Dayton’s $37.9B budget proposal summarized

This morning, Governor Mark Dayton released his long-awaited 2014-15 budget proposal.  And, true to his word, there’s a lot to chew on here.  Dayton’s proposal contains fundamental tax reform and some new spending initiatives that are sure to raise some eyebrows.  In this post, we’ll summarize the proposal.  In the coming days, we’ll get into more detail on the merits and problems with specific elements of the plan.

The November economic forecast from Minnesota Management and Budget projected $35.8 billion in revenue and $36.9 billion in expenses under current law for the 2014-15 biennium.  Dayton’s proposal wipes out that $1.1 billion deficit by increasing revenue by a new $2.1 billion and increasing spending by a smaller amount: $1 billion.  Total spending for the biennium totals $37.9 billion, much lower than what some GOP sources were floating prior to the proposal being announced.

Revenue:  Net increase $2.1 billion

Dayton has put together a comprehensive tax reform plan in his proposal, with a lot of moving pieces.  Let’s break it down by the type of tax.

Individual income taxes:  Dayton would add a new top bracket to Minnesota’s individual income tax code, a marginal rate of 9.85% on taxable income over $250,000 (couples) or $150,000 (individuals).  This proposal would raise $1.1 billion in 2014-15.  Dayton also proposes a new property tax rebate, which would give back up to $500 on each property.  This proposal would cost $1.4 billion for the biennium.  Net impact: -$300 million.

Sales taxes:  This is the largest component of the tax reform plan.  Dayton’s proposal would remove many of the exceptions from the state’s sales tax code.  Consumer and business services (except for a very limited set) would now be taxed.  This includes legal services, accounting services, haircuts, auto repair, etc.  Most goods would also now be taxed.  Remaining goods exceptions would be food, prescription drugs, and clothing (items that cost under $100).  In return for broadening the base of the sales tax, the rate would be reduced from 6.875 percent to 5.5 percent.  Dayton Administration estimates show that this change would work out to be essentially neutral for most families.  Opponents of the provision have already called out that the sales tax charged on business services will be baked into consumer prices, leading to a net increase in what consumers pay.  Also included is a 0.25% sales tax increase for the seven-county metro area designed to fund transit projects.  Net impact: $2.1 billion.

Corporate income taxes:  Dayton proposes cutting the corporate income tax rate from 9.8% to 8.4%.  Such a change would drop Minnesota to the 12th highest corporate income tax rate.  To pay for the rate change, Dayton’s proposal would eliminate tax breaks for foreign operating companies and foreign royalty payments, making the reform essentially revenue neutral.  Net impact: $5 million.

Cigarette taxes:  Cigarette taxes would be raised by 94 cents per pack under the Dayton proposal, reaching $2.54 per pack.  Net impact: $370 million.

Spending:  Net increase $1 billion.

Most of Governor Dayton’s proposed new spending goes to education.  Let’s see how it breaks down:

E-12 Education:  The two largest components here are a significant increase to special education funding ($125 million) and a 2% increase in the basic education formula ($118 million, or $52 per student).  Additionally, Dayton proposes additional funding for all-day kindergarten ($40 million).  Finally, early education programs get a major boost ($93 million in total, with the largest single element being $44 million in Early Learning Scholarships which fund pre-school for low income families).  Dayton does not propose paying off any of the remaining K-12 shift in the next biennium, waiting to pay it off until the 2016-17 budget. Net impact:  $344 million.

Higher Education:  Dayton proposes an $80 million expansion of the State Grants program, which will allow 5,000 additional students to enter the program, and increase the payout to 90,000 students already on it. Additionally, Dayton proposes $80 million in expanded funding for MnSCU to expand internship and apprentice programs, improve facilities and equipment, and retain faculty (assuming required administrative cuts are made).  Dayton also was going to propose an additional $80 million in funding for the University of Minnesota, but is withholding support for that increase pending the Legislature’s requested review of administrative costs.  Net impact:  $170 million ($250 million if the U of M makes it back in).

Health and Human Services:  Programs receiving increased funding in this part of the budget include child permanency and mental health programs ($44 million), the Statewide Health Improvement Plan ($40 million), and funding for the health care exchange ($29 million).  Net impact:  $128 million.

Local Aids and Credits:  Dayton’s proposal would increase aid to cities and counties by $120 million.

Where are the spending cuts, you may ask?  Dayton points to last session’s budget, where $4 billion in spending reductions were achieved ($2 billion in cuts, $1 billion in additional reductions since the budget was passed, and $1 billion in inflation not added to department budgets).  In his 2014-15 proposal, Dayton cites an additional $225 million in reductions, much of which comes in the Health and Human Services budget, such as $74 million in savings from restructuring in the long term services program and $65 million in negotiated savings with service providers and drug companies.  Additionally, inflation totaling $890 million was not included in the budget for the various departments.

Additional details on the proposal can be found at the Minnesota Management and Budget website.

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61 Responses to “Dayton’s $37.9B budget proposal summarized”

  1. What, no horsemen of the apocalypse? No Donald Trump press conference to uncover startling evidence of an evil conspiracy? No heralds proclaiming the doom of America? And no $45 billion budget? We were promised an apocalypse… so disappointed.

    In all seriousness, congrats Sean on making some fairly accurate predictions about the budget that emerged, your target range was spot on. Now the question will be in the analysis of the revisions to the tax structure here in Minnesota.

    • I wouldn’t start throwing babies on the air just yet. This thing hasn’t been signed. The DFL wants more. One should note that the governor’s budget proposal last time received only 1 yes vote and 194 no votes.

      The state will probably receive the happy news in February that we have an even bigger surplus thanks to last session’s trimmings.

      Even Dayton admits that the GOP did a fantastic job of curtailing the previous deficit projection, although he can’t come right out and say thagt. He’s far too petty and partisan to admit anything of the sort, directly.

      • “He’s far too petty and partisan to admit anything of the sort, directly.”

        Strange, coming from someone who spent the last month setting his hair on fire about a supposed $45 billion budget that turned out to be a complete fiction without any credibility to it at all.

        • Funny you can’t take the hat off to see the difference.

          I said there were rumors coming from folks at the capitol that were originally at 45 billion early on, then later pared down to 42 billion. My estimate was 40 billion back on November 9th, if you want to look it up.

          And again, we aren’t done here yet. Just because dayton has a DFL majority, doesn’t mean this is even close to what the final budget will be. Just like Obama’s budget’s never go anywhere, nor did Dayton’s last time, these exec level budgets are a framework. (Gee where have we heard that as being ridiculous before).

          • Let us look back at your comments, because your revisionist version of your remarks doesn’t exactly mesh with the reality you were trying to sell earlier.

            Your comment, from December 6: “45 billion budget. That’s the goal…”

            You followed that the next day with “When I first said north of 40 billion you said it wouldn’t be that high. You were right, it’s much higher. Best get to digging. These guys are coming after all of our families.”

            Your comment on November 9th predicted going over $40 billion… and then came your revisions from your “sources” at $45 billion, which you absolutely insisted was the reality, beyond all doubt… until you dropped it to $42 billion, again from sources unknown… even if we hold you to $40 billion, you’re still more than $2 billion off, and at your worst (when you were prognosticating about the end of the world), $7 billion.

            The wild fluctuations in your predictions may not be your fault, however, so let us set aside the assumptions for a moment. In logically examining the possible causes for such wild claims, there are four possible answers:

            1. Your “sources” in the capital are out of the loop to such a degree as to be wholly irrelevant to the budget process.

            2. Your “sources” were deliberately providing false information in order to poison any discussion about the budget.

            3. There are no sources for the figures that you provided.

            4. DFL officials were deliberately trying to promote the existence of a larger budget proposal than existed, and were sharing that information with GOP officials.

            Option #4 is not a part of any reality known in this universe. Why would a party try to promote something that would undermine their agenda, especially when it would be obvious that it was not based in the facts of the matter when the real proposal from Dayton (the nominal head of the state party) came forward? Additionally, it is unlikely that in your role and position you would have access to the inner workings of the DFL in that way. Accordingly, this option is dismissed.

            Option #3 would be outside the code of conduct for any decent and honest public representative of a party to consider (at least I would hope we’d be beyond just making things up), so I’ll remove it from consideration in an assumption of good faith on your part.

            However, the other two options aren’t much better. A seasoned party official like yourself would know which sources had credibility, so option #1 should be off the table.

            However, option #2 implies a level of malice by some of your sources at the state level that would be amazingly toxic to the best interests of the citizens of Minnesota (which, ironically, was part of the topic for Sean’s initial post that started this discussion). Given the similarity between GOP Rep. Greg Davids’ remarks that Sean referenced in early December (“This next session has disaster written all over it. You get what you voted for. I guess Minnesotans want two years of higher taxes and misery.”), and some of your remarks in this forum, such anger may be the unfortunate norm for some. It sanctions making up facts, as long as the “right” side wins in the end.

            Of course, you could name your sources, which would answer this question more fully.

            As for the idea of the proposal being a framework that will balloon over $40 billion, most of the DFL leadership has been on the radio and in the news pushing against any expectations for increased funding to special interests. The items that were mentioned for possible funding were mainly focused around education (especially early childhood), and those are already in the budget. Moving too far from that target would mean either cutting back on the education funding in the initial offer, cutting other services, or further adjustments to the tax code, all of which would add to the risk of the whole process collapsing. If for nothing other than political strategy and self-preservation, I don’t see this proposal being altered anywhere near enough to be close to $40 billion that only you seem to have a “source” for.

            Some liberal groups may find this frustrating, and some special interest groups may try to shoehorn in some funds, but I do not see a major change on the scale you predict. The DFL wants to keep the majority, and they know that overreach would jeopardize that, so even on a political level the idea doesn’t make sense. The only people who are offering up that story are those who, by their own words, would rather see “disaster” and “misery” than see another party succeed while in power.

            • Actually, it’s #5. DFL leaks about where the wants are by various factions, which then get pared down by reality of what they can raise in revenue.

              I know you want to think this is some dark sinsister partisan rant, but you would be mistaken.

              At one point there was 45 billion as an overall budget number. Perhaps this number was before prioritization took place, and was matched up with realistic revenue potential. I don’t know every detail of the DFL’s budget process. But I fully beleive at the time, if they had a way to make the revenue work, they would have gone well north of 40 billion.

