What’s your solution to the state budget impasse?

Legislators and the governor continue to negotiate on the state budget, but time is running out. A possible state government shutdown is just three days away. Today’s Question: What’s your solution to the state budget impasse?

  • Jared

    keep trying to vote out as many ideological republicans as we can next time. the governor compromised, they refused to.

    these ‘stances’ they hold themselves to are ridiculous. US tax rates are the lowest theyve been in over 6 decades, thats why we have budget problems. taxes are continuously being lowered, and thus we get shortfalls.

    honestly id vote conservative if they stopped this stupidity they continue to do. i like a small government, but it still has to be reasonably functional and they need to stop trying to legislate everyone’s morality as well.

  • Hiram

    Fully fund state government at statutory levels with an immediate pay back of the shift.

  • Linda

    Spending cuts/tax increases. We must also correct the errors made in voting in the last election and remove these far right wing nuts from office. We must let our elected officials know we expect compromise and no more unfinished business or its out the door with them. Also, if they can’t do their job on time, No pay.

  • Dakota

    Compromise on the part of the Republicans. We need both cuts and tax increases.

    We teach our children how to get along, how to respect another’s opinion, and how to compromise. Our leaders should also demonstrate these qualities.

  • Mark Johnson

    Let’s pay it. It is about $341 per man woman and child in MN to meet Dayton’s demands. MN workers will pay it anyway because the top 2% will lower wages and raise prices. I just want it paid honestly and up front instead of deceptively through hidden taxes. Unfortunately, I don’t think working Minnesotans can afford it, now or in the near future.

  • Sara

    Every economist I’ve heard weigh in on this agrees spending cuts alone cannot fix the budget problems. Revenue must be increased as well, and revenue means taxes.

    It is time for our state representatives to start representing the state and not their political parties.

  • Rich

    If the governor and legislative leaders took a longer view at Minnesota’s structural deficit. It would perhaps allow them to deal with the near term much more realistically.

  • Al

    Drop the ideological sound bites and come to a solution that relies on decreasing spending and increasing revenues.

    The proposed budget may be the biggest in actual dollars in state history, but last I heard the population is increasing. There will also be more elderly Minnesotans to care for and there will be more kids in MN schools in the next biennium. In per capita terms, this would not be the largest budget.

    Idea for the future: If a budget isn’t passed by normal adjournment the entire house and senate and the governor are up for immediate re-election. The vote would take place in 6 weeks. The newly elected officials would start the following week and have 8 weeks to pass and sign a new budget.

    Some may be re-elected but I doubt all would. Then they would actually have some motivation to not give up a month beforet he end of session as happened this year.

    Alternatively, at a minimum there should be a mechanism by which the leaders are replaced and not allowed to continue as leaders at the end of the regular session.

  • Phil

    This time the Governor is right. I don’t think there is anything more to say on it.

  • Keith

    As long as we cannot agree on what government should fund, we will be at an impasse. Ask anyone on the street and they will mention a program that someone else thinks is pork. It’s not a matter of “we can’t afford it, so we’re just going to cut it”. For those who cannot fend for themselves, do you throw them out on the street, and in the extreme leave them to starve or freeze to death? Do you just stop fixing bridges and roads? Do you sell all public lands (like state parks) because that isn’t something that someone views as government’s business? I heard a comment the other day about why we are even funding things that are being deemed as ‘non-essential’ during the shutdown, if they are truly non-essential. I would hate to live in a state where things like state parks were deemed non-essential. We are a large state (in area) and a growing state. That brings it’s own challenges to provide services to all, even in areas that are sparsely populated. Sometimes it just takes more money to keep things running. Personally, I think a sale tax extension would be the least painful and most effective. Yes, it’s considered regressive, but I’m sorry but we all have a stake in this – shared sacrifice. Besides, in a down economy, the wealthy will still buy stuff, even when no one else is, so they will contribute as well.

  • Lou

    Minnesotans elected a liberal governor and a majority of conservative representatives in each legislative body. Each side is worried that they will be abandoning their principles if they back down from their current position. The shutdown will have to occur and media outlets will begin polling to see where public sentiment is. The side that is blamed for the shutdown will have to find a way to gracefully back down while insisting that they are not abandoning their principles but rather, for the good of the state, delaying their principles until the next legislaive session.

