last year’s governor’s race as a third-party candidate, warned that the solution wouldn’t last.

“We’ve tried short-term fixes and they aren’t working,” Horner said in a statement. “They’ll put us right back where we started two years from now, but with fewer options on the table.”

The shutdown put Minnesota, a state once regarded as a model of good governance, in the national spotlight. The state laid off 22,000 workers, halted road construction projects, closed state parks and rest stops, made it impossible to get fishing licenses and cut off funding for many social services. It put lives in limbo, as nurses, cosmetologists, drivers and businesses couldn’t get licenses they needed to launch careers or expand. In recent days, it even threatened to cut off the flow of some beer because of licensing snags.

In return for dropping his tax increase demand, Dayton won some conditions. Republicans agreed to drop a list of several policy changes such as banning state aid for stem cell research. They also agreed to back off a plan to cut the state workforce by 15 percent.

Republicans conceded to higher state spending than they had wanted. The GOP spent months insisting that the two-year budget be capped at $34 billion, the amount the state was projected to collect without new sources of money. Instead, it will be closer to $35.4 billion.

Yet many of the deal’s details remained murky, including exactly what will be cut from planned spending.

The somber looks worn by Dayton, House Speaker Kurt Zellers and Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch as they announced the deal testified to a hard bargain.

“It was about making sure that we get a deal that we can all be disappointed in, but a deal that is done, a budget that was balanced, a state that was back to work,” Zellers said.

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

  • Darby

    @ the usual people who post. Get over it. It is not the May budget plan that the GOP presented, it is a much better deal for the Democrats. It is a much better deal than the so called lights on proposal. In the end it pushes the problems off for another year, It will be a legislature with a lot of new faces

    • Citizen

      Amen, Darby. We know who the stubborn fanatics are, and we can vote them out of office in a little over a year. I just hope the voters wake up and realize what they got when they voted in GOP in both houses. Little work done, but lots of social engineering, and an embarrassing shut down of the state. The GOP plan has been in place since Reagan to starve government and force it to outsource government services to the private sector which has BALLOONED government spending by the private sector. I’ve written about the shadow government before, so I won’t waste time here, except to say that we have to take back essentially government services from the private sector, strengthen oversight and regulation, and raise taxes back to what they were in the 1950’s. We’ve had a decade of tax decreases on the wealthiest people and corporations that pay no tax, and this is where we have landed in Minnesota and at the national level. We need significant tax reform at the national level to tax multi-national corporations the same as “S” corporations for a start. And then we need to close loopholes. These things will only be done with Democrats in office who don’t sign pledges to Grover Norquist or Tony Sutton.

      • Scully

        Yeah we need more government workers sucking off the private sector teat. Then give them lavish retirement plans. Makes a lot of sense, were did you get your talking points from China.

        • eyeroll

          Yes, from China, that land where people sit around sucking up welfare. Brilliant analogy, Scully.

          • Scully

            Who said anything about welfare mr brilliant? I was responding to his statement about expanding government. Do you read?

            • Citizen

              @Scully. The facts are that the shadow government of private contractors doing the government’s work is probably double the federal workforce–but, we can’t really be sure because it is private and not PUBLIC–we can’t get accountability. So, is it better from the taxpayer’s point of view to say, throw $5 million at a contractor and tell him to do work for the government, hire whoever he wants, and pocket the rest? Are you crazy? That is a recipe for fraud, and that is what has been going on since Reagan. The fraud in the private government contracting sector is rampant. When government employees do the work, the costs are accounted for. This shadow government soaks up way more tax money than you can even imagine….

              • Conrad

                Oh My God Citizen, you have fallen off your rocker.
                Lets take one govt program and compare it to private: USPS vs UPS. Who shows a profit every year and ships overnight cheaper?……………………..I’m waiting?????…………….Still waiting…………….UPS does. Private industry will always outperform govt programs and a lower cost.

