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What do you think of the budget deal?

July 19, 2011 By Joe Sheeran, Communications Director

While it opens the way to get the state up and running again, the budget compromise does nothing to prevent future budget deficits. Conservatives wouldn’t compromise on taxing millionaires to help balance the budget, forcing us to borrow from school children and future tobacco funds.

What do you think of the budget deal?

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

102 Comments:

  • Bob says:

    July 19, 2011 at 8:17 am

    The budget deal does not solve the problem. It is the same plan Republicans have been using for 40 years- Borrow and spend then force others to fix it later.

  • Bruce says:

    July 19, 2011 at 8:19 am

    It is insane to once again balance the state budget on the backs of children and their future.  What message did the legislature not understand at the last election?  It looks like the republicans are ready to be voted out and the democrats can give it try again.  Hopefully sometime in the future the legislature will stand up and do what is right for all of Minnesota.

  • Doug Harkins says:

    July 19, 2011 at 8:23 am

    I am thoroughly disgusted with the Democrats. Dayton caves in on the tax for the rich, his campaign keystone, thus cementing his reputation as a whimp.  I had hopes for him but he has no spine.  The whole Democratic organization is putrid on the local, state and national level.  Democrats no longer stand for progressive ideas and are afraid to stand up for progressive ideas.  Dems could not stand up to Pawlenty when he was governor and now a Democratic governor cannot stand up to the Republicans.  Both parties are controlled by the corporatocracy and I do not see the Dems, except for a very few, doing anything to stem the take over of our nation.  I have been a life time Democratic voter but will no longer vote except for ANY third party candidate and against onerous constitional amendments.  I hope that the Democratic party finds its voice once again but the party is impotent as of today.

  • Larry Lindsay says:

    July 19, 2011 at 8:25 am

    The budget deal sucks.  I don’t blame Dayton for giving in, but once again, the middle class and the needy suffer and the rich come away unscathed.  To make matters worse, I believe that many of the well off wouldn’t mind an increase in their tax rate.

    I wish every republican could suffer the same economic hardship that they are passing on to the needy.

  • michael sampica says:

    July 19, 2011 at 8:30 am

    this is a complete cave in to 1930’s style economics where some well financed Archie Bunkers have some Republicans believing that the government is bad no matter what and that all you have to do is reduce taxes on the wealthy and presto there will be job growth.

    This supply side ecomomics was a complete failure under Reagan and did nothing but give us the biggest debt ever up to that time, it failed under Bush 2 when he inherited a big surplus and created the biggest deficit in the history of this country. Reducing taxes on the top 2% does nothing for the ecomomy except make those people even wealthier.

    When are we going to stop believing in this fairy tale and start taking a balanced approach to government and to its revenue challenges. This budget deal should never have happend and now we are going to pay even more in 2 years because the people from the Tea Party think they are divinely ordained to run this government.

    It can now be publicly revealed that they are the King with no clothes and it is time for the TUFF party (Taxpayers United For Fairness) to respond and tell their representatives to find middle ground and stop the give a way to the top 2 and start being responsive to the bottom 98.I hope they fail to get the votes to pass this financial abomination and stop financing the state on backs of the schools.

  • Vern Hyvare Jr. says:

    July 19, 2011 at 8:30 am

    I am not voting for any incumbents in the next election.  They played games all session, did not get their work done on time, and the result is a lot of bad things happened to good people.  We need new blood and we should keep changing until we get people who can get things done.  This state continues to suffer because no plan is in place beyond the current crisis. Our representatives are doing a horrible job.

    thank you

  • Tim Dray says:

    July 19, 2011 at 9:05 am

    The Right Wing has pretty much succeeded with their agendas now.  We reward the powerful, corporations for corruption, millionaires with their tax breaks, and a blind eye to the crimes of the banking and finance industry.  Not to mention the continuation of wars we should never have started, that suck away what money we do have, our young people, and what little respect we once had in the world.
    Yes, their agendas are in place and having their ultimate effect.  Like the bird that shits in its own nest, they are devastating the Lower and Middle class of their own country, while bombing the rest of the world.  Fascist Terrorism…........right here.

  • Larry P says:

    July 19, 2011 at 9:16 am

    The Republicans won again. The Progressive motto to the Republicans should be “Produce Jobs or Get Taxed”.
    This budget deal will not produce the number of jobs required to get the economy on track. The statement, “If you raise my taxes, I will move elsewhere” is the statement of a traitor. They MUST invest in the State and Country that has given them so much. That is the Patriotic thing to do.

  • Karen says:

    July 19, 2011 at 9:26 am

    If we’re doing battle with the republicans who’ve wrapped themselves in the flag and the constitution, then where’s “by the people FOR the people.” The takeover of our state and federal legislatures by coal/oil funded representatives is going to ruin our water and air, destroy our schools and make health care unaffordable. This is greed, and it is not for the people. We need leaders who care about Americans living healthy, productive lives.

  • Bernice Vetsch says:

    July 19, 2011 at 9:43 am

    I hope we won’t be so hard on Governor Dayton that we fail to see how hard he fought to get even this imperfect deal—which does at least re-open the state and bring 22,000 employees back to work.

    The Republican juggernaut is a nation-wide effort to take over America that has been going on for years. IF we had elected Tom Emmer last year, the Rs in the legislature would already have passed the same set of laws that Wisconsin has—anti-democracy, anti-worker, anti-poor people, anti-voters-who-don’t-vote’Right, anti-tax and anti-government pieces of legislation.

    About 800 pieces of this kind of legislation have been prepared by the VERY corporate American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and proposed in every state legislature including ours by ALEC’s local members.  (See www.democraticunderground.com for the names of Minnesota members.)

    See www.alecexposed and The Nation Magazine for extensive info on this organization.

  • Mike Downing says:

    July 19, 2011 at 9:51 am

    The only way that this budget deal can be considered good for our children and grandchildren is if substantial gov’t reform was included in the final agreement.

    Our children & grandchildren cannot be burdened with the average increase in state spending of 17%/biennium. State gov’t must become more efficient and use best practices from other states as well as from business.

  • W. D. (Bill) Hamm says:

    July 19, 2011 at 9:51 am

    Seems we need a greif counselor on this site today. The beautiful thing about the game of politics is that you never truly lose until you quit and run home crying. Many here expected leadership from their momma’s boy Governor who has demonstrated failure over leadership to us before. No one can blame the wolf for smelling weakness and capitalizing upon it. Blow your nose, wipe your eyes, and either get back in the battle or go home where you belong and stay out of the game your too soft to play in.

  • myles spicer says:

    July 19, 2011 at 9:59 am

    I was disappointed for two reasons. First, it is cleanr that it is absolutely essential that we increase revenues if we are to maintain the quality of life we in Minnesota have come to respect in our state; and secondly, Dayton capitulating sends a signal to both the Federal negotiations and other states with our problem, that in the end the conservatives will win out if they just wear down progressives.

    It is a sad ending to a terrible event.

