Archive Hosted by the AFL-CIO

Tuesday Talk: Can lawmakers find compromise in balancing the budget?

November 16, 2010 By Joe Sheeran, Communications Director

Even in the most cooperative legislative environment, balancing a $7 billion budget deficit would be difficult. Going into 2011, education and health care programs will undoubtedly be at risk, just how big a risk depends on the recount’s progress. If conservative legal wrangling, keeps Governor Pawlenty in office, expect health and human service cuts. Minnesota would also likely miss the January 15 Medicaid expansion opt-in deadline. Yesterday, Minnesota 2020 examined three possible budget scenarios. What do you think?

What is the best way forward for Minnesota in balancing the state's budget? 

Thanks for participating! Commenting on this conversation is now closed.


  • Tony Carducci says:

    November 16, 2010 at 9:26 am

    The farce must stop. Tax rates for corporations and the rich must be raised considerably. The middle class has been carrying the load in a fashion that exists nowhere else on earth. In fact our own 20th century history-until Reagan’s bait-and-switch arrived- was based on much higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy. It is the only way we can have a functioning civilization. The real corporate tax in America is 8 percent. Warren Buffet admits that his tax rate is much lower than his secretary’s rate. Wake up America.

  • MaryJane Addison says:

    November 16, 2010 at 9:28 am

    We can start by not continuing tax cuts for the wealthiest people.

  • herbert a. davis,jr. says:

    November 16, 2010 at 10:04 am

    Of course they can find compromise, that will be the result.
    One possible choice might be to reform the income tax system in MN by cutting out ALL TAX EXEMTIONS/DEDUCTIONS. My taxes would go up and I would be one of many that has to sacrifice because of the foolish greed of T-paw types and the cooperating dems who have condoned and profited. I’d rather those of us who are the “haves” paid our dues, than see the children of the poor suffer because the righteous right has prevailed.

    The probable outcome will not correct subsidies for the wealthy or taxation of the many religious groups that have helped put the regressives in the drivers seat.

  • Bernie Bauhof says:

    November 16, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    The DFL could not pass bills to increase taxes when they held the majority in the legislature. What makes anyone think they can now? If the DFL wants to pass bills to increase taxes they will need to find 6 Republican members in the House and 4 Republican members in the Senate to join every single DFL member in the legislature in voting for a tax increase. Don’t hold your breath. Hard lessons were learned by Republican lawmakers after the 2006 transportation bill override of the governor’s veto. Don’t expect any of them to cross over now. Center right DFL members understand the mandate from the voters for government to live within its means.  Those who do not understand that have either been replaced by their constituents or are concerned that they will be replaced in the next election.


  • Ginny says:

    November 16, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Avoid grandstanding on minor issues like 1% of library funding for art. There is so little cost savings here, and I am a strong believer in public art and making our cities beautiful and livable and welcome. When we promote our charms, we show photos of the Spoon and Cherry, our beautiful art centers, Ordway, the Mill City Museum (an architectural wonder), and the artistic drinking fountains we have to acknowledge and celebrate this state’s connection to water.
    Art is healing, it makes us feel better, it instructs us, it makes our cities more beautiful.
    When our cities look bleak and uninviting, people don’t want to move here.

  • Bernie Bauhof says:

    November 16, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Ginny so right. The appearance of the city is most important. It attracts visitors, new residents, and business as well. I visited Cleveland recently and it is bleak and uninviting. Ignoring the livability of a city creates a downward spiral.

  • Rick says:

    November 16, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    When Pawlenty commissioned all the former governors of MN. to submit their ideas about balancing the state’s budget, ALL of them talked about a mix of spending cuts,  and some tax increases for increased revenue.  Like Arne Carlson, these people are fiscally conservative and gave their best opinions on how to fix this mess. Gov. Pawlenty proceeded to pooh-pooh all their ideas. Since we now have an elected GOP in the Legislature, the wealthiest 1% ought to feel safe that by paying a little more tax, their money will be better spent by the state government.

  • Steve Janusz says:

    November 16, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    One important way to help the budget problem is in the health care arena.  A single payer health insurance plan would replace our present overly complex and expensive private and public payment structure.  This plan would have one large pool of people that we all pay into based on income level.

    This approach helps small businesses and startups to hire more people without the excess burden of providing health care.

  • Mike Downing says:

    November 16, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    The way to balance our budget is to limit the budget increase to a CPI increase and population increase/decrease.

    Emmer’s budget had an 8% increase and Dayton’s budget had a 15% increase. Both are too high and simply unsustainable.

  • Andy Patnode says:

    November 16, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    So many of these comments are of no help at all. Single payer health plan, delete Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy. Come on folks if you believe that’s going to solve our state budget problems, you’ve got your head in the sand. And unless we come up some workable ideas to help solve our 6 billion shortfall all of us are going to be in trouble.


  • W. D. (Bill) Hamm says:

    November 17, 2010 at 8:15 am

    To answer this question lets start by looking at the things that won’t happen. First is the K-12 budget; we will not see any legislation that would remove Sports programs from basic K-12 funding and back to the community where it belongs, even though this would free up 15%+ of present funding for real education. Nor will we see a reduction to a 2 year teaching degree which would further reduce education costs with no negative affects to education, (2 year degreed teachers were better teachers than these 4 year overpayed morrons leading the teachers union now). Last we will do nothing to return education to local control or in any way undo Federal control over education. Next is Healthcare; no, singlepayer will not be considered because it increases cost not decreases it, even worse it produces far less healthcare for the money. We will do nothing to open the discussion to public input because those in charge don’t give a damn what we think, so nothing will change. Economic Developement and buisness climate may be the only area that we may see some realistic change in with the new GOP leadership. Hopefully we will see some end to the State subsidizing of unsustainable communities and activities. We will see no move away from the costly “Drug War” stupidity that is costing us over $1.5 billion a year. We will see no move toward returning one of the worlds oldest medicinal herbs to our arsenal against disease despite over 10,000 studies world wide supporting it, (medicinal marijuana). We do have a chance now to end the wholesale addiction of children by once again making those responsible liable for their mistaken diagnoses.