                Enough Said

                • Citizen

                  USPS is cheaper. I know that’s hard for you to believe. And USPS (while still a government entity) is being run as a private corporation. Plus, USPS takes ALL THE MAIL every day. UPS is an option–it takes what comes to it. There is a BIG difference. A lot like comparing public and private schools. And if you really want to hear about corruption in the private sector doing the government’s business, there are any number of excellent books to read. All I can say is, that as a federal worker, I saw the corruption first hand. You have only to look at the Secure Border Initiative where $3 billion dollars of federal money was spent on a private contractor to develop sensors along the border. SENSORS that DO NOT WORK and STILL DO NOT WORK. Taxpayers out $3 billion. Private company not held accountable–still doing the government’s business. I rest my case. And you are naive in the extreme.

                • Ricky

                  I am a public worker.

                  We sometimes hire private workers to take on our work when there is too much for our staff,. These private workers are considered as being contracted by the government. They make between $95-$135 an hour. I make- including benefits – $33 an hour.

                  Which is cheaper?

                  Which has more administrative overhead and payroll costs? Medicare or (insert health insurance company here)?

                  ……..waiting……….still waiting………….yup, Medicare is cheaper to run by far!

                • Fosters

                  But, does UPS take over the funding of programs designed for their employees who are vetereans, and what mandate do they have to fund retirement? USPS is required to pre-fund benefits retirees (not necessarily a bad thing, just expensive), and they take over the payment of benefits for employees who are vetrans – taking it out of the DoD budget. Shuffling the paper work. Further, does UPS need to get approval from a Board of Governors for a rate increae, or are they allowed to set their prices based on their costs? Sorry – you chose a poor example – If you want to make an analogy, make sure you fully understand what you are talking about.

              • Tim

                OMG, I can’t believe you are comparing a government worker with private sector. I worked for both the state and the PO and in both cases I was told to slow down. The goal of a postal worker is to get to the stamp window which is the easiest job. As a teenager I couldn’t understand why everything was about getting by with as little work as possible.

        • Gretchen

          My husband is a government worker in the health department making sure that your child or elderly grandmother doesn’t die from eating under cooked meat but hey why don’t we cut him out of a job and let your family members die a slow painful death! Who cares right?
          I don’t know where you are getting your information from but my husband’s retirement plan is hardly “lavish”. My plan form my PRIVATE SECTOR job is much better and more generous on my employers part. He could also make about 20k more working in the private industry. I am so tired of hearing everyone mistakenly whine about how government workers have it so good.
          If that’s how you feel then here’s an idea – GO WORK FOR THE GOVERNMENT YOURSELF, ANYONE CAN APPLY!

          • PFred

            Amen to that Gretchen!

      • Billy

        I dont think the private sector would sign off on $4000 toilets or $600 hammers. How many 60 Minute specials have you missed. I guess in your eyes you would rather see Govt waste than Private industry profits. Have you ever taken two seconds to think why private industry tends to show a profit using the same dollars as a govt entity??
        I own an underground boring service and we do occasional work for the Govt. Are you saying the Govt should invest Millions into equipment for the couple jobs per year in each region? What a waste of tax payer money!
        You are obviously a Govt worker or collect a Govt check each month as you do not know anything about private industry. Oh by the way I pay taxes, I dont think your Govt boring service pays any.

        • Citizen

          @Billy. A very simplified argument from an obviously simple-minded poster. Some jobs are inherently governmental. Some are not. Outsourcing the production of military hardware, and your type of business, are two such examples of appropriate privatizing of government functions. The Secure Border Initiative should have been overseen appropriately, but with lack of federal oversight of private contractors, abuses happen in the NAME OF PROFIT. Remember awarding bids to the “lowest responsible bidder?” Profit is one thing, scamming, abuse and outright fraud, are quite another. Remember the Blackwater mercenary scandal in Iraq? Blackwater simply changed its named and reappeared. I know more than I need to about private industry and private employees–and most of what I learned was they need to be regulated and laws enforced. Let me ask you this. Would you be concerned with your employee’s safety, daily breaks, health insurance, PTO, or overtime pay if the govenrment didn’t tell you to take care of your employees? Yeah, I thought so. You would eliminate all those things for your employees in the name of MORE profit in your pocket.