  • Bill Graham says:

    July 19, 2011 at 10:40 am

    In criticizing this loathsome budget deal, we haven’t spoken much about “doing the right thing.”  We have let the Republicans talk purely in terms of numbers, balances and affordability.  We let them get away with papering over the immorality of their anti-social views.  We forget that Republicans don’t fundamentally give a rip about people who are sick and indigent.  They never have believed that public transit was any more than a profligate welfare service.  Without saying it too loudly, they believe in their hearts that the public schools should be made into private “Christian academies.”  They believe that some folks in society are more worthy than others and that the latter should be kept from participating in the life of the community.  In fact, nothing much matters to them that is beyond their own immediate circle of family, business, bank account and the total freedom to act as they choose in their own, immediate best interest. 

    This is their idea of pursuing happiness.  Many of them appear confused when asked how their views serve the public interest.  That such might even exist hadn’t occurred to them.

    Bill Graham
    Burnsville

  • realistII says:

    July 19, 2011 at 10:41 am

    Whether it’s on a state or national level, the strategy of the Republicans remains the same:  use the well-being of the middle class and vulnerable as a bargaining chip.  This group of Republicans clearly doesn’t act in the best interests of the state - they’re absolutely ruthless in their defense of the rich.  And they’ve been winning the battles lately.  Dayton was lucky to get this deal and I couldn’t be happier with his effort.

  • Ginny says:

    July 19, 2011 at 11:04 am

    It’s dishonest and an unfair shot at Governor Dayton who held out and held out and finally gave in because of his compassion for the state workers and the state. I think he called a halt because the republicans did not move an inch, and he saw that they would never move. They don’t care about the effect on the people of the state. They care about their ideology and the numbers—like 15% of state workers be fired.
    I agree with Bernice, and I also think we need to work to elect responsible people who understand finances (these people obviously don’t) and care about Minnesota. We need to start now.

  • Vern Rice says:

    July 19, 2011 at 11:05 am

    It looks like the “no new taxes” crowd will only be removed by the next election. Let’s start getting moderate-leberal people to run against them. We need to move on to this next step.

  • Gail says:

    July 19, 2011 at 11:08 am

    There is no excuse to go from a $30 billion budget to over $35 billion when we are already in debt.
    Let’s reform our tax code and get rid of credits and deductions. Have a flat tax.
    We could exempt the first $15,000 of personal income to help the poor.
    After that, a flat rate. We could even have a temporary extra rate for people earning over a certain amount, maybe $500,000, just until we are out of debt.
    Let’s start examining all state programs and departments for waste and duplicity.
    We need to stop the reputation of Minnesota being the state to go to for welfare and other free benefits. How does that help our quality of life?

  • bill says:

    July 19, 2011 at 11:15 am

    Dayton turns into Pawlenty 2 right before our eyes. Just exactly what is the difference between the Pawlenty budgets and this deal anyway?

  • Bill Habedank says:

    July 19, 2011 at 11:19 am

    My take on this issue was printed in the Saturday July 16 Red wing Republican Eagle.

    Dear Editor:
    A recent conversation I had with a friend, whom I considered a social conservative, touched on the impasse both in Minnesota and in Washington, D.C.  We both agreed that both Democrats and Republicans were to blame.  We also agreed that entitlement programs must be paid for as we go.  I told him that these programs would be self-sufficient if we could change our priorities and use some defense spending money for these purposes.  He agreed but noted that there would still not be enough money for entitlements.  He further explained that nature (or life) cannot always be fair as we would like to see it.  His example was that a wolf would kill and eat a young deer.  “Is that fair” my friend asked?  He said “no” and that is the law of nature and life is inherently unfair.
    I told him there was a big difference because the wolf will only kill what it needs to survive and nothing more.  Man is far different.  Humans tend to take way more that they need and often at the expense of others.  I would conclude that the wolf’s life is far fairer to others than the humans. 
    This brings me back to the political argument of the day and that is “should the rich be willing to pay more than they are?”  Should they continue to take more than they need?  After all, how does one become incredibly wealthy?  They do it because they cannot spend their money fast enough.  Do they spend it to create jobs?  Apparently not because we have had zero job creation since the Bush tax cuts.  They have only seen their net worth increase while the Middle Class and the poor’s declines.

    Going back to the idea of fairness, there are two ways to become fairer.  One is to have the wealthy hire more workers with better pay; better pay so they can support their families.  The alternative is to be taxed at a higher rate to make it fairer.  If you say that both methods are unfair, then I say you are much less fair than the wolf. 

  • Ginny says:

    July 19, 2011 at 11:24 am

    The budget proposal is not a Dayton proposal. It’s strictly GOP as was the Pawlenty budget. We need to quit excoriating Dayton. He has done all he could to get a sensible budget passed that included the rich doing their fair share. The rest of us are. Why not the millionaires and billionaires?
    If a tax on the rich is a job killer, show us the jobs.

  • Cindy E says:

    July 19, 2011 at 11:34 am

    While I find the budget deal extremely distasteful and would have been willing to endure a longer layoff for a better budget, I don’t think Governor Dayton had much choice. Fiscal conservatives had dug in their heels. It was obvious they were not going to compromise. Governor Dayton traveled MN hearing the voices of desperate and angry citizens.  I believe he genuinely felt no compromise could be reached and a protracted shutdown would cause unacceptable levels of harm to Minnesota’s economy and citizens.

  • herbert a. davis says:

    July 19, 2011 at 11:35 am

    The “deal” is an assault on the poor of MN and I am almost embarrassed to have been a Dfl’r.!

    It may be best to let things get worse so that we can do some 1930’s-40’s style awkening!

  • Ruth A. Robelia says:

    July 19, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    I think we were ALECED.  I would like to know how many of their lobbyists were in the capitol when it was closed to the public and press.  I am sick and tired of big corrupted money from out of state telling our state representatives what to think and how high to jump.  What a bunch of bobble-heads.

  • Lynn S. says:

    July 19, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    The Republicans are using the current budget problems to try and dismantle the social safety net programs they have been against since the creation of the programs. The old “starve the beast” approach of the Regan era. They know that if they keep repeating over and over again that the current entitlement programs are not sustainable, the public will begin to believe that it is true and will not question the fairness of “balancing the budget” on the backs of the poor and the middle class. If they allowed Dayton to raise taxes on the wealthy, he would be able to balance the budget and they would lose the leverage needed to dismantle these popular and essential programs. They need this crisis to fuel their political agenda.

  • Yi Li You says:

    July 19, 2011 at 1:56 pm

      Why no one talk about on how to reform Medicaid? Republican legislators seem only interested to cut the Medicaid, MN care benefits. They seem to always think: Medicaid and MN care are just waste of money.

