How would a state government shutdown affect you?

A judge’s order yesterday specified that only “critical core functions” of state government would continue during a shutdown. That shutdown, if it happens, is now only hours away. Today’s Question: How would a state government shutdown affect you?

  • Megan

    I am a non-critical state employee so I will be affected greatly. I will be laid off until any shutdown ends and the longer any shutdown lasts, the more likely the financial aid my agency provides to college students will be delayed.

  • Steve

    I renewed my driver’s license early to avoid any delays when I heard a shut down might happen. I don’t foresee any other effects it might have on me other than searching for a rest room along the interstates. Time will tell. If it goes on too long, there are those who will face some real hardships.

  • zeke

    Voter activism. In 2012 I’ll be volunteering to help educate and inform the electorate about the consequences of elections.

  • Diane

    The University of Minnesota has announced that we can survive a short-term shutdown with little disruption. We’ll see how that goes. The domino effect of a shutdown will be far and wide.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Alas, it looks like we’re going to find out. Shame on us.

  • Susie

    It depends on whether unemployment benefits are a “critical core function.” If they are not, then I will lose that small amount of necessary income.

  • Chris

    A shut down would prevent my girl scout troop from going on their first camping trip. As we have plans 07/16/11. Also I had planned to go to Canterbury for fireworks.

  • John

    The ruling from Judge Kathleen Gearin was clearly a decision that affects the working middle class. Closing state parks, highway lanes “sane lane” (which were paid for by us taxpayers), zoo, horse racing, wayside rest stops, and construction jobs hits only the people who really deserve those services, they paid for them.

    I say; if it’s shut down, shut the whole thing down. Then the governor will have to deal with all of the leaches on the economy, the people that voted him in.

  • http://www.etrising.blogspot.com Erin

    I very recently completed a teacher education program at the university. It’s been a long time coming, going back as a non-trad student. This shutdown will affect my ability to have any kind of teaching license application processed, thereby possibly delaying the start of a career I so diligently worked to begin.

  • GaryF

    The real question should be…….

    Will you react like the folks in Greece?

  • Linda

    I don’t think we will be hurt by the shutdown. I feel for the people laid off and other people’s incomes hit by the shutdown. That is why it is so unbelievable the spineless legistlators have the nerve to take any pay during this shutdown. Come on, live like the people you were elected to represent. If they can’t work, eat drive due to no income you shouldn’t either. How many of you are brave enough to ride in the 4th of July parades?

  • Bruce

    Well according to our fine state politicians; What shut down?

  • uptownZombie

    John, The blame does not rest only on the governor, the blame rests on each and every rep that the public voted in. And if each of us are not contacting our reps to put forth our opinions on how we want them to act, then the blame also rests on us.

    GaryF, That is a completely different situation, I’m amazed you are even bringing it up. 11% of that population supported the gov’t actions, while only 6% said the opposition had a better plan (source).

    It may not impact me much, but I know a couple who recently had a kid that will have absolutely no income starting tomorrow. It certainly makes me angry at the third grade mentality that seems to be prevalent in our republican representatives.

  • Larry M.

    I filed my property taxes completely electronically and would qualify for getting my return early. If the shutdown lasts long enough it could delay my rebate. Unlike most years don’t have a trip to a state park planned, it’s difficult for me to get time off and if the shut down would have effected my vacation I would have been furious. The legislators should lose their stipends and pay if they don’t finish their work on time.

  • Jennifer

    Even as we get the news that my husband, a community college prof, will get to keep his job and paychecks…The food shelf I run is being inundated by new visitors in need, and the charter school serving youth with disabilities where I occasionally work is being denied all but a tenth of its funding due to the shutdown. How will they pay their rent? How will students’ parents pay for their child’s special needs? How will working moms and dads buy food for their kids without those jobs? The infuriating refusal to tax those who HAVE will continue to punish and impoverish those who HAVE MUCH LESS.

  • Joanna

    well, my car license tabs will be in limbo, but there may not be anyone around to give me a ticket.