          • Billy

            There you go Citizen, start out with a personal insult. I am sure that helps make your point superior to all others. To answer your question Citizen, yes I am concerned with my employees safety and health. I figure that it takes a minimum of 2 years and over $100,000 to properly train any of my Field Technicians. There are other companies that would love to pick up my employees after the extensive training we provide. It is in my best interest to take care of my employees as to not lose them in a worktime accidents, competition trying to lure them away or health issues within their family. So no, I dont need the Govt intruding on my workplace for the protection of my employees.

            • Citizen

              Easy for you to say that anonymously, Billy, when you know that no one can follow up and check if you are truthful as to how you treat your employees. However, if you do treat them well, good for you, because there are many, many other employers who will only do that which is mandated by law–and then try to get around it anyway.

  • kmah

    Quit whining … Dayton folded like a napkin but now we can enjoy the rest of the summer.

    • mamatellie

      Yeah, great….at the expense of our schools. Again. Brilliant plan. Let’s keep putting off giving our schools the money they desperately need to teach the future taxpayers of the state. Our education system is among the best in the country….can’t wait until they push that to the bottom of the list.

      Not to mention, why didn’t they just do this in the first place? Could have saved the state a ton of money, could have saved the workers a lot of money and grief, could have NOT ruined everyone’s holiday weekend, and still had the same ridiculous result.

      • Dean

        It didnt have to come from the schools if Dayton wasnt so hard pressed against not reducing 1 govt job, refusing to touch collective bargaining with the Unions and demanding a $500 Million in construction dollars.

        • Bernie

          Ummmmm……this was the GOP’ s plan that Dayton agreed-to.

          You know that, right?

          Those other things were the things he asked them to give up if he agreed to take the money from schools, like the GOP wanted to – again – like they did under Pawlenty.

          • Wu

            Ummm…. it was a compromise. You know that, right? Do you understand the meaning of the term?

  • Jake

    It’s a bad deal. Don’t like it one bit. The failure to reduce the state’s workforce is very troubling. Maybe 15% is too much, but dayton should have allowed for half that. Borrowing over a billion is dumb too. What was needed was welfare reform, and I don’t see any of that in this ‘deal’ either.

    • Bernie

      TPaw had 8 years to reduce the government workforce – and he did – from 52,000 to just about 39,000.

      We now have the 5th “leanest” government in America – as in workers/population ratio.

      Anything less, and we start to look like Minnissippi.

    • Gretchen

      Clearly you haven’t thouhgt your comments through. What exactly do you expect those 15% of workers to do? If they GET laid off THEY WILL COLLECT UNEMPOLYMENT THAT YOU WILL PAY FOR ANYWAY!
      My husband is a government worker in the health department making sure that your child or elderly grandmother doesn’t die from eating under cooked meat but hey why don’t we cut him out of a job and let your family members die a slow painful death! Who cares right?
      I am so tired of hearing everyone mistakenly whine about how government workers have it so good.
      If that’s how you feel then here’s an idea – GO WORK FOR THE GOVERNMENT YOURSELF, ANYONE CAN APPLY!

      • Dave

        WEEEE – I found the CAPS button!

        Nobody cares about your husbands worthless job as a health department worker so stop posting it. It could easily be cut. Really we need someone to do that? Does he come do inspections? – they probably incinerate the meat when he is around, but what is stopping them from under cooking when he isn’t?

        Gov’t workers have it good because they have fabricated jobs that should never exist in the first place. Seriously though, your husbands job one of hand holding and protecting people from themselves. Its a joke and probably has not prevented a single death and he has probably been at it for 20 years.

        U really think unemployment = the same as the payrolls, union dues, pensions, healthcare, etc they get? No, get rid of the waste. I was completely unaffected by the shutdown, as Im assuming most people weren’t.

  • Vince

    There are no winners here, just losers. And the citizens of this state are the biggest losers. More spending in a time we can’t afford it.

    • mamatellie

      What state in this country CAN afford to spend the money they spend? I think it’s funny that they’re delaying aid to our schools, AGAIN, and everyone thinks only about the money that is being spent.

      The real reason everyone loses is because they could have reached this ridiculous “agreement” by the 1st and saved everyone money, time, and trouble.

