Time to fix state's structural deficit

  • Article by: JAY KIEDROWSKI
  • Updated: November 22, 2012 - 7:00 PM

The Great Recession is not the only cause of Minnesota's budget deficit.

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alansonNov. 22, 1211:14 PM

If Dayton does not reintroduce the tax increases that he proposed in 2011 it will demonstrate that the whole government shutdown was engineered by him as a cynical political maneuver. So he will definitely have to reintroduce those taxes in 2013. Let's see if the legislature, controlled by Democrats, really has the stomach for our governor's soak-the-rich policies.

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mdachsNov. 22, 1211:35 PM

The so-called "structural deficit" is simply a matter of having far too many state government agencies and employees and spending too much money. Do the math - reduce the number of agencies and employees and spending. Voila!

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xyzzy72Nov. 23, 1212:00 AM

Dayton should have a talk with Wisconsin governor Walker. We would be a lot better off.

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twspt7Nov. 23, 12 6:15 AM

The GOP has been playing politics with our state finances for too long. Time to dismantle the gimmicks and accounting tricks TPaw used to prop up the budget while kicking the day of reckoning down the road. Party's over, time to pay the tab.

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elmore1Nov. 23, 12 7:45 AM

Mark should consolidate, eliminate or improve the productivity of our many state agencies before looking for more tax money. Take a sword to the sacred cows....

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ranger78Nov. 23, 12 7:59 AM

Elmore1 is spot on. When was the last time that a line by line budget justification was performed? Let's find out exactly where all of the money is going. I think the taxpayers would be well served. I think our gov and legislators would be well served. And I think there would be outrage when we all found out how much nonsense we are actually paying for. The points the author makes are fine. But until we fully understand what we are paying for, they would be nibbling at the edges of the problem. Unfortunately, I an not holding out hope for such a review because Dayton and the Dems now in control are not interested in eliminating any gov't programs, spending or controls.

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traderbillNov. 23, 12 8:52 AM

Ranger78 turns Elmore1's objective statement into a political commentary. How does he know what the Dems will or won't do? They haven't had a chance for years...one can hope. While this would turn up lots of waste, as a percentage of the budget it will surprise you how small it is (just as those who thought cutting foreign aid would help the federal budget deficit). But that does not mean it shouldn't be done. Keep in mind though the reason no one in government likes the line-item veto is that their big bucks contributors will stop supporting them...even though the legislators could then put it off on the mean governor/president. But that means 'passing' a line item veto and that will not and cannot happen so long as our elected officials have foremost in their mind: their careers! God bless the United States of America, because nobody else will.

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luzhishenNov. 23, 12 9:30 AM

So taxes were cut during a growth bubble and the no-tax crowd - the same ones who don't believe in war taxes - don't think they should be brought back to where they were. In other words, create a crisis (and I blame both PAwlenty (R) and Moe (D) for failing to return to the original rates) and then use it to do the stuff they always wanted to do. I hear South Dakota and Mississippi have low, low taxes - some folks might want to move there.

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theagonybhoNov. 23, 12 9:31 AM

elmore1, totally agree, it will never happen tho, now that Dayton has total power he will raise taxes so he can spend more.

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mylittleidNov. 23, 1211:43 AM

All the recommendations in this commentary make very good sense. You can see from the comments posted here that conservatives can't bear the idea of returning taxes to their pre-Ventura levels, even though that would go a long way toward solving the problem. Fortunately, the state government is now controlled by Democrats and we may have a chance to fix our structural deficit instead of just kicking the problem down the road yet again.

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