      In fact, it is not true. We need provide basic health care and dental services for those low incomers who have basic health needs. Even should provide emergent medical care for those LPRs who have urgent and chronical medical conditions: e.g. diabetes, hypertension, heart problems, cancer and any urgent surgeries.
      But these may not mean to waste of state money.
      We can ask these receipients to pay affordable monthly premium, e.g. $5 per month.
      Ask them to pay copay: $3.00 clinical visit; restorative co pay for some dental treatments: e.g. deep cleaning, root canal, etc. Just like: before 2003.
      If Medicaid can do these, it can save lot of MA fund.
      But MA should reduce reimbursement to some facilities: like: Senior adult day centers, foster care and group homes.
      There are huge waste in these areas.
    Some senior adult day centers don’t have daily sign-up attendance record. I am wondering how health plans reimburse these centers?
      It is said that health plans gave money to these centers at certain period ahead of time once any seniors approved to attend any Centers.
      MA should allow each senior to attend senior adult day centers max 3 days per week, not 5 days a week.
      This can save a lot of MA funding. And it is better for seniors. If seniors attend 4-5 days per week, it will make seniors too exhausted and waste of MA fund.
      Why state government like to do that?

  • Tom says:

    July 19, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    We need feet on the street!
    Raising the bar on the happiness of riches is NO PAIN. Raise it fairly on all upper tax brackets.It is our Common MArket that makes this wealth possible. It’s the cost of doing business. We owe our legacy and our posterity a sustainable Minnesota economy.
    Deciding some citizens will have no medical, educational, energy or social assistance is PAIN. This is sadistic, condones greed and any semblence of moral civilization. Dayton is not up to the task. We can’t sit back. We should be on the steps of the Capitol at dawn! See you there!

  • Paul Harder says:

    July 19, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Oligarchy

    “a form of government in which all power is vested in a few persons or in a dominant class or clique; government by the few.”

    This is truly what the Republicans are working for… There has been a systematic suppression of wages since the Reagan administration. This only hurts what we used to call the Middle Class (now beginning to be the underclass) and the poor. The purpose being two fold.

    Get rid of the middle class and create a permenent underclass. People who struggle to live do not question authority. They are much easier to control and will do what ever they need to do to keep the roof (what ever that means) over their heads and a little food in their stomachs.

    Create a ruling class (The rich, need I say more?)

    And then we have an Oligarchy.

    It’s time we wake up to this fact and get out to the polls at the next election and throw the bums out (this was a favorite phrase of my Poly Sci Professor in college). The bums are generally people from both parties who favor turning this country into an Oligarchy, they are easy to spot but not so easy to remove from office. The simple reason?

    Money. The have access to it and most of the people worth electing don’t. So it’s all about boots on the ground and phones in your ears if you really want to make change in the next election.

    Choose wisely, tag you’re it!

  • Yi Li You says:

    July 19, 2011 at 2:18 pm

      Besides reform on Medicaid, MN care, not to cut them off,
      I’d like to make some comments on the Republican legislators’ mentality.
      Now the Republican legislator leaders still insist on opposing tax on the super rich. This logic is kind of same as our previous governor Tim Pawlenty. Look at past 8 years, under Pawlenty’s “no new tax” policy, how many more jobs were created?
      The “No New Tax” policy was just the cover of the soaring of property tax.
      If we delay school fund, how public schools will be running? Who will be responsible for thousands of school children in coming fall semester? Let them wonder on streets?
        For those wealthy people may not care, their kids attend private schools anyway. Why Republican legislators like to protect millianairs?
      Is this responsible attitude for these Republican legislators?
      We have to think about the budget issues from entire society’s point of views, not only think from the “elitest” viewpoints. We cannot rely on borrowing money leaving the burden for next generations. That is not responsible attitude, right?

  • herbert a. davis says:

    July 19, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Corporations and lobbyists deserve plenty of the blame, however….
    without the MCCL and the pedophiles bishop the GOP would not have the majority!
    Many faith based voters vote against their interests because the clergy tell them their souls are at risk with regard to how they vote. We are well on our way to a theocracy and that would make a corporatocracy look good!

  • glenn Shull says:

    July 19, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    don’t agree that the children would suffer.
    Only the high paid staffers and counselors would be afraid of losing their jobs. If the kids suffer, then the aforementioned are at fault.

  • Glenn Shull says:

    July 19, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    In almost every comment, you want to bring on Obama and his political lies, dependence
    on gov’t, and get rid of democracy. You want more dependence on gov’t is what I read. God help us in your thinking.

  • Bernie says:

    July 19, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    It is disappointing to see the state increase spending by $1.4 billion. The budget deal did however cut spending by $2 billion from what the budget was originally projected to spend. The $1.4 billion is not recurring revenue so the legislatures and their special interest groups will again have to make the case that they need huge spending increases in 2013.  Big time spenders hate accountability and transparency. This budget deal pushes the spending debate into the public forum, out in the open for all to see. No more back room deals and automatic spending increases.

  • Bernice Vetsch says:

    July 19, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    Mr. Schul:  Are you aware that both of your comments are right out of the Anti-Tax Anti-Government rhetoric of Grover Norquist?

    He (and you) could not be more wrong.
    When people are too poor to feed their children, when they’ve lost their jobs—and with them their health insurance and their homes, when they are elderly and/or have disabilities that make in-home care a necessity, government MUST step in to help.  This is not “dependency” but true needs that people cannot meet by themselves.

    It’s a moral failure on the part of government to continue to make the rich richer while the poor die on the streets for lack of medical care.

  • michael sampica says:

    July 19, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    Glenn, if what you say is true then let’s start with the entitlements the Oil and Gas companies get call depletion allowances, then let’s move to the entitlements the Wall street people get called reduced tax rates based on income seen only as capital gains, or close the entitlement loop holes that GE gets to allow them to pay NO TAXES on 50 billion in income,  and see if those are something you would be interested in eliminating or is it just the “entitlements” the poor and middle class people are getting that should be cut?

  • Bernie says:

    July 19, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    The budget deal came down to a battle of ideologies. Conservatives generally believe in personal responsibility, limited government, free markets, individual liberty, traditional American values and a strong national defense. Conservatives believe the role of government should be to provide people the freedom necessary to pursue their own goals. Conservative policies stress empowerment of the individual to solve problems. Liberals generally believe in government action to achieve equal opportunity and equality for all. They believe it is the duty of government to alleviate social ills and to protect civil liberties and individual human rights. They believe the role of government is to guarantee that no one is in need and generally emphasize the need for government to solve problems. Score this round for the conservatives.

  • RealistII says:

    July 19, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    From the comments on this thread, apparently some people are lacking a historical perspective.  If you want small government and very low taxes, you’re asking for the nineteenth century and all the human suffering that came with it.  Some of the southern states follow that model but who would be happy living in such a system?

  • Bill Habedank says:

    July 19, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    Bernie says:
    “Liberals
    generally believe in government action to achieve equal opportunity and
    equality for all. They believe it is the duty of government to alleviate
    social ills and to protect civil liberties and individual human rights. They
    believe the role of government is to guarantee that no one is in need and
    generally emphasize the need for government to solve problems. Score this
    round for the conservatives.”

    I ask this: If society (what is society without government? it’s chaos) will not do these things then who or what will?  Individuals have not lived up to their duty and they must.  If not individuals then it must be government or else the whole structure of society self-destructs, which is what it appears to be doing.