    Actually the worst effect for me has been the overwhelming feelings of anxiety, depression, fear, anger, a sense of helplessness. The hateful words of people who want to “shut it down” regardless of the immense harm this will do to the most vulnerable frighten me. The terrible stories of how the most vulnerable individuals will suffer enrage me. The sobering accounts of economic impacts far beyond the sector of those laid off make me fear for our collective future. I moved to MN 22 years ago and chose to make a life here and start a family because of the beneficial impact of smart public investment in infrastructure, the arts, safety, health standards, the schools, libraries, the park system. To see all these things eroded under Pawlenty, to hear the venom with which other Minnesotans speak of the public good, all of this is so discouraging, and make me question my daughter’s future in this state. Why stick around for the terrible winters when I can live in a state with crappy services but better weather? It feels as if people are trying to kill Minnesota.

  • MEL

    I work for an agency that receives some operating money from the goverment, so I will lose my job. My husband lost his job this past winter and we have a one year old daughter. So this will deeply impact our financial situtation and insurance situation. But the biggest impact has been these past few months of worry and stress. The lack of answers or job assurance have had such a negative impact on our family – just the psychological and emotional strain of it. Plus not being able to plan at work for the next year. A waste of time and energy.

    We need to stop protecting the “job creators” from tax hikes, and start protecting those with jobs who actually need every paycheck.

  • T

    http://www.tax.com/taxcom/features.nsf/Articles/CE758CB00A0CF6DD85257737005AC0D4?OpenDocument

    Gary F,

    See above

    A large reason for the financial crisis in Greece. Not just your daily rant….

  • Rhonda DeBough

    As a state employee it will affect me a lot, but the comments you won’t see are the vulnerable people sitting in our Nursing Homes. Nobody to help them if they are involuntarily discharged. Nobody to help them if they are physically, verbally, sexually abused. Nobody to help them if there call light isn’t being answered. Nobody to help them if their water pitcher isn’t being filled.

    Lights out. Nobody’s home.

  • Philip

    We had planned on going to the MN Zoo this weekend. Change of plans, I guess.

  • Jeff

    MEL – [We need to stop protecting the “job creators” from tax hikes, and start protecting those with jobs who actually need every paycheck.] *** Call the governor and remind him that he did this by not allowing a special session to get an essential services budget passed. He refuses to call any special session unless he gets what he wants and he wants to create great pain while the government is shutdown.

  • James

    Other than responding to this question for MPR, and watching a few friends go fishing in the mornings rather than a cushy Uncle Sugar job…. Not at all.

    DTOM

  • J H Fonkert

    My wife will be out of work. Some of my neighbors will be out of work. My community will suffer. My state will no longer be known at a state that works. My confidence in democracy and the commitment of legislators to public service will be drained.

  • Greg

    Dear Gary F., your continual fascintaion with psuedo-deep tax analysis and the comparison of Greece to the USA is extremely simplistic. If you review the statistical comparison of the USA to Greece for numerous factors, ( industrial output, banking and finanacial reserves, primary resources, educational level, legal and business structures, market position in nearly all industries/fields) we are substantively different countries. Calm down. ARE WE IN TROUBLE – yes, but the catastrophic debacle of Greece was brought on because of their overall national issues, not JUST the simple ones you harangue and focus on. OUR SOLUTION will require pain and discipline – especially in the form of increased taxes, reduced credtis or exemptions and a more agressive cutting of expenses. Will this harm business – very likely – but business has beneifted largely from the same thing – excess government borrowing – because sadly – the vast majority of that money is going to private sector businesses. employees get paid and buy stuff. Contracts are let to … private sector companies. Materials/services are purchased from … private companies, When that economic activity slows down as government shrinks — the debt will still linger and the payments must be made. Taxes will be the only tool – even if we wiped the entire federal government and all of its programs… the debt must still be paid.