              My DFL buddies didn’t describe exactly what the 45 billion entailed. It was thankfully very early on in the process, and as the number came down, I said so. The last I had heard was 42 billion. And I’m not talking about the governor’s budget. That will likely have zero chance of passing even close to what it is now. Only 1 DFLer supported his last budget, and I suspect it won’t be much better this time, if they ever even bother to bring it to the floor as is.

              This is Dayton’s framework. Just like every exec polician creates his own framework budget, it never is passed as such, because in the end, they aren’t the kings they may pretend to be from time to time. There is a process, and this one is far from over. And the DFL wish list is still north of 40 billion.

              Hang on to your wallets, because there is more to come. With the DFL in charge, there is simply no other way, than increased spending. Wait for it.

              • Again, all from “sources” with no names. Your claims early on in the discussion guaranteed it would be $45 billion, that they were “coming for our families.” Nonsense, utter nonsense. If not, name a source, or stop dwelling in rumor and innuendo.

                I also find it highly illogical that DFL sources would brag about how much they would spend, without bragging what it was being spent on (after all, according to many on the right Democrats buy votes, so why wouldn’t have they said what they planned to offer with that money?). That just doesn’t make sense, especially given the wild and utterly ridiculous number you cited. However, the idea that a political party is getting sucked into melodramatic rhetoric to sabotage the discussion seems far more plausible, especially given the bombastic examples we’ve seen so far in your posts, Mr. Brunette.

                That was the point of Sean’s original post, that the rhetoric from some on the right was already so vitriolic that it would make efforts at genuine progress far more difficult. It’s a puerile debate tactic, crediting your opponents with positions they do not hold so the artificial straw man can be attacked mercilessly, while everybody forgets the initial premise was utter fiction.

                My closing point above still holds. The DFL leadership has been extremely active in tamping down expectations, and the priorities they have listed publicly are already part of the budget. Going too far beyond that will introduce politically painful choices that would undermine their potential to hold the majority (which they have commented on publicly; whether their focus on political gamesmanship is healthy in the long run is a different discussion). So unless they wish to lose the majority in two years, they are bound to deal with the inherited deficit, balancing tax and revenue approaches, and school funding. These elements don’t leave a lot of room for the additional spending that you claim exists, especially since the low-lying fruits for additional revenue (like the cigarette tax increase) are already on the table. So unless you have some source to the contrary, your claims have no foundation.

                • What makes you think anyone was bragging about anything? You do know there are blue dog Democrats right? I’m not talking about office holders as much as staff members. They are lifelong Democrats who even have the nerve to think that government is getting too big. Isn’t that weird?

                  I guess that goes against the party platform?

                  • It’s one thing to disagree about the party platform (unless you require a pledge of loyalty to that platform, as the GOP has done, particularly in many of its primaries). It’s another to deliberately weaken party control without any benefit, which is what your story relies on, which is why it doesn’t hold water.

                    Again, name a source, or stop using rumor and accusations to attempt to corrupt public discourse with malice and fear. It’s a pretty simple choice, unless you don’t respect the people enough to be honest and transparent, which I’m sure isn’t your intention. Right?

                    • You have serious anger management issues. You cannot seem to make a post without some form of slap against me or the GOP.

                      The facts are these. There are many staffers and DFL members involved in the budgeting process, right? Being a former DFL’er, and raised in a union household, I still have many friends on that side of the aisle. They talk. To me. Can you beleive it? They actually talk. To. ME.

                      Do you understand that? If not, please, read it again. DFL staff members at the capitol, in St. Paul, talk to me. And they talk to others in our party, not just me.

                      I’m not about to out them for something they say of the record. But I will share the gist of what THEY tell ME. And what they’ve talked about were overall budget numbers that were flying around at the time I said these things.

                      And remember, I said these were rumors coming out of the capitol. The 45 billion, and then later the 42 billion. I personally predicted 40 billion based upon the DFL track record of expansive government. I know how desparately a lot of DFL’ers want to increase the size of our government, especially the old school DFL’ers. Maybe the new crop has convinced some of the old guard to behave, and change their evil ways. By the looks of Dayton’s budget, perhaps that is the case. But we won’t know until this starts getting hearings as to how close this budget is to DFL desires.

                      How is it that I know more about the DFL than you do? Because you seem to have no idea what’s going on at the capitol, other than some story you read somewhere. There’s much more going on than every reaches the papers or the blogs. Now for more angry rhetoric…

                    • Your “angry rhetoric” took us down that road… your initial statements indicated an absolute knowledge of a $45 billion target, with a lot of malicious accusations about wanting to hurt families. Now it’s just a rumor you heard… such revisionism is disingenuous, at best.

                      Additionally, I have my own friends and sources at the state house… and the “rumors” you used to demonize others only seem to exist within a small portion of the GOP. Not the full party, just those on the right who would rather paint a picture of doom and gloom.

                      After all, if every “rumor” to emerge from politics was treated with the reckless disdain you showed in this forum, all we would have is people living in fear that everyone is out to get them. Many in the GOP complain about that same point when it comes to discussing Social Security, and sometimes their claims of being demonized have some merit.

                      Thus my point, and the point of Sean’s original post: some are so intent on sabotaging the other party when in power, that they will destroy the entire process before it even begins. If you do not like being part of such a comparison, then tone down your rhetoric back to a level of civil decency. And if you’re citing a rumor, call it that, and don’t try to sell it as anything more than that. A lie through deliberate fear-mongering and misrepresentation is still a lie.

                    • Again, with the scolding. Back when the runmor was written, that was the total for the wish list. That was the number. Later they pared it back to 42 billion, and at that time, that was the wish list.

                      These numbers didn’t come out of a rabbit hat. They came from DFL’ers, not the GOP.

                      You can deny that all you want, but it doesn’t change where the process was. I guarantee you that if the economy was rosier, and revenues were projected to be higher, we’d be seeing increased spending to go right along with it.

                      Even the spendaholic DFL has to bend to reality eventually. And this was no different. If we were in an economic boom or end up in one by the time the budget bill is finalized, it may well end up with a lot more of the wish list on the table. C’mon, even you know this, don’t you?

                    • “Back when the runmor [sic] was written, that was the total for the wish list.”

                      Written. So of course, you have that written source, right? After all, that’s what you just claimed, so of course you have it. It won’t get lost in your notes, like the other things you cited in past debates that you could never find when asked, right?

                      Because my initial feedback from my more politically involved friends in and out of St. Paul finds nothing behind this (and I have some more formal inquiries moving forward, too). And again, it’s oddly convenient that all you have is a number, without any expenditures or details at all, a number that only you seem to know of. And I suppose it is equally convenient that this just happened to coincide with the rants you offered about the end of life as we know it, right?

                      So again, name the source, or concede that in this case fear-mongering and rumors were used in a most unfortunate manner to try to silence civil debate.

                      Yes, this might seem to be “scolding” as you put it, but again I refer to the initial post this started from, which was all about politicians using thuggish rhetoric to poison the discussion in an attempt to further party interests. Given that frame of discussion, your words represented the worst of that element, which was most unfortunate (in other areas, such as the specifics of the Dayton proposal, you have offered a far more reasoned and measured commentary, to your credit). I find it odd that you would be surprised when asked to account for such statements; after all, isn’t personal responsibility something we should all practice, Mr. Brunette?

                    • Yeah, when I WROTE the rumor on here. You never seem to be able to understand a post on here.

                      I get it. Your party doesn’t want it to get out what they initially had as the total wish list. We’re clear on that. It’s been the talking point all along. the DFl didn’t want to overreach. Why are they hammering this much, and why are you so defensive about it? Because everyone knows the DFL are spend more tax more policians. It’s been their track record since I’ve been alive.

                      And that’s why you keep arguing against the initial spending wish list. We all know it was bigger than then the Dayton budget. We all know the dayton budget is a starting point. It doesn’t even have wide DFL support, (as usual, if you count twice as usual). I’ll bet $100 cash this budget never sees a floor vote. The DFL doesn’t want to embarrass their gov, so they will never vote on this as is.

                      And when a budget does make it to a vote, who knows how much of the wish list makes it back into the bills. You obviously don’t even know there is such a wish list, or you’d be able to ask what the total is. The ONLY total you seem aware of, is the Dayton budget, which we all know will never see the floor. Get a hold of the wish list and add it up for yourself. Or have a staff member do it for you like I did. It’s bigger than this. At least it certainly was.

                      Are you aware that the hold on some of the wishes is due to the Feb numbers? If they are higher than expected and the deficit is lower, do you imagine the tax rate will be lowered accordingly, or will the DFL increase the budget? They seem to have no interest in paying back the shift. Dayton vetoed the first payback, and if the last session hadn’t been so effective as to automatically trigger payback, the school debt would still be 2 billion.

                      So when your party starts to act responsible about the size government, please, by all means, get on your high horse and brag about how responsible they are. Until then, you have no leg to stand upon, except your own rumors and nonsense. The rest of us from both parties know full well what is coming. More and more spending, no payback, and of course more and more taxation. If you don’t know this, then you don’t know the DFL and should probably stop being thir water carrier.

                    • I suspect the reality is that the only way the final budget ends up larger than the Dayton proposal is if the Legislature accelerates the school shift into 2014-15. Given that I suspect the B2B sales tax probably isn’t going to make the final proposal (or at least not as fully as Dayton’s proposal), that’s going to limit the revenue available. I suspect we’ll probably end up with a budget around $37B with a partial shift payback.

                    • Well, I’m not so sure about the payback. Dayton now has two strikes on him for getting that done. He vetoed the GOP’s efforts to pay some of it back over political nonsense. ( Couldn’t admit they got the job done, I guess. Thankfully the auto-payback language existed when the surplus was far bigger than projected. Thanks GOP). And then nothing in his budget proposal. 2 billion in new taxes, but let’s leave the shift looming large. And he’s claims no gimmicks while leaving this debt laying in the weeds? that’s a gimmick in and of itself.

                      This is the DFL on display for all to see. Spend more, TAX more, and keep the debt. Remind anyone of our national problems?

                      But I guess I’m a jerk for pointing that out. Seriously, if people can’t see this party has zero interest in limited government, I can’t imagine what it would take to wake them up in this state.

                    • You think Dayton’s going to veto a DFL Legislative budget that includes a full or partial shift payback? (I also note you continually fail to mention that Republicans never addressed DFL proposals to payback the shift last session.)

                    • Again, cite a source for this “wish list”, or any details from it for that matter, or admit you have nothing but a sound bite used to poison reasoned debate. So far, it’s gone from absolute fact, to insider info, to just a rumor you wrote on this forum. Not promising for any claim of credibility.

