Our battered state budget: What's the cure?

  • Article
  • Updated: December 6, 2009 - 11:09 AM

Should the state raise taxes? Cut spending? Throw out all budget notions and start over? Six experts offer ideas on fixing the budget once and for all: Marcia Avner, Mark Haveman, Jim Miller, Phil Krinkie, Nan Madden, William Blazar.

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beegerDec. 6, 0911:25 AM

Like in the private sector, institute mandatory pay cuts for all state employees.

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remoguyDec. 6, 0911:45 AM

All government employees. I regularly look at the job postings for Ramsey county and am amazed at the amount of money being paid for these positions. If the job description is accurate, the pay scale is well above private industry; especially for small businesses. Add in outstanding benefit packages and public employees, whether they be state, county, city, or met council are paid well above what they deserve.

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boogawoogaDec. 6, 0912:36 PM

"If the job description is accurate, the pay scale is well above private industry...Add in outstanding benefit packages and public employees, whether they be state, county, city, or met council are paid well above what they deserve." I have to say this is what government has to do in order to "remain competative". Remember that phrase from the CEO's on wallstreet and the presidents of universities around the country?? We were so very okay with justifying private sector and school professional pay increases, tuition hikes and mergers and layoffs to pay for them, and the reasoning of "keeping talented staff" just a few years ago. Now government has to do the same in order to keep employees from running to the private sector. That's the ultimate result of justifying overpay to anyone, the job market attempts to balance opportunities and "keep talent" and then someone finds out and says the government should take a pay cut. How about everyone everywhere takes a paycut?

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oddfellow514Dec. 6, 09 1:01 PM

Those who are enriched by our society should support our society's needs. Raise taxes, it's simple.

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purplepigDec. 6, 09 1:35 PM

The self made wealthy got that way through initiative, drive for success, and a predisposition to find the correct path. They are the ones that enrich society. Society does nothing but consume the work of its individual members. People like the Wright Brother, Henry Ford, and Bill Gates have done far more for society than any politician.

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bsnewsDec. 6, 09 4:00 PM

dump the Democrats that think the state and country have magical money trees. Actually they are called taxpayers. You can't buy things if you don't have the money, same way you don't keep adding to the deficit by spending more money we don't have.

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klotzmDec. 6, 09 4:26 PM

Taxes will go up along with spending. No chance of any meaningful change with the current crop of egos at the Legislature.

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lee4713Dec. 6, 09 4:31 PM

On "Meet the Press" last week, Bill Gates stressed that there are things which government must provide in order for business and private enterprise to succeed - one big "must" being public education. These things must be paid for. Eliminating corporate taxes will make the problem worse. Everyone must pay, and that includes businesses wanting development, infrastructure, and educated employees. There IS a cost to doing business; ignoring it is basically privatizing profits and socializing costs and risks. I pay for the healthcare and foodstamps for businesses too "cheap" to pay living wages to their employees - why should I have to subsidize businesses too focused on their bottom line to notice that everything eventually comes out of the same pot?

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lostball1Dec. 7, 0911:18 AM

Jim Miller's commentary (executive director, League of Minnesota Cities) was only one that didn't sound like typical political rhetoric. The extremists on one side of the aisle think nothing should be cut and those to make more need to pay (even) more. The Tea Party hacks (i.e. Sarah Palinites) say "cut taxes" without ever providing any data of who and what will suffer. For example, hey cut taxes, close all the State operated prisons outright and free all the convicts. What would a short-term & long-term Cost Benefit Analysis look like? Well, short term, all that money funnesl back to state budget, prison employees immeidiately out of work. Long term, need for increased $$ for security/police and reduced sense of safety for general population. C'mon, if you are going to say "Cut Taxes" then at least provide an idea of what and who should be cut. And if you say we need to raise taxes, provide real data as to what will improve (or what services will be made available as a result of it. Some accurate, bipartisan analysis of data needs to occur and be presented. Allow Minnesotans to make decisons with real and accurate data. If people on either side choose to ignore real data, then its obvious they are more part of the problem than any solution.

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