  • Greg

    I will be laid off. I’ve been modestly frugal – and belive (fingers crossed) that I can cover up to 6 months – but now I am going to learn how to live at the level of unemployment insurance relative to my current income. Having crunched the numbers – I am telling my preferred retailers that I’ll be a former customer. I don’t begrudge the legislators and governor their party ideologies and personal beliefs – ti got them elected. What I do begrudge is the childish persistence that the ultimate goal is the only goal. They seem to abandon any acknowledgement of the changes that come along after they utter the campaign promises or sign their pledges to some private entitiy. My experience from lengthy trips in the wilderness is – you set a goal but accept the unknown impediments and deal with them. You do so safely, sanely and calmly – with the expectation of trying to get everyone there together. I’d like to see citizens legislators and the leaders in the execrutive branch behave a little better.

  • Lucy

    I am curious as to whether the State will hire everyone back?

    It certainly would be an opportunity to reconfigure certain departments that don’t quite work. Maybe hiring an ethical workforce in place of them?

    Maybe some of those ‘economy leeches’ will then have employment.

  • Neil

    Joanna (an 8:27 post) for governor!

    Without the good things that government, corporations, non profits and individuals provide and do in Minnesota, it is the frozen tundra in the winter and a buggy swamp in the summer.

    For those who think modestly higher taxes on high earners will scare business out of Minnesota, wait until you find out what lousy services and a diminshed reputation does for the state’s ability to attract and retain business builders and workers!

  • uptownZombie

    Jeff, he did not call a special session because he didn’t want people sitting around collecting pay for another month and a half for work they should have gotten done in the many previous months. I support his decision because it saves us money. If he called a special session then you’d just be complaining that 90% of the reps are collecting money and just sitting around waiting for a small group to make a bargain.

  • Kathy Schleichert

    My daughter is a college student and a summer intern with the state health dept. Any income she loses during the shut down has to be made up by school loans or “The Bank of Mom and Dad”. It’s a little late now to find a summer job!

  • s

    My partner is not a state employee, nonetheless, will lose his job of seven years in the event of a state shutdown.

    My partner holds a Class B license. On July 25, his employer is undergoing the integration of two companies that it owns, one of which he is an employee of. He needs a Class A license by July 25, or he will no longer be qualified for the position he holds. He has possessed a permit for 3 years, but his boss dragged his feet in sending him to the driving school (which is the way that the majority of people in the industry take a class a test).

    He was finally registered for the driving school 2 weeks ago, but the next opening for an exam is July 25, but with the state shutdown, he will not be able to take his license test. If he does not have a Class A license by the integration date, his employment will be terminated by no fault of his own. Under normal circumstances, this would not be a job-threatening problem.

    The state shutdown is not just about lottery tickets, hunting/fishing, camping, etc as portrayed. There are many collateral consequences because of the shutdown.

  • suzie

    Lucy, so how many workers did you want to insult by calling them unethical by stating that maybe now they could hire an “ethical workforce” ? I worked for over 30 years for the people of this state and in all that time and with more than one agency, I never worked with anyone unethical. The next time you see an elderly person who needs assistance in health and welfare – you can volunteer to do that job – or donate your money to a day care giver so the parents can work at low income jobs – or feed and clothe and educate undocumented workers – or donate to a student so they can go to college or a vocational school – or work in a prison or state hospital – or pick up the carnage on the highways after an accident – or repair your roads in the stifling heat – or get out in the cold to plow the roads, The next time you see those state workers, why don’t you call them unethical to their faces. Everyone wants everything right now and perfect – and they want it free. To live a society that offers us all the services we expect – well that costs money.

    How will the shutdown effect me? Not too much at this time, I’m pretty self sufficient. But, the shutdown will effect me in my voting in the next elections – no more incumbents. They proved they can’t set their priorities and get the budget done first and then spend money. These elected “workers” seem to be the unethical one.

  • Dan A

    Local convenience store owner tells me he will not be able to sell state lottery tickets. Made me think there are a lot of revenue sources that will dry up exacerbating the budget problem.