  • sabrina

    Nice budget deal…..Make those rich, wealthy public schools cover the deficit. Wouldn’t want to make the suufering top 2% do it.

    • steve

      some one with brains!!! schools can wait the 2% have to keep all their cash cuz they need it

  • M

    “It was about making sure that we get a deal that we can all be disappointed in, but a deal that is done, a budget that was balanced, a state that was back to work,” Zellers said.

    That has to be the most stubborn headed; not in the best interests of anyone comment I have ever heard. Sounds childish and unreal.

  • Richard

    Well, they got what they wanted: no new taxes. This idea was based solely on the idea that fewer taxes drives new business and thereby, new jobs. They believe this because they tell each other so. Just for a moment, let’s consider that that premises, echoed from one set of lips to another’s ears, time and time, is, ….. incorrect. It makes for great mob philosophy, like so many campaign promises do; but, did anyone check to see if it’s correct? Yes, it’s logical; it would only make sense; … it must be true. Right?
    Well, the facts say no. The historical reality is that the economy does better when there are higher taxes. Why? Don’t know. But the facts bear it out.
    So, Republicans, you’ve made some commitments. You are saying that now that we don’t have new taxes, we are going to see more jobs, which will get more people off of programs, and pay for more health insurance because employers will be able to afford it. So when is that going to start?
    I remember hearing the same promises eight years ago. What happened? Where are those promised jobs? Oh, that’s right; the downturn in the economy because the real estate lenders and Wall Street ran a scam on the rest of the world. But aren’t those the same people that the Republicans supported and passed legislation for (or refused to pass legislation that would have stopped their false and criminal lending practices)? Aren’t those the same businesses that Republicans took most of their campaign support from?
    So, you have about a year and a half now. We’ll be looking for those jobs. And, we’ll be holding you accountable to do what is necessary to fulfill you promises. If you don’t, we’ll be replacing you at the next election.

    • Citizen

      @Richard. Exactly right! I can give you the simplified reason why higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations and capital gains provide prosperity–its called money liquidity. The U.S. economy is a consumer-based economy. The main consumers are the middle class. When the middle class is paying taxes for basically everyone–the wealthy and corporations who pay so little–there is little left for consumption. When the wealthy and corporations pay higher taxes that money is redistributed back into the consumer economy. That’s the short version of why we need much higher taxes on the wealthy and a pass-through tax on corporations.

    • Harry

      Gretchen Morgenson, a NY Times reporter, just released a book about the housing collapse and who caused it. Its called Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon You will find it was the government that caused this mess not wall street, although they went along for the ride. She names names and it started with Clinton.

      • Citizen

        @Harry. Interesting that Spain is having the same problem with housing finances that the U.S. is and Clinton, Barney Frank, and Frannie & Freddie weren’t over there. Could it just be possible that the banks that couldn’t fail (but did) and are multi-national could have been responsible? Let me see, fraudulent home loans to consumers who should have never owned a home, fraudulent accounting practices, fraudulent lending practices. The corruption, greed, and ambition were mostly on the part of the financial sector. The government had a great idea of trying to get people into housing and to make it affordable, but once again the financial sector saw a way to corrupt the process and be greedy. Key the word derivatives….still happening…and those were caused by Bush who deregulated the financial controls of the 1930’s and enabled derivatives….

        • Harry

          Dribble, you can’t spin this corruption. Read the book you might learn something about government corruption.

          • Citizen

            Nice, namecalling, Harry. Always the last refuge of the ignorant and incompetent when they have no way to argue with the facts. 60 Minutes covered this issue a year ago and found most of the fault in the financial sector and the banks and derivative markets. We should just NATIONALIZE the financial sector and that would take care of the problems. LOL! You are beating an extremely dead issue. The country needs to move forward with severe financial reform especially with Wall Street and the “banks too big to fail” (hello, they did fail). Nothing much has changed.

            • River

              See Citizen name calling comment below where he calls individuals, Rethuglicans.