  • Zeke

    While obviously any tax increase needs to be carefully considered, there is no doubt that closing loopholes and eliminating many tax subsidies would have the same effect as cutting spending. If Republicans believe that cutting spending is stimulative, they can’t logically oppose cuts in spending through the tax code.

  • Clark

    Remember the far left wings crazies in office such a trust fund baby dayton who never had to work a day in his life and has no understanding of the risks to creating wealth.

    If the free loaders want a safety net, let them move to Wisconsin.

    Don’t give an inch to the left wing democrats. The only solution they have to every problem is TAXES and more TAXES.

    Cut spending, Cut Spending and then cut spending more, The more the far left scream, the better.

  • Philip

    Ideology vs pragmatism. We could use more of the latter from both parties.

  • Kurt

    1) The media needs to accurately report on the full impact of the Republican’s draconian budget on Minnesota’s people. 2) The public needs understand that Dayton’s budget includes deep cuts. And 3) the Republicans need to agree to a balanced approach.

  • GaryF

    In seeing what is happening in California, Illinois, New York and New Jersey, raising taxes is not the answer.

    In two years, Dayton will want to spend more money, create more government, and raise more taxes, that’s all Democrats want to do.

    Spending 6% more than the last biennium and keeping within projected revenues make sense seeing what’s happening nationally and internationally with government becoming unsustainable.

  • GaryF

    Yes, the media needs to report it more fairly. I rarely hear the fact that the Republican plan spends more money than last time.

    But then, certain media outlets are also dependant on the government, so they have an internal bias.

  • Cynthia

    The Republicans should compromise and allow a tax increase. Gov. Dayton is right and he shouldn’t compromise any more with them, they need to come to the table and be leaders of the state not move personal agendas…

  • D Sherman

    Rather than arguing dogmatically for a higher or lower level of total spending, it would be nice if we could focus a little and argue for and against the value of different kinds of spending, and then to focus a little more on the value of different ways of spending within budget categories. Some government spending gives folks stuff they want. Some government spending is worse than stealing money, throwing it in a hole and burning it.

    Conservatives with a libertarian edge often proceed as if government spending as such is an evil to resist, except when they’re defending a free-lunch tax cut. And liberals with a social-democratic streak often operate within a framework of crypto-Keynesian mysticism according to which handing a dollar to government is like handing a fish to Jesus Christ, the ultimate multiplier of free lunches.

    When debate takes place on these silly terms, it seems almost impossible to articulate a vision of lean and limited government with principled, rock-solid support for spending on social insurance, education, basic research, essential infrastructure, despite the likelihood that something along these lines is what most Minnesotans want.

  • Steve D

    EASY 1 Raise revenue

    2 Cut spending

    3 Compromise

    or face voters ire again

  • Jim G

    I voted for Governor Dayton. My wife voted for Governor Dayton. More Minnesotans voted for Governor Dayton than that other guy, Emmer. My solution is that the Republicans should compromise with the Governor to solve this budget gap by raising more revenues from the richest, who last year paid the lowest effective marginal tax counting the state and federal taxes since 1970! (See today’s Star Tribune and Lori Sturdevant’s editoral. I love a journalist uses facts to inform what she’s writing about.) Dayton has already come down on the tax increase for the richest 2%. It’s time for the GOP to move to the middle and stop being extremist

  • GaryF

    Cut spending?

    The Republican proposal spends 6% more than last year and people are still thinking they are drastically cutting the budget?

    When does spending more than last time called a cut?

  • jon

    Minnesota wants level heads.

    why else would we elect a legislature that is a majority republican and a governor that is a dem. because we don’t want either of their ideologies pushed on us.

    we don’t want to be Wisconson where the only choice for middle of the road is the Democrats running away… and we don’t want to be a democrat majority either.

    Clearly we wanted cuts, and better money management, otherwise we not have elected republicans, and clearly we want a tax increase from Daytons side, otherwise we’d just be calling him Mark Dayton instead of Governor.

    So lets do both, have a surplus, give out tax rebates, every one looks like a hero, and the state is fiscally stable, and then some.

    OR we can argue that Minnesotans are bi-polar and voted the way they did because they want a government shut down cause we can’t decide how we want to run our state… in which case I hear that one of the candidates for president runs an mental hospital we should have every one in the state committed to.

    Oh, and Next time around, lets get some middle of the road candidates. in choosing the direction of the state, left and right shouldn’t be the only options… “Stay the course” should be one as well, with out all this corrective left, hard right, hard left, we’ll find out selves going much straighter (as any one who has driven on a Minnesota road during the winter is well aware.)