  • Chris

    I really don’t know. I would like to think I can avoid the pain but I doubt it.

  • CF

    To quote Alfred E. Neuman, “What, me worry?”

    And few of us should.

    Receiving unemployment payments? You still will, read today’s Strib. Applications for new claims and job search access are all online. Walk-in workforce centers are becoming obsolete anyway.

    Going camping? You don’t need a state park to camp. There’s plenty of public lands out there for you to pitch your tent, especially up north in the Superior National Forest. Don’t want to camp without a shower or a pavilion building? Stay in a motel.

    State employees, you of all shouldn’t worry. Look, it’s not like the state will shut down forever, unlike a business in the private sector that goes bankrupt. Eventually, sooner rather than later, the buffoons in St. Paul will pass a budget and you’ll go back to work. Will some jobs be eliminated in light of budget cuts? Maybe, but that will be the result of a new budget, not a shutdown.

    I just don’t think a shut down will be as catastrophic as the rhetoric the fear mongers are trying to foist upon us. Inconveniences, yes, but it won’t mean the end of civilization as we know it.

  • lucy

    @suzie-

    apologies to you

    but if you are an ethical person who worked with ethical people than my comment was not directed at you or your co workers was it?

  • lucy

    @ suzie

    apologies to you

    but if you are an ethical person who worked with ethical people while working for the State, than my comment was not meant for you was it?

  • lucy

    @ suzie

    apologies to you

    but if you are an ethical person who worked with ethical people while working for the State, than my comment was not meant for you was it?

  • lucy

    @ suzie

    apologies to you

    but if you are an ethical person who worked with ethical people while working for the State, than my comment was not meant for you was it?

  • lucy

    @ suzie

    apologies to you

    but if you are an ethical person who worked with ethical people while working for the State, than my comment was not meant for you was it?

  • lucy

    @ suzie

    apologies to you

    but if you are an ethical person who worked with ethical people while working for the State, than my comment was not meant for you was it?

  • Jeff

    The state government shutdown will not effect me directly at all, but I know some people who might have issues with getting fishing licenses and using the state parks over night…….although I’m not sure how fishing licenses could be enforced without a way to purchase them and who will kick you out of a state park since we can’t afford to keep them open why would we waste money tracking people down to kick them out of the park?

  • Tom

    The effects of a temporary shutdown are minor compared to the problems we will face if the state of MN cannot learn to live within its means.

  • Jeff

    My wife and I fly to Texas tomorrow morning for the 4th of July weekend. The first impact will be the ribbing from our Texas relatives as we relate to them the childish behavior that the legislature demonstrated throughout the session. Not sure how to explain the closure of committee debate; the lack of competent financial analysis; and, the positioning by ideology displayed particularly by the Republicans this past session. It will also be hard to explain all the proposed Constitutional amendments that have been proposed. (How do you explain to a Texan that we are likely to disenfranchise our active duty military?) Finally, I will have to explain the candidacy of Michelle Bachmann. The more I think about it, the more I wish I could stay home.

  • Floyd

    I will be singing praises to the T-Party movement and celebrate Independence Day in the hope that our liberties may, eventually, be returned to us. I know that my happiness will only be temporary, however. The Republicans will cave into the socialists. And, another opportunity to eliminate most government from our lives will be lost. I hope my state senator and state representative hold the line against the Democrats. If not, I will work to remove them from party endorsement. If that doesn’t work, I will look at finding and supporting a truly conservative political party.

  • HCPrint

    CF, you are out of touch with reality.

    “State employees, you of all shouldn’t worry. Look, it’s not like the state will shut down forever, unlike a business in the private sector that goes bankrupt. Eventually, sooner rather than later, the buffoons in St. Paul will pass a budget and you’ll go back to work.”

    A vast majority of people — public and private sector employees alike — NEED to work to afford their mortgages, child care, groceries, transportation, etc. Regardless of the fact that most state employees likely will be hired back when a budget is passed, a loss of one, two or more weeks of pay will have a major impact on those individuals, the businesses they frequent and the state as a whole. Use your brain.

