The people, scenes & events around Northfield, MN
John Liebenstein memorial plaque is missing
Photos: Dina and her CCC friends host an event at the HideAway
State Straw Polls
MN Government shutdown
It’s easy for me to say since I’m not personally impacted by the shutdown.
But I’m really opposed to this deal. I understand the political realities but I’d much prefer that our leaders NOT kick the can down the road by borrowing.
Al and Kelby, don’t vote for ‘the deal’!
Griff- With the state of the whole national economy right now, holding out for a better deal would just put us farther in the hole, IMO. I don’t like to come across as a separatist, but when we opened up our economy to global pressures, I think we cut our own throats. The whole stimulus buy-out is what raised the national debt. Pretty soon, we may have to start learning Chinese. And to think that one of the financial advisors made $19bn (nineteen billion!!!) in commissions trading dirivatives which, if I understand them correctly, is just make-believe money. When the whole investment banking system crashed, he was allowed to keep that money! Now, there is a rich guy that I wouldn’t mind seeing his taxes raised. So, just as business owners sometimes have to cut their losses and back out of a deal, I think we have to do the same thing as a state. Time will tell if this was the right thing to do, but IMO it was.
George, why do you single out the stimulus as “what raised the national debt”? The stimulus was about $.9 trillion, while the entire national debt is about $14.2 trillion. Seems to me that there were actually a bunch of this that helped create this debt. I do agree with your sentiment regarding the investment banking system.
Phil- Perhaps I am using the wrong term here with “stimulus.” I don’t have time to research it right now, but I thought there was something like $3 trillion involved in the whole Wall Street debacle. I see also I didn’t make myself clear in my post 1.1. What I was refering to is how the natioanl debt is approaching debt ceiling, and the Wall Street buy-out, along with a few wars, has gobbled up our cushion. This is what is going on on the national level and threatening the next financial morass.
John – here’s a helpful chart that shows what is contributing to our current growth in debt. There is no question it is growing and needs to be curtailed. It’s just a matter of whether it will be 100% cuts (GOP plan) or cuts and revenue (Obama plan).
Let me try that link again.
David B.- I’ve tried the link a few different times and I cannot get it to work. It might be operator problems on this end, but what was the basic web-site where you found this?
David- I have a couple links here just addressing illegal aliens and their impact upon the American economy. Interesting reading.
One of the articles I think demonstrates the inequity between minimum wage and poverty level. All the legislation we have enacted to set certain minimum wage levels has done nothing in real life to get people out of poverty. In the article, the problem is not a lack of work ethic. It is a problem of taxable wages, with the imigrants costing the system more than they contribute. You can call this corporate greed if you want, but which of us is willing to pay $8.00 a pound for a chicken just so those involved in raising them can make a living? What is that famous line, we have seen the enemy and he is us?
One of my daughters and sons-in-law have a friend who has left the corporate world and bought a farm to practice sustainable agriculture. My son-in-law was telling me about the costs in producing a chicken using sustainable methods to sell as a meal in a restaurant. It would cost (no profit, yet)$20.00. This is the stumbling block we have gotten ourselves into. We have become used to having cheap goods so we can have more leisure.
John – I think you are just showing off your skills at linking to articles 🙂 The article is by Ezra Klein, a Washington Post columnist who writes on politics. The article includes a chart that shows the sources for debt as a share of GDP. The Bush era tax cuts are by far the biggest contributor to the debt going forward. The article argues that we have both a spending and a taxing problem and that the stimulus has a much smaller impact on debt than one might suspect and the Bush era tax cuts have a larger effect. If you highlight the link and the right click and select “go to” it should take you there.
David B- Do you have an Apple computer, or something? When I followed your directions, I did not have a “go to” option. I agree with your capsulation about the Bush tax cuts. The only reason Reagan’s tax cuts worked (IMO) is because he was able to suppress growth in the size of the government. Bush pushed tax cuts through, but the cost of government increased by a greater margin. It is these types of deficit margins that have gotten us into trouble. The ever present hope is that we will somehow find a way to squeeze more taxes out of the rich. There is a reason these people are rich, and governmental influence is one of them. The present course we are on is not sustainable, and I’m afraid the chickens are going to come home to roost some day soon.
I think we all feel the impact as banks and the public continue to feel fearful and hold on to monies instead of spreading it around like manure so it will feed the state’s economy.
