A fiscal fitness test

  • Article by: PATRICIA LOPEZ , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 4, 2009 - 5:12 PM

How Gov. Tim Pawlenty stands up to the challenge of a $5.2 billion state budget deficit will largely shape his political future.

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comment229Jan. 4, 09 6:38 AM

You can almost bet what Pawlenty is going to advocate for budget cuts.... Cut more aid to the cities, causing them to cut services and/or raise property taxes.... Keep the money allocated to education flat even though the costs keep going through the roof, meaning schools will have to pass more and more local referendums or cut programs etc. (and all you people that say schools are spending too extravagantly REALLY need to run for the school board). All this so Pawlenty can look good and does not have to raise taxes, which I agree IS a good idea... but.... before we do any of this, it is time to sit down, and figure out the difference between a want and a need in the state budget.... get rid of the wants in the budget and fund the needs... Just like your household budget, if there is not enough money, get a second job... or in this case, you may have to raise a user tax to fund the needs.... Minnesotans have always had a pretty good quality of life, and don't mind paying for it IF NECESSARY.... and if the need can be justified to keep Minnesota a desirable place to live. If, after the budget is set, we are still in serious trouble, then it is time to do what we have to do... and Pawlenty, you will not find that answer getting on a jet and flying all over the world....

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hswcbJan. 4, 09 7:35 AM

Since he was in the Senate he has played games with the budget and has much of the responsibility for what has built up in the State budget problems. He loves to move money from one year to the next and to play games with the budget that just delayed the inevitable. He has always put his image first and the needs of the state second. His way is not the right way and he should go the way of hte highway. Hope he gets out of the way and lets better thinkers create solutions. Enhancing his image as a presidental candidate is not what we need.

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jrn56Jan. 4, 09 8:34 AM

It is not very comforting to know that our governor is going to lead us out of this mess with only his political future as his main concern. T-Paw has never been a leader, just a political strategist.

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paulsworkshopJan. 4, 09 9:18 AM

in a few months what then? You still don't think the state is spending too much money? Have you seen the increases that the legislature has forced on us over the past 20 years. And then they add onto the sales tax to pay for art projects and to clean up water that isn't dirty. And then there's this, our legislature is still figuring out a way to pay for a new football stadium that will have 10 games played in it a year. The real problem has always been that money is being confiscated from producers and given to nonproducers or losers. We'll always have this problem until enough producers say - enough.

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pauldeemingJan. 4, 09 9:38 AM

"Pawlenty has traveled widely in his years as governor: trade missions to India, China, Israel and Eastern Europe; speaking engagements in London and Madrid; troop visits and fact-finding missions in Iraq, the Balkans and Afghanistan." And we wonder why we're in a deficit of such proportions?? I'd like to know what the real, tangible benefit of these trips have been; e.g., exactly how much new business Minnesota now has from other countries. And exactly how much of our state budget is eaten up by his trips (remember, it's not just Mr. P himself flying all over, it's his staff, security, etc., etc.). That should be public record.

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SMBowner3 Jan. 4, 09 9:57 AM

State spending cust don't necessary mean local tax increases. Sometimes we just shrink government a little bit. Moving spending (and taxing) from state to local is good because it is more efficient and makes it easier to decide if the spending is really necessary. What's necessary in one city isn't necessary in others. LGA ia a large line item on the state's budget that simple gives money to cities for their projects. Why can't cities pay for their own projects? Hopefully LGA will be converted from a revenue sharing program to loan guarantee program. That way if cities really need money they can get a long term loan.

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peanutmanJan. 4, 0910:08 AM

Manipulator who has and will always put his smooth-talking wingnut philosphy first....before the needs of the majority of the people.

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mike1103Jan. 4, 0910:17 AM

Ever wonder why it is that politicians tend to save-up real opportunities to cut wasteful spending ? Anyone who has managed a large budget knows that prudent review and analysis leads to rational cost-cutting versus knee-jerk reaction which seldom digs deep enough to solve a problem. But then I suppose when one is out of town for most of their time in office, its difficult at best to focus on the real issues.

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RipAndersonJan. 4, 0910:47 AM

Great idea! I'll bet the need for for a large number of those projects funded by LGA would go away if the funding were a loan which had to be paid back instead of a free gift.

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tsb123Jan. 4, 0910:54 AM

How Gov. Tim Pawlenty failed to stand up to the crime of a $5.2 billion state budget deficit will largely shape his political legacy.

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