  • Chris

    I too will give praise to the T-baggers. I think it’s really impressive creating a movement based on non-factual beliefs so quickly. I bet the Pope is extremely jealous.

  • Steve

    My reaction will be to do anything I can to make sure that the current ruling party in the MN Legislature is evicted from the positions they currently hold.

    Their personal opinion is not what all of MN thinks.

    The sooner they go away the sooner American and MN can get back on track.

    The last Gov. said no increase in taxes, which was a lie!

    Am I the only person that had my property tax jump?

    The only reason for them to not move on taxes is KICK BACK!!!!!! Follow the money!!!!

  • Michelle

    I have to apologize that this comment does not address the question, but it is a response to Floyd’s comment about singing the praises of the “T-Party”:

    It’s interesting that the party who believes that their liberties have been taken from them is the same party who wants to keep liberties from others. People who are in love with someone of the same gender, and women who would like a choice in their reproductive years apparently don’t count when it comes to such liberties. But when it comes to taxes… whoa! Look out, we’re all going to hell in a hand-basket, we’re screwed, our liberties are being taken away!

    So, unless the word liberty has become synonymous with “the way I want it and no other way”, the mainstream Tea Party movement has become the definition of hypocrisy. And yes, it is “Tea” party, not “T” party.

  • Steve

    My reaction will be to do anything I can to make sure that the current ruling party in the MN Legislature is evicted from the positions they currently hold.

    Their personal opinion is not what all of MN thinks.

    The sooner they go away the sooner American and MN can get back on track.

    The last Gov. said no increase in taxes, which was a lie!

    Am I the only person that had my property tax jump?

    The only reason for them to not move on taxes is KICK BACK!!!!!! Follow the money!!!!

  • Mike

    Since I provide the cash that fuels the Minnesota state machine and essentially take nothing from them I don’t foresee any effect. I fall into that “From each…” catagory, not the “…to each…” part of the Communist slogan.

    I’ll bet that the vast majority of Minnesotans will quickly fall into the category of hardly noticing anything is going on except that news organizations are having a field day.

    Well, I take that back, my dentist may have a hard time renewing his license if this lasts until August. Most of the other licensing boards got ahead of renewals but the dental board didn’t try to help those they regulate (at least according to my dentist, who was furious). But then again, without enforcement officials, who will shut him down if he continues to operate without the license? So maybe it won’t affect me anyway.

  • FH

    I pay quite a bit into the system, and take very little out – so I don’t envision that this will affect me very much.

    I do want to comment about all these people who say the top 2% need to pay their fair share.

    – the top 1% pay almost 40% of the taxes

    – the top 50% pay around 97-98% of taxes

    – the bottom 50% pay 2-3% of taxes and use a great deal of the services that govt provides.

    I think the top 2% are already paying their fair share.

  • CF

    @ HCPrint

    Use your brain. First of all, thanks to the unions, state employees make far more in salary and benefits than do those in the private sector for the same type of work… at taxpayers expense might I add. Are these the people who you think are so poor, living at the cusp of bankruptcy and would lose their houses because they don’t have income for a few weeks. I know one state employee who works at the county level and I’m sure that this person would not be kicked out on the street because she got furloughed for a couple weeks. Difficult? Maybe. Would she have to rearrange her spending priorities for a while? Probably. But if this shutdown runs it’s course as has been in the past, she will be just fine.

    Out of touch with reality? I think not. The last time we had a partial state shut down it only lasted two weeks, at the most. Do you really think the state will be out of business until the State Fair and beyond? Seriously now. I’m hoping there will be sufficient backlash from the constituents of the State House and that Govy Dayton will get an earful to craft a budget in a short order of time.