              • Citizen

                Okay, River, how about I call them the WRECKING CREW because that is the title of a book about their historical attack since the Reagan era on the liberal movement. The GOP are THUGS. You only have to look at how they signed pledges to Tony Sutton and Grover Norquist (unelected and unaccountable to the taxpayers/constituents) instead of pledges to fulfill their constitutional duties, for which they took an oath of office, to serve their constituents–regardless of party. How about I call them traitors since that is a term used for people who subvert and betray their country? You sound like a pointy fingered 3-year-old. “But, mommy, he looked at me!!! LMAO.

              • frozenrunner

                There is a difference in lashing out at an individual, Harry can not make an argument so he denigrates. Citizen is describing the GOP as a whole.A thug is defined in the dictionary as a cruel and vicious person. Synonyms include hood, punk, strong-armer, toughie, goon, bully. In this state the tactics of the GOP could lead you to call them thugs.

    • frozenrunner

      If you look at the Forbes list for best states for business many of the low tax states are not near the top. Despite what many of the people think there is more than one factor for business. Job growth can come through brain power as well as brawn. Before globalization it was why many of the brightest came to the USA. Now they can stay home and do the same thing.Commerce breeds more commerce. That part of the equation is easy to see. The hard part is coming up with the next bright idea, Most of us are not that bright. Unfortunate, but true.

      • Tom

        @ Frozenrunner

        That is not a huge surprise about that Forbes list. Lower taxes does not create jobs all it does put more money in their wallets. But the GOP Have this view that they will not let go even though there is no proof to back up that view. The economy is driven by simple supply and demand economics. And right now demand is just not there for companies to add people. But since the GOP / Tea Party got their wish with no new taxes and since they firmly believe that lower taxes creates jobs, then those Help Wanted signs should be going up very soon.

        • Citizen

          @Tom. We’re all waiting with baited breath for those “promised” jobs since, as you point out, the GOP got most of what they wanted–no new taxes. If those jobs don’t appear and soon (they won’t), I will be holding my representatives accountable for these financial sleight-of-hand shenanigans that Governor Dayton was forced into.

  • ME


    • Daytons soupline

      Hey ME. Maybe you could get a job as Daytons chef.

  • Tom

    Republicans own this deal. The governor did what he could to placate a majority party that is fresh out of ideas other than to cut spending and let millionaires pay less in taxes than is necessary to improve the lives of all Minnesotans. I hope the Democrats run on a need to raise taxes on the rich in the next election. Let this be the rallying cry. Class warfare? Hardly. The rich already won that war. They’re just trying to hold onto their ill-gotten gains.

    • ME


    • Tom

      @ Tom

      I agree with you! They are out of fresh ideas, but that is their own fault because they like signing those no tax pledges because they do not want to have to make tough and sometime unpopular decisions.

  • Dave Campbell

    There will be more jobs lost with this GOP budget than will be gained. Unemployment will be up by the first of the year and the states economy will suffer as a result. Tony Sutton and his GOP goons should be put on the first bus out of town!

  • Bill Johnson

    There’s another foot to drop in this scam – after the budget bill is passed, the Tea Party Republican dominated legislature is going pass a bill to raise taxes on everyone in the second largest county in the state to pay for a 100 million dollar gift to the owner of the Minnesota Vikings, and the residents have no vote on the issue. The no-tax pledge is a lie – Republicans are happy to give hundreds of millions to their real owners – the super greedy. This is real Tyranny!

    • okforthetwinsbutnotthevikings?

      ooooh…..a whole half a cent. Get serious.

      • jimmy

        That will put the sales tax in Ramsey County over 8%. I won’t be shoping there but go ahead.

  • MrB

    Our country started with a revolution and it will end with a revolution. It’s not a question anymore of “if” there will be another revolution, the question is “when”?

    • mamatellie

      Everyone’s too lazy and self absorbed. Our country probably needs one, but I honestly don’t think we have it in is anymore….no one cares enough. Especially in this state.

    • Stacy

      Thats why our forefathers gave us the right to bear arms. I agree we will need them soon to push out all of the progressives from this country and restore it to what was in the consitution.