  • GaryF

    How much will the Dems want to grow government next time the budget comes up?

    They have this insatiable need to spend.

    It’s never enough. It’s never enough.

    Government today is unsustainable. Ask the people of Greece and California.

  • D

    It’s time to bring in a mediator to ensure all participants play fairly and to help remove stubborn road blocks, which impede progress.


    They want control over others, a clear pecking order so that whatever status they have achieved cannot be challenged, and they want this status conserved. Since they aspire to be at the top of the pile, they want this pile conserved, not altered, and protecting the spoils of the rich is thus a precept of their philosophy. What is missing in this equation is the conservation of comfort and security for the common man, who must be sharply punished if they challenge the status quo and especially if they rebel and are thus out of control of the conservatives seeking to maintain the status quo. The status quo disempowers the common man, who is so exhausted from trying to feed and house a family they have scarce energy to protest, who can be threatened with being thrown out on the street with no recourse if they protest or are reluctant to be under strict control in all aspects of their lives.


    They’re concerned about the well being of the least among the populace, welfare and health benefit programs, a fair distribution of the wealth accumulated from the work the common man is invariably bound to on a daily basis, and open access to facts. They are liberal with the distribution of accumulated wealth, and stand for liberty or freedom of access to information and services. This pits them at odds to their counterparts, who oppose freedom while seeking to establish control over the common man, and demand accumulation of wealth for the few.

  • uptownZombie

    My solution?

    Nullify all tax deductions (business and personal) then take a look if we need to increase revenue more. Yes? Create a flat-tax rate across all income brackets over $30,000 a year.

    I completely simplify a very complex process there, but that’s my solution.

    I scares the hell out of me that we have a bunch of people in office that are willing to drive us over a cliff to protect people that have an income that myself, and most likely everyone on this site, will never see in a lifetime. Very out of touch. They can’t even use the excuse themselves at this point if a shutdown does not occur becasue the fear of a seemingly impending shutdown takes its toll in an emotional way just as much as a real one will in an economic way.

  • Larry M/

    A recent study shows that the states that cut the most LOSE the most jobs, a reality the shows republican dogma is false. The no new taxes pledge has lead us to this budget crisis year after year and has been a failure for the state of Minnesota as shifts and cuts are not fixing the revenue part of the equation. Time for the top 2% to pitch in.

    Note; I did try to link to the study about jobs but my comment was not posted.

  • Joel Peterson

    I would like to see the state constitution amended so that, in years when no budget agreement is reached by the deadline, straight across the board cuts for all state programs remain in effect until the legislature and governor come to agreement.

    Along with this I would like to see a law that would require the legislature to stay in session until a budget is passed but deny any kind of pay or per diem to legislators for work done from the time of the deadline until a final agreement is reached.

    Without changes like these the dynamics of budget shortfalls encourages the legislature and governor to try to use budget crises as leverage to enact their favored program cuts or tax increases. It would be better to maintain the status quo with the least disruption through cross the board cuts rather than to institute significant changes which would be better deliberated in times of stability.

  • Neil

    We could all benefit from better reporting of the issue. Instead of reporting on it like a reality show (he said; she said), how about some really accurate information about year-over-year changes in spending levels, taxation levels and the like, so that we actually know whether spending is growing or shrinking and whether we are highly taxed or not. For all the coverage this issue is getting, I for one still don’t know the hard facts and therefore cannot have a hard opinion. Come on MPR, step up!

  • Steve the Cynic

    Compromise, duh.

    For the long term, the sensible center would have to rise up and take back both major parties from the ideological zealots, which will be quite a challenge, since it’s hard to get people excited about being sensible. Everyone who opted out of the process and considers politics a spectator sport is to blame. Maybe if we were to do like Australia and make voting compulsory?

  • Glenn

    Hold the GOP hostage.

    Start with those identified with bumper stickers- curb them on the road and see how serious they are.


  • Carrie

    A careful balance of spending cuts and an increase in revenue. Pretty much what Dayton has already proposed.

  • Rich in Duluth

    Raise taxes, as needed, to cover the expenses of government.

    We need a functional and funded government that does the things we need. Business cannot or will not support the poor, educate the people, provide and maintain our infrastructure or regulate itself. These services need to be funded by those of us who work.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Good idea, Glenn! If we escalate the conflict high enough, it could develop into a full-blown civil war, and everyone knows war is good for the economy. (Not!)