                      Yes, parties make wish lists. I’m sure the GOP has a wish list, parts of which they would not want published because it would reflect some of the more extreme views of individual representatives, and not the cohesive message of the whole party. That, however, is radically different from suggesting that it will be written into the budget, and that you have evidence of it as a final list. My representatives and contacts can’t seem to find anything to substantiate such reckless and wild claims; I’ve got a message into reps with both parties, but the only place the $45 billion ever seemed to be mentioned was in your writings, nowhere else.

                      I wouldn’t press the point, except Mr. Brunette has an infrequent but occasional habit of introducing claims without substantiation, and when asked and pressed… disappears from discussion of the point (still waiting for multiple pieces from the Voter ID discussion, for example). So present a source, or be lumped in with those (from both parties) who go onto the comment areas of CNN, Fox, and the rest of the web, ranting about how everyone they disagree with is out to destroy us all. Sort of like claiming they’re “coming after all of our families”…

                      As for a radically larger budget… you have yet to address any of the legal or practical elements that will keep this from happening. Simply put, the DFL didn’t come in on a platform of spending; in this case, they came in through the overreach of the GOP, combined with a practical approach to stabilizing the budget. It was not a big government campaign; if anything, it was a campaign of moderation (which will frustrate those who want a bold vision from the left, as those in favor of same-sex marriage are discovering). Departure from that will undermine their standing, so the idea of proposing a $7 billion increase to the budget isn’t a reality… especially given the complete absence of any credible proof. So the straw man of massive spending… not buying it. No one should. It’s a scare tactic to silence the discussion and justify being the party of “No.” And that doesn’t seem to be working that well with the American people anymore.

                    • You’re so ridiculous. Seriously. At the time I stated 45 billion, that was what was on the DFL list of priorities. It was leaked. So yes, while the number was accurate, at that time, as I stated, it was reigned in after, and the number was down to 42 billion. We don’t know what the number is today. What we know today is Dayton’s number. But Dayton’s number is meaningless, since that budget will never see the light of day. As ALL exec level politicians, their budget proposal is a framework, that rarely has everything nailed down 100%, and has probably never become the final budget.

                      So top with the high horse and trying to drag me down because you can’t understand the process. You’re merely attempting to, (and poorly at that), try to hide the reality that the DFL did, and still does have higher budgetary numbers in mind, and as we will see in the near future, the real number will be on display for ALL to see, not just the insiders.

                    • It was leaked? Really? Then you have a source for the leak, right? Something more tangible than a number out of the blue, without any details?

                      I press the issue, yes, but not out of any need to “drag” you down, but out of a desire to no longer see the lowest conduct and common denominator win out. You wrote with such certainty about the information you knew, and how the “other” side was out to hurt families (missing the irony in that you were replicating the reprehensible conduct that was the topic of Sean’s original post). Either back up your sources, or stop using such rhetoric. And stop acting surprised when people question such comments; if you don’t like being called out for such tactics, then cease and desist in using them.

                      As for your claim about the DFL having higher numbers or other “wish list” items, that is very possible… but nowhere near the $7 billion you claimed earlier. It’s not politically possible, nor is it in line with their stated intentions. (As for wish lists… there are thousands of people who signed an online petition to have the U.S.A. build a Death Star. That doesn’t make it part of the budget.)

                      Not only that, but they do have a projected deficit to address, so there are some practical limitations, just like there are limitations on what the GOP could cut from Social Security on the national level. Those who set their hair on fire (on either side; there are plenty of Dems who have done so with Social Security) undermine the need for a broader discussion.

                    • I do have a source for the leak. A smart guy like you might figure why I don’t disclose this person’s name. Then again…

                    • By golly, I think maybe, just maybe, Drew finally gets it.

                    • I’m waiting for replies from my contacts to see if there is any substance to your wild and outrageous claims. So far, nothing (and I’m not holding my breath, given the instability of your claims, the lack of details, and the hostile rhetoric that came with it).

                      And I’m waiting to see if you will ever understand how repugnant and hostile your rants can be. You took an article on the lack of civility and rational discourse, and gave the worst form of response possible. In all fairness, your other points on the specifics were far better, in that they had substantiation and fair presentation. But your claim about “coming after all of our families” was unfounded and irrational at best.

                      Again, if you don’t like having that pointed out, then choose a more responsible approach. Just as I questioned the idea of linking Mr. Leidiger’s political donations to his tax issues as an approach that was unfounded, I question the idea of demonizing the “other” side before their ideas are even presented, especially when it’s based on unfounded rumors and explosive accusations. And given your ability to reasonably present a different point of view when you choose to do so, it is unnecessary and toxic. It’s meant to be toxic, and therefore should be challenged.

                    • It’s really too bad you see things in such a narow light. You see, when I said coming after all of our families, I was 100% correct. When you look at the Dayton budget, which we all know will never see the light of day, there exists an increase in the sales tax to new items. The purpose of this is to broaden the base, so that even in rough economic times, the government comes first, and they get similiar amounts of revenue no matter the financial condition of the tax payer. SO in a down economy, when putrchases of less necessary items fall, the government will now collect taxes on the necessary items as well, thus hitting the wallets of every single Minnesotan.

                      Sorry if that’s too much truth for you to bear, but it is accurate.

                    • Nonsense. Your response ignores the decrease in the overall rate, and the other provisions that are being made (such as the property tax rebate, such as it is).

                      It also ignores the projected deficits, which seems to be hypocritical on your part. $1.1 billion, or $2.2 billion when inflation on expenditures is factored in, see http://www.mnbudgetproject.org/research-analysis/minnesota-budget/outlook/February-2012-Forecast-Brief and http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2012-12-06/minn-dot-projects-1-dot-1-billion-budget-deficit

                      This quote from the Minnesota Budget Project is particularly enlightening: “The repeated use of short-term fixes to solve Minnesota’s long-term budget imbalance may be placing the state’s financial reputation in jeopardy… When policymakers reconvene for the 2013 Legislative Session, they will need to take a balanced approach to setting the budget for the FY 2014-15 biennium, with revenues raised fairly, in order to place our state back on the right track.”

                      Much of your assumptions have been predicated upon a great reduction in the deficit, which actual projections aren’t matching at the moment (and still ignores Sean’s point that without the participation in the parts of the new health care initiatives, the deficit would have been even larger). Strangely convenient that when it comes to promoting your party, the expectations are subject to change, Mr. Brunette. If the DFL had the same deficit projection, I’m certain you would be denouncing their very nature and demanding their removal; however, for the GOP, we’ll just assume everything will be rosy and fine, because they can do no wrong. Convenient ethics aren’t ethical; they mean nothing.

                      You also ignore the other key point from above: “I question the idea of demonizing the “other” side before their ideas are even presented, especially when it’s based on unfounded rumors and explosive accusations. And given your ability to reasonably present a different point of view when you choose to do so, it is unnecessary and toxic.”

                      You purposefully offered a toxic and unfounded argument meant to demean and vilify anyone who dared offer a position other than party orthodoxy. You rely on “rumors” that have been shown by events to be unfounded, without any source or evidence in the least. And you did so in a post that talked about the need for civil and open discourse. Again, convenient ethics aren’t ethical; they mean nothing. If you do not like that association with your words and conduct, then choose a more responsible path.

                    • I guess the billions of dollars in tax increases don’t exist after all then? Hmm, I wonder how Dayton will balance his extra spending with no new revenue?

                      Of course we’re all going to pay for this. The B2B taxes alone will raise the cost of a wide variety of goods and services. Services taxes will be paid by all of us. Do you acutally beleive that the average Joe gets off with paying a single penny in new taxes under this plan? What color is the sky in your world?

                    • That may be a response to some other question or debate, maybe even the one that you wish we were having, but it doesn’t deal with the topic at hand, or the points I raised.

                      Yes, there will be some increased costs, and some tradeoffs with the lower rate. That isn’t disputed. However, you didn’t address the projected deficit, or the analysis and quote on the need for a balanced approach looking at both revenue and expenditures. I’m certain that if the positions were reversed, such projections would be grounds for you getting out the tar and feathers, at least in rhetorical form. However, with a GOP group in charge of the situation, we hear nothing from you. How convenient. How hollow.

                      You also didn’t address the last point. Anyone can claim to have “sources” for anything; if that becomes the basis for political debate, then we regress back to McCarthyism in its own form. There must be more than telling people to be afraid, to feeding on rumor to poison the public discussion. Right, Mr. Brunette? Or is party loyalty more important to your pursuits than civil ethics?

                    • You seem incapable of following your own thread. You said my claim that the DFL is coming after our wallets was incorrect. Looking at the Dayton proposed budget, it’s anything but incorrect, and you know it. A vast majority of Minnesotans are going to be paying in taxes, both directly and indeirectly. Now some might get some relief from sales taxes in the form of a reabate, which comes the following year, and doesn’t help a bottom line from paycheck to paycheck.

                      Try to follow your own petty rants for a few moments. The governor is giving us a huge tax increase, big spending increases and no shift payback. That’s not responsible. That’s your party’s theme since I’ve been alive. Tax more, Spend more. there’s nothing new here at all from the DFL.

                      And again, we’re just getting started. This isn’t even close to over, and there will be requests from your side to increase spending even more. I know, they leadership claims they won’t overreach. And yet, they already have in this proposal. And like I said, they are coming after your family and mine, looking for more and more revenue. That’s just a fact. Where do you think the new billions of dollars of revenue are coming from? That’s right, it’s all of us!!

                    • Your revisionist version of your comments doesn’t mesh with their reality. While you may try to sell it as something benign, the reality is that they were meant to imply a deliberate attempt to harm Minnesota families with no valid purpose, and to do so with inflammatory rhetoric without any credible source. That is the lowest form of political discourse; ignoring that reality doesn’t lessen the ethical failure behind it.

                      Additionally, while any tax will require people to pay it, your “solutions” to the problem would also provide a burden on Minnesotans. The only message you support is “cut, cut, cut”, solely focusing on deficits and shrinking government. However, the recent shrinking of the national economy as reported today shows that wholesale cuts can often produce negative results. In the case of cuts and declines in education funding, for instance, districts had to look to local sources for funding, or in some cases to borrowing money to stay in operation. As Sean has noted, reckless cuts can do more harm than good, and thus lack common sense.