      • Citizen

        @Stacy. After your comment threatening Governor Dayton with bodily harm, I seriously doubt anyone is listening to you any more. However, I hope the law enforcement community is looking into your threats of violence. You sound like a very delusional, violent person.

      • frozenrunner

        If you want to live in the 18th century than give up anything created since that time. The world changes.

  • Citizen

    The Dismal Political Economist predicted that Governor Dayton would be forced to adopt most of the GOP budget. Here is what he said then and says now from his website:
    Before the budget agreement: “The Dismal Political Economist believes that the dispute between Democrats and Republicans in Minnesota over raising or not raising taxes that has led to the partial shutdown of state government will be resolved in favor of the Republicans. This is not because their position is superior, but because they care more about ideological purity than the welfare of the citizens. This makes them more immune to the pain and suffering a government shutdown that is incurred by ordinary citizens than the Democrats, although Democrats have plenty of immunity themselves.”
    After the budget agreement: “The winners on the political scene will not be known until polls are taken and the next state elections are held. The losers, well the losers will be Special Education children amongst others, but then Special Needs children really didn’t stand much of a chance against the greed of Conservatives determined to preserve low taxes for millionaires at any cost.

  • Ronald Raygun

    Something that may be good here, the DFL will be back in control in 2 years in the house, and it will be possible to get the tax increase on the lazy slackers. Look for the silver lining.

  • kevin

    There is a moral delema in this country. It’s called entitlements. Welfare programs were setup to bridge hard times for people that lost there jobs for any number of reasons. These programs have now been bloated into full fledged give aways. Until we come to grips that entitlement programs are only for bridging during hard times for working people and the truly needy (handicapped etc) these programs will turn our country into a socilist state. Enabling people that are lazy, producing babies they can not afford, parental abandonment by fathers can no longer be condoned.These people need to be taken off the welfare hand outs.
    As far as job creation you better be ready for low job growth. As we all know as this country inovates with new ways of doing things these inovations also create production systems that need less labor to operate, there for less jobs.No democrat or republican administration can change that fact.

    • Citizen

      @kevin. I’m going to ignore your continuously ignorant rantings about “entitlements” to present you with the true dilemma of the 21st Century. You are correct in saying there will be low job growth–essentially there is NO JOB growth–it is really in negative numbers because the economy is not producing enough jobs for new workers that are getting out of school. That said, the real challenge is going to be to get money to people because I do not see job growth ever starting up again. I see chronic double digit (25%, my opinion) under- and unemployment in this country. Therefore, in order to keep any sort of economy going in your beloved private sector, there will have to be a way out of the money liquidity trap we are in in order to stimulate some consumerism. In other words, a way to put money in peoples’ pockets. Think on that one for a while, kevin. We’ll wait to hear from you.

      • Johnathon

        If you ever worked in the private sector your words would mean something but because you have not and have been on the public dole all your life I can understand why you feel government jobs are important. They are not, they are a necessary evil for the free people of this country. They are a burden on our society and cost the free citizens of this country more and more every year. Less government, lower taxes, and free enterprise. Thats the way it will be.

        • Citizen

          @Johnathan. I worked in the private sector LONG, LONG before I was a federal civil servant, and I worked in the private sector much longer than the public. Before you make gross assumptions in your posts, you should really be sure you have all the facts BECAUSE YOU DON’T. Your free enterprise, unregulated during the Bush years, has been a nightmare of financial shenanigans because the government has been forced to stand down from the regulation needed to protect citizens. I can VOTE, or not, for my government representatives and president; I CANNOT VOTE for private companies’ boards of directors and their policies are not in the PUBLIC realm. Who knows how much they cheat? And it’s plenty from the fact that they pay no taxes. There is an entire legal industry surrounding tax evasion for the wealthy and corporations so they can avoid their patriotic duty of supporting the United States of America–the country that made them wealthy and successful. At the best, ingrates, at the worst, traitors.

  • Eagan

    I think we should change the budget cycle so it coincides with election years. The threat of impending voter punishment is pretty powerful.

    • ted

      I already know who I am not voting for. But, yes, if we could vote today I would guess it would be quick and furious defeat for some.