  • Paul Harder says:

    July 19, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    I agree with Realist. The times of highest sustained growth in this country happened from the end of WWII until the late Mid to late 70’s. Marginal tax rates were very high, as high as 91%. The very wealthy were “reinvesting” their money into their businesses rather than taking the profits and paying such a high tax.

    SO you see, it’s really higher marginal tax rates that help create jobs not lower taxes. All lower taxes do is create more money in the pockets of wealthy people…

    As for entitlements, Social Security is something I have paid into all my life (some 40+ years), to me it isn’t an entitlement. If you want to take it away it theft.

    Choose wisely.

  • michael sampica says:

    July 19, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    Bernie, I guess US history was not one of your favorite subjects as you seem to have a fondness for the good old days when there was no social security, no medicare, no FDA, no health insurance, no 5 day work week, no SEC, and no Banking laws, it was called the 1920’s and the wonderful conservative values you speak of ran the government to the point that the above didn’t exist, there was no national debt, there was no middle class and when large corporations wanted something they did what they wanted under the guise of individual freedom and free markets. These Free Market thinkers were so good at what they did that we ended up with a small economic misstep called the crash of 1929 and the RESULTING GREAT DEPRESSION and 25% unemployment everywhere.

    This wonderful “limited government” that you desire so much has a track record it’s called BEEN THERE DONE THAT FAILED MISERABLY.

    It is time for everyone to realize government is not the enemy here it is the referee that can keep the powerful from becoming the unaccountable. That “Greed, I am only in it for me” is not an American Value or the way to build a society in which there is a level playing field for everyone to attempt to pursue the life style and dreams of his or her choosing.

    Unfortunately you will have to score one for the people who only see the world as a means to an end, who don’t remeber history and are therefore destin to repeat it and who hold dear to the belief that winning at all costs is the way to stay ahead.

  • Joyce Powell says:

    July 19, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    I don’t know all the facts but am disappointed in the Governor backing down from no tax increase for the wealthiest of Minnesotans. If some are going to feel the pain, all should feel pain. It should be evident to all that giving the break to the wealthy business class did not produce jobs. Why should they when they can make a better return by investing in foreign markets and moving business where labor is cheap. The greed will continue.
    This new class of Republicans are only out for the younger people that have no experience in what happens when Governments shut down. The older ones are so far out of reality from what is happening in the real world today that they are just as worthless. It has always been the middle class working person who pays the bills of the nation and they are out of jobs. Lets look at what is costing the money and eliminate all the pet projects. Lets get real here.
    Joyce Powell

  • Ginny says:

    July 19, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    He’s missing more than the historical record of this country. He lacks any kind of caring and compassion for Americans who do need a hand. The New Deal and other later programs were created because Americans knew that they could not allow their neighbors to die from illnesses because they couldn’t afford medical care, or children who needed food, clothing, housing, and medical care. People in this country do die for lack of these things.
    The 18th and 19th centuries were horrible for most people, and many people died or lived disabled and in misery.

  • Carl says:

    July 19, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    It proves to me that our government process is broken.  We have done the same thing every year for the past 4 to 5 years.  Republicans are rigid and unwilling to compromise & Democrats do not have a clear way of communicating their values.  I really question whether Republicans believe in government to better our lives in anyway except to enforce their social values.

  • RealistII says:

    July 19, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    Bernie appears to be posting a description of what the modern Conservative Party believed in during the Eisenhower years.  But that’s ancient history - todays reality is totally different.  John Dean, of Watergate fame, nailed it with his book titled “Conservatives Without a Conscience”.  He does the contrast and comparison to the great conservative stalwarts of the fifties and sixties.  The Dems are losing the war because they aren’t playing by the same rules.  It is just undeniably that on the national level, the Republicans have been bad for the country starting with Reagan - Bush Sr. excepted.

  • V G Olson says:

    July 19, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    The budget deal.  Take money from education and tobacco earmarks to cure a problem they should have seen coming a long way off.  Then to do it not even in a short term manner with repayment within 36 mo. but to leave it open and no interest repayment to the school districts only a repapayment on princple.  in any business outside of govt. people who do these kinds of unethical things go to jail.  Think Hecker Madoff ......  Can we as Minnesotans say “Ponzi Scheme”?

    V. G. Olson

  • KJC says:

    July 20, 2011 at 7:26 am

    What do I think of the Budget Deal?  As I have already said, I am appalled at our inability to produce an actually balanced budget.  Ensuring that our next budget will start in even worse shape. 
    The best article on this topic, the best writing about it?  It just might be in today’s StarTribune, on page A13.  It’s an OpEd titled:  “All Quiet on the Class Warfare Front,” by Mike Meyers (a former Strib BUSINESS reporter.)
    Don’t miss it.

  • myles spicer says:

    July 20, 2011 at 9:36 am

    Bad? Yes. Forever? No.

    This can all be reversed and changed. that is the beauty of our democratic system. Now it is up to us to do it. They are actively working in Wisconsin for the changes we can get.  And now—because of overreach, I believe we have public opinion on our side.

    A lot can be changed in 2012. Let’s do it!

  • Mary Toledo says:

    July 20, 2011 at 9:53 am

    I feel bad for Governor Dayton.  He tried so hard to do the right thing for Minnesota. I’m sure he felt he had to give in to something or everything would have stayed shut down and people would still be out of work.  He did what he had to do in order to keep programs for the people who need help.  I hope the Republicans are happy!!  I don’t think these people, who we (not me!) hired to run this state, is listening to the majority of the people.  You cannot fill that deficit hole with just tax cuts and most sensible people know that.  They were playing the same game Tpaw played for 8 years and where did that get us?  He may have had a balanced budget, but the life we Minnesotans were accustomed to went down the tubes!

  • TJSwift says:

    July 20, 2011 at 9:55 am

    This budget proves the “If no one likes it, it must be good” meme false.

    No one likes this budget, but the Governor demanded some of his special interest partners be satisfied at the expense of others. His signature is evidence of his satisfaction.

    The K-12 “shifts” will never be paid back but if that reality forces reform to the public school status quo, it could be a good thing.

    One thing is sure; public service professionals had better start thinking of ways to make themselves more relavent and efficient if they want to keep their jobs. The public apathy during this shutdown sends the message loud and clear.

  • owen says:

    July 20, 2011 at 9:56 am

    Ho-hum. Borrow here, shift there- the paradigm remains the same.

  • Joyce Powell says:

    July 20, 2011 at 10:27 am

    I hope the people that voted these people in are happy with their choice or remember next election. Maybe then the chosen ones will realize they did not get the message of what the people wanted.
    Joyce

  • Bernice Vetsch says:

    July 20, 2011 at 10:33 am

    The public apathy??????

    You perhaps did not notice any of the rallies at the Capitol, or the news articles and op eds about the harm that can/perhaps will come to Minnesota’s poor, homeless due to physical or mental illness, elderly and/or disabled—all those who cannot survive without the public assistance that state workers provide.

    And the effect on those who wanted to visit the state parks or the History Center or purchase a fishing license or any of the other amenities and necessities normally provided by state workers. 