  • Curt

    This isn’t difficult. The GOP just needs to start listening to the people of Minnesota and their own constituents. Polls have shown that a combination of spending reductions, and increased revenues are what the people want. They don’t want more fees and charges, and elimination of programs that help the poor and working class. We’ve had 8 years of no taxes and increased fees and charges. This was Pawlenty’s plan for attracting business to Minnesota and growing jobs. Did it happen? Where are the big business that were supposed to be attracted to move here? Where are the new jobs that were going to be created? All I can see are the faces of 35 thousand Minnesotan’s that are going to be unemployed on Friday of this week, because the GOP blindly follows the failed policies of former governor Pawlenty, and continues to be the puppets of the state republican chair, Tony Sutton. Tony Sutton…the real man behind the scenes that gives marching orders to the republican leadership, and is the de-facto leader of both the state house and senate, even though he was never on any state ballot, and never held any elected office.

  • Kathy

    How about a little humility? Our politicians are just playing a game of chicken here. How about meeting for longer than two hours and listening to each other. My four year old knows more about conflict resolution than our alleged leaders.

  • James

    Straight tax.

    NO loopholes.

    NO deductions.

    Spend less.

    Do I live in my own little world or is this just that obvious?



    1. What does adopted budget have to do with continuing operations?

    2. Refer the individual income tax structure to a panel to review for justice, fairness.

    3. Refer to the department heads to come back with ways to innovate and reduce program costs in their areas

    4. Refer to finance department to assist in 1 and 2.

    5. Come back in a reasonable time, have a special session and pass the budget.

    6. In the ‘off season’ continue with the above process for continual improvements.

  • Chris

    I think we should get rid of EVERYONES tax loopholes, raise taxes on the wealthy, and cut government.

    I really don’t think we realize how much duplication there is in local governments, municipalities, and the state. We can really consolidate to save serious money. Combine school districts, share snow plows, and good GOD get rid of sooooo many cops (why does Edina, Woodbury, Stillwater, etc etc etc need so many f-ing cops???) I don’t get it!!

    I also think we need more $$ in Higher Ed since this is where our new economy will come from.

    And while I am at it, lets legalize pot and tax it, and legalize gay marriage so we can get new “FREE” people into this great state.

  • Nicole

    Real negotiation means compromise. Dayton has already compromised by putting spending cuts on the table. Now Republicans need to do their part by agreeing to let their rich friends pay a bit more in taxes. This will SAVE jobs, not lose them. The current GOP budget would cause 30,000 jobs to be lost

  • Ben Stenzel

    This can work, please read:

    The Governor should agree to the Legislature’s spending limit, so long as the Legislature agrees to increase the tax on top earners by the amount the Governor requests; with the extra revenue being used to decrease the income tax on Minnesota’s lowest earners.

    The Governor would have to negotiate with the Legislature over what additional cuts should be made.

    This would allow the Republicans to honor their pledge not to raise taxes.

    The governor would get twice the progressively in the income tax that he wanted, so the budget would not be balanced on the backs of the poor.

    Given the intransient stance the Republicans have taken over new taxes, the Governor would be able to bargain for cuts that would be least offensive to his party.

    Is there a way to get the Governor to take this initiative?


  • Jessica

    Grow the f*ck up and legalize hemp and marijuana already! Talk about jobs, economy, ecology and sanity, this will improve everything. Please people, thinking long term, act now, this plant in every form is valuable to Minnesota (it once was a huge cash crop) and to the world. There should be no taxes with what’s possible with today’s technology and humanity’s most useful botanical friend, Cannabis sativa … only dividends, benefits, blessings and bliss.

    Live long and prosper … starting today!

  • Tom R Dooley

    Republicans who claim to be Christian should act accordingly.

  • Ben

    Dayton needs to change the word “tax” to “fee” like his predecessor.

  • Don Josefson

    Dayton is Governor until 2014; Reps will be up for reelection in 2012. Dayton agrees to set a time limit on Tax increases, that time being the 2012 election. If Republicans get reelected Dayton will take that as a “referendum” on his tax increases and recind them. If Dems are elected to the majority, make the tax increases permanent.

  • Bill

    It involves a locked door a fist and some nuts.