I think we have to go with the deal. It is awful to borrow in order to meet obligations–and it is a terrible cop out on the part of the legislators.
I think Dayton figured out that the Republicans would never compromise–they think that cutting the budget will somehow cause the economy to recover. They are very wrong and lack understanding of economics. Dayton realized the terrible price Minnesota was paying with the shut down and saw that the Republicans were willing to hold out to January regardless of the damage to the state.
We must pay for good schools and also to take care of the less fortunate members of our society. It is a burden we must carry. Not paying for it has not worked for 8 years–we are foolish to think it will make us better. If we have to raise taxes on everyone, so be it.
I still think the marginal rate for high-earners should go up to make taxes more equitable. When you calculate the effect of ALL taxes–income, sales and property taxes–the wealthy are paying a smaller share than those of lower incomes–I believe in progressive taxes and that should be our goal.
I have no faith in our legislators ability to meet and come up with any kind of solution–in 1971 we got the “Minnesota Miracle”–we would get the MInnesota Mush if we let these losers figure it out.
I, too, think we have to grit our teeth and go along with it–because given the divided government, there’s no way to make progress. This deal does in fact kick the can down the road–it’s my hope that down the road, the MN electorate will start electing politicians who “pledge not to make pledges” other than to consider the data and the circumstances in front of them, and to find some reasonable balance between deeply-felt principles and pragmatic understanding of how to get things done for the good of all.
As far as I’m concerned, when the legislature is called back to St Paul to vote on the 10 (?) bills that will make up the deal, if there isn’t bipartisan support for the bills I would quickly vote no. We must have bipartisan support on the bills. Having one party do the heavy lifting to get the bills passed simply will not work with our government divided the way it is.
I suspect that if we don’t see bipartisan support the whole deal will collapse. If that happens then I would expect the Republicans to quickly put a temporary funding bill on the Governor’s desk and continue to work on a new budget plan.
Ray–Can you explain more about why you think there must be bipartisan support? I assume you mean a majority of the democratic legislators, right? I’m not seeing why this “must” be true. Dayton’s said he’ll sign; the Repubs have control of the legislature–why do you (as a Republican) care what the democrats do?
I’m with Ray. Let’s get a temporary funding bill first. Given all that the governor has said, I doubt that he will risk another veto.
After the temporary funding, we can look for a better solution than putting off real obligations, and borrowing against the future income stream from the tobacco companies.
Kathie, to have a compromise you don’t have one party do all the work. Dayton has said he compromised by letting go of the ‘tax the rich’ idea. The Republicans have let go of holding firm to $34B of spending, and are looking at an increase spending level of $1.4B without the revenue to pay for it other than more shifts and gimicks.
When you have a deal like that being considered, it has to include bipartisan support to show the voters that it truly is a bipartisan deal. That will be crucial to this rather ‘smelly’ deal. I’m sure you can imagine the partisan mailings from the DFL and unions that would blanket our mailboxes if this deal is only passed by Republicans.
You raise some good points, Ray. However, rank and file Dems had no voice in the crafting of this compromise. It is, largely, a Republican proposal, that Dayton is reluctantly accepting. Dems hate it.
If the strategy is for Koch and Zellers to SAY they’re agreeing to this, only so they can get an extended special session going where they gut HHS, fund a stadium, start messing with laws governing who can marry and who has to be pregnant to term, etc., then they’re really, really low.
My feeling is that Dayton, representing his office only, and K & Z, represented Republicans, agreed to this R proposal. Let them shoulder the blame.
I think Ray’s right, but I think some of the “partisan mailers” might also come from the hard-right of his own party. If Dayton wants the compromise, I’m sure the agreement will include delivery of a certain number of D votes.
I’m not sure I follow the logic here. How does it benefit the DFL minorities in the House and Senate to sign on to a budget that they had little to no involvement in developing? I’m sure the Republicans would appreciate some cover from DFL support, but the shutdown wasn’t the making of DFL legislators and the resolution appears to have had little to no input from DFL legislators. If there truly was bipartisanship in the end of the shutdown, then yes, it would make sense to see support from both parties.
I agree with Kathie. It looks like this was an agreement between Dayton and the Republican majorities in the House and Senate. So, there lies the responsibility for the “smelly” deal.