                      You also are still wearing blinders when it comes to the projected deficit (again, a convenient double standard in defense of the party, which voids much of the credibility of your arguments). Again, from the Minnesota Budget Project: “When policymakers reconvene for the 2013 Legislative Session, they will need to take a balanced approach to setting the budget for the FY 2014-15 biennium, with revenues raised fairly, in order to place our state back on the right track.”

                      A balanced approach, with revenue as part of the discussion. Your single-minded approach (as presented through your rhetoric) will hurt Minnesota through reduction of services, quality of schools, roads, and other tangible losses. So the real debate isn’t all of one position or another, but how to find balance between the two for maximum return. Blind allegiance to a mantra, enforced through coercive tactics, hidden sources, and absolutism, does nothing but poison the situation. And that’s what it was meant to do, Mr. Brunette; it’s hard to argue with that when you spent so much time predicting the apocalypse just because your “side” didn’t win.

                      There are no enemies here, just different perspectives trying to find the best path. Some of Dayton’s solutions are practical, some need to be fine-tuned, and others probably won’t be tenable, but proposing ideas doesn’t make one a monster. Trying to maintain a high quality of life and services doesn’t mean someone is “coming after all of our families.” However, trying to vilify and demonize people is the lowest and most puerile form of debate. It is reckless, and contrary to the common good.

                    • you are still operating under the assumption that the cuts weren’t effective, and were bad for MN. It’s incorrect. We basically borrowed 700 million in hte last session from the schools. We paid back over one and a half times that much. So it would seem the projected deficit might just not come to pass if our state government could live within it’s means.

                      We might see the February numbers come out with an even greater surplus. If so, and that wipes all of part of the deficit, are you lefties prepared to acknowledge that the cutting measures were effective? Or will you chant your endless party mantra that we need to raise more revenue?

                      Let me ask you this simple question. Let’s say times get tough, and your company does an across the board cut of all salaries to avoid laying anyone off. You’ll have less take home pay. You can A, go get another job, and make more money or B reduce spending, or C take your ridiculous balanced approach and do both.

                      The point is, we have options. We have plenty more that can be cut from state government. There exists millions and millions of dollars of waste in the system. Existing programs need to be reviewed, and their budgets reformed and reworked looking for excess.

                      In the business world, we do this all of the time. Zero line budgeting. From the ground up look at the department budgets, and figure out what is effective and what isn’t. I’m part of a merger where the other company has so many wasteful processes going, that we are finally turning the corner on making many of these markets profitable for the first time in years.

                      We need incentive to do the same in government. We can and should find areas where spending can be reduced efffectively, and make government more efficicent. Raising more and more taxes everytime the government gets hungrier is not a balanced approach. Just like businesses and households everywhere, government needs to learn to live within it’s means, and taking more money from it’s people should be considered a very distasteful and very limited process, and basically a last resort.

                    • Let’s break this down point by point.

                      First, you said “We might see the February numbers come out with an even greater surplus.” Might. Right now the projections don’t support that; in fact, with the recent news about the economy, unemployment, and the concerns over sequestration, that may not be a safe bet. You seem to rely on an absolute certainty, again without a source, to support the claim. Information without sources means nothing; thus, until a source is presented to counter the sources I’ve given, your claim is unsubstantiated, and cannot be granted as absolute truth, especially to the degree that you claim.

                      In all fairness, if there are better projections, then that’s excellent; however, it doesn’t dismiss the reality of the roller coaster of deficits that Minnesota has experienced, as I noted above (and you have yet to address). A stable and balanced foundation is needed. Ironically, in calling my balanced approach “ridiculous” you offered as evidence an example where that approach makes the best sense. Hence my question as to why you would deny the best path, if not for loyalty to an ideology above all else, even the welfare of the citizens and the state of Minnesota. That may seem harsh, but right now no other explanation is apparent, especially given the willingness of other members of the GOP to be more practical and cordial in their approach.

                      (On this note: I’ve already posted on this once before, see http://www.gocomics.com/candorville/2012/12/06 as a humorous example of the weakness in your proposal.)

                      Let me elaborate: you gave the example of the family where their income is cut. You said “You can A, go get another job, and make more money or B reduce spending, or C take your ridiculous balanced approach and do both.” In all actuality, C makes sense; your rejection of it in favor of a “cut, cut, cut” approach is more likely to diminish the quality of life and future earning potential of the family, thus failing in practical effect.

                      For example, the family would choose some cost-cutting measures, like cutting back on eating out, scaling down a vacation, etc. However, by declaring any solution that also involves bringing in more revenue to be “ridiculous”, you ignore an intelligent and common-sense approach, and leave only options that, when carried to that extreme, cause more harm than good.

                      In this case, the family would also look at finding a better job, or working an additional shift, or finding some additional way to bring in revenue. However, since you claim such an approach (increasing revenue) to be “ridiculous”, then they would be left with more substantial cuts. So they cut deeper, up until the cuts become harmful; at that point, the cuts incur a greater loss than gain to the family. For instance, they cannot cut back the food allowance for their children to a point where it hurts their health, nor can they turn down the heat too low without risking damage to their health and to the home. They could cancel their internet service, but this could limit their ability to shop for the best deals on the things they need, communicate with work, pursue better jobs, and a host of other activities. Thus, they should evaluate where that boundary is, and use a balanced approach. The “cut, cut, cut” ideal that you have espoused would not be a wise course of action, when taken to the extreme you seem to favor with your fiery rhetoric, Mr. Brunette.

                      This works the same way in the business world. Any company that solely focuses on the immediate balance sheet risks positioning themselves in such a way as to be unable to maintain or expand their market share in the future. Prudent investment, balanced repayment, and long-term planning are required to allow for continued success.

                      The government has the same issue, and your entrenched position does not allow for an efficient and rational course of action that best addresses that issue. As has been pointed out, cutting infrastructure, investments, and support systems, when done to the degree some would suggest, will actually cause a constriction of the economy across all sectors, thus reducing future growth and potential, thereby causing a greater net negative effect than the alternative. You have yet to introduce any evidence to contradict the specific examples of this given in this forum; thus that point stands.

                      Note that I’m not pushing for runaway taxation, or uncontrolled spending, or a disregard for the debt situation. Those claims are “straw men” that have been introduced in this discussion in the past by you, Mr. Brunette, when one offers the facts I’ve presented above, as a way of attempting to silence the opposition through ridicule and disdain. In this case, such wild claims are bereft of any foundation in fact, and thus are summarily denied.

                      Instead, I suggest the same common-sense approach the family and the business take, where that balance is pursued. Yes, I agree that taxes as a solution should come well after an examination for efficiency and prudent use of current funds; in that, we agree in principle. However, the demonization of anyone who dares consider the full picture only removes the conversation from the realm where true long-term solutions can be achieved.

                      Not all of Dayton’s solutions are ideal, by any measure; however, neither is the “cut, cut, cut” approach. Without road maintenance and infrastructure support, commerce will be limited. Without a strong education system, home values and the growth of future leaders will both suffer. If a family expected to live in their own home, but wasn’t willing to work more than 10 hours a week, they would be told their expectations were unreasonable. The same premise applies here; there is a need to plan for the future, and to establish that foundation there must be a balance. Hence, vilifying anyone who considers the full picture shows a departure from common sense and business sense, along with civility as well.

                    • The roller coaster of deficits were created by continuous government growth. Are going to tell me how the GOP didn’t turn a 6 billion dollar deficit into a surplus now? I mean after all we did pay more of the school shift then we borrowed, but only because it was automatically triggered. Which makes Dayton look like an idiot for telling us all it was irresponsible to do so earlier.

                      I get it. You drink the koolaid. You subscribe to the notion that government is the answer to our problems. That’s clearly never going to change, and this is just waste of time. It’s clear I was accurate when I said they were coming after us all, as we all know government growth is unsustainable, and with more increases, it will only be more so down the road.

                      I’ve got news for you, the economy has been in the tank for the entire GOP term. And yet we still managed to get quite the surplus, didn’t we? There’s no reason yet to assume we won’t continue to do so, because of government reforms, without raising taxes. I know that sickens you, but it’s a fact. We saved more than we borrowed, and have replenished the rainy day fund a bit in the process. All from a 6 billion dollar projected deficit. And all without raising taxes. We’ve shown how effective this is, and the DFL wants to chuck it all away and go right back to massive deficits, increasing spending rather than looking at what worked. Watch and learn, pal. The last session taught you nothing. Maybe this one will. I won’t hold my breath.

                    • Good lord… so much for decency and civility on your part, Mr. Brunette. If you had actually read my post, you would have seen me agree to cutting waste as the first option, of finding a prudent balance that allows for growth. Instead, you launch a malicious diatribe that substitutes my points with lies and misinformation. There is no honor in such inappropriate conduct, and that is something I will pass on to the state party the next time I get a fundraising call. So for once, debate the real points at hand, and not the monsters of your own imagination.

                      You completely ignored all of the points that were presented, instead relying on an artifice of your creation of some need to promote “big government.” You didn’t address the fact that the very example you offered shows the need for a balanced approach. If a family cuts too far, they reduce their stability, earning potential, and quality of life. I gave tangible examples of this; it’s common sense. That means you determine the needs not just for the moment, but for solid growth in the future, which austerity measures are notoriously weak in achieving. So what do you say to that point, Mr. Brunette?

                      Even when I agree with some of your key points, you still find a need to hit with words, to destroy and demean rather than build and move forward. “You drink the koolaid.” What koolaid? Where in the world does that contrivance come from, other than a need to find enemies where none exist, to demean and divide in the hopes of silencing any other perspective?

                      As for your claim about the surplus/deficit, I’m still waiting to see a source, just like the phantom fantasy of a $45 billion budget, or the proof from the voter ID discussion, or any number of things. Either site a source, or give up with such pretenses. The sources I cited aren’t liberal puppets, nor do they revel in the potential of failure. It’s a prediction, based in the current realities. If we do better, then that’s great, but we also need to keep in mind that this was done through what amounts to a forced loan from schools, and with federal help with the new health care initiatives, among other things. From there, we should look at how to plan for future needs; using the family analogy you offered, that means you look for the best return in the long run. That means pursuing efficiency first, but also being willing to look at what revenue is needed to achieve that growth.

                      I also note that both in your writings, and in the letter Mr. Leidiger wrote to the Herald, the fact that the overall rate would decrease doesn’t get mentioned much, if at all. That’s strange, given that it’s an idea taken from conservative economists about having a broader base, with less of a rate overall, so their is less vulnerability to declines in specific sectors of the economy.

