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Dayton seems increasingly intent on finding some way to end shutdown

Gov. Mark Dayton: "I'm in negotiating mode."
MinnPost photo by James Nord
Gov. Mark Dayton: “I’m in negotiating mode.”

The depth of the problem Gov. Mark Dayton faces grows more evident each day: He cares about governing; the Republican majority he is trying to deal with cares only about winning.

Following his hour-long meeting with House Speaker Kurt Zellers and Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch Tuesday afternoon, Dayton’s resolve to find a way — virtually any way — to get government up and running again was clear.

“I won’t rule anything out,” he said as he spoke of the meeting. “I’m in negotiating mode.”

He seemed to imply his fourth-tier income tax, which would have Minnesota’s wealthiest pay at a level similar to that being paid by the rest of Minnesota, could be set aside if Republicans would step up with any other way to raise revenue.

Different words, demeanors
His words and his demeanor were so much different from the words and demeanors of Zellers and Koch.

It should be noted that on Tuesday, Zellers and Koch were the moderate voices of the Republican Party.

Oh, what a revealing day it was for the GOP.

Sen. Mike Parry of Waseca was tweeting that Dayton should resign as governor.

Dave Thompson, a first-year senator from Lakeville, showed up at the Capitol and addressed reporters while Dayton was meeting with Zellers and Koch.

Thompson lambasted the concept of the “third-way” committee, which former Gov. Arne Carlson and former Vice President Walter Mondale unveiled Tuesday. Thompson said that both had been fiscally irresponsible as political leaders. He made it clear that the committee’s work would be a waste of time, unless it ended up agreeing with the no-new taxes position of the Republican majority.

“If it [the committee of government, finance and business leaders] agrees with the Republican viewpoint, it has done a good job,” Thompson said, with a straight face.

He then went on to reiterate points his party has been making since the campaign: “Contain government growth. … Restrain the growth of government. … Government doesn’t have a revenue problem — it has a spending problem.”

Thompson, like so many in his caucus, believes that repeatedly saying the same things is negotiating.

Michael Brodkorb
Michael Brodkorb

And then, there was the performance of Michael Brodkorb, the behind-the-scenes, two-hatted Republican player. Brodkorb is both the Republican Party’s deputy chairman and the communications director of the Senate Republican caucus.

According to some Republican legislators, even the tiniest step away from party orthodoxy means a slap on the wrist from Brodkorb / the party.

In public places, Brodkorb usually is silent.

But not Tuesday.

When Zellers and Koch came out of their meeting to face questions from reporters, Brodkorb took his usual place at Koch’s shoulder.

GOP’s Brodkorb jumps in
During the question-and-answer session, a reporter asked Koch and Zellers if they thought it was appropriate that the party is using the shutdown as a money-raising tool.

Before either could answer, Brodkorb jumped in.

“DFLers are doing it, too,” he said.

“I was going to ask the governor that question,” the reporter said to Brodkorb.

Zellers finally did get the chance to answer the question that had been directed at him and Koch, not Brodkorb.

“It’s a question for [GOP] Chairman [Tony] Sutton,” Zellers said. “We don’t communicate with Chairman Sutton.”

Later, the reporter did ask Dayton if he thought it was appropriate that the political parties try to use the shutdown crisis as a way to raise money.

Dayton said that as far as he knew, the DFL is not sending out fundraising letters. The communication from the party to DFLers across the state is urging them to sign a petition supporting the governor’s position in this stalemate, the governor said.

“I think that’s appropriate,” Dayton said, adding he doesn’t think that it is appropriate to use the shutdown as a fundraising opportunity.

All of these incidents show the unyielding uni-voice that Dayton is up against.

If there are any moderate Republicans, if there are any conservative Republicans who believe that compromise doesn’t mean total victory, they’re sure shy about stepping forward.

Given the political climate, Dayton will be accused by his own supporters of “caving in” if he keeps trying to find a way to reach out to Republicans.

Human Services budget pivotal issue
In the midst of this, Dayton is doing his utmost to protect as much of the Human Services budget as he can. (The governor, it should be noted, already has proposed deep Human Services cuts.)

Again, this poses a political problem for the governor. For the most part, the people served by Human Services aren’t the state’s political shakers, movers and funders.

Republicans talk about how the Human Services budget — which includes medical services for the poor — is “unsustainable.”

When reporters Tuesday asked Koch and Zellers how many people they were willing to drop from Human Services rolls, Koch responded without blinking an eye.

Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch
MinnPost/James Nord
Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch

“Access is an issue,”Koch said.

But, she was quick to add, the big issue is “unsustainable growth.” Then, she went on to say that with the right sort of reforms, the poor will still be provided for. (Republican reforms have included vouchers, which would “allow” the poor to buy their own health insurances.)

Dayton, meantime, always talks first about all those who would be dropped from Human Services assistance if deep cuts are made.

Still, he said, he holds out hope that his Human Services commissioner, Lucinda Jesson, and Republican legislative leaders can find ways to make the system more efficient without deserting the poor.

Over and over, Dayton talked — as he has since March — of ways to bring resolution to this mess. Sometimes in self-deprecating tones, he talks about how futile his efforts have been.

“The good options I thought I had are unacceptable to the Republican majority,” Dayton said after Tuesday’s meeting.

Meantime, Koch and Zellers came out of the meeting with the governor talking about how they want “a lights-on bill,” how they want to pass a handful of budget bills and push off such controversial items as Human Services down the road. And, of course, they came out of the meeting saying, “No new taxes.”

Republican leaders also are calling this “the governor’s shutdown.”

Through it all, the governor clearly is desperate to find a way to re-open the doors to government offices.

Doug Grow writes about public affairs, state politics and other topics. He can be reached at dgrow [at] minnpost [dot] com.

Comments (67)

  1. Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 07/06/2011 - 09:28 am.

    I’m ready to invest in torches and pitchforks. DOWN WITH THE MN-GOP!

  2. Submitted by Joseph Skar on 07/06/2011 - 09:43 am.

    “Dayton seems increasingly intent on finding some way to end shutdown” – Dayton to fold like wet cardboard.