    And perhaps didn’t hear about the effect on laid-off employees who would have had a hard time making their house payments or rent and paying their other bills had the shutdown not ended. You may not appreciate their work, but 99.9% of Minnesotans do.

  • claire orenstein says:

    July 20, 2011 at 10:44 am

    It’s too bad that a few elected people are so short sighted and have their feet in cement instead of the ability to follow a democratic government that requires compromise on all sides not just one party. Be careful who you vote for in the next election.

  • Greg Kapphahn says:

    July 20, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Since our wealthiest “conservative” friends here in Minnesota have been successful, working through their dysfonic Republican admirers and sycophants in the legislature, in making sure they do not have to live up to their civic responsibility to pay AT LEAST the same percentage of the proceeds of their labors as the middle class and working poor of the state,...

    I propose we amend the Constitution of the State of Minnesota to limit the constitutional rights and access to government services of those wealthy Minnesotans commensurate with their high level of irresponsibility.

    In percentage terms, the less wealthy currently pay 12.3%, the most wealthy currently pay 10.3% i.e. the wealthiest have successfully demanded that they be allowed to welch on 19% of their civic responsibility.

    What would a 19% reduction in the rights of the wealthy look like? I’m sure an entire collection of creative reductions in the rights of those refusing to pay their fair share could be devised.

    Perhaps those welchers could enjoy such fair and just responses to their refusal to share responsibility with the rest of the state by:

    —waiting 19% longer for their court cases (criminal or civil) to be heard, and waiting 19% longer before they are allowed to see their lawyers and be released on bail. (those who pay their fair share of the state court systems deserve preferential treatment over and above those who, despite their massive resources, refuse to do so),

    —permitting processes of all kinds by or on behalf of those refusing to pay their just share of the cost of state government must wait 19% longer than those submitted by other folks, OR just be filed away and not considered until 19% of additional time beyond the previous average time it took for such permits to be considered has passed.

    —people refusing to pay their fair share of the cost of state government could have their voting rights limited to 81% of elections of various kinds (each kind of election considered separately) i.e. the welchers must sit out approximately 20% of elections with each type tracked separately - city, county, school board, and state officers, and national senate and house (presidential elections probably can’t be done this way).

    —people welching on their civic responsibility could have the availability of police, fire, and other emergency services reduced by 19% with the result that approximately every 5th time they or someone at any of their homes or businesses calls 911, emergency services will refuse to respond.

    —In approximately every 5th year, the state could refuse to renew the license tabs or other permits required for the homes, businesses, vehicles and leisure toys of the welchers.

    Perhaps others will want to add to my list of ways that government services could be reduced for those who, despite having wealth which far exceeds the average citizens of the state refuse to live up to their civic responsibility to pay their fair share of the cost of our state government.

    It is long since time when “the rich” who would so much like to believe that they are “different” enough not to have to share equally in the responsibility we, the citizens of Minnesota share with each other,...

    That all those who agree with Leona Helmsley that “We don’t pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes,” are encouraged to shuffle themselves off to states where their overall quality of life will reflect their dysfonically essential cheap and chiseling natures,...

    Leaving the psychologically healthy, more functional among the wealthy of the state of Minnesota behind to work with the rest of us to begin the process of undoing the damage done by the Ventura/Pawlenty years and, by working together, begin to rebuild “the state that works,” to it’s former high-functioning glory.

    (Of course this would also result in the departure from the state of MANY current media owners and commentators, but EVEN THIS would mean that our state media would cease being a propaganda arm which feels a reflexive need to repeat verbatim, without research or question, talking points in support of the fabulously wealthy and return to providing us with far better, far more honest, and far more accurate information.)

  • Ginny says:

    July 20, 2011 at 11:53 am

    That we can undo this mess in the next few years is the one bit of hope I have for this state.
    On the national level, something like three quarters of Americans blame the impasse on raising the debt ceiling on the republicans, and even 58% of republicans blame the republicans. I haven’t seen recent statistics, but I’ll bet they are similar in MN about our budget deal.
    And, yes, do read Mike Meyers’ article in the Star Trib today. It’s a classic.

  • Ginny says:

    July 20, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    In what ways should “public service professionals . . .  start thinking of ways to make themselves more relavent[sic]and efficient if they want to keep their jobs.”
    Possibly you know some “professionals” and maybe even “unprofessionals” who are not relevant or efficient. Or bureaus. Or agencies. If so, it would be helpful if you named them and explained the problem, not just with a generic comment.

  • Lois Pearson says:

    July 20, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    I think this stinks.  I can not believe how we have to follow the Republicans like we have a ring thru our nose.  The Republican party has only hurt this country, and now even more.  Our country is turning into a religious country and no longer working with common sense.

    My dad fought in the 2nd work war for our freedoms and he was a true Democrate. He would be very disappointed with the way the Deomcrates are handling our problems.

  • robb muller says:

    July 20, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Well, that’s I believe 2 billion we have taken from education in the last 4 years? Still people and especially government representatives complain about the quality of education. DUH! It’s like me not paying the electric bill and complaining because the lights don’t work.

  • Dirk Wilder says:

    July 20, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    Next time there’s an attempt to make the wealthiest Minnesotans pay their fair share by increasing their taxes, why not offer a tax credit to those among them who actually create jobs?  That ought to call the Republicans’ bluff.

  • Susan Hagler says:

    July 20, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    Why don’t we have recall elections like Wisconsin?

  • John Sazyer says:

    July 20, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Maybe if more than a couple of hundred people has shown up ast the capitol last week dayton would have felt he had some support. Wisconsin we ain’t.

  • John Andreini says:

    July 20, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    The budget deal reached here in Minnesota is a travesty. I have no illusions that this won’t be the case at the national level, too. Why? The answer is relatively simple. For at least thirty years now Democrats have let Republicans set the parameters of the debate, from taxes to defense to homeland security, it is Republicans who define what is acceptable and not acceptable to put on the table. Weak, fearful Democrats acquiesce time after time and it all seems like business as usual, although our country is being flushed down the toilet as a result.

    In 2008, when Obama was campaigning for the presidency, I like a lot of progressives, thought this guy might actually have the guts to change the paradigm, to lead instead of follow, to stand up to Republicans and say, “These are the issues my administration is going to focus on, and you, Congress, will focus on these issues as well.” I thought I was helping elect a leader. Sadly, that has not been the case. Like his predecessors, Obama grew weak in the knees once he took the oath of office, and now allows Republicans in congress to set the agenda.

    Instead of leading, fighting for what’s right, which is what a true leader does, Dayton gave away the store, bowing to a gang of zealots driven by ideology, not common sense. Democrats will continue losing battle after battle until they stop playing by Republican rules and start standing up to those whose only real goal is, as Grover Norquist said, “drowning government in the bathtub.”