                      It would help if you would actually address the evidence that doesn’t fit your theories, instead of hiding behind whatever cudgel that is conveniently handy that can be hurled into the debate. Nobody wants to have government run their lives, just like I’m sure you aren’t trying to leaving the elderly and poor out on the street by cutting their means of survival. Both ideas are lies, meant to vilify the other person; yet you’ve never been accused of such a thing. It would be only proper if you could refrain from such conduct yourself, Mr. Brunette. Especially when you took a comment where I agreed with the core premise you offered, and used it as a way to poison the whole discussion. It begs the question of what is more important to you: beating your “enemies”, or helping your community? Because you seem to place the former over the latter.

                    • You make me laugh. Cause you were so going to give the GOP that next time they called. What a riot.

                      The answer is A of course. The family cuts spending, because the next paycheck will be smaller.

                      Sure they may get an additional job, but a family doesn’t do that by robbing someone else of their income. Too bad you can’t see the difference. Actrually, it’s rather telling. Oops there I go being mean again. Silly me.

                      Look at the November numbers please. Note that we borrowed 700 million in the form of a school shift. Also note that the surplus triggered a 1.1 billion dollar payback of the shift. All of the last budget and some of the previous shift. Are you not up on current events. I mean this was November news. And I’m sure you remember Dayton vetoing the first attempt to payback the shift, or did you miss that news story as well? Too bad for him, the surplus REQUIRED the payback so he couldn’t veto it to play petty partisan games like you do. Oh jeez, there I go again. Sorry, let me climb atop your high horse and recommend that its you that get current, and stop being such a nasty partisan.

                      Surely, somewhere along the way, you noticed that 2012 wasn’t a kind year for the national economy, and yet somehow the GOP government reforms generated a surplus. I know a true DFL’er isn’t allowed to say that, just as they aren’t allowed to say all of the additional spending they would like to see occur. We’ve all read the memos. We all know the partyt mantra. NO credit for the GOP, and no talking about spending, because we at the DFL don’t want to overreach like we usually do.

                      I guess it’s time to cancel my donation to the DFL, since they cannot even be honest about the surplus the GOP brought to their doorstep. What a hoot!

                      Might as well shut our doors. Drew’s going to complain to the state party. Boo hoo. What will we do? We’re actually used to socialists walking away from our tent. We’re actually rather proud that they do for some reason.

                    • Actually, I do get called by the GOP, because not everybody has your attitude and tendencies, and because at one time, long ago, I used to be a Republican. The problem was that I don’t blindly worship a party, and don’t like it when anyone goes off the deep end, trying to win through intimidation and slander when honest debate fails them, and there are too many like yourself who seem to think that’s the only way to represent the GOP. You drive people away, and that may give you your ideological purity, but eventually it will lead to the death of the party. I don’t expect you to care, Mr. Brunette; in almost every instance, you have chosen to attack rather than to entice. But others will.

                      And again, you dodge the points you cannot counter. I did grant the idea of going through and cutting waste as the first choice, and even granted the possibility of having better returns. You skipped right over that to construct some lie about the big-government claim that only you seem to write about (and maybe only exists in your head; with all due respect, you may want to find help with that). Think about that: you had someone granting your core arguments, and instead of building on that, you tore it down. Is your participation in the public sphere driven by the need to promote your values, or to attack others, because you just traded the former for the latter. That makes no sense.

                      As for the family, you say they cut costs (which up to a point I agree with), but then turn around and grant that they would also bring in more money. In other words, revenue would be a consideration. That’s not socialism or heresy; that’s common business sense that you don’t kill off potential future earnings to come up with weak solutions for the problems of the day. Just like the idea of pilfering from the state reserve to pay back part of the shift was a bad idea. It’s not stealing from others; its looking at the quality of life that is desired, finding the best way to reach that point, and moving forward. You completely ignored the examples given (multiple times on this forum) where the additional revenue gives investment and infrastructure opportunities that spur growth, while cutting services actually decreases productivity and long-term stability. Multiple examples, in multiple posts, so I’m assuming the lack of an argument to the contrary is an acceptance of that reality. Thus cutting blindly fails us.

                      This isn’t the bizarre concept you make it out to be; businesses and families do this all the time. So does the GOP when it comes to military spending and other key areas. My position has many of the same foundations as yours: cut waste first, evaluate the best return, be transparent with expenditures. The areas of departure tend to be around the vilification of the concept of investment and long-term planning. Grover Norquist (or any one man, for that matter) shouldn’t have a stranglehold on policy discussion.

                      Now I did toss a pitch right down the heart of the plate. You claim that there’s more waste to cut, but never give any examples. Here was a perfect opportunity… and nothing. Just like your lack of sources on the $45 billion, which is a number so ridiculous and absurd that all it does is mobilize the opposition to reject any discussion. Such a horribly weak way to represent the party.

                      That’s the problem. Now maybe there is more revenue, and maybe the shift will be paid down further, but the reality (not the fictions or rumors) says there will be a substantial slowing of the economy due to sequestration. We should plan accordingly, which means that people should actually provide facts, rather than wild and immature insinuations. And if we create a reality that leads to future deficits, then that is a failure.

                      The reduction of the tax rate in favor of the broader base is a good idea. As for the taxes suggested, that’s a different story. In some cases, they seem to be more of an attempt to not offend any particular group too much, rather than to create a solid base. But that’s what dialogue is for, if people will allow it to happen.

                      So attack, if that’s all you have, but know that you’re driving people away, and making it harder for real solutions to be found. You had a host of golden opportunities to do better; maybe next time you’ll make an attempt to do so, before squandering the opportunity.

                    • Like your not on the attack. The 45 billion didn’t come from my party. It came from yours. And then later it was 42 billion. The doped up governor says 38 billion. Rasing 3.7 billion in new taxes, 2 billion of which hit all tax payers in the form of new sales taxes. He mumbled on “At Issue” about how this would be neutral. If it’s neutral, how does it raise 2 billion in revenue? How is 2 billion in new revenue from sales tax alone a wash?

                      Your party is coming after us. All of us.

                      The budget goes up 8%. And doesn’t pay the debt.

                      These are bad things. There is no way to portray them in a good light. These are going to hurt this state. This going to take money out of every Minnesotans pocket. Period. Just like I stated. If that’s a fact you can’t wrap your head around, so be it. Maybe I could say like a socialist would. All Minneotans are being asked to invest more heavily in our government, because more government spending means a better quality of life for MN. (As if emptier wallets somehow makes our quality of life better).

                      The fact remains in the family budget scenario, that they don’t get more revenue by robbing their children or their neighbors. You see that’s how government gets funded. It has to take moeny from people by through the force of law. It’s funny you can’t see the difference.

                      And yes we can cut further. There exists so much waste within the system, that we could easily reduce state spending an incentive program to find and root it out, like we do in the business world. No such incentive exists in government. In fact, it’s jsut the opposite. For state budgets, waste is hidden, and kept so as to maintain current spending levels, or increases. There should incentives to reduce spending where ever possible, rather than incentives to increase your budget every year. One would hope that government officials would be the types of folks that would realize every nickel they spend comes from someone else’s pocket. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

                      Even if we tried ground up budgeting for one session, we’d probably realize several billion in savings, if the process was done honestly.

                      And still we have the surplus. Governor dopey said it was even rosier than I stated. We paid back 1.6 billion of shifts, while only creating 700 million, all from the GOP led session. And in a lousy economy. Our reforms may have got us to the place we need to be, without seeing deficits again, without raising a single tax. It will be very interesting to see what things look like in the Feb report.

                      I’ll bet you $100, to your party or mine, or United Way, or what have you, that the Feb numbers will show LESS of a projected deficit. And I’ll bet you another $100, if that is the case, that the DFL will not reduce taxes because of it. They are hell bent on raising taxes. On all of us. Every single one of us.

                    • Again with the name-calling… even when a former Republican points out you’re driving people away, you can’t stop. How sad.

                      As to your points, you conveniently left out some things… first off, the family example. Technically by working extra hours and/or jobs, they are taking away labor opportunities from others. A business doesn’t get an additional labor allotment just because people want more wages, so it’s a choice to take more of that available labor pool to maintain their quality of life, and to allow for the future they desire. Now by doing so, they may continue to buy services (like internet access, as I offered as an example) that they wouldn’t have otherwise, thereby encouraging growth in those services and elsewhere in the economy. Thus the trade-off in the loss of leisure time and resources offers a greater return for them, and potentially the whole. So the idea isn’t to stick your fingers in your ears and scream of the coming apocalypse when someone points this out (which you do quite well, Mr. Brunette, no matter how silly it seems to the rest of us).

                      Instead, we acknowledge the need for balance. As Sean pointed out, blind cuts offer the potential for economic harm and retraction. Nationally, the GOP is dealing with the same issue with the sequestration and defense spending, which is estimated to cause a 0.7% reduction to the national economy once it takes place in full. Now that isn’t saying there isn’t waste in the defense budget; however, just tossing out a number doesn’t lead to the measured cutting both you and I desire.

                      However, it’s become apostasy to have a conservative point this out when it comes to domestic programs and investments, that the same issue of loss exists in blind cuts to those sectors. That, coupled with an amazing lack of spine from the Dems, means that things break down to sound bites and canned concepts that don’t work in the long run. Case in point: you again offered no examples of cuts that could be made right now. Again, a golden opportunity, and nothing, just like your “sources” and “facts” on the budget. Instead, it’s the normal party line, which isn’t good enough.

                      As we’ve seen over the last century, reducing and cutting without a vision doesn’t work; there has to be a plan. The irony is the idea of broadening the tax base at a lower rate was (and is) a conservative premise, meant to create a smaller but more constant burden without the spikes caused with an over-reliance on a narrow tax spectrum. And yet the instance there’s an effort to do so… out come the attack dogs, just like with health care. Now you can argue about if Dayton’s proposals are the best way to do this, and that’s fair and absolutely necessary. But if all you can do is attack anyone who tries (as you and others did, before a tangible proposal even was presented), then you’re like the guy who sets his house on fire to get rid of the mice. Sure, you win, and you prove how much you hate them, but you hurt everyone in the process.