  • Kim

    The shut down will mean we should take a close look at where the money is and where it flows..if you are a democrat, do NOT see this site_ it will unhinge you for the day. http://bigbusinesswatch.org/

    BTW, as Dayton so goes Obama: Obama promised no taxes on middle class yet when gasoline goes up 33% or more in a year, and the fed taxes per gallon are even more than what the oil companies profit is on a gallon_ then one has to ask ” Who is really the greedy scalper here?”

    The percentage of yearly profits of Apple and MS are huge compared to the oil companies after their reinvested infrastructure. And if Obama and dayton wanted to see a private Jet tax, then why_ did they use the stimulus to favor tax breaks for private jet ownership??? Hmmm…odd isn’t it?

  • GaryF

    When we tax an activity, we get less of that activity.

    When cigarette taxes go up, we get less smoking.

    When we tax work, people work less.

  • Jay

    Gary F, we don’t tax work, we tax income. If we taxed work, then volunteers would have to pay for the privilege.

    Kim, your argument about gas taxes is ridiculous. Federal gas taxes are per GALLON, not calculated on the price. If you want to b!tch about the price, blame it on Big Oil.

    FH, the top 2% do NOT pay nearly the same percentage of their income that I pay as a small business owner. They also get a proportionately higher level of benefit from the state than us working people do.

    I am sick to death of all of these misrepresentations, distortions and outright lies being spread by the anti-tax apologists. Bring on the shutdown! Voters will soon tire of the rich profiting on the backs of the rest of us and will toss out the republicans.

  • Big

    It is never as bad as it seems and it is never as good as it seems. I think the politicians are expressing the same partisan views that are on this message board. So, in a way you get what you pay for.

    To the Tea Party who make the claim that they pay much more than they will ever get out of the government.. you should be happy! You should also be happy that your body wasn’t shot up in a war, lucky you! Now wake up and realize the world doesn’t revolve around you and that we live in a society that has many people who need help, some of whom did get shot for us. I like how patriotic you are when it comes to starting wars, but when push comes to shove your nothing but spoiled children.

    Full disclosure, I pay way way more tax than received benefits and that’s the least I can do for my great state and country.

  • Julie

    Holding back planning an Aug state park camping trip with friends since the beginning of this session. We’ll be driving around road constructions projects during the warm summer months while they could be getting done. We also were going to do a remodel of our kitchen, but without inspectors that might be on the back burner even though we already put down our down payment for the new cabinets. Glad I picked up my fishing license. Rest stops on Hwy 35 closed. But I’m sure that the Republicans who don’t want to raise anyone’s taxes (yet didn’t seem to speak up against raising fees over the previous 8 years) won’t be missing a thing since government does nothing for us. I say stop paying the lawmakers who don’t get their jobs done!

  • Peter

    Well, not very much at all. I guess that is fortunate. I think it is a shame for people who rely on their services. Inevtiably when gov’t services are cut, it hurts the relativly poor more. That is capitalism, it is expensive to be poor. While capitalism is wonderfully productive by allowing the markets to allocate resources to be very productive, we should reconize that our market system does not care about the distribution of goods. Money makes money, and if you don’t have money, not only do you miss out on that opportunity to make money, it becomes more diffacult for you to procure the goods/investments that allow you to better your situation. A progressive tax system versus a flat tax saystem is a moral question, not economic. Being belssed with $, that I put in the market at the right time, and allowed me to make a lot more $, has taught me that I am fortunate, and the fortunate she step up to thte plate, just like the poor have to, when budgets get tight.

  • lucy

    The shut down will affect everyone depending how long it is. Those directly employed by the State may not be able to pay all their bills, (depending on how much they have lived outside of their economic boundaries) hence will affect the companies they owe and so on…you know that great trickle-down-theory would apply here.

    I am happy you brought this notion of gift giving up Suzie,

    ///The next time you see an elderly person who needs assistance in health and welfare – you can volunteer to do that job – or donate your money to a day care giver so the parents can work at low income jobs – or feed and clothe and educate undocumented workers – or donate to a student so they can go to college or a vocational school

    I find gift-giving or sometimes termed ‘charity’ a facinating way of getting the recipient to feel “indebted’. It is customary -world wide- in the reciprical giving of a gift given. Often when charity is given, there is a something offered in return, like a tax credit. In some cases it is about getting a foot in the door to the business of the donation getting, Steaking a claim, if you will, a position in the donee’s decision making or control in their business affairs.