  • Larry P says:

    July 20, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    Create Jobs or Pay Taxes

    This is the only incentive the wealthy in Minnesota or the USA (for that matter) will understand. As long as they don’t have to pay their fair share of taxes, they will not create jobs. It has nothing to do with entitlements, because the wealthy get more in entitlements than the middle of low income groups. Look at the entitlements given to Big Oil, Big Drugs, Big Health and you will see that. CEOs with 100’s of millions in bonuses

  • Bernice Vetsch says:

    July 20, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    John A:  The far right has been building its power and influence for decades—and with unlimited corporate money and a Supreme Court that has joined the fight for democracy on the wrong side, it’s only going harder to overcome their propaganda. But the Center for Media and Democracy is giving it a great try. (See the web site www.alecexposed.org and The Nation magazine articles at www.thenation.org.)

    Moreover, I think Wisconsin’s Tea Party assault was a wakeup call for many liberals there and around the country. We at least have a governor who will stand up to the Right, and Wisconsin may be able to recall theirs next year as it is now recalling six Republican members of its legislature.

    President Obama seems to me enamored by the idea of “concensus” and also (at least to me) to believe that those who got elected in 2010 have the right to get what they want, no matter how bad for America that may be.  He says he’ll be meeting with “the Democrats” today, but I doubt that would be the liberal caucus, which presented a budget that would eliminate the deficit without hurting anyone (see The People’s Budget”). 

    It’s all pretty scary.  Like Germany in 1936-37 perhaps.

  • RealistII says:

    July 20, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Some think Governor Dayton didn’t fight hard enough for a better budget solution.  I don’t agree.  It became clear to him the party opposite is dominated by what best can be described as sociopath politicians.  The Republicans have demonstrated they could care less about the suffering the shutdown was causing.  They were going to defend the interests of the rich no matter what.  Governor Dayton had no choice - it was his people being harmed.

  • gotdaphunk says:

    July 20, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    A revealing twist that illustrates how polarized state politics have become is the fact that Republicans are equally disgusted with this budget. They hate borrowing against tobacco money and they don’t like delaying payments to the schools.

    All the cuts liberals are bemoaning are a fraction of what they would have liked to see. Not just on the social services which they wanted to hit hard, but across the board: education, transportation, environment, even job creation. They are mad about the bonding bill and they failed to tack on amendments on abortion, same sex marriage, and other non-budget items. They feel that a golden opportunity passed to drastically reduce government. Never mind balancing the budget, bring home those campaign promises not to make government more efficient,  but to cripple and punish.

    Republicans have done an excellent job of controlling their elected officials. They won’t break ranks and they won’t compromise on core issues. Democrats like Dayton are faced with this reality. They can either take equally rigid stances and see government collapse or cut the best deal they can.

    Republicans like this rigid control of their reps. A recent poll by the Economist illustrated strikingly reversed views on how they want their elected officials to act. 68% of Democrats felt their reps be allowed to compromise while 66% of Republicans like having their reps locked into pledges with no compromise.

    Don’t like this budget? Republican and Democrat voters must look themselves in the mirror for whom to blame.  Democrats failed at the ballot box by sitting home in 2010. Republicans failed by allowing rigid dogma to overrule common sense. It’s hard to believe that many Republicans would have preferred some sort of revenue increase to avoid borrowing and deferring payments to schools. The Dayton tax the rich wouldn’t fly but something like extending sales tax to services or clothes, while unpopular with both camps might have actually resulted in a balanced budget. This stinker was set in stone after the polls closed in 2010.

  • michael sampica says:

    July 20, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    I couldn’t agree more, realist II has it exactly right.

  • Carol Milowski says:

    July 20, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    The Republicans have shown themselves to be the party of “borrow and spend.”  They like to call the Democrats the party of “tax and spend, but if you “tax and spend” at least you have the virtue of paying as you go, what is the virtue of “borrow and spend’?

  • Wayne says:

    July 20, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    Gov Dayton had no choice:  the State was being held hostage by a group of armed robbers.  The R’s were the ones chanting “shut it down!” in frothing anticipation of a govt shutdown, so is it any wonder that they never gave any effort to resolving the conflict?

    It is a sad day for Minnesota, but I am afraid this process began when the armed robbers barged into office in January. 
    I will never understand how people running for a government job can win votes by being anti-government.  That’s like going into an interview and telling the company managers “This place sucks, and has never / will never do anything right, and I will make sure it does nothing!”  Can you imagine getting any consideration for the job after that?

  • Wayne says:

    July 20, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    Many well-to-do folks are smart enough to realize that their income results from a robust economy with enabled consumers. 

    It is idiotic to think that big companies or wealthy individuals will hire just because they have extra money from tax cuts.  Until consumers get a better foothold and are able to spend, no jobs will be created and everyone will suffer.

  • Ginny says:

    July 20, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    I’m undoubtedly naive and I know I’m over-optimistic, but I agree with some of the commentators that that we can fix this. We have to work for the sensible candidates and the candidates who have a larger view of Minnesota and the world and show up to vote.
    Minnesotans seem to understand that. I hope they remember this in 2012.

  • Lois says:

    July 20, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    I thought that part of what Dayton bargained for was that the Republicans had to drop some of their policy proposals.  Why then does the Environment portion of the bill contain provisions that weaken environmental protections?  (I’m referring to sections that weaken regulations on feedlots and on pollution in Lake Pepin.)

  • Lois says:

    July 20, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    Knowing how hard I work, and how tired I am at the end of a work day, I cannot imagine working twice as hard, much less 25 times harder.  So how is it that some people earn more than 25 times as much as I do?  Thus I cannot believe that people who earn $1,000,000 or more a year are really “earning” it. That is why I believe that, yes, the rich should pay disproportionately more in taxes than the rest of us.

  • Phil says:

    July 20, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    As many have stated, Gov. Dayton agreed to the very-less-than desirable settlement because he, unlike the unprincipled Republicans in the legislature, refused to play Nero and let the state burn. He, in effect, chose a strategic retreat so that, though damaged by this session’s outcome, the state will escape scorched-earth status while, hopefully, middle-class voters come to their senses and throw out the ideologues in the next election. The ink had barely dried on Gov. Dayton’s signatures before Ken Martin of the state DFL sent out an e-mail asking party members to contribute to a campaign to expose the Republican lies and misinformation that led to this mess. In the past, my wife and I have been disappointed in the relative passivity of Democrats in defending themselves from the vicious claims made against the party and its candidates. The tone of Mr. Martin’s statement convinced us that the party is ready to fight back vigorously and, we trust, factually, to educate voters to the number that the GOP has done on the vast majority of Minnesota citizens. Therefore, we immediately sent a contribution of $100 to assist in the DFL’s effort. We urge all of you reading this who agree with this action to join us and contribute whatever you can afford to see that the citizens’s of this state know the consequences of irresponsible government. If you didn’t receive Mr. Martin’s e-mail, just go to the DFL website and make your contribution. Incidentally, I’m acting on my own on this.

  • Fred says:

    July 20, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    For all of those who are upset at having a larger government, more government workers, and higher costs may I just point out that 45 years ago the population of the USA was 200 million.  Now it’s over 300 million.  It’s GOING to cost more for government functions and services based on an increased population.