                      Now you did have a fair point, Mr. Brunette, in the concern you stated about broadening the base, only to have the rate increased in the future. However, since the idea from conservatives was to have a broader but reduced rate, then how does that happen without that risk? Additionally, if someone were to do so without showing valid cause (in other words, just to “grow government” as you fear), they would risk a voter backlash and removal from office. At least, that works if you believe the people are more than just “voting morons” you see them as, Mr. Brunette.

                      If you still hold that stance, then your position and tactics bear a striking similarity to the Bolsheviks. A moral disdain for any other view, a certainty of your vision, a tendency to describe any other path as an attack meant to destroy us all, and a belief that the masses were too weak or being bought off, so an “enlightened” few had the imperative to do what was needed, no matter what the cost. We saw how well that worked… perhaps this is the root of your need to call everyone else a socialist. If you are looking for the greatest similarity, Mr. Brunette, I suggest you find a mirror; based on tactics and rhetoric, your enemy is within.

                    • And you continue to ignore the effectiveness of last sessions successes, and the amazing surplus it generated. You are every bit as partisan as you claim I am. The difference is, I’ll state so honestly.

                      You conveniently leave aside the fact that 2 billion will be raised by sales tax changes alone. That’s 2 billion coming from everyone in the state, while Governor drunky says it’s revenue neutral to Minnesotans. It can’t be both. You can’t raise an additional 2 billion thourhg sales taxes and have them become “a wash” as our drunken, pill gulping Governor states. It’s simply not possible.

                      And I say these things about Dayton because he appeared to be completely high on “At Issue”. His speech slurs more when he’s wastd like that. Ask his buddies. He was completely doped up for that interview. And now he’s says he wouldn’t vote for his own budget! What a goof ball.

                    • “Governor drunky”? That’s not partisan, that’s sleaze, pure, immoral, depraved, and simple. I’m not even a big fan of Dayton, but those type of remarks are just a reflection of anger. It’s not partisan; a real and competent Republican would realize this harms the party more than it would ever help, and they had enough of that this last election cycle. The real Republicans are trying to leave such failure behind. So it isn’t partisanship; it’s just a need to toss whatever mud that can be tossed to dodge real discussion.

                      Which you still ran from, by the way. No sources for your information, no suggestions on areas to cut, no addressing the reality of the family scenario and the fact that at the national level, the GOP flips around on government spending when it comes to national defense. The idea isn’t to support blanket spending, but to see what is needed, and to plan for the proper balance. Your $2 billion includes offsetting the property tax credit; if you’re not a fan of that relief (which is what you indicated in earlier posts), then remove it and actually propose a viable alternative, instead of pulling something out of the air about Dayton in such a vulgar and crass manner.

                      I also noticed that you have yet to address the savings from the health care initiatives, due to extra funding provided. So if the GOP opposes this, how will that funding be offset?

                      Again, I’m willing to grant the potential of some future gains and surpluses, once I see a source or verification. I don’t like gambling on “revenue” like that (just like the idea of bankrolling the stadium through electronic pulltabs was a bad idea). Better to have a steady plan for the future, than one that fluctuates wildly, a point Sean brought up about your own proposals that you never addressed.

                      So again, can you actually address the points at hand? Can you provide sources and information, and not some Bolshevik line about knowing what’s best for everyone else, and having the right to smear anyone who says differently?

                      Because the GOP is supposed to be about common sense responsibility; yet what claim is there to that from you when you can’t even support the average American without calling them a “voting moron” for not doing what you say? You can call others “socialist” for pointing out such failures all you want, Mr. Brunette, but it’s just a convenient lie wrapped in malice, bereft of wisdom, constructed from a fear of possibly having to admit that you could be wrong. It isn’t even Republican, or conservative; it’s just personal, angry, and spiteful, nothing more. I pity you for that, but I wish you’d stop bringing down the party along the way. This is yours, no one elses, and the rest of us deserve better.

                    • Same e same. You’re a broken record. You say I didn’t say where we could cut, and yet I did.

                      And as for the Gov, did you see the interview? He was wasted!

                      A buddy of mine at the number 5 said they were joking about it afterwards. The guy was higher than a kite.

                      And now he says HE wouldn’t even vote for his own budget bill? He’s a joke. He also says he gets to count the cuts from last session as cuts to this session? What?

                      See, you continually claim things about me that are incorrect. You wanted places to cut, I told you zero line budgeting. one time. Do it once, we’ll have savings you won’t believe. I said the DFL was coming after all of our wallets. Guess what, they are!! 2 billion in new revenue from the sales tax changes alone! That comes from all of us. Every single one of us. It’s an accurate statement, and I’m pretty sure I made it clear I was referring to sales taxes when I said it. Yoou say I called average Americans voting morons, when it was pretty clear I was talking about folks who chose the “community organizer” over a self-made billionaire.

                      And guess why i may seem a little bitter, You see, polical hacks like Obama and Dayton refer to people like myself as “not paying their fair share”. I pay more in taxes that the average American makes, gross, not what he nets. So when I hear hear that kind of crap, suggesting that I’m somehow a freeloader, gaming the system, and not pulling my weight, that is offensive as hell to me, and people like me.

                      So when you hear me calling Dayton a mindless stoner, or Obama the socialist class warfare champion, you bet they’ve certainly earned it. You see, I’d rather they said thanks! If it were me, I’d say God Bless the wealthiest amoungst us, for it is they who pay the greater share of our revenue. It is they who provide opportunity. They make the investments that make our lives possible, not the slimy politicians.

                      So as you continue to feel the need to prattle on about civility, remember it is these you defend whp started this uncivilized behavior. Every single time I hear Mark Dayton say I don’t pay my fair share, I want to punch him right in his stoned, dopey face. I pay more than most. I deserve better from that jackass.

                    • Let’s break this down again…

                      First off, you said “Yoou [sic] say I called average Americans voting morons, when it was pretty clear I was talking about folks who chose the “community organizer” over a self-made billionaire.” So in other words, anyone who disagrees with you doesn’t deserve respect and isn’t smart enough to know what’s good for them. How Bolshevik of you, Mr. Brunette. (I also noted the convenience of your comparison between the candidates. You have someone who grew up without money or a traditional family, who got into Harvard Law. And you have someone who inherited quite a bit of wealth, did some good things with it, but also frequently relied on government loans and funds for some of his business deals. Both have virtues and struggles. Your selective memory is too steeped in hypocrisy to be valid.)

                      As for the zero line budgeting, it’s an idea; however, that doesn’t explain not having a single example of something that would be cut under that process. Not one that would justify such an intensive review; a genuine conservative would have had that in an instant. It’s a little league pitch; if you can’t connect on that, then you’re in the wrong ball game.

                      And again, nothing on any of the facts that contradict your rhetoric: nothing about the gap in your family example, nothing about the contradiction in how spending is treated within the GOP, nothing about the evidence that balance is required. Nothing. So you’ll have to understand how your venting is viewed, when you can’t even be bothered to address even the most simple of points.

                      As for your rage… on that, we agree at least, now that you’re stating your underlying feelings: “I want to punch him right in his stoned, dopey face.” You do that quite well, at least through words, but you ignored the one point that maybe was most important to your own self-interest: your tactics will cause you to lose, even if you are right.

                      Let me say that again: your tactics are so hostile, that they drive people away, and hurt your cause. If you continue to pursue those tactics, then you place rage over grace, and you earn the defeat you help shape.

                      Take your comments on Dayton’s appearance, for instance. You seemed to completely miss the part where he praised the GOP members for their efforts. You also missed where he talks about the reasons behind his proposal, such as providing property tax relief or trying to balance out funding for the U of M system to keep costs from becoming a limiting factor (a tax on families, just like the scenario previously discussed). Instead you demean and degrade. I remember the Dems focusing on GW Bush and his verbal miscues, and some of their comments were just as petty and low as yours. Look what good it did them. Why repeat their same mistakes?

                      Even when Sean or I praise a point you offer, or agree with an idea, you launch an attack. News flash: no one is out to get you. The same rage you feel is felt by those who lose their job, who are then labeled leeches and welfare moms by those who’ve never known huger or desperation. It’s felt by the women who are told that they are sluts for wanting birth control coverage, as if allowing for promiscuous sex is the only medical purpose birth control serves. It is felt by Muslims who, by their views on social issues, should align more with Republicans, if they weren’t being used as part of a scare tactic to secure votes and money elsewhere (see Lee Atwater’s comments on this approach as a prime example). In your case, at least there is an argument not based on exploiting race, religion, or gender. You may disagree, and may have great arguments to the contrary, but if all you do is lash out, then no one will ever notice them.

                      You can play rage politics if you want, but if the last election was any indicator, that strategy doesn’t work, for either party. You have to be willing to actually argue the issues, and in that area, your efforts are fundamentally compromised by your tactics, Mr. Brunette. Continue down that path, and you will defeat yourself.

                    • That Obama’s entire startegy. To demean those who are the greatest contributors to his revenue stream. We pay far more than our fair share and he and Dayton know this. It’s demeaning. It’s dishonest, and yet you seem to think it’s OK.

                      It’s not OK. One comes with the other.If you want to claim that ew are freeloaders by not paying our fais share, it’s wrong, and should be libelous. You are talking about working together, while your eladers are running around dividing us. Can’t you see that? It’s in nearly every speech either gives. They put one group against another constantly. They say these uncivilized rants and outright lies for the peoposes of getting us riled up, rather than address the problem. The wealthy are drving up the cost of government. WHy those of us in the two 2% being asked to do more, when we certainly use far less government.

                      The police don’t come to my house. We don’t need public assistance. Our drain on the public fund is about as minimal as it can be. And yet all we hear is that it it us who need to pay more.

                      But even ingore the insults flying out of these two clowns mouths. The whole time they are demeaning those bring in the real revenues, they are raising even more spending and raising rates on the the rest of you as well. And you want to defend that? People who vote for these clowns are indeed morons. They actually believe that these economic buffoons know the first thing about how to boost economic growth? Based upon what? Well, he says he’s going after the rich guy. Never mind that he’s coming for your money as well. It’s a vulgar process these two clowns are engaged in. Their entire modus operandi is to divide people against one another, but then call for civility. Are you blind to it?

                    • Again, such a circumvention around the points you don’t want to address. Nothing about the examples and points that contradict the foundation for all of your rage. How convenient that you never address those examples, and yet the very foundation of your anger is undermined by them. Selective rage is a choice, not someone else’s fault, so I’m not buying the victim card you wish to play.