      • Joe plummer

        Sorry, late to the conversation. What are we arguing about again?
        Budget or politicians? Either way I’m in.

  • Common

    It is comical to read this string of arguments. It’s a lot of he said, she said, and it is distracting from the news covered in the story above.

    Does anyone think it would be smarter to hire experienced professionals to develop a well thought out budget plan, with the input of elected officials, in hopes of having the best budget plan available?

    Then it’s not an argument of which side is winning, but the focus is kept on the important elements…Minnesotans. Everyday people’s lives that are affected by the budget.

    -Just a thought, sorry to interrupt, you may continue your bickering…

    • Wu

      Thank you. I am so sick of “my side is right, your side is wrong”, and seeing the words “entitlement”, “thugs”, “ignorant”…
      It has always bothered me how much politicans follow party lines, but judging from the comments on message boards like these, what other choice do they have?

      • Citizen

        @Wu & Common. The side that matters is the facts. And they are sorely lacking from many of the posters here. Probably because researching taxes and economics are a tough go and takes a certain amount of intelligence and education to understand some complicated cause and effect scenarios and the tax code. I try hard to get people to realize that so many of both parties “talking points” are propaganda, and so many of the titillating headlines put forth are for ratings and sponsorship. You both sound a little confounded by what you call bickering which is simply people arguing for their side. You need to read the facts and history and that will help clarify things greatly.

  • kevin

    Citizen, I’m glad you do run the printing presses of the US govenment. You would be handing out money like a drunken democrat. And you posts are exactly why this state and country are in the financial problems we are in. If there’s a problem through money at it. Prblem there no money left You liberals spent it all. Oh did I call you a liberal? I meant progressive left wing liberal.

  • CitizennezitiC


    9 out of the 46 posts = Citizen

    • Citizen

      What’s your point? I have this incredible urge to combat ignorance, and you and your kind give me so much reason to post!

    • former lib

      Citizen can’t help the ranting. I too was a good govt worker. You vote Democrat like you are told too. I came to my senses and now I think for myself.

      • Citizen

        @former lib. Telling you to vote “Democrat” would be a violation of the Hatch Act. Where did you work and who was your supervisor?

        • former lib

          My supervisor was caught building a garage on the clock. He was moved to another dept. I know what the Hatch Act is and it does not matter.

          • Citizen

            @former lib. The Hatch Act matters, but you need to do your duty and report the violation. What? Did you wimp out of the reporting? Scared for your job? See, that is what is so wrong right now. Your vote is sacred and secret and no one has the right to intimidate you–NO ONE! I am sad that you feel as you do.


    Yes, you harvest what you seed. The problem is that so many people do not understand what a budget is:

    All reasonable people work out how much money they have or make and how much they can spend and then go with it.

    When I as a child people with credit cards had them to ease the month when doing a large purchase and paid most of it at the end of the month or shortly after.

    But just like the government did a while back people lost their way and started to use credit cards and the taxes we pay as an endless money supply. Which it’s not! But guess what some people do not know that, they only realize it when it’s too late.

    We all have needs and our budgets should reflect that.

    Problem is that there are so many programs out there that we have collectively agreed to put together at one point that may not truly be needed today but they are still funded.

    We really need a huge review of what the government needs to fund and who is using it.

    There are a lot of people out there who truly have a need and I see many of them going out to get a job and doing what they can to make it work. There are people who truly need help and assistance and they cannot get it because some other person has “USED UP” or is using the system. When they are capable of going out to get a job.

    Not every job is equal and not everyone is going to start in a great job. We have do the best that we can.
    We all need to make some sacrifices in our personal finances and those of US WHO CAN physically WORK and are fortunate enough to have a job should work for our needs or adjust our budgets from there. If you are fortunate enough to make more than you need, you will have more and that is the way it goes, we are all different. There is an old song that says the best way to kill a man is to give him everything he wants without having him work for it, there are too many people using the system in a bad way that do nothing and still get free money from the government.