  • Gary M. Hazelton

    I don’t have the answer for the budget problem but I have a proposal for us all. First, we stop vilifying our fellow citizens based on their economic status. Vilifying the rich or the poor is the very stuff of which racial, gender and all other prejudice is made. It moves us backward. Does annual income or economic status have predictive validity regarding one’s character? Of course not so drop it once and for all. Second we understand that tax “fairness” is not definable. The socialists to the capitalists will generally have different definitions and there will be a range of definition within each group. Thirdly we be fully open and honest in our dialogue. That means be honest with your facts and figures. In all discourse of this type I say tell us what you know for sure (what is really beyond dispute), what you don’t know (but the answer to which would be helpful), and what assumptions you are making to reach your conclusion and why you think those assumptions are reasonable given the present state of knowlegde on the topic. To the media: Understand what your are reporting, report on it accurately and never ever give way to sensationalist journalism. Truth, as outlined above, is the only business model that journalism should adopt. (My personal opinion is that sloppy, dishonest or lazy reporting is a significant factor in the existence of the angry and distrusting mood in America).

    Let me use today’s discussion on MPR as an example of laying all out. One says the top 2% of the income bracket in Minnesota pays 36% of the income tax and the top 5% pay 43% of the income tax. The other says yes but the wealthy pay an overall smaller % of their income in taxes. Assume this is true, which it may be, I do not know. The only way for it to be true is because we all pay the same % sales tax, fuel tax on each gallon of gas, and the same levy rate on real estate taxes etc. For the higher income earners then to pay an identical % of their income as lower income earrners there are two options. Option one is to charge sales tax, property tax, and fuel tax (and all other non-income taxes and user fees) not on a flat fee or % basis but based on a person’s income. The other option is to scrap all taxes except the income tax. Endorsing the former scenario means you endorse the proposition that that the wealthier a person is the more the person should pay to do or have the same things as the lower income people. That is, they should pay more for a gallon of gas to get to work or see a freind in the hospital or have a vacation than somebody making less money even though the wear and tear caused by each on the public roads is identical. They should pay more to buy a TV or live in a house of identical value than that of a lower income person. It that is what we say is fair as a society then let’s do it and say we are doing it. Don’t leave the impression that higher income people are not paying their fair share when they are paying dramatically more in income tax, an identical amount in terms of gas tax, sales tax, real estate tax, and user fees (boat license, fishing license etc.). Be clear and be complete in what you are saying and proposing.

    When we have done this then it is time for a philisophical discussion about the tax system and how it ought to operate. In law school I took as many tax courses as I could. I was not headed into a tax practice but tax interested me. In doing research for a paper one noted author said that all tax theorists agree that the most fair tax is that each person pays the same dollar amount in taxes because we all consume and benefit from government services (health, education and welfare) about equally. The next fairest system was for all to pay the same % of a person’s income as a tax and after that the indexed system. One could also argue that after a certain $ amount paid in taxes the % charged on income over a certain level should actually go down because at a certain point the person has paid his/her per capita burden for government services and should, therefore, rightfully keep more of the excess earnings.

    We tend to beleive that the wealthy are dishonest and got wealthy by ill gotten gain. While that can be true it does not represent the norm. But, it does color how we view who ought to pay what proportion of the tax burden for society to operate. I remember Brian Tracy commenting (many years ago) on a study of self made millionaires. He said by and large they are pretty mundane people. They were typically married to the same person for 25 or more years, drove automobiles that were several years old, lived in a modest house etc. They worked relatively long hours and watched little TV. They tended to be very family oriented people. (For what it is worth, he noted that higher education actually had a negative correlation to being a self made millionaire). Also, inherited wealth was generally squandered within two generations. If this study holds true today, and I suspect it does, it means that the vast majority of wealthy people got that way by plain old hard work. That is, they used there spare time to produce more income rather than watch TV etc. So, into the tax philosophy debate must go the question whether these people should pay a higher % in tax, less tax or the same % tax on income over a certain level and why that should be the case? Is our answer that if you make more we take more whether such was the result of working 40 extra hours a week or pure luck? Again, I don’t have the answer but I think we have reached a point where the philisophical debate must be had and even if we don’ t have that debate we need to at least stop attributing character traits to our citizens based on the size of their annual income. Try to see the other’s point of view, respect it as that person’s reality, if you disagree do it respectfully of the other person, cast your vote via your conscience and let’s move on.

