Former Gov. Carlson blasts budget proposal

From MPR’s Madeleine Baran:

Former Gov. Arne Carlson, a moderate Republican, is blasting Dayton’s proposal to accept a GOP offer to shift more school payments and borrow against the state’s future tobacco payments.

“I’m dumbfounded,” Carlson told MPR’s Kerri Miller.

“For eight years we have been taking from the future to pay for today under the guise that we shouldn’t increase taxes. … The idea that we can go for an other two years by borrowing from tomorrow I think is the worst possible course this state can take,” he said.

Carlson said the plan not only delays the problem, but also makes it worse. The deficit will go up and rating agencies will downgrade the state’s credit while the political debate continues, he said.

“We have borrowed too much,” he said.

Carlson said the tobacco settlement money from 2003 is supposed to go toward medical research and health care for the poor.

Carlson rejected the idea that Dayton must do something to end the shutdown, which has resulted in some 22,000 state workers being laid off.

“I believe that one of the signs of good leadership is good financial planning and I think this represents some of the very worst,” he said, adding that the state will find itself in a worse financial situation two years from now.

“It’s hard to look at this package and say this represents the best interests of constituents. It does not,” he said.

  • MN mike

    Anyone else find it interesting that Arne Carlson didn’t mind letting this impasse linger on now that the judge deemed his retirement checks “essential”?

  • Average_JoeMN

    Carlson doesn’t call himself a Republican any longer, hasn’t for years. He voted for Obama and has supported a number of DFL candidates. Please report correctly that he’s an independent, at a minimum, but more closely a Democrat.

    No matter what he’s called, he lacks any amount of credibility. As Governor he never faced tough times and never had to solve a problem like this. His one claim to fame is that he is the guy who gave us 10 years of DFL-drawn district lines because his delivery person was ten minutes late delivering his plan to the judge. Thanks, Arne.

  • Brent

    Very often, the far right uses labels that try to fool us into thinking they’re something they’re not. It appears Average_JoeMN is doing the same thing… I think a more appropriate name would be FarRight_JoeMN. Joe… when a moderate republican starts looking like a liberal democrat, it just means you’re too far right.

    Also, Carlson was a successful governor because he and the legislature worked together to steer a course down the center of the political spectrum. Dayton is doing his best to keep the state on course, but it’s difficult when you have rich, tea party business owners infiltrating the legislature.

  • Ziggy

    Of course he would say this! The GOP budget is the worst “budget” ever created. Of course they should have come halfway (heck, just a little way) when Dayton already compromised. But, they are inflexible and ignorant, so Dayton did what he had to do.

  • Octaneboy

    Was Mr. Carlson speaking from his home in Florida?

  • Chris

    The saddest parts of this are that, according to stories I’ve read here on the last couple days,

    1) There were Republican legislators who were publicly saying stuff like “revenue has to be part of the picture” who might have been willing to vote for a deal with the DFLers, if they could get the details worked out. Now Dayton has thrown that chance away.

    2) The early Medicaid sign-in, the one that Dayton signed in his first days as Governor, and the one liberal policy accomplishment of his administration that went beyond playing defense, is apparently going to be on the chopping block as part of the debt ceiling deal the Obama administration is reaching with Boehner.

  • Mike Scholl

    Over the years I have come to realize that Arne Carlson was one of the most level-headed, common-sense governors that our state. I don’t recall if I voted for him or not, probably not. I find myself agreeing 100% with Gov. Carlson’s. History repeats itself, we cannot borrow from Peter to pay Paul. We need to contact our legislators and ask them to come up with a long term plan to reduce spending AND increase revenue, a plan that will put Minnesota back into the green, not the chartreuse that the budget compromise is sure to bring it to.

  • grikdog

    I agree. I was not a Carlson fan when he was in office but time has shown his wisdom. Compared to the Right Wing Demagogues who this state calls Republicans today he is far and above the saner voice.

    However just what did he expect Dayton to do? Minnesota’s right wing has become no different to the GOP in the rest of this country and in many cases worse – they care more about narrow ideology than working people and real long term solutions.

  • Razzer

    Gov. Carlson has earned this Minnesotan’s respect for his pragmatism and eloquence. He called it accurately: this “deal” is nothing to brag about.

    Gov. Dayton acknowledged as much: the deal merely ends the shutdown; now he works toward better policy.

    The GOP did not act in good faith: adding social engineering features like anti-stem cell research to buy artificial bargaining chips which – surprise! – they could then negotiate away (while retaining their fiscally regressive budget). Sideshow antics got them what they wanted – at the expense of Minnesota citizens and our State’s reputation as a good place to do business (who wants to sign a contract with a State that can arbitrarily turn off the lights and go home for half a month?). It gummed up the gears of governance.

    The DFL could have added their own non-budget social engineering to the table as well, to match, counterpoint. Instead, they decided that would have added more risk and more delay to the crisis – and turn our legislative body into a laughingstock. I salute their judgment and restraint, for resisting the temptation.

    Voters: Please, remember this crisis. Remember who played responsibly and well – and who did not – when your legislators ask to be re-elected.

  • pragmaticlibertarian

    I think it’s pretty obvious that the GOP doesn’t represent the people anymore. It represents business… and business alone. That’s not what government is for. If you want to represent business join the chamber of commerce not government. Do we really want business interests governing labor laws and setting regulations to protect Minnesota from themselves? The GOP runs the risk of turning themselves into an obsolete party if the people actually took the blinders off and saw them for what they have become. The republican party has left Carlson, not the other way around. Independent politicians must be chompin’ at the bit for a chance to run next election cycle. I think we’ll see some major changes in government due to the overreach by the GOP.