    When will people learn that there IS NOTHING THAT IS FREE, EVER! EVERYONE at one point PAYS for the “FREE STUFF” we get.
    EVERYTHING AS A COST. Our rights and freedoms were very costly when this great nation was started and we are still paying for those ideals today.
    I really wish people in Marketing would change the sayings and be honest and say – “At a lower cost to you”. Even if you do not pay a thing for an item given to you, someone somewhere paid for it.

    Budget is simple math, the problem is that is there so many programs and things that the government is paying for that no-one really know what is truly being paid for. There are ridiculous things being paid for that only a few want not need and so many with real needs do not get what they need.

    In the end no one is able to do the final math and have it all be accountable. Things get buried here and there on some accounting lines it gets overlooked because it’s apparently part of this or that and they do not get reviewed.

    People will never be happy with what any of the governments do because no-one knows what is really going on anymore.

    A huge clean up needs to happen but no one has the energy or the will to make it happen.

    Collectively we need to pay for many things, Education, Law Enforcement, Safety, Preservation of History, Parks, Arts and more. Our problem is that there are many things that are truly NOT a need that should be cut out to fund real needs but we cannot figure out which one is which. Sad really.

    This is another instance of Harvesting what you sow…. Everyone HATES Weeding (just ask my children, they think it’s punishment, I tell them we need to put a bit of work in, to be able to have a nice garden) the weeds will always be part of the harvest they are everywhere, we just have to work at trying to get rid of the them a bit more.

  • Citizen

    @kevin. More criticism. I asked you for a constructive way to get money back into the pockets of the middle class so they can start consuming again and stimulating the economy since your precious wealthy and corporations do not want to do their part in job creation. All I got was namecalling and criticism. If you have no concrete solutions, please stand down from commenting and being an apologist for the Rethuglicans.

    • CitizennezitiC

      Oh snap did he say Rethuglicans!

  • MN Resident

    I understand why Dayton felt he had to comprise and end the shutdown. I do not agree with the decision, but he acted as an adult and did the job he was elected to for the good of MN.

    In 2012 the citizens of MN have the opportunity to change the balance of power and I hope their memories are long enough to remember what the Republicans did this year.

    I hope moderate, intelligent people come forward to run for office (I know this is dream land), I also hope the elected officials that caused this mess are defeated.

    • Wu

      Hilarious! So its all the Republicans fault? Do you understand the definition of “compromise”??? (In fairness, maybe not, you did spell it wrong). I hope, moderate, intelligent people start voting, that is the real problem.

      • MN Resident

        Spell check can be hazardous to writing. I am human and make mistakes.

        Do you?

  • Bernie

    Did anyone else notice that a special session is not being immediately called? But that it will be called “very soon” but they couldn’t say when?

    Sounds like they don’t think they have the votes – from either side – to get this deal passed.

    My guess is that once the details emerge and people learn was a lemon this deal is for all of us – schools especially – and how we’re just going to have this problem again in 2 years, that it will be rejected and this will go on for some time.

  • kevin

    Citizenzitic, did you also notice Citizen did not correct me on his party affiliation. Usually it’s I’m not a democrat I’m A Populist. I guess I’m right on that one even is Citizen’s eye’s everyone’s wrong except for him. I believe he has an EGO problem.

    • Sean

      Having had to spend much time posting information to correct what misinformation you have put out, what should I guess your problem to be?
      At least Citizen puts out information in most of his posts. Puts out a thought and backs it.

    • Citizen

      @kevin. Just as a point of information for you, Populists back the Democrats by default. They almost never back the GOP for all the obvious reasons. Frankly, I don’t like either party very well. Mark Twain said it best, “I belong to no organized political party. I’m a Democrat.”

  • kevin

    Yea Citizen’s thought’s all go back to one thing. TAX,TAX,TAX, AND MORE TAXES.

    • taxtaxtax

      Kevin, think about it. One welfare slug sucking up $3600 for daycare. Keep up the good posts.

      • Citizen

        @kevin & taxtaxtax. And one bloated government contractor charging the taxpayers $3 billion dollars for equipment that doesn’t work and never will work.

        • taxtaxtax

          No more contracts for them.

          • Citizen

            @tax. The contractor was Boeing, and the last time I looked, Boeing was still feeding at the taxpayer and government trough.

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