                      The current debate is where the cuts and taxes should come from. Taking Romney’s plans, for example, those in the upper brackets stood to make a significant return, while those in the lower brackets would at best hold even, if not see taxes raised (I’ve already cited sources on this). Then they would see cuts to services and benefits. So if we want to balance things out, then let’s look at the whole picture, and see where things balance out. But claiming victim status, given the historically low tax rates for the wealthy in the U.S. (especially when compared to the early part of the last century through the 1940’s)… nope, not buying it.

                      As far as the “voting morons” claim you keep making… again, how Bolshevik. Demean anyone who thinks differently, then claim a need to rule on their behalf. That’s not America. Strange that the closest thing to arguing with a totalitarian socialist you are likely to find would be an argument with yourself, Mr. Brunette. Not very conservative or Republican of you, though, and not the message you want to send in the long run.

                      Finally, you don’t see either Dayton or Obama calling out others as “drunky” “illiterate” “morons” “frauds” or any of the other choice words you use. Even when people agree with your key points, you demean and degrade them. Again, the enemies you seek are in your head; that doesn’t make you a victim of anything other than your own conduct. Have some self-responsibility, and stop blaming others for that.

                    • No, these two just insult us in different way. I rather be called a drunk, (when I’m drunk), then a freeloader. At least then it’s true. I’m not a freeloader. I pay more taxes than most people earn. That’s not freeloading. That’s paying far more than your fair share.

                      I guess that makes you one of the many voting morons that find their behavior acceptable. Would you rather have a leader who is not so devisive? One that wouldn’t have to twist numbers to make false premises on why we should fight with one another?

                      I have the high ground when it comes to these two clowns. They are scum. Their actions are the slimiest. Misinforming the ignorant to better their cause of bigger government is disgusting.

                      And let’s just assume their is such a thing as a fair share? What it is it? Is it a dollar amount? Is it a percentage, and if so a percentage of what? Sounds once again like the governor and the prez want to see flat taxes. But they can’t do that becaue then the dynamics would change entirely. Imagine every American in the same tax bracket. What would happen when the government wanted to increase taxes then? They’d have to convince everyone of us it was for the common good. Then it would be citizen against politician, both united. Now that would be a system. We’d be lucky to see another tax increase in a lifetime, rather than every few years.

                      BUt again, I was 100% accurate with the accusation that the DFL is coming after all of our wallets. This budget certainly does just that. 2 billion times. It’s not a wash. It’s a 2 billion increase. I stand vindicated. Case closed.

                      ANd there is nothing Bolshevik about pointing out that the lemmings who eat up this false propaganda are misguided and ignorant. This nonsense about a balanced approach is about as Bolshevik as it gets. Anytime one of mentions that we can live within the means we have, the higher taxes crowd goes off the deep end. So let’s not pretend this is something it’s not. This is reality. Our government spends way too much money. They continually require more and more of it. That makes it unsustainable. You cannot keeping robbing the people to socialize America. It does not work. And it weakens the dollar which weakens all of our futures. But the Bullshitviks on the left can’t admit that.

                    • A history lesson, Mr. Brunette: the Bolsheviks (who you seem to idolize in the way you follow their behavior) differed from the other communists in Russia in that they had no faith in the people to make the decisions needed to bring about what they saw as the “proper” society. They saw them as easily bought, unintelligent, and weak. They saw every other form of rule or government as an attack on the rights of humanity, and used inflammatory rhetoric (often not founded in facts) to scare others into submission. Strange how exactly like them your behavior is. That is what you choose to do, so stop trying to play the victim card, and be responsible for what you do. Own your legacy, Comrade Brunette; it’s who you choose to be. The rest of us would be better off without it.

                      And again, you dodge the points you still cannot answer, and hide behind your insults. Tax rates for the rich are at a historic low, so where’s the golden economy we were promised after each cut? Government spending is down; both Reagan and G.W. Bush had more quarters with increased spending during their first terms than Obama. These are facts, substantiated with evidence, not rumor and hidden sources. Now we need to determine what is best overall. You have never challenged the issue with blindly cutting spending, nor the facts provided here; every time you’re asked, you dodge the subject, thus the premise must be true.

                      And you completely ignore the other points. A broader tax base with a lower rate is a conservative idea; it has been for a while. But when the “other” side proposes it, it now becomes a bad idea. Your rage would be far more understandable if it didn’t shift in the wind so much.

                      So when there is a conversation about people paying their fair share, don’t just focus on the part that justifies your Bolshevist tactics. Romney’s plan would have placed a huge burden on the middle class through either tax increases, massive cuts to essential services, debt, or a combination of all of the above. That was a given, as cited and proven before; a businessman who can’t propose a detailed and functioning budget based in reality is a bad choice, period. Furthermore, at a time when the wealthiest are prospering, they get a larger break under this plan, paid for by others who will have to take food off their table in return. Where were you in protesting this? Oh, that’s right… ideological purity, some animals are better than others, liberals are bad, the sky is falling… same petty rants. Your foundation is too convenient to be anything but weak in this regard. True belief recognizes contradictions and addresses them; that is something you cannot do, Mr. Brunette. It seems to be beyond your nature. How unfortunate.

                      The sad part is that you have some really good points, but you bury them in animosity and false victimhood. Think about it: when reading these forums, who calls others frauds, illiterate, morons, etc.? You. Only you. So you can create whatever fantasy you wish, but the persecution is all in your head. Let it go, or admit that it’s more important for you to have an enemy than to fight for your cause. Because in that regard, you are doing more harm than good.

                    • I know all about the Bolshevik’s and beleive me, sure side runs off of their play book. Right down to ideology. That facts that most of America buys into this stupid notion that the rich don’t pay their fair share is an indication of how ill informed they are. It is absurd.

                      Perhaps you need a lesson in progressive taxation. As does the nation.

                      A lesson about us in the top brackets. We pay the highest income tax rates, if we are employed. We pay higher property tax rates, because our homes are worth more. We more in sales tax dollars because we spend more money. We pay more in gas taxes, because we buy more fuel. We pay more in capital gains dollars because we have more investments.

                      So even on flat taxes, we tend to pay more and bring more revenue to the state. It’s just a fact.

                      To say we don’t pay our fair share is absolutely false and patently absurd. If you don’t know these facts, then yes, you are a moron. In the first degree. Sorry if that is harsh. But it is accurate. You failed at math somewhere along the way.

                      It’s not a victim status that gets me riled up. It out and out lies. An it is insulting to me when some jackass politician states that I don’t pay my fair share and need to have my rates jacked up. It is ridiculus on it’s face that a man weho pays more in taxes than the average American makes as wages isn’t pulling his weight for the government.

                      But it’s a useful argument because the sheeple gobble it up. And I have have the nerve to say they who beleive this are ignorant. Stupid is as stupid does, and if you voted on this absurd notion, then yes, you are stupid.

                      And now let’s get to the absurd notion that broadening the base is a conservative idea. It is not. Any idea that is designed to raise more revenue and take more out the pockets of hard working Americans is not a conservative view point. If broadening the base is all that Dayton proposed, and it truely is a wash in revenue, then yes, that might be a conservative view point. But this is not revenue neutral at all. Dayton base broadening brings in 2 billion more in revenue. That money comes from somewhere. 2 billion more taken from all of us, so that government can again grow, is about as far from a conservative idea as it gets, and you know it.

                      If broadening the base is code for more revenue, then it’s not a conservative idea, at all. It may come from the mouth of someone who claims to be a conservative, but those folks are a dime a dozen.

                    • At least we have some substance to this point (although you still haven’t addressed a number of the points brought up earlier; I’ll keep asking, in the hopes that maybe someday it will happen).

                      First off, you talk about the Bolshevik playbook, but didn’t really connect with the fact that your tactics and methods of debate match theirs, straight down the line. Instead, you hide behind this “fair share” argument, while ignoring the pieces that cause it to fall apart. Even granting some of your points, the degree in which you take it is fanatical and unwarranted.

                      Yes, the rich pay more in taxes… but they also get more benefits from that wealth, and from the government. This may seem contradictory, until you look at response times from the police and fire departments. Until you look at the available support and subsidies for businesses, the government-back loans (like the one Mr. Leidiger had that was mentioned on this forum), etc. You get locked into that point of paying more, and that is true, but you completely ignore how much that percentage has decreased, and how the burden for others has increased over the same time period. And the effect your proposed approach would have, which is where your math utterly fails.

                      You also ignore the realities of the current cuts and the deficit, which is odd given your fixation with the debt in other discussions. By focusing completely on cuts and reductions, you shift the burden of balancing the budget to others, who then pay the full share of that shift (which is the intent behind such comments, your misrepresentations notwithstanding). Strange that with government spending coming down, but deficits still in existence, that you don’t want to look at the other piece that contributes to the debt. Using our family analogy, it’s like a family turning off their electricity, rather than not taking 20 weeks of vacation each year.

                      So if we look at where we are now, and look at how to fix it, there is an imbalance in your approach. You would ask for cuts to services, for an increase to retirement ages, for increased tuition and local taxes due to cuts in education funding. This all takes money away from people, just as an increase in the marginal rate for the rich does, so maybe we need to label it a tax for you to understand (we’ll call it the Brunette Tax, in your honor). So in down times, you look to reduce waste and maximize effectiveness; in that, we both agree. The question becomes where to go from there. As Sean and I (along with the national GOP, when it comes to defense spending) pointed out, cuts that reduce the economy can actually produce a net loss, something you have not disputed. Therefore, finding the balance to minimize the negative effects while returning the best benefit is just common sense, and in that everyone will have to chip in. The Romney budget utterly failed to do that; thus, it’s just bad business sense to back it.

                      That concept seems to enrage you, to the point where you feel entitled to launch slanderous and baseless attacks. That should be the first clue that there’s a problem with your logic, Mr. Brunette; thuggery is just thuggery, no matter what rationalization it uses to hide behind. It is beneath you, and unnecessary.

                      The second clue should be the facts that you never address, because they don’t mesh with your argument. If you can’t dwell within the realm of reality, then you are left with the one in your head, and that means nothing to the real world where we don’t focus on labeling everyone friend or foe.

                      You have some good points, but they get drowned out with the hostility that accompanies each post. The same failure to do math to try to attribute to others can be thrown back at you, since it is well documented that cuts in the highest tax rates do not produce long-term growth. You get a short burst, then a leveling out with decreased revenue and a greater vulnerability to deficits. At the same time, reductions to Social Security benefits and other services have a direct correlation with decreased spending and economic activity, and this is well documented. Now you will try to turn that into a straw man about big government and taxing everything, which no one else said or suggested, but is a convenient target when reality doesn’t fit in with your view. But no one’s buying it. The reality calls for a need for balance, not burying your head in the sand.