  • W. D. (Bill) Hamm says:

    July 21, 2011 at 7:40 am

    Jeez Fred, if we had been limited to that same 50% growth of public employees during the last 45 year, I don’t think any of us complaining, do you? Even if they were union.

  • Mike Downing says:

    July 21, 2011 at 9:44 am

    Bill Hamm is 100% right. We would not have these fiscal problems today if state or federal spending only increased by our population growth over the last 40+ years!!

    State spending increases averaged 17%/biennium over the last 38 years (the # of years the DFL controlled the MN Senate.).

  • Rick says:

    July 21, 2011 at 10:00 am

    It is my hope that people are not buying this GOP KoolAid logic of less taxes = more jobs. I have run a business for 20 years where creating jobs has never been affected by how much tax I pay. Nor do I think simply taxing those that earn a bit more can solve our problems. This economy has lost a majority of its’ manufacturing base. Until we recover some of that, I not sure where this all is headed. Also, for the state to take money away from education, it is nothing short of a crime.

  • Ginny says:

    July 21, 2011 at 11:21 am

    Keeping our state expenditures to the level of the 1950s and 1960s, even as a percent, is not taking into account all the demographic and other changes sweeping not just Minnesota, or the U.S., but the world. In the U.S., the population is getting older, partly because we have lower death rates. The huge baby boomer group is retiring now, affecting all kinds of things, including Social Security, Medicare, help for the elderly, fewer of the white workers and more of the immigrants and their children (who are reproducing at a faster rate than their in-migration), and bringing about a host of changes of our whole society.
    The white population will very soon be outnumbered by people of color, and I believe the birth rate of people of color is already higher than that of the whites.
    We have a different attitude toward the disabled, for one example. I remember way back that disabled children were kept in a separate class and all taught together, no matter what their disability, and my guess is the level of teaching (plus teacher attitude) probably did not help and may have made their future worse.
    Nor did we do anything much to throw people of color a rope—or a bootstrap. Everywhere, everywhere, they ran into discrimination in overt and covert ways, like teachers treating them as though they could not learn, and so they didn’t.
    We no longer throw our old into the poor house. We don’t have huge orphanages. We don’t warehouse our mentally ill (we don’t do nearly enough to help them return to a better life of work (and taxes) but they’re not sitting in big brick buildings with absolutely nothing to do—no treatment, no help. There are horrific stories of the mentally ill who do not get treatment, and most of them do not become mass murderers, but they don’t get treated, either (look at the veterans committing suicide, gay children committing suicide—and if they manage to stay alive, they are much less functional and much less employable and much more likely to need government help.
    It’s a lot more complicated than a percentage, which is the only thing I ever see conservatives talking about—numbers, 15%, cutting budgets xx percent, cutting funds for the most vulnerable, for our schools to help equalize opportunity.
    Life is a good deal more complicated than it was in the 1890s, the 1940s, the 1960s, and even 20 years ago.
    When Bob Dylan wrote,“But something is happening here, But you don’t know what it is, Do you, Mister Jones,” he was writing of a more hopeful time. But hopeful or not, it looks to me like most people do not know what’s going on. Maybe they are beginning to.

  • Wayne says:

    July 21, 2011 at 11:32 am

    Of course, there has been inflation AND population growth.

    At any rate, the fiscal mess is due to the last 10 years of: a) massive tax cuts for businesses and individuals w/ no need to spend the money;  b) new wars and programs with no plans to pay for them;  c) the severe economic downturn due to multiple factors, which reduces revenues.

    Mainly, we need the economy growing and incomes growing.  The R’s who ran on job creation are governing with pay cuts and layoffs, while sending even more money to those with no need to spend it.  That spells decreased economic activity, the opposite of what they promised in the campaign.

  • Susan Dailey says:

    July 22, 2011 at 12:39 am

      Whatever happened to the message we got from the Democrats in the Legislature with a Republican administration:  “We can’t waste our political capital voting for bills the executive won’t sign.  We have to work for something that he will sign.”?

  • Wayne says:

    July 22, 2011 at 9:21 am

    That’s the basic difference between D’s and R’s:  The D’s are trying to accomplish useful progress, and can’t do that by passing bills that have no chance of becoming law.  The R’s are about grabbing power to do favors for their sponsors, and will take symbolic votes to posture for the next election.

    It’s the same reason the R’s seem almost proud of a govt shutdown, while the D’s will take action to prevent or end a shutdown, even if that means giving up on most or all of their proposals.

    The R’s are at least consistent:  they campaign telling us that govt is corrupt, incompetent, and ruins everything.  Then when they get elected, they prove it.

  • gotdaphunk says:

    July 22, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    It’s hard to do a good job governing when you hate government.

  • Dan J. says:

    July 23, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Ahhhhh Yes! Couldn’t have put it any better! I thought I made the right choice in voting for President and Governer for that matter. I am very disapointed in the outcome and you can bet I will be looking at other candidates.

  • Dan J says:

    July 23, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    Joyce, I too am very disappointed in the Governer backing down from taxing the wealthiest here in Minnesota! If anything, that was one item I was hoping he would stick with, along with education. Another slam dunk on our education system, but who cares right? Personally, with what the Governer got out of it for the people, the shutdown was not worth it. Well, many of us do care and come next election it will show in the polls.

  • Dan J says:

    July 23, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    I agree with you Paul! Not only are things going on behind closed doors to keep the people down, but they are happening before our own eyes. The longer we allow it to happen, the worse off we will be as a society. Not only are we acting as though we are blindfolded, but soon our mouths will be duct taped and by then, it’s too late. Vote, vote, vote is all I can say. Many of us are not happy with the outcome of this shutdown, so we need to remember this come the next election(s).

  • Bernice Vetsch says:

    July 24, 2011 at 11:10 am

    The governor faced an wall of pro-corporate ideology that turned out to be impossible to influence with any kind of thoughtful discussion.His choice was to accept part of what they demanded in order to end the shutdown rather than to prolong the suffering caused by it.

    How to change Minnesota for the better? Vote every Tea Party/American Legislative Exchange Council/Rigidly Norquistian Republican out of office next November.  They have lost the ability to see how their philosophy harms real people.

  • Dan Conway says:

    July 24, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    Poor, it sucks. Everyone loses. Schools. State Workers. Taxpayers. Sorry, Miller Coors made out like a bandit. Best monthly sales because people thought no beer for the rest of the summer, better stock up.

    Vote the bums out. All the bums. We need to balance the budget. Balance means more income, less spending. Sorry, times are tough and there is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. cause there is no rainbow.

  • Mike Downing says:

    July 25, 2011 at 9:03 am

    ‎“Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one.”—Thomas Paine

  • Paul Harder says:

    July 25, 2011 at 10:22 am

    It seems that none of us are happy with what happened here in Minnesota. And we shouldn’t be happy…  But this is a direct result of the 2010 election when a LOT of us stayed home rather than vote.

    If Gov. Dayton had a supportive legislature the Minnesota state budget would have been balanced in a way we could all support, even if not completely happy.