  • Tony

    Governor Dayton and union leadership can afford a shutdown, but rank and file members cannot. Republicans in the Minnesota House and Senate balanced the state budget without raising taxes and passed meaningful reforms to revamp the way government does business. Mr Dayton should set aside his plans to raise taxes and he should approve the balanced budget bills presented to him earlier.

  • http://http Susan

    As so many others have said: Compromise. Dayton has compromised half-way; now it’s time for the Republicans to meet him in the middle. We have already had 8 years of spending cuts (and property tax increases to pay for those cuts). Now we need to raise income taxes–maybe on those earning more than $75,000. After all, the median household income is $50,000. It’s so immoral that people with $250,000 income would rather cling to all they can and then see low-income people thrown off heath care. Where has compassion gone?

  • GaryF

    Do you see what’s happening in Greece?

    They too just thought “if we can only tax the rich more”.

    We have to stop the growth of government.

    Why are we chasing the Greece stagecoach that is now falling off the cliff?

    Greece is the word………

  • GaryF

    Where has the compassion gone?

    Is it virtuous to be compassionate with someone else’s money? Money taken by force?

    The Republicans want to spend 6% more than last time! In bad economic times even!

  • Jen

    The politicians remembering that we didn’t hire them to represent their parties or to stand soley for an ideology – we hired them to do the work of Minnesota. They need to get to work and get the people’s business done, stop with the grandstanding.

  • Brian Murdock

    With the government shut down, the sun will still rise, we will still have air to breath, and life will continue for me as if the government were not closed. I say we “Shut down” the government and see how long it takes for people to notice. Maybe people will see how well things can operate without the billions of our dollars spent by the state.

  • EAL

    Might I suggest that those on the left abandon the juvenile and miopic view of “tax the rich” class warfare. Baseline problems are 1) In a free society, government, at all levels, cannot should not be all things to all people. 2) The lack of personal accountability by a growing number of people who expect but are not willing to contribute. In other words, why are programs like American Idol, professional sports or the MTV & Hip Hop culture so popular. 3) Similar to the first item, ask the question, based upon the U.S. Constitution, not one’s feelings, “What is the legitimate role of government. I have seen the enemy it is us!

  • Van

    I doubt it matters since Gov. Dayton apparently prepped a document a good three weeks BEFORE the House submitted the proposal…and this was after Dayton had met with george Soros..Why would Dayton talk with Soros?

  • http://http Susan

    To Gary F and EAL: I believe that one of the legitimate roles of government in the 21st century is to see that all the people have the basic necessities of life: food and water, clothes, shelter, and medical care; not in any extravagant way, of course. The rich would not even notice an increase in their taxes. “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”

  • Jamie

    I object to MPR’s characterization of the differences between what Dayton wants for the budget and what Republicans want. I’ve heard it about a half-dozen times in the last few days. The news readers say that Dayton wants to balance the budget by raising taxes while the Republicans want to balance it with spending cuts alone. That is wrong, and that is MPR adopting Republican rhetoric again.

    Dayton had plenty of budget cuts in his budget proposal from the very beginning, and he’s cut even more in his compromises since then. And yes, they ARE cuts when you can’t raise budgets by the amount needed to take care of the state’s increasing needs, and of course when you factor inflation into the equation.

    I’d like to see increased taxes on about the top 20% of earners (I’m not in that group, but I’d pay more). Our taxes — both federal and state — have gone down a LOT in the last dozen years, and the richest people and corporations are not paying their fair share. This suggestion is not “class warfare.” The class warfare has been going on since fat cats and big corporations haven’t been contributing as they should, and in fact, often TAKE from the rest of us in a lot of ways. The growing gap between rich and poor is the REAL class warfare.

  • Donna

    Tax upper income Minnesotan’s.

  • greg

    require that the overall budget law/bill be passed before any other bill in session. require that it be based on state revenue projections – not on individual party provided numbers. insitute a 2% clothing tax. institute a 1% service tax. insitute a flat income tax of 10% – for everyone at or above 2x the poverty level. restrict and specify exactly what consitutes income – if its on the list no exemptions, credits or deducti ons apply. Allow individuals to save (Tax Free!) up to 3X the poverty level in a standard savings account. elminate individual city governments in the 7 county metro area – establish a quadrant based system – each wih four sub-quadrants for “local” representation. Establish one single police system – aggregating authority and jurisdiction across the entire state for all troopers, sherrifs, police, game-wardens, etc. Estalish uniform laws and codes across all counties & cities- no local variances or exceptions. Get ready to forget everything you ever knew about “what used to be”

  • Sue de Nim

    If everyone would just take their ideological blinders off…..