  3. Submitted by Mark Sobotka on 07/06/2011 - 09:48 am.

    Please Please, somebody bring facts to this discussion. I would like to see a detailed line item side by side comparison of the previous budget 2009 – 2011 with the stimulous funding broken out alongside the proposed Legislative budget passed in May along side the Governor’s proposed budget. A simple 6 column spreadsheet. 2 columns for the category and line item descriptions, 1 column for the state funded portion of the 2009-2011 budget, 1 column for the stimulous funded budget, 1 column for the budget passed by the legislature in May and 1 column for the Governor’s proposed budget.

    And make sure there are line items for the revenue portions as well.

  4. Submitted by Bill Merryman on 07/06/2011 - 09:54 am.

    This is Dayton’s shutdown. He owns it. The GOP legislature passed a balanced budget, with growth in spending from $34 billion to $36 billion. And even though Dayton agreed with 7 of the 12 sections, he vetoed them all, on the last day of the session, proclaiming “he was taking the moral high ground that taxes on the rich must be raised.” Its his shutdown and his alone.

  5. Submitted by jody rooney on 07/06/2011 - 09:57 am.

    I keep reading this and wonder what the heck is wrong with the DFL party.

    Governor Dayton has the high moral ground here. While the Republicans do have a point on limiting the growth of spending doing it on the backs of the poor and during an economic downturn is neither the moral approach nor the right timing.

    We still have a $5 billion dollar problem even with the Republican budget that is not addressed.

    We still are spending on things we shouldn’t be, the legislature didn’t fix that problem.

    Where is the DFL responses that shows leaving money in the hands of the wealthy creates more jobs in Minnesota or more investment in Minnesota or even in the US?

    Trickle down economics doesn’t work it never has, even Milton Friedman the godfather of markets concluded his experiment failed.

    This discussion is not about the number it is about whose ox get’s gored to get to that number.

  6. Submitted by Tim Milner on 07/06/2011 - 10:12 am.

    He seemed to imply his fourth-tier income tax, which would have Minnesota’s wealthiest pay at a level similar to that being paid by the rest of Minnesota, could be set aside if Republicans would step up with any other way to raise revenue.
    I am tired of people mixing apple and oranges to make their point about raising revenue.

    MN income tax is designed to be progressive – those who earn more pay more.

    MN sales tax is based on consumption – those who consume more pay more.

    MN property tax is based on property value – those with higher values pay more.

    But you can’t add them together (which the often quoted tax study does) and conclude that the wealthy (or any class for that matter) pays more/less of their fair share in LOCAL taxes. Everyone pays their fair share – based on rules that are in place for each tax.

    If I was allowed to pay 4% sales tax on my purchase of a lawn mower – that would be unfair. If I was allowed to artificially lower my property value – that would be unfair. But this does not happen.

    So if we need more revenue, let’s apply it evenly. If we want it to be progressive, than let’s change the income tax rates for everyone to get the necessary revenue. If its temporary issue, let’s make it a temporary surcharge with a sunset provision. Make it a larger percentage for higher incomes if you want.

    But let’s stop the nonsense about the wealthy not paying there fair share. It’s simply not true as it is the result of mixing progressive and non progressive taxes to draw a conclusion total local tax paid by the wealthy is not progressive.

  7. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 07/06/2011 - 10:20 am.

    Gov. Dayton, indeed, will NOT “rule anything out.” However, with his entire personality intact, his ability to experience and express compassion and empathy (which Mr. Zellers, and Ms. Koch reveal in their every statement that they CLEARLY lack),

    means he WILL refuse to balance the budget on the back of those who have already been damaged by the cuts made under former Gov. Pawenty’s Norquistian “no new taxes” pledge over the past decade or so

    (and WHEN exactly did the people of Minnesota elect this sad, sick and sorry usurper from outside our state and region, Grover Norquist, to have ANY influence over our state?).

    Gov. Dayton is absolutely right to seek a return to


    to expect that our state’s wealthiest citizens – those who have seen their incomes double, triple and quadruple over the past decade while the rest of us have been stuck in the same place if not gone backward; those who received a massive tax cut ten years ago,…

    and whom Gov. Dayton is now asking to give up only a SMALL PART of that tax cut in order to prevent the services that have long given Minnesota the reputation as one of the best places to live and to start a new business in the nation, from being torn to shreds.

    Gov. Dayton’s standard of measurement for what he will politely listen to, then reject is based on the well being of ALL our state’s citizens.

    The Republicans, however, prove more and more each and every day, that their only standard is the protection of the excessive wealth of the already unjustifiably far too wealthy (at least when measured by the benefit they actually provide to society).

    I thank God for Gov. Dayton’s balanced perspective and his healthy personality and for his courage and willingness to stand in opposition to those who would destroy our state by destroying the quality of life of its citizens and the infrastructures necessary to maintain that quality of life,…

    For the only purpose of kissing the feet and the rings of those who have mastered them and now prevent them from thinking in healthier, more functional, more independent ways.

    (In more fanciful moments, I’m left to wonder who the behind the scenes “Voldermort,” who’s successfully keeping the Republican leadership under an “imperious curse” might be.)

  8. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 07/06/2011 - 10:31 am.

    #1 They’re going to inflict a lot of pain and cause of lot of damage in the process, which will take a LOT of time, energy and money to repair,

    but don’t worry,…

    The MN-GOP, by it’s complete intransigence, justified by nothing but its endlessly-repeated and, to those who are not the victims of the same dysfunctions, clearly false talking points,…

    Is destroying itself more and more, day by day.

    Rather than pitchforks and torches, which would only give them an excuse to try to pass new and unconstitutional “law and order” measures, their self-accomplished total destruction will become clear at the ballot box in fall 2012.

    No doubt, our Republican friends will be shocked to discover (contrary to what they were telling each other in their echo chamber), that the MN GOP has been wiped off the map, statewide.

  9. Submitted by Clayton Haapala on 07/06/2011 - 10:37 am.

    @Bill It is easy to pass a balanced budget. The legislature did it for many years during the Pawlenty debacle, including 2005.
    Passing one the governor will sign is a different problem. Passing a budget piece-meal is too much of a “camel’s nose in the tent” approach, and I applaud Dayton for those vetoes.

  10. Submitted by Susanna Patterson on 07/06/2011 - 10:49 am.

    I’d go along with Rachel Kahler’s “torches-and-pitchforks” approach. Negotiating with the GOP seems about as futile as negotiating with a suicide bomber. Even the mainstream publication USA Today compared the GOP in Washington, DC to the Taliban…I’d say that the same goes for our local Republicans.