    This reminds me of the overwhelming overly generous anonymous donation in the millions given to St. Kate’s not too many years ago. I would consider it much easier to have control in the operations as an anonymous donor than to publicly give my name. It would leave the obvious grand scheme to be not so apparent to unsuspecting common folk. Why else would such a large donation remain secret?

  • Paul- St. Paul

    I will be contemptuous of Republicans- even more than I already am..

  • CF

    One thing’s for sure, as part of any budget deal that comes out of this impasse, there will be a cigarette tax increase. Same as what T-Paw did the last time when he called it a “fee”. We have heard the anti-smoking zealots and health Nazi’s on the radio and in the Strib calling for a $1.50 tax increase. If not more! Sadly, in spite of the GOP’s NO NEW TAXES mantra, it’s a sure bet that a tax on filthy evil sinners (smokers) is a sure bet imposed by BOTH parties.

    It’s so easy to tax those you hate.

  • Diana

    Sen. Nienow represents a district with about 2 millionaires. Yet he’s obsessed with protecting them by not raising their taxex by 1 cent and at the same time throwing 22,000 state workers out on the street. He’d better be giving up his paycheck and going back to his day job (if he has one) to support his family like all the other citizens he is putting a risk. This is immoral and stupid!

  • Tom

    I work for a private non-profit and will have my hours cut to about 10-12 hours per week because of the shut down. Some are under the impression this only impacts State workers. I blame first the voters who voted in the very people who decimated our economy in the first place and second, the right wing Republicans who only represent the very rich and no one else.

  • Brian D

    I am semi-retired. I teach part-time as an adjunct faculty member at a college in the TC. During the summer, I spend most of my days reading and writing. I will not be deeply affected by the shutdown. There are however a lot of very vulnerable people who will be, and I feel deeply the pain they’re going to endure.

    There is greater disparity today between the wealthy and the rest of us in this country than at any other time since the years leading up to the Great Depression. There is greater disparity between the wealthy and the rest of society in this country than in any other developed country in the world. The policies that Koch and the Republicans want to implement will deepen that divide.

    I am appalled that Republicans will not even consider an increase in the tax rate for the top 2% of income earners in this state. The MN Department of Revenue released a report a few months ago indicating that the top 10% of MN income earners have an effective tax rate of 10.3% and the rest of us an effective tax rate of 12.3%. The Republicans have that information and still oppose a tax increase on the top 2%.

    We need to keep in mind that this budget crisis was created by Republicans: Pawlenty, who refused to compromise during his eight years in office and work with Democrats to create a budget that didn’t get by on shell games, and the current Republican legislature, that will not compromise on anything. Remember that in 2012.

    The Republicans will try to engineer another budget crisis for 2013, so that they can once again push their agenda of lower taxes and cutting funding. They will do this every budget cycle, because for Republicans, a budget crisis is a political and economical tool. Remember that, too, when you go to the polls in 2012.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Wow, Floyd! I’m beginning to suspect you actually believe that bullshit– that you’re not really a liberal posing as a wacko conservative to discredit the right wing.

  • Steve the Cynic

    “This reminds me of the overwhelming overly generous anonymous donation in the millions given to St. Kate’s not too many years ago. I would consider it much easier to have control in the operations as an anonymous donor than to publicly give my name. It would leave the obvious grand scheme to be not so apparent to unsuspecting common folk. Why else would such a large donation remain secret?”

    Lucy, believe it or not, some people are actually motivated by things other than money and power, after they realize that mere wealth is not all it’s cracked up to be.

  • mrs mrs

    I say “voting has consequences” (so does spending, spending , spending)

  • Steve the Cynic

    So does not spending.