Lori Sturdevant: Scorched earth politics

  • Article by: LORI STURDEVANT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 2, 2011 - 12:22 PM

With the shutdown, state leaders have turned a combustible situation into a potential disaster.

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my4centsJul. 2, 1112:56 PM

The problem with the logic expressed here is that it completely ignores the additional consequences for the private sector. Raising taxes on upper income taxpayers may not change their spending much, but private sector businesses will have less money to borrow or invest if more is taken by government. We already have a low savings rate and borrow heavily from people in other countries - this would only make that worse. --- As to economist Louis Johnston, the multiplier effect works for private investment and spending just as it does for government spending. Why should private individuals and businesses have less investment money while government gets more?

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rokkitmanJul. 2, 11 1:16 PM

We now have the inevitable result of a Legislature filled with True Believers. The Republican Legislative Caucuses, knowing The Truth, were never about to compromise. On anything. Whatever they could ram past the DFL legislative bystanders, and the Governor, was going to become law this year. The net result, of course, was a do-nothing legislative session. On the budget, the GOP strategy was the same. Set a budget as low as possible and never move from it, no matter the consequences. The foreordained result was nothing accomplished on the budget, either. Governor Dayton walked almost the entire distance to the GOP goalposts to avert a shutdown, and so has no incentive to move further. The pressure point, therefore, migrates to the doors of the few (if any) GOP legislators who value Minnesota's welfare more than their Party. There may be enough rational minds in the GOP caucus, willing to sacrifice themselves for the greater good, to find compromise with suddenly-empowered DFL legislators and bring to the Governor a budget he can sign. They'll be fully aware, however, that compromise may bring them the same excommunication enforced against the Transportation Bill Republican co-conspirators of a few years back. This could take a while.

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patrickjdJul. 2, 11 1:20 PM

"Economists like these two have been bringing research-based policy recommendations to the Capitol for years -- only to have them ignored." It's time to get some credible Economists at the capital. Every Republican knows that reducing taxes means that money saved from the government is then free to flow into its most productive use. An example would be a city hiring a private garbage hauler doing the same job at half the price of a hauler with a government contract. The longer Dayton's shutdown lasts, the harder it will be to justify many of the government programs and services that the public didn't miss during the shutdown.

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Coony127Jul. 2, 11 1:27 PM

If government spending is so essential to a healthy overall econony, then why hasn't the nation recoverd from the recession. Obama/Pelosi raised non-defense discretionary spending by 24%, not including the $850 B stimulus. Yet the unemployment rate has not changed. What kind of a dolt still beleives in government spending in the face of those numbers?? Yet Sturdevant presents her "social science" findings as indisputable fact. Unbelievable. And she doesn't mention the the worst danger of high government spending--the huge sovereign debt we are accumulating, the consequences of which could make the "great recession" look like child's play.

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goferfanzJul. 2, 11 1:52 PM

"Those words were cited by Ramsey County Chief Judge Kathleen Gearin as she demonstrated a keener awareness of that phrase's obligation than the other two branches of government did."========== This is hardly a fair analysis;Gov Fife and the Legislature won hard fought elections, each from widely different constituencies. In the end, we get a govt of the people, elected by the people. I actually admire each side's tenacity, and Fife made the politically astute move since he wont face reelection in 2012. Repubs also realize people have a short memory, and elections are far,far away.

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wbgleasonJul. 2, 11 1:53 PM

Sorry, I really didn't hear an answer to the question, why not tax the 2% at least at the effective rate currently paid by the middle class? An amusing thing to think about is the statement by Adam Smith, the author of The Wealth of Nations, and a conservative icon: "The rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion" By golly, it looks as if Smith is a progressive on taxation! Just like Warren Buffet. Adam Smith realized that in the long run, for the rich to prosper, a strong middle class is necessary. The so-called job creators are awash with money right now. But where are the jobs? There won't be any until there is more demand for products and services from the middle class. The current GOP crew in legislature - and some of the commenters above - just doesn't seem to understand basic economics.

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wazupwidatJul. 2, 11 2:46 PM

Cry me a river. The poor state employees... Enough already! Their jobs are no more important than anyone elses and for that matter probably half are "make work" jobs that should be eliminated altogether.

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evenmorejustJul. 2, 11 3:22 PM

This is good. No more chopstick factories on the Iron Range and calling it economic progress, ala Rudy Perpich! The DFL is living in the '70s. They sit by while Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota steal businesses and they go about hiring more state employees! Eliminate LGA, close campuses and cut K-12 20%!!!

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althoffdJul. 2, 11 3:43 PM

Why do govtment workers get a free pass here.. I have been laid off twice found new jobs and but they have been less pay then the one before. I gone from 50K a year to 41K a year... Union workers welcome to the Real World, take a pay cut.. or no yearly pay rise must of the us have not seen that for over two years...

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minn12Jul. 2, 11 3:43 PM

Once again, Lori misses the big picture. The state is going broke. When you are going broke, you have to STOP SPENDING MORE THAN YOU TAKE IN. Republicans actually agreed to an increase in spending, and 34 billion is up to a 10% increase over the last budget. Yet Dayton, being a true liberal, wants to TAX-AND-SPEND EVEN MORE. Sorry, it's becoming more clear every day that Americans no longer support this. The tide is turning, and Minnesotans understand that if we don't stop the massive year-after-year increase in government spending, we will go bankrupt. Republicans were elected in both houses to stop the madness. That's exactly what they are doing and it's the correct fiscal path to take to save the state.

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