  11. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 07/06/2011 - 10:55 am.

    I agree with #3, but I think there should be an additional column or two that describes the effects of these numbers. While there might be a slight increase or decrease in funding in a area, it may mean a significant number of people or projects are pushed off of the eligibility roles.

    It’s the “cereal box” problem. Two years ago, you could buy a 13 oz box of cereal for 2 bucks. Now the box costs $2.50 and it only holds 9 oz. The net effect is that the box of cereal doesn’t go as far and is more expensive, and it runs out sooner than 2 years ago.

    That is the reality of both the GOP and Dayton budget–the effects of the smaller, more expensive box of cereal mean that there will be more hungry people at the end of the week.

    And the effects will not be know until a couple weeks after the legislature adjourns with a signed budget agreement.


    It’s about what you want your government to do.

    By the way, where did (#4) get the $36 billion dollar number? People are still ranting and raving, “not one more penny than $34 billion”.

  12. Submitted by Ralf Wyman on 07/06/2011 - 10:57 am.

    “He cares about governing; the Republican majority he is trying to deal with cares only about winning.”

    And by extension, the Governor cares about Minnesotans, and the GOP cares about their selfish selves.


  13. Submitted by David Greene on 07/06/2011 - 10:59 am.


    You are simplifying things just a little too much.

    The income tax is not progressive after taking into account deductions and schemes to avoid paying the full percentage of tax. First example: capital gains is only taxed at 15% and most of the income for the wealthy comes from capital gains. Second example: the home mortgage interest deduction benefits the wealthy way out of proportion. Interest on multiple properties is deductible.

    On the property tax issue, remember that the burden has been shifted even more toward homeowners and that hurts those on a fixed income the most. This started under Jesse and continued under Tim.

    We ought to be applying sales tax to clothing and services. This would make it a bit more progressive as former Speaker Dee Long has shown.

    And finally, we ought to be taxing internet purchases. We already have a use tax but almost no one pays theirs (I do). As it is, local businesses are competing on an unlevel playing field that is tilted against them. We need to make our economy fair or admit and accept that we’re going to keep losing local businesses.

  14. Submitted by Phil Van Schepen on 07/06/2011 - 11:02 am.

    Since Dayton created the shutdown, I hope he is trying to end it. The GOP is definitely being stubborn. Make no mistake, DAYTON WANTED THE SHUTDOWN AND WANTED IT TO BE HARSH. To say the GOP is at fault is to ignore many facts. Yes the added social strings to the lights on bill, but Dayton didn’t want any lights on anyway. Dayton keeps putting deals on the table only to pull them off and blame the GOP. We have a bunch of adult children playing oneupsmanship. To say the GOP only wants to protect the fat cats is stupid, and to say Dayton only wants the wealthy to pay their share is equally stupid. Lock them all in a room together with a set of Legos, while the rest of the state gets on with their lives.

  15. Submitted by Steven Prince on 07/06/2011 - 11:10 am.

    @BIll Merryman

    The Republicans passed a $34 billion budget, not a $36 billion budget. Even the governor’s final budget offer before the shutdown was less than $36 billion.

    The $34 billion budget passed by the Republicans was billions less then the state’s budget passed under Pawlenty. But the Rebublicans keep saying it reflects “more general fund spending.” Sure, but the last budget used billions of federal stimulus money, and promised to pay local school districts back for over a billion dollars that was part of the budget, but unfunded.

    What’s really criminal about the present proposals is that both sides have abandoned approving a budget where revenues and expenditures match.

  16. Submitted by Paul Crawford on 07/06/2011 - 11:16 am.

    For single taxpayers:
    5.35% on the first $22,770.
    7.05% on income between $23,771 and $74,780.
    7.85% on income of $74,781 and up.

    For married couples filing jointly:
    5.35% on the first $33,280 of income.
    7.05% on income between $33,281 and $132,220.
    7.85% on income of $132,221 and up.

    How, in a supposed progressive tax system, is someone who earns $75,000 taxed at the same rate as multi-millionaires and billionaires? How is that tax fairness? Our government has been protecting the rich by tying them to the middle class.

    Wages are stagnating for the middle class and soaring for the rich, F500 CEO pay was up 23% in 2010, corporate profits are up and they’re sitting on mountains of cash and still not creating jobs (in America), the dollar is being devalued, health care costs, food costs, fuel costs, education costs, are all sky-rocketing. Unemployment? Do the math, there aren’t enough jobs for our workforce, and giveaways to the rich have not worked with the extension of the Bush tax cuts, and they won’t create jobs here in MN.

    My question to any conservative: If we continue on this path, will there ever be a point at which you will raise taxes? If not, where will our state be 2020 considering these trends? State-less, just as intended.

  17. Submitted by Gail O'Hare on 07/06/2011 - 11:17 am.

    I’d like to see the term “high earners” expunged from the media lexicon. The rich do not earn more because they work harder. High income is dependent on other people’s work – if you end up getting most of the cream, then you should contribute more for all the hard work of the little guys who got you there. If you didn’t design it in your head and make it from materials in your own back yard, every single step of every product and service is supported by other people and infrastructure. If you’re a whiz at gambling on the stock market, you’re gambling on the work of other people.

    The rich pay a higher proportion of total tax revenue because they accumulate – by hook or by crook – vastly more wealth than the lower and middle classes combined. Today’s Republicans are throwbacks to feudalism.
    Dayton knows this. I’m proud to have voted for him and to support him unequivoally.

  18. Submitted by Eric Ferguson on 07/06/2011 - 11:19 am.

    If Dayton wanted a shutdown, he should have made a proposal the other side couldn’t possibly accept, and then refused to budge from that position. Instead, he has moved a long way from his position, just asking the Republicans to meet him part way.

    The Republicans are the ones who took a position the other side couldn’t possibly accept, and refuses to budge. Hmm … you’d think they wanted a shutdown. No, I don’t think they wanted a shutdown. They just want everything their own way. Let’s hope we don’t have to wait too long for them to reach adulthood.