David, I doubt the Republicans can deliver all the necessary votes otherwise. They are going to have some defectors; their far right probably hate this compromise as much or more than anyone. Besides, the compromise is kind of a “warm smelly thing”. No one wants to hold it by themselves! I just can’t see the republicans NOT making the delivery of some D votes a part of the agreement, partly because they need to and partly because they want to. Sure, politically it makes sense for the DFL legislators to avoid all this compromise stuff like the plague, but I doubt they’ll be allowed to. The republicans ain’t stupid.
Of course, I may have an entirely incorrect read on this, in which case I’m sure some of our more savvy contributors will slap me down! 🙂
A Deal is a Deal : I am watching carefully if Kurt Zellers and Amy Koch are capable of sticking to a DEAL :
What we also need now is for the private sector to step up and fill in newly formed gaps and create some jobs that are really needed to provide services and goods to sell abroad. I wonder where is everyone?
Monte Bute, a sociologist, has an interesting perspective on who and what was won and lost with the budget deal. I tried to attach a link, but we all know how good I am with that, so if what I included above doesn’t work, go to
I found that very interesting. Kathie, thanks for the article.
Since the “deal” is being achieved through the Governor acquiescing to the Republican budget offer ( imposing three conditions which remove the social values issues of the Rs) let’s be clear about the fact that this is in essence borrowing/spending the 2 Billion dollars the Rs didn’t want to raise actual revenue$$ to cover: that would be 700 Mill from the schools, 700 Mill from the tobacco payments, that’s 1.4 Billion , and then if you add in the 500 million dollar bonding bill… it all totals 1.9 Billion.
How is it fiscally sound to borrow/spend almost 2 Billion dollars more than the revenue you would allow to be raised, by raising the taxes from the Governors last offer, i.e. taxing those earning over a million annually?
Sounds like the runaway mortgage market all over again…
It isn’t fiscally sound, but I suspect Dayton’s hope is that the Republicans will not do as well in the 2012 elections, and they’ll be able to pass a much better budget with a restored DFL majority in two years. With the amount of ridiculous legislation the Rightists have pulled this session (marriage bill, voter ID, a horribly offensive education bill, etc), I would think such a hope is reasonable. On the budget, Repub leadership has been particularly infuriating in their press conferences.
Obviously we can’t do this every time, but right now, this compromise seems preferable to earlier Republican offers.
Folks, you need to understand that the ‘deal’, while presented by Dayton, has DFL fingers all over it. Dayton often did not do negotiating directly with Republicans. He has had commissioners, administrators, and a few Senators and Representatives at the table throughout this whole process.
Neither side likes the deal. But if it is going to move forward there have to be enough votes to pass it. And Phil is probably correct that the Republicans can’t deliver all the votes needed to pass the bills. And they shouldn’t have to. It is a deal that neither side likes, so both sides should have votes to get it passed….or neither side will and the deal will implode.
The good thing is that if the deal implodes on the floor, I assume the Republicans have a ‘lights on’ bill all drafted and ready to go. Then we can keep government working while the legislators get a solid deal worked out. We did this in the early 1970’s and we didn’t have a budget until mid-October (I think). We can get by with a lights on bill funding state government. We cannot get by with this goofy shutdown.
This special session dance is kind of fascinating to watch, if you’re interested in this sort of thing… the DFL is saying they’ll vote for many of the budget cuts, but won’t provide any votes for a single feature of the “deal”, the additional $700 million budget shift from K-12 funding or the $700 million from sale of tobacco bonds. I haven’t heard what the Republican (I almost typed “IR”… which shows how long I’ve been following this stuff) reaction to that announcement yet.
There was an interesting editorial in today’s Strib. Apparently, the governor and the legislature are not subject to the open meeting laws at the end of the session.
I’d posted that June 29 “offer” and Dayton’s response, that “offer” was so laden with policy statements, and very broad strokes, so I’m glad much of that was left behind. But as I read it, it’s again cuts and cuts and cuts and nothing on the revenue side, and if this were a household, we’d be looking at increasing income, not cutting! The result I’ve seen includes the option of selling state land with no notice, stealing … errrrrr… transferring $$ from the Workers Comp Assigned Risk to the general fund, transferring an estimated $600k from Renewable Development Fund to general fund (I object unless it’s earmarked for Tom Micheletti, then take it please), changes in elk nuisance killings, bear, coyote. This is more of the shifting that we got Pawlenty of years back that put us where we are now. Having gov’t shut down is a royal pain, without state websites I can’t do my work, we’re waiting on final Orders to come out, everything stops, but is this result worth it? NO!