The Top 5 Things You Need to Know About What the GOP Thinks You Need to Know About a Possible Government Shutdown

Sen. Julianne Ortman has posted some GOP talking points on her website — the GOP’s “Top 5 Things You Deserve To Know About a Possible Government Shutdown” .  We’ve discussed many of these  before, but it’s worth talking about them briefly again, point-by-point (paraphrased for space purposes).

GOP Point #1:  Only Governor Dayton can prevent a shutdown.  Why hasn’t he called the Legislature into special session?

FACTS:  Gov. Dayton’s refusal to call the Legislature back into special session is not preventing any work from getting done, and is consistent with how most special sessions have gone in the past (including the last three)– where the content of the bills and the specific topics that will be addressed are defined and agreed to in advance.  The GOP and Ortman’s demands to call the Legislature back into session when there is no budget deal would be a colossal waste of time and taxpayer money.  We don’t need to pay Joe Hoppe any more per diem for time when nothing is getting done.

GOP Point #2:  Gov. Dayton says his tax increase will only impact the top 2%, but analysis shows all taxpayers will be impacted.

FACTS:  The Tax Incidence Study of the Governor’s proposal shows that in fact, all taxpayers will see some increase in their taxes (except for the top 10%, the impact is less than one-tenth of one percent on average).  What the GOP fails to mention is the impact of their proposals.  The Tax Incidence Study for the omnibus tax bill shows that their proposal also increases the tax burden on all taxpayers.  The difference:  the people taking the worst hit in the Republican proposal are the poorest people, while the wealthy see the least impact.

GOP Point #3:  The most recent poll shows 87% of Minnesotans favor state spending to decrease or stay the same while 8% support an increase in state spending.

FACTS:   The poll offers a false choice.  The choice isn’t whether we’re going to cut spending or increase spending — it’s how much are we going to cut spending.  If we applied current law to the next budget period, the state would spend $39 billion dollars.  Gov. Dayton has proposed a budget of $35.8 billion, the GOP a budget of $34 billion — so the real question is:  do you want to cut $3 or $5 billion from the budget?

When you frame the question to accurately reflect the choice that is out there, you get completely different results.

GOP Point #4:  The Legislature completed their work and passed a balanced budget six weeks early.

FACTS:  Yes, they passed a budget six weeks before June 30.  Big deal.  Legislatures — one way or the other — always pass a budget at the end of the session.    Everyone knew that the GOP budget was dead on arrival — even the GOP.  But instead of using the time during the session to work towards the compromise agreement that’s inevitable at some point, Republicans in the legislature wasted our time with gay marriage amendments and other sideshows.

GOP Point #5:  Republicans have made serious and honest compromises to Governor Dayton on the budget.

FACTS:  Republicans cite two compromises.  First, they have agreed to Gov. Dayton’s total funding level for K-12 education.  While this is true, it reflects only about $100 million in spending, and — more significantly — there are huge differences in how that K-12 amount would be spent in the Republican budget versus the Governor’s budget.  Second, they offered to take their $200 million in tax cuts off the table.  This could qualify as a “serious and honest compromise”, except that what the GOP wanted in return was the Governor to take $1.8 billion in new spending off of the table.  If that qualifies as “serious and honest compromise” to you, then I openly offer that deal to anyone out there — I will give you $20 as long as you give me $180 in return.



  1. Coming Up « In the Heart of Minneapolis - June 24, 2011

    […] The Top 5 Things You Need to Know About What the GOP Thinks You Need to Know About a Possible Govern… ( […]

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