                      As for Dayton’s approach, you grant that a broader but lower base is a conservative concept, but then try to twist reality by only citing the things that justify your temper. Again, how Bolshevik, Comrade Brunette. Part of that cost is to cover property tax relief without leaving future deficits. There are also cuts and holds to business tax rates to be covered. The bulk of the rest is to cover investment in education, which has been starved recently, to the point that local districts were preparing to borrow money to maintain operations. So here we have that Brunette Tax in the form of higher local taxes, tuition rates, etc. So either way, people will end up paying to maintain a high standard in down times; your path tries to obscure that fact through vicious attacks. A more responsible approach would be to determine how to best provide services, how to provide the needed support with minimal intrusion, and propose ideas from there. That doesn’t include attacking anyone who tries; there is nothing moral or proper about that.

                      So again, will you address the points mentioned over 15 times now? Will you address the negative effects on growth your approach has, that has been documented over time? Or is it the same Bolshevist approach, where you know best, no matter what the truth is, and everyone else is the enemy? That approach is a cancer upon our society, one that poisons all that we need to do. You can do better. You need to do better, or the people you drive away will be the ones who vote to keep your radical views out of power.

                    • The DFl and Obama are the Bolshevik’s here, not me. They are the oines who claim to know best, and force us do more3 at the government level.

                      Government is not the answer to everyone’s problems. We can’t spend our way to preosperity. It’s not possible, not matter how many times you state it.

                      An know you have a new absurd notion that a tax cut on the wealthy burderns the rest of the base? How? Let’s take the Bush tax cuts for example. Everyone got a cut, except those who pay nothing. revenues went back up to where they were. So where di this mythical burden fall again?

                      You Bolsheviks don’t understand economics. because like them you beleive the state is the answer, that government knows best. To refer to me as one is laughable when you don’t even understand the simplest of economics.

                      You reamin lost in false ideology, and it simple cannot be reasoned with. I get it. Your heart and soul states that government is the answer to every problem under the sun. And that it should grow and grow and grow, until we are the former Soviet Union. I get that. It’s the union model for “fairness” that does not work. Socialism is a failure. Open your eyes and look around the world. Socialsim always fails. It always will because economically it cannot work. Period. And it’s the Bolshevik viewpoint that it can, Obama’s and the DFL’s Bolshevism if you will, that is driving this country to failure. Our government has become unsustainable. You disagree. Bully for you. Enjoy the debt that is the national crisis. revel in it. Hail your socialist Bolshevist leader if it makes you feel better.

                      Reality states otherwise.

                      You are basically calling me a socialist because I’m pointing out that Obama and Dayton are socialists. OK? Do you get it yet? Of course not! I might as well ask that question of a stone in my driveway. I’d get a better answer.

                    • As for the Bolshevism: you are the one using their tactics and mirroring their approach through your own behavior, Mr. Brunette. If you don’t like the comparison, then behave differently, and have some self-responsibility. To be fair, you’re not a Socialist; however, you have a tendency to behave like a totalitarian bully who demeans anyone who offers a different point of view. That’s more in line with Bolshevism in practice than most “socialists” in America could ever be. Not something to be proud of, Mr. Brunette.

                      Second, you said “Government is not the answer to everyone’s problems. We can’t spend our way to preosperity [sic]. It’s not possible, not matter how many times you state it.” Your attempt to hide behind some fabricated big-government story is a lie, one that I predicted would come from you just a few hours ago, on this very forum:

                      “Now you will try to turn that into a straw man about big government and taxing everything, which no one else said or suggested, but is a convenient target when reality doesn’t fit in with your view.”

                      You’re living down to your low expectations, Mr. Brunette. Trying to sell such a claim is an outright lie, a deception used as a distraction, cloaked in malice, bereft of any moral integrity or honesty. Nothing more.

                      You have yet to address one of Sean’s key points from earlier in this discussion, that cutting programs blindly can actually cause economic decline, thereby doing more harm than good. Same as excessive taxation, but you only like one half of the equation, even when the GOP makes the exact same point about national defense spending and other items. How convenient.

                      And you completely ignored the point about the family, and how that relates to the failures in many of the plans. Everybody is going to have to make some sacrifices. Cutting benefits and programs will mean money out of pocket and food off the table for some. Tuition increases will do the same, especially at the rate that has been seen in the last two decades. These Brunette Taxes (named in honor of your tactics in their defense) will increase personal cost and limit access to opportunities, which will stunt economic growth. Therefore, in looking at the situation we should look at the cost-benefit analysis of any option, and balance revenue with prudent cuts. That’s a true business-savvy approach, far better than the single-minded vision you propose.

                      And what are these big-government programs you seem to have filling your head? Again, the areas of spending in the proposal are in restoring and expanding education funding, protecting against increases in business taxes, and providing personal property tax relief. Where is this huge government program only you seem to know about, just like the other “facts” you’ve presented?

                      In all fairness, this is still in negotiation, and revisions can be expected. But the monstrous claims you make are all in your head; they aren’t part of reality. Continuing to try to intimidate and insult others as a way to hide that fact will only drive people away. Much of the rest of the GOP gets this; in time, hopefully they will leave your example behind, and be better conservatives for it.

                    • I know, I know. I’m a bully because I point out that our leadsers are bullies. I accept that I guess. I’m no more obnoxious than Dayton or Obama saying the rich don’t pay their fair share. At least I’m the one in the room telling truth.

                      You’re like my wife’s ex. Boy does that jackass like to hear himself. Blah, blah, blah. Just like your politics, it’s the same thing over and over. Tax and spend, your a meanie, Bolshevik’s, yadda yadda yadda. Has anyone ever slit their throat listening to you prattle on endlessly about nothing new?

                      I’ve been right about all of it. We can cut more, and we know how to do it. The GOP gave us a huge surplus, and paid more of the shift then we borrowed. We didn’t raise taxes.

                      The DFL takes over, on rumor that someone isn’t paying their fair share, and what do we get? The exact same thing we always get from them. More taxes. More spending. No debt reduction. No surprise.

                      I’ll play nice the very second these so called leaders actually tell the truth. In dayton’s case, he’d have to admit the rich do pay their fair share and then some, and that the GOP did a fantastic job last session, and saved the state from another massive deficit.

                      But I won’t hold my breath. This clown will continue to insult every thinking man in the state with his pure nonsense, and I’ll call him out for the fool that he is. A wasted fool at that! If that makes me a jerk, then so be it. We need more jerks calling these jackasses on the carpet for their pure BS.

                      And with that, this thread is done. I’m so bored with your oblivious drivel, it’s just not worth my time or anyone else’s for that matter/ Bolshevik… seriously! What a tool!

                    • So you completely missed the part where Dayton praised the GOP for their efforts at cutting waste, on the very program you mentioned? I don’t see how; it was less than two minutes into his remarks. So even when people agree with you, you need to find something to be angry about. That sounds like a personal problem.

                      As for the Bolshevik comparison… yes, I was poking fun at you, but the ridiculous charges you toss out make it very easy. And being a student of history, they are the closest comparison I see. Yes, I know you’re not a socialist, but in reading your posts I’m reminded of the definition of a fanatic: someone who only believes in one thing and won’t change the subject.

                      And it’s unfortunate that you were unwilling or unable to address some of the points I brought up. On substance, there was the potential for real discussion and debate; I even credited a number of your points. But once again, when evidence was offered that questioned your single-minded approach, you ran from the conversation. Just like with the voter ID debate. Most unfortunate.

                      As for your irrational fears of persecution… those are all in your head. You know very well that the idea of “fair share” right now is in how to deal with a budget shortfall that will require sacrifices from everybody. So it’s fair to discuss cutting Social Security and unemployment, but any mention of tax rates is a witch hunt? Nonsense.

                      Nor would that ever justify the slander and attacks you launch. If you don’t like being called out on that, then be responsible for your words and actions. For too long people on both sides of the spectrum have been able to win victories by setting their hair on fire and screaming loud enough to drown out any other point of view. At times, Mr. Brunette, you present very rational and civilized arguments. At other times, you call people “morons” and drunks, and then cower when people call you on it.

                      It should be called out, regardless of source. And if you continue to go down that path, Mr. Brunette, then it will be called out, as it should be.

  2. Putting off repaying the K-12 shift until after the next gubernatorial election (and when people will be campaigning/grandstanding up for the next presidential election) seems disingenuous. I realize that the economy makes it difficult, but just putting it off over and over doesn’t allow for very good fiscal planning. I thought I remember Dayton making some comment a long time ago about just acknowledging that the “shift” was actually a one-time cut and moving on?

    On the other hand, from a political standpoint, raising the K-12 funding formula rather than repaying the shift is probably better for the schools, since it’s very difficult to reduce the formula once it has been increased.

  3. Progressive sales taxes. We’ve been down this road before, and it backfires every time. The unintended consequences once again, will hurt the poor, all the while the DFL can claim they are the ones looking after them. The smoking poor will be needing a tax break I suppose, because this ciggy tax increase will hurt them tremendously. Maybe we can get them some property tax relief.

    I can tell you right now what will happen with the $100 clothing tax. Those items will be bought online, hurting local retailers even more, causing them to cut back on staff, and their staff are not the wealthy. Nice try, once again, as these morons try to engineer a “fair” tax to the wealthy, and cause pain to everyone else.

    And of course there’s the MOA perspective. Where the draw will be diminished by this new tax, and tourism there will fall, meaning lower staff there as well, and in local hotel business.

    All of this so our state can spend even more money. These people are never going to understand sustainable government. It is an anathema to them.

    • Try and hold your shock, John, but there are some elements to the sales tax reform that I don’t like at all, and I’ll be talking about those more in the next few days.

      • I’m not shocked at all. It seems there was very little DFL support for Dayton’s budget last time around, and I expect no different this time. As I stated above, exec budget’s are a framework that never get much serious support. This is just a starting point.

        Here’s my biggest concern on sales tax reform. They want to reduce the rates and broaden the base. The problem I see it’s only a matter of time before some politician sees that historically higher rates were acceptable to the public, and will jack the rates right back up to where they were, plus having the broader segments follow suit. Give these guys an inch and they will take at least a foot if not a mile.

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    […] Here are the key changes in the proposal compared to Dayton’s original budget: […]

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