  19. Submitted by Virginia Martin on 07/06/2011 - 11:34 am.

    I’m with you, Greg. Governor Dayton is showing a strength and commitment that I had not expected when I voted for him.
    I never see the Republicans discuss the consequences of their cuts on ordinary people and on the poor, homeless, sick, and elderly. They talk only about the great growth of government, an out-of-control government, and our taxation rates compared with other states–as though that’s relevant.
    A small tax on the wealthy is not a “job killer.” Nor are low taxes on the rich a job creator. If it were, we’d be swimming in new jobs and prosperity. Instead for the past decade, on both the state and local level, jobs have disappeared.
    The Republicans cannot prove otherwise.

  20. Submitted by Lickness on 07/06/2011 - 11:38 am.

    The whole idea behind providing people who cannot afford health care insurance with coverage is to minimize the HUGE expense there would be when these same people are forced to show up in emergency rooms at HUGE taxpayer expense because they don’t have the money or insurance to see a doctor before their illness gets too bad. I just can’t see the short-sightedness on this one.

  21. Submitted by Brian Duren on 07/06/2011 - 11:46 am.

    There is greater disparity today between the wealthy and the rest of us in this country than at any other time since the years leading up to the Great Depression. There is greater disparity between the wealthy and the rest of society in this country than in any other developed country in the world. The policies that Koch and the Republicans want to implement will deepen that divide.


I am appalled that Republicans will not even consider an increase in the tax rate for the top 2% of income earners in this state. The MN Department of Revenue released a report a few months ago indicating that the top 10% of MN income earners have an effective tax rate of 10.3% and the rest of us an effective tax rate of 12.3%. The Republicans have that information and still oppose a tax increase on the top 2%.


We need to keep in mind that this budget crisis was created by Republicans: Pawlenty, who refused to compromise during his eight years in office and work with Democrats to create a budget that didn’t get by on shell games, and the current Republican legislature, that will not compromise on anything. Remember that in 2012.

    The Republicans will try to engineer another budget crisis for 2013, so that they can once again push their agenda of lower taxes and cutting funding. They will do this every budget cycle, because for Republicans, a budget crisis is a political and economic tool. If the most vulnerable people in our society are hurt by a shutdown, if the state itself is hurt by a shutdown, they could care less. Remember that, too, when you go to the polls in 2012.

  22. Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 07/06/2011 - 12:15 pm.

    #4 Bill: You may think Dayton “owns” the shutdown but a growing number of Minnesotans disagree for good reason. The response of the Republicans to the Governor’s position reveals their increasing desperation in defending their irresponsible and indefensible position. I think this tells us who’s really feeling the heat. Hopefully, there are still a few of sane individuals in the Republican Party will soon come to their senses and abandon the destructive and extreme ideology of their party.

  23. Submitted by Nathan Roisen on 07/06/2011 - 12:25 pm.

    If there is one Republican talking point that is getting exceptionally tiresome, it is the claim that they sent a balanced budget to Dayton’s desk.

    That budget was as full of smoke and mirrors as any Pawlenty brought forward. For God’s sake, they didn’t even use the non-partisan budget office! Does anyone remember the outside consultants (who of course, stood to profit from privatization of services) that rubber stamped fantasyland budget numbers?

    Maybe Mr. Grow can revisit this issue.

  24. Submitted by Tim Milner on 07/06/2011 - 12:26 pm.

    #17 Gail

    My wife is a primary care physician. She went to 4 years of college, 4 years of medical school, and 3 years of residency. In the first 8 years, she had no income and ~$110,000 of tuition expenses. During Medical School, she was lucky to get about 6 hours of sleep each day – between class, studying and clinical. In residency, she averaged 80 hours of work each week and earned the equivalent of $1.50/hour in wages.

    I also had 4 years of college and spent 3 years getting my MBA while working full time. In 1993, I took a huge risk and started my own business. Worked for several years without taking salary. Twice used personal funds to invest in plant and equipment. My wife and I injected funds into the business during the recession so that we could keep our 60+ employees gainfully employed (at far higher than “liveable” wages and with benefits) rather than lay them off.

    I am glad to hear that we have not worked hard and are simply benefiting from the work of others.

    I certainly admit that there is a relatively small number of people who reap a disproportionate amount of earnings based on their personal effort. But it is a small number and, even if taxed in a special way, would not completely fix the problem.

    How about we acknowledge that this is a global issue and solve it as a global issue instead of making value assumptions regarding one’s efforts into earn a living.

  25. Submitted by Michael Corcoran on 07/06/2011 - 12:33 pm.

    ‘He cares about governing’ who are you trying to kid? This Governor chose this shutdown – and the public is now fully aware of this fact. The worm has turned boys and girls – the Republicans stand by their campaign promises they made last November not to raise taxes and to stop uncontrolled state government spending. Job well done.

  26. Submitted by Bill Coleman on 07/06/2011 - 12:34 pm.

    We cannot let the GOP get by with their constant refrain about the bad old days and how a new path is needed. Minnesota has done very well over the past 50 years by all measures of success – wealth creation, healthy people, educated people, quality infrastructure.

  27. Submitted by Bill Schletzer on 07/06/2011 - 12:36 pm.

    I guess I think Koch and the rest are protecting their own jobs more than they are protecting the rich. I doubt they’d support a tax increase on the poor either. It is nordquist (or whatever his name is) and the tea party they are afraid of, in fact they are too afraid to even admit it. They are puppets without hearts or consciences so they will win the game and Dayton will cave in to them eventually. At least the Republicans stand for something, greed. The Democrats haven’t been willing to fight for anything since the Viet Nam war and the civil rights movement. It will be a sad day soon when the budget deal gets approved because it will signal the final collapse of the Democratic party.

    Sort of hate to use a WWII analogy since people hate them so much but the appeasers sold out Poland and the rest of eastern Europe for no reason but to put off the inevitable. The Republican party is at war with American Government and the failure to stand up to them for the sake of some minor, symbolic “victory” is a fools game. This year 34 billion and vouchers for the poor and no gay marriage. In a few years gays will be in jail, poor farms will reopen and the budget will be 20 billion because that will be the new magic number to create jobs.

  28. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 07/06/2011 - 01:03 pm.

    The most aggravating thing about this was the wasted 5 months of the session. It is blind, hubristic delusion that Dayton would fold the minute the Republicans presented their passed budget bills.

    In my mind, it is clear that the Republicans forced the game into overtime either as a strategy to force a quick, last-minute capitulation or a real lack of understanding how government funding processes work.

    They mistake a 51% vote for a mandate.