    We have another chance next year, the entire legislature is up for re-election, that is our chance to make our voices heard. I said this once already and I’ll say it again, the only way to make sure this kind of stuff doesn’t happen is to put our boots on the ground and work for candidates that support a common sense agenda.

    Boots on the ground, phones in our ears, make our voices loud and choose wisely at the polls.

    The good news is that even though Gov. Dayton had to hold his nose and agree to this “deal”, the republicans were not able to enact legislation intended to suppress voting (the voter ID bill), bad faith redistricting, killing stemcell research and several other policy items. The fact that Dayton managed to kill those at least for the time being was a small victory.

    2012 is right around the corner, choose wisely…

  • Paul Harder says:

    July 25, 2011 at 10:29 am

    Mike used a Thomas Paine quote. I love Thomas Paine and Common Sense is a very worthy read so with your indulgence, here are three more Thomas Paine quotes that are approprate for this forum;

    “A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right.”

    “A thing moderately good is not so good as it ought to be. Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice.”

    and perhaps the most approprate…

    “If we do not hang together, we shall surely hang separately.”

    Choose Wisely

  • Mike Downing says:

    July 25, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Paul, Thomas Paine and the rest of our Founding Fathers would agree that we should not hang with the liberal progressives who have torn the very fabric of their grand experiment called the United States. Liberal progressives have been ripping that precious fabric for 75 years. Our Founding Fathers are calling from their graves to repair & restore that fabric that has held this once great country together.

  • Yi LI You says:

    July 25, 2011 at 11:14 am

    What is your point here? What you mean by saying “tear fabric away for 75 years”, etc.

    I don’t get it.

  • Paul Harder says:

    July 25, 2011 at 11:19 am

    Mike, progressive liberals tearing the fabric of this great country?

    I would love to engage you in conversation, but first you will have to tell me how progressives have torn that fabric. A few examples would be good.

    I’m a patriot, I volunteered to serve during Vietnam. My two brothers, My father and 4 grandfathers were in service to this country in the military. I am also a progressive, I happen to believe differently that you but that’s ok, I’m interested in civil discourse. I’m also interested in why you believe as you do, in specifics.

    So if you would like to have a conversation, lets do it, but with facts, not hyperbole.

    Choose wisely.

  • John Andreini says:

    July 25, 2011 at 11:50 am

    So liberals are to blame for our current situation? Who do you think has been running America’s largest companies over the past 75 years? A cabal of Marxist hippies? No, it’s been the Bush’s and Kochs and Waltons. Republicans have sat in the White House for twenty of the past thirty years. The so-called liberal press is owned by people like Rupert Murdoch and Time Warner and Disney, not a cell of wild-eyed leftists. The Supreme Court is firmly under conservative control and has been for some time. How, exactly have liberals been able to tear apart the fabric of society when they have had so little actual power and influence? The reality is that conservative capitalists have had their hands on the control levers of our society and economy over the past 75 years, not liberals. Let’s give credit where credit is due.

  • Joyce Powell says:

    July 25, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    I can’t see that the conservatives that have been in power prior to the present administration did much for the country either. We are coming out of a terrible recession. They used the tax breaks to make more money in foreign markets rather than hire American’s. They moved their factories out of the US where they could hire cheap labor. We didn’t get any taxes from those workers. We did get a lot of inferior products.
    Joyce

  • W. D. (Bill) Hamm says:

    July 25, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Paul, the differance between you and Mike is that he actually put his quote in context while you didn’t. Perhaps we were suppose to infer support for socialism where it did not exist. As for “progressives”, I still have a standing challenge. Go to www.dsausa.org , read their material and come back and tell me how your progressivism is any different than theirs. I preffer honest progressives myself. You might also note which party they are recruiting for.

  • W. D. (Bill) Hamm says:

    July 25, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    What the heck John, capitolists have run the giant Corporations in this country as long as we have existed. What has that to do with “liberal” domination of the political process (that liberal term associated so clearly with progressive, has eliments in both parties). Actually “progressive” politics goes back roughly 100 years in both parties. While you “liberal”/“progressives” are still trying to give away more of “OUR” power to the government, the world reality that SOCIALISM does not work in large diverse countries like ours has passed you by, it never has and never will, why must you continue this ignorance. It is a set up for failure followed closely by dictatorship.

  • Paul Harder says:

    July 25, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    Bill, Interesting website. While I agree with their view of what should be as it relates to the human condition, I do not agree with their view of a democratic economy.

    I had a feeling you were going to send me to what you see as a “communist” organizations website.

    I would consider myself a democratic socialist in the same way as Sen. Bernie Sanders considers himself a democratic socialist, that said I tend to refer to myself as a progressive libertarian.

    Since the right wants to assign their definition to all of the leftist tags, I figured I would use one of the right wing tags to describe myself. I am a social libertarian, not an economic one. I really don’t want government in my life and outside of the roads and some of the other socialist activities we already use, like police and fire protection, I really don’t need the government.

    Do I think Laissez-faire capitalism is the correct economic driver for this country?  No I don’t. That is where my libertarian friends and I part company.

    Government needs to set the rules and create a fair field of play for the businesses that partially drive this economy. That is what they should do, and sadly that is what they haven’t done for a very long time now.

    There is no such thing as a free market.  Is it a free market when Wal-mart can get property tax abatement while your local Ace Hardware can’t? Is it a free market when News Corp gives the US Chamber of Commerce more than a million dollars for them to use their considerable lobby to influence the “Foreign Corrupt Practices Act” to get out of jail free regarding the hacked cell phones and bribary in the UK?

    I don’t think so…

    I personally have done well in this country, I am in that top 10% economically and I generally don’t mind paying my taxes except to fund the wars we are currently engaged in…  so you ask me about my flavor of political bend?

    You ask if I am an honest progressive?

    I think I am…

    and as far as Mike’s Thomas Paine quote being in context, if I remember correctly all that post was was the quote with no context. Perhaps he provided context in an earlier post that I missed, if that is the case, I apologize.

    Choose Wisely.

  • Mike Downing says:

    July 25, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Paul,

    I’d be happy to discuss the silent majority’s views on the US in the near future but right now I have some projects to do in the sun.

    I did enjoy your comment on hyperbole since 90% of the comments on this blog are pure hyperbole and liberal progressive talking points.

  • Paul Harder says:

    July 25, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Mike,

    I appreciate your projects in the sun, I would prefer to be outside myself. I’ll be here when you want to have the conversation.

    As far as Hyperbole, both sides use it to exhaustion, I’d love to chat using facts and history rather than name calling and “talking points”.

    Choose Wisely.

  • Bernice Vetsch says:

    July 25, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    I, too, visited the Democratic Socialists web site and see that its members favor the kind of economy and society that General George Marshall helped western European countries, including Germany, establish after World War II.  A mixed economy is one in which government does what the private sector doesn’t do well or won’t do while capitalism creates wealth and financial stability.

    Until the neocons/corporatists began infuencing European leaders recently (England, France), their mixed economies were the most successful in the world and their people the happiest.