  • lucy


    /////I have seen the enemy it is us!


  • Antoinette

    We (MN) have sowed hundreds of short-term fixes on a long term state economy for many decades.

    The blame for this mess is on me. I have just decided to take responsibility for the mess my state govt is in. And I am now committed to do something about it. I don’t know what yet – but I will start here, today, with free speech.

    MN government has to do what individuals & families have do to get solvent.

    We need Austerity Measures NOW!

    It will hurt all of us for 3 or 4 years. So be it. It is better than a mn/usa/world financial meltdown.

    I volunteer to take 4 more years of the pain for my own, as well as, other legal MN citizens. I acknowledge my own laziness, my short sighted stupidity and selfishness for not whistle blowing and jumping up and down in protest and writing my representatives all my life. I have wanted to do this a hundred times since I was a teen….and did not.

    In addition, I volunteer to take on even more financial pain for 4 more years, for the financial corruption of my national govt. (Same reasons as above)

    ….Our parents or grandparents took the pain to help in our national crisis in WW2.

    ….Our parents or grandparents took huge pain during the Great Depression crisis.

    ….We are of the stock of our parents. We too can take the pain for our national crisis now!

    I choose to pay for our collective mistakes and take the pain. I did it and got myself out of debt in 5 years, and I will go through living lean again with my fellow citizens while our state & nation gets solvent. It is worth it.

    I think the USA still has lost some world leadership qualities. If the strong among us dig deep and get solvent in our families, as well in the states and nationally, help in our communities – we could turn these monster problems around.

    My solutions to THIS impasse:

    Cut State spending by 1/3 (a bunch) everywhere for 4 years.

    Rethink/re-plan every spending item with a 100 year long term plan to stay solvent going forward.

    Keep working on the emergency fund. We will always need it.

    Get rid of ALL financial trickery that is embedded our state finances.

    End all loop holes and tax breaks. Let all the chips fall where they may. There is no other way.

    Raise MN taxes on all citizens for 4 years. 100% of money to go toward MN State debt elimination. Every Minnesotan has to bear the pain proportionately to income starting this year 2011 taxes. New employer tax tables NOW – online.

    Tax all corporations and all businesses in MN FOREVER, starting with 2011. 6% of profits for 4 years. If they want to privilege of doing business in MN, using the mostly excellent Minnesotan work force and use & live in the wonderful Minnesota cities and towns – pay like everyone else does & join our pain.

    Tax every rich and poor person at the same percentage.

    State prisoners have to work hard, get paid for their work, pay room & board and pay tax in MN. White collar criminals should be treated and housed with all other felons. Jobs like: Road work. Farm work. Dismantle all the old rust belt buildings, old unused steel structures in the old downtown’s, port of Duluth and down the river ways built during the last 2 centuries. Why not? If we tire out felons and gang-bangers with a 8-10 hour work day 6 days a week, they wouldn’t be so busy building criminal empires from inside prison. Anywho – this is how many hours law abiding Minnesotans have to work and will have to work during the austerity measures.

    Last – but not least:How about adding some new subjects to K-12 students curriculum for a life-time benefit:

    Criminal law & the penal system. Laziness & the effects of a short term fixes on a long term life.

    Ethics. Personal responsibility. What is hard work?

    How to be a millionaire. Family, City, State & Federal economics.

    History and how it repeats itself.

    THINK & PLAN. The all pervasive law of sowing and reaping and how it will affect everything you think and do in your “personal” long term life.


  • Jane Strauss

    Kathy at 10:36 has the right idea – perhaps if they all started acting like grown-ups the situation would improve. Dayton is trying to, but the Tea partyers are about as mature as my autistic 13 yr old son. Actually I believe he understands the need to compromise better, and certainly has more compassion, than they do.

  • John Vaughn

    Meet halfway now, then call a special session to raise revenue. Sin taxes and/or increased sales taxes on luxury items/entertainment would be my picks.

    There has also got to be a serious effort soon to trim goverment more. If I were the Republicans that would be my return on agreeing to revenue increases.

  • JOHN

    I would put the blame on the newly elected republican majority, because they lack the leadership and judgment when it comes to doing the people’s business.


    Crystal MN

  • chitowngal02

    “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”

    Right On!

    Thank you, Susan!!