  29. Submitted by Lora Jones on 07/06/2011 - 01:13 pm.

    #12 You may say “Bah” but you managed to succinctly state what is all too evident by the GOPers’ actions.

  30. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 07/06/2011 - 01:29 pm.

    I think it’s hilarious and instructive that all these “anti-rich” folks commenting here who would simply confiscate all the rich people’s wealth if they had their way, because lord knows they didn’t earn it, are the same people who voted for Mark Dayton, trust fund baby who’s living off the fruits of his uncles’ labor.

    heh. Carry on.

  31. Submitted by Virginia Martin on 07/06/2011 - 02:01 pm.

    Coincidentally, the conservative David Brooks in his column today talked about the Republican party not being a “normal” party, in discussing the national debt limitation. He says that the members of this movement [the rightwing faction] have no moral decency and no economic theory worthy of its name, and do not accept the legitimacy of scholars and intellectual authority.
    Sounds a lot like the MN GOP.
    And not one of them talks about consequences of such deep cuts, or of the ongoing shutdown. Their goal is to destroy government, a la Grover Norquist, and then they can step back and say “look look government doesn’t work.”

  32. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 07/06/2011 - 04:16 pm.

    ..these “anti-rich” folks commenting here who would simply confiscate all the rich people’s wealth…

    My goodness, Mr. Tester, don’t you think you should lay down for a while and take a rest?

    Apparently the subtle differences between proportional taxation and complete confiscation eludes you at this time–maybe your understanding will improve once you have a nap.

    When you get up, why don’t you review the top tax rate during the period from WW2 until now:

    Stay near your bed, because you may fall over in surprise, because it is at the lowest rate since WW2.

  33. Submitted by Virginia Martin on 07/06/2011 - 05:19 pm.

    Thanks, Neal.
    If Governor Dayton “created the shutdown,” why the hell is he working so hard to end it. He keeps offering compromises, trying to find SOMETHING that he thinks will work to offer the repubs, and their only answer is NO and NO and NO.
    They have not offered one godamn thing.

  34. Submitted by will lynott on 07/06/2011 - 06:22 pm.

    #2, in your wet dreams, kiddo. This Governor is a lot tougher than you ever imagined.

  35. Submitted by Joseph Skar on 07/06/2011 - 06:36 pm.

    -32- You can’t can’t be serious, the tax policy center reports are distorted trash. It’s easy to distort numbers in your favor when exclude all forms of transfer payments and subsidized benefits when calculating gross income. Much like cancellation of debt treatment for income tax, if you derive a financial benefit it should be considered income. No I’m not saying benefits should be taxed, just that they must be considered a financial benefit. Now to your comment above, I wonder if transfer payments and benefits have increased exponentially post WWII?

  36. Submitted by Sheryl christina on 07/06/2011 - 06:38 pm.

    Dayton didn’t have to a government shutdown….it’s on his back. Guess he didn’t care about those people affected.

    Why did the MN Zoo get to reopen but not the race tracks? Anyone know?

  37. Submitted by Susan Maricle on 07/06/2011 - 07:05 pm.

    From, one of the 16 MBTI Types:

    INFP (Introversion/Intuitive/Feeling/Perceiving)
    Idealistic, loyal to their values and to people who are important to them. Want an external life that is congruent with their values. Curious, quick to see possibilities, can be catalysts for implementing ideas. Seek to understand people and to help them fulfill their potential. Adaptable, flexible, and accepting unless a value is threatened.

    Sounds like Governor Dayton is an INFP. Especially judging by the last sentence.

  38. Submitted by will lynott on 07/06/2011 - 07:18 pm.

    “Through it all, the governor clearly is desperate to find a way to re-open the doors to government offices.”

    Jeez, Doug, where do you get this crap? I what you mean is the Governor is working diligently to identify a budget solution that he can sign, then I agree, he’s doing that, as his job requires. He is, of course, getting no help from the Rs, whose only solution other than all cuts is to kick the can down the road with gimmicks and raids on education, like TP did.

    At least try to imitate a responsible journalist. Or are you one of those sad dullards whose only interest is in the horse race?

    “Desperate” my rosy red a$$.

  39. Submitted by Steven Bailey on 07/06/2011 - 08:02 pm.

    At 51 I’ve lived east coast and the west and I’ve been here for 17 years. (marriage) The complete destruction by the extremist Republican terrorists of everything that made decent people feel good about MN is almost complete. At one time we had a Wellstone sign and a sign for Arne at the same time and it was not unusual. The extremist republicans will win and we will leave. The new republicans will always win because it is always easier to break something than to build it. Governor Dayton will give in to save the state and MN will become more like a frozen Mississippi. What a shame!

  40. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 07/07/2011 - 07:49 am.

    Mr. Skar says…-32- You can’t can’t be serious, the tax policy center reports are distorted trash….

    Well, try Wikipedia then…

    They explicitly say their numbers are from the IRS.

    If there is some real source for your reflexive word-spew, then provide it.

    The problem is that there are too many fact-free contentions of what people want to believe as opposed to the actual situation.

    Too many people have forgotten the lesson of the “big lie” and fallen down the rabbit hole of current conservatism. Their subsequently servile distorted worldview makes them an easily used tool.

  41. Submitted by Raj Maddali on 07/07/2011 - 08:34 am.

    Tim Milner

    You are absolutely correct. The “fair share” argument is total bogus. What Dayton is doing is adding those numbers that suit his convenience to come up with this “wealthy” are not paying their share.

    Income taxes are progressive already. The wealthy pay more. A lot more. What Dayton wants to do is make them pay even more. You know like New Jersey.

    Property Taxes. If you are paying more of your income in property taxes, that’s because u bought a bigger house. Are we saying all the SUV’s, mansions etc are bought only by the wealthy.

    Look what the DFL elite do in towns like St. Louis Park. Segregated schools, bloated bureaucracy. This is what the money will be spent on.

    Look how Hennepin County Library blew 40K on a speaker for an hour. Look at the bloated pensions, look at the fraud in the Child care.

    Look at the casinos; they are pocketing hundreds of millions of dollars, while we hear stories like “we should not expand gambling”. Oh please, why don’t they admit it, they get lots of Indian gaming contributions, therefore they come up with this malarkey.

    Of course the “mordern” DFL wants to just keep all these bloated budgets, because they don’t have to pay

  42. Submitted by jody rooney on 07/07/2011 - 10:44 am.

    #41 Mr. Maddali if you think every business expenditure is wise I think you are badly misinformed. But that is not the only area where you are misinformed.

    Fraud in Child care vs. creative business accounting – which one to you think takes more money from the public treasury.

    Tribal casinos are generally taxed by their government at 100%. How they distribute that income varies. Tribes like Shakopee and Prairie Island have very little land and very few members so they distribute a lot of it individually. Tribes like Mille Lacs and White Earth have 4,500 and 20,000+ members and lots of land so they distribute less. They also provide jobs in areas where employment has been unstable.

    Your discussion on taxes and who pays what and how shows a basic lack of understanding of what tax incidence means and where taxes are collected.

    There are two theories of funding public services: Everyone pays equally (fishing license, sales tax, trail pass, drivers license) and People are taxed on their ability to pay (tiered property tax, value defined license tax, income tax). This isn’t a tax the rich this is a “tax the persons who have received the greatest benefit from the public infrastructure.” Given all of they ways people are taxed the tax incident study shows that people with higher incomes pay a smaller percentage of their income in taxes than people with lower incomes.

    If you argue that they receive more benefit you would be wrong. There are a number of public services that the poor by virtue of their immobility can’t access that are publicly supported. There are some that primarily benefit businesses – like the nine foot navigation channel on the Mississippi that none of us will use. There missiles in the Dakota’s we never hope to use. There are legitimate public goods and someone has to pay for them, and some of that is based on the ability to pay.

  43. Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 07/07/2011 - 11:33 am.


    I applaud your and your wife’s hard work. But just because you worked hard does not mean that you didn’t benefit from the commonwealth. Did either of you receive student loans? Did either of you go to a public school? Did either of you have to get licensed or have to get training from a certified individual to perform your jobs? Did either of you benefit from having reduced insurance costs during your schooling? Did you ever use public transportation, public roads, or public safety? Is your house safer because of building codes and police presence? I could go on and on. You benefited from the commonwealth at many points. Those of us who can use those resources to a degree higher than others owe the commonwealth that much more. Yes, if you put someone else in your shoes or my shoes, they might not ahve worked as hard or been smart enough to take advantage of what there is to offer, but that does not mean that if you had worked as hard without those commonwealth resources you would be where you are today. And, in the end, whether you believe in a higher power or not, you can’t take it with you, but you can help make someone else’s life better and give them the same opportunities you had.

  44. Submitted by Raj Maddali on 07/07/2011 - 11:35 am.

    Jody Rooney

    Firstly, no one ever said every business expenditure is wise. That is a very weak justification on your part to justify wasteful and fraudulent expenditure in govt. If there is massive business fraud that is going unpunished, then that should be a shouting point in the next Attorney General’s election.

    Second. Your statement regarding tribal revenues taxed at 100% is simply misleading and false. Tribal gaming are run by the tribal govt. That would be like saying the proceeds of the US Mint are taxed at 100!!!!.

    You have conveniently omitted the hundreds of millions lost to the state of Minnesota by allowing this monopoly to continue.

    Also based on the amount of revenue lost to the state of Minnesota, the quality and quantity of jobs created by these operations are simply pitiful. It shows a complete lack of understanding of free market economics on your part.

    Thirdly. Your theories of public funding are misleading. You refuse to acknowledge that the current income tax is already progressive. You use the same Dayton trick of folding in the property tax, something that i had pointed out in my original post and u completly ignored

    People are already taxed on their ability to pay. Why don’t u just state that u want to use yet another discovered metric to jack up their taxes some more.

    Also stating that there are a number of services that the poor just cannot use, is an extremely weak argument. There are plenty services that are targeted exclusively to the poor and its not like all the tax monies are going for rich man toys.

    Finally u have not addressed the vast monies spent per pupil on public education and the lack of return currently on them. If you were an economist, do you truly believe that the expected utility of funding increases in addition to the massive current funding are going to be so good. Or do u believe that we need to look at how the current dollars need to acheive a better rate of return/productivity.

  45. Submitted by Raj Maddali on 07/07/2011 - 11:42 am.

    #43 Rachel Kahler

    Yes everyone has to pay for these common good government expenditures. Are u aware the “rich” are already paying a lot more for these expenses.

    However are u saying that in these economic times we don’t have a responsibility of curtailing some of these common good expenses?

    Are u saying we need to keep justifying massive spending like hundreds of thousands of dollars for failed school superintendents in Mpls and St. Paul ? Or

    Are u aware that when the “rich” send their children to college they will pay full price. Is there no reward for hard work ?

    Is your answer for every govt expenditure “Let the rich guy pay”.

  46. Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 07/07/2011 - 03:14 pm.


    Forgive me if I cringe at your use of a single letter to convey a 3-letter word and my irritation that just 2 more keystrokes could make you (and your argument) appear more edjucated and mature.

    That being said, I am aware of none of those things. The “rich” are not paying more for those resources–they’re not even paying proportionally for those resources. Income tax rate does not equate to actual income tax rate. And income tax alone does not equate to total tax burden. You appear to be mistaking the income tax brackets and income tax rate for the tax burden.

    Let’s use the top 1% of earners in this country as an example. The IRS reports that they pay 38% of income tax, but “only” make 20% of the income. You must remember that the income is only the income REPORTED. However, this does not include all accumulated wealth. For instance, if my 401K made $10k last year and I didn’t cash it out, I don’t have to report it. The “rich” generally have far more investments with a higher percentage of tax-sheltered investments than the poor. Further, the top 1% wealthiest in this country own 38% of the wealth of this country.

    Do you know how many commonwealth resources are required to produce and protect that wealth? Just for it to exist? I can’t even begin to calculate that. Even if you consider one piece of wealth–a home–it can be considerable. Individually, small home costs far less in resources than a multimillion dollar mansion. The mansion requires more natural resources, commonwealth transportation, commonwealth energy infrastructure, etc., just to BUILD, let alone maintain. Without the commonwealth, it would not only be more expensive to build that home, but might even be impossible, whereas, it is possible to build a small home with little strain on commonwealth resources. Make no mistake, the wealthy are paying a greater share toward the commonwealth, but it is not proportional to the amount of infrastructure and commonwealth resources that they utilize. Even if you ignore the cost of that mansion, the rich benefit FAR MORE from our defense system and regulations (e.g., FDIC– as compared to the poor.

    Still, even if half of this wealth was invested in a savings account at the average interest rate of 0.33% (you can bet your bottom dollar that the average interest rate earned on the wealth of the “rich” is higher than that), that equates to just over half a percent of the entire wealth of this country earned PER YEAR simply by being wealthy. While that doesn’t sound like much, it amounts to about $3.4 TRILLION.

    Also, did you know that the richest 1% benefitted with 3/4 of all the total income growth over the economic expansion of 2002-2006–an economic expansion dependent entirely on the global and national commonwealth infrastructure? (

    As for reward for hard work…there’s plenty of it…if you’re lucky enough to be rich. To suggest that the non-rich don’t work hard is downright foolish. And to suggest that being able to pay for your child’s college education is a reward is equally as foolish–at what point did those kids work hard enough for their parents to pay for their college? Oh, and believe it or not, those kids are still eligible for publicly-subsidized education from kindergarten all the way through college, where they will NEVER pay FULL price…provided they don’t choose non-public education. But that’s a choice, not a requirement. Only a small percentage of the tuition cost of a higher education is “free” for those born to less-than-wealthy parents. Those kids pay close to full price, especially when you consider the full cost of interest on student loans. (

    As for “failed” school superintendents, please feel free to provide a little background/proof for these besides your opinion.

    Finally, my answer for every government expenditure is for everyone to pay and to weigh the need with the benefit, as well as the practical cost and feasibility. Like it or not, much of what the government does is impossible to do at an individual, or even local level. If you want to test that, I’d be happy to direct a bulldozer to the road in front of your residence. Feel free to negotiate with your neighbors on how to connect to your home and whether or not you can use THEIR road once you get off of YOUR road. Now, do that with electricity, education, etc., etc., and you will spend your whole life throwing dollars at problems that could be fixed with pennies by the government and many a headache negotiating with neighbors to get it done.

  47. Submitted by jody rooney on 07/07/2011 - 04:03 pm.

    Good news Raj Maddali I am an economist with 15 years of private and 20 years of public experience. Let’s address your issues.

    First I am not justifying fraud. I think both public and private fraud should be stopped.

    My contention is that private fraud and mismanagement of funds is much more prevalent than public fraud. I have spent several years knowing that there are two sets of books on businesses. The real ones and the ones for IRS. Ask any commercial banker. Or better yet ask a commercial banker why politicians sometimes get better than market rates on personal loans.

    Certainly the recent amounts in just Minnesota from the Peters and Hecker cases would suggest that that is not an inconsequential number. I haven’t done the research to justify my argument but then neither have you to justify your argument.

    I have worked for a tribal government in their corporation and all of the revenues from the business which is a for profit corporation chartered under tribal statute and run by a separate board of directors are turned over to the tribal government. Whether it is called a tax or not it is 100% of the net revenue of a business turned over to the government for distribution for public purposes. Your mint analogy is totally wrong that is a public product manufactured by the federal government. Hardly a good analogy. The casinos are a private service produced for private consumption.

    I didn’t ignore that the current income tax is progressive. So what if it is. That is totally irrelevant. Is there some sort of magic number for each category? No there isn’t? The rates could be 5, 10 and 15 percent. There really is no limit to how progressive it can be and historically it has been a lot more progressive. The sales tax is also considered progressive because it doesn’t extend to food and clothing. The really question is how should government be paid for at every level. This isn’t a soak the rich argument this is an impact argument. Who can afford to pay more?

    There is no undiscovered metric – it is all math and equity.

    As for taxes going to support the rich no we do that through tax expenditures. We may not pay for everyone’s child care but we give them a deduction for the expense. Are you familiar with the homestead property tax credit, how about the second home on a lake that I believe gets a tax break, and what about the mortgage interest deduction. Those are all taxes that could be collected by the local governments but are subsidized by the feds and state. Hardly tax advantages you can take advantage of when you are poor.
    Just like other programs like funding education those tax deductions or a choice that the government made to not collect money from you that they have already been authorized to collect.

    I am not going to get into the discussion on K-12 because I don’t believe the issue is money I believe the issue is asking the education system be substitute parents. There are successful students from every system and there are unsuccessful students from every system. The system is probably not the problem.

    As an economist I believe that once we set our goals as a society. Using statements such as:

    We believe that ….
    We believe that there should be uniform code for conducting business.
    We believe that all children should have access to education.

    And then set performance standards for those belief statements then we should figure out how best to fund them (note you can split any funding into incrementally small parts i.e. collectively we pay for infrastructure individually we pay for operations) based in whether the return is primarily to the individual or to society as a whole, and then monitor the performance for effectiveness (accomplishes the societal goal) and efficiency (is there a more cost effective way to accomplish this).

  48. Submitted by will lynott on 07/07/2011 - 09:04 pm.

    “Property Taxes. If you are paying more of your income in property taxes, that’s because u bought a bigger house.”

    No kidding, #41, you really believe that? Seriously?

  49. Submitted by Raj Maddali on 07/08/2011 - 05:02 am.

    #48 will lynott

    lets go with the easy one. If you bought a house worth 100K or if you bought a house worth 200K, are your property taxes (in the same town) the same. Please.

  50. Submitted by Raj Maddali on 07/08/2011 - 07:02 am.

    Regarding fraud in business, what is there for me to prove or justify. All i said was that we elect such Attorneys General who would be the most aggressive. Else kick them out.

    The tribal casinos are not a private business. They are directly controlled by the tribe, who have set up a private corporation. Give u a clue, go to their web site and click “About Us”, it will lead u directly to the tribal web site.

    However u never answered the question regarding the monopoly gaming and hundreds of millions in lost revenue to the state. U never answered the question on the quality of jobs created by the monopoly tribal gaming.

    The real question of the hour is not “how should government be paid for at every level”. Rather it should “how much government be paid for at every level”. It is not just a question of who can afford it. There is also a question of should be pay for it. Should i pay for a Hennepin County Library that uses $40K for a wine and cheese and one hour speakers fee. Should i pay for $150K pensions. Should i pay for a health care system that does no attempt to cut cost.

    Again, there are plenty of subsidies that target exclusively the poor. And there should be. However i have a right to question how $150K pensions and $40K speaking fees and other bloated govt. payrolls help the poor. Please do not use “the poor” to justify every boondogle govt. spending. In California today, a life guard on the beach makes about $100k a year plus an early pension. Yup, they created a special tax bracket for the wealthy. See where the money went. Did it solve any problems? Nope

    Also a lot of the subsidies / deductions for the rich usually phase out after a certain income level. And that is correct.

    If u agree that money is not the issue, how about some ideas to make the system better. Or do we have to keep spending hundreds of thousand on these “I love the Children” superintendents who bail after 4 years. How about increasing aid money for those parents whose kids finish their school work and decreasing it for those who don’t. How about changes in the school system to detain kids after school to do their homework, how about refusing sports activities, how about detaining them in the same class. Where are the ideas ? All i hear is more money, more money and more money.

    Finally where in addition to the cost efficiency analysis (which is largely absent in govt) what about preventing moral hazards. Do we just keep funding teenage mothers who think it is so cool to pop kids or do we fund the children and force the mother to come and work and study in a supervised manner as long as they are getting the money.

  51. Submitted by Raj Maddali on 07/08/2011 - 07:05 am.

    Luck is when preparation meets opportunity – Seneca.

    We are doing no preparation for our children and therefore they are not ready to take advantage of any opportunity.

  52. Submitted by jody rooney on 07/08/2011 - 10:49 am.

    Mr. Maddeli I am not here to answer all your questions about government. Because clearly you don’t know much about how it operates beyond sound bites.

    I can tell you if all you know about tribes is what you read on their websites (and you clearly didn’t follow all the links to the data) you have a pretty deep hole to climb out of and there isn’t much an educated person can do for you except suggest you perhaps use the library for something other than complaining about expenditures.

    You have stories not data. An “N” of one does not make something a global reality, it just makes it a story. And your emotional responses show that you are more interested in stories and myth than data.

  53. Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 07/08/2011 - 11:23 am.

    @ Raj Maddali (#50 and #51)
    Just because you say something doesn’t make it true. That follows for people named Seneca, too.

    Attorney Generals–Vote smart, vote once. Having to kick someone out of office is a failure on the voter’s part. That being said, why is the AG an issue in this debate? Private fraud must first be discovered, THEN prosecuted.

    Tribal Casinos–While not private business, they are also not public business in that they are independent from the state as part of a tribe and on tribal lands. The “monopoly” of tribal gaming was a deal with the tribes. But, I guess deals can be broken. I’m not against state gaming, but that’s still pie in the sky. We’ve got problems now and they have nothing to do with tribal gaming.

    HC Library–The money spent by the library on the event you mentioned is CONSTITUTIONALLY guaranteed to the arts and/or conservation. Pure red herring as it’s not available to anything else per the will of Minnesota citizens.

    Pensions–I submit that large pensions are rare, and any “reform” on that front would still leave us nearly $5 billion in the hole. Feel free to prove that it IS a real issue rather than another red herring.

    Schools–Just how are your “solutions” going to work? There is absolutely NO evidence that such an approach would work while there is plenty of evidence that the approach this state has historicially taken (spending money on early education, making sure that early educational facilities and primary educational facilities are up to snuff) DOES work. We consistently have high graduation rates and standardized test scores (though, our ranking has slipped since T-Paw became gov.–probably not a coincidence) with adjusted teacher pay falling right in the middle of the pack as compared to other states (though, again, we’re slipping down through the pack). As of 2007, we ranked 20th on cost per student, but we ranked 42 (WOW!) for the cost per unit income. Feel free to take a look at how WELL we are (or were) doing in education: If this is a bad thing, I’d like to see better, since it seems like we’re getting about the best bang for the buck in this country.

    Cost efficiency analysis–Yes, the government does it at nearly every level. I’m sure you can find some spectacular examples of where cost efficiency analysis has gone wrong, but overall, it’s pretty efficient. Can it be improved? You betcha, but not to the tune the GOP would have us believe. Feel free to bring up some numbers on the cost of government as compared to the SAME services contracted by individuals outside of the government. Good luck with that. Even if you can’t get hard numbers, it doesn’t take much more than a bit of common sense to realize that you benefit much more per penny spent through the government than you could by directly contracting.

    Teenage mothers–Providing numbers to support your argument would make your argument stronger. However, the numbers don’t match the hype you push. The teen pregnancy rate has gone down steadily since the 70’s. And Minnesota, as of 2006, was ranked *gasp!* 47th highest pregnancy rate by state. That’s 3rd lowest. That might indicate that there is, in fact, NO incentive for “teenage mothers who thing it’s cool to pop kids” out. In fact, it looks to be just the opposite. Check it out:

  54. Submitted by Raj Maddali on 07/08/2011 - 01:49 pm.

    #52 – Jody Rooney

    You claim to know so much about tribal governance, however when i ask you about the quality of jobs created by casino monopolies you go silent. You silence speaks volumes.

    Lets face it, try to tell me that the Mystic Lake casino is some kind of private entity while their own web site directly points/links to the tribe shows how weak your arguments are.
    And of course now the sofistikated answer, “you clearly did not follow all the links to the data”.

    Of course point out $40K expenditures and $150K pensions and u claim thats not enough data. Of course there will be never enough data to convince you. What do economists have an econometric model of the universe before answering any question.

    I know what i am talking about. You just do not want to answer the tough questions.

  55. Submitted by Raj Maddali on 07/08/2011 - 02:23 pm.

    #53 – Rachel Kahler

    Firstly i had a response to your earlier post that got lost in my submission.

    Why is the AG’s office in the debate ? Because economist Jody Rooney complained about corporate fraud as a counterpoint against govt. fraud.

    Casinos – now why is a casino deal such a pie in the sky. Do you mean the loss of hundred of millions of revenue have nothing to do with tribal gaming. Also the deal does not preclude gaming outside the tribal areas, so what part of the deal are we breaking ? You think casinos don’t have lawyers ? The top lawyers in this town will run there faster than a Ferrari can take them.

    Schools – Your approach has been failing. The demographic composition of MN schools has changed enough to negate any comparison to the Wendell Anderson “good life”. The schools have been failing for minority children , the fastest growing segment in our demographic.

    Cost efficiency analysis – Example. The average salary of a social worker in Dakota County is $70K. Now why don’t u go by any twin cities hospital and get yourself hired at 70K for a social worker position. Good luck with that. Of course that will never meet your requirement of enough data. We all know how that works.

    Pensions – Now pointing out bloated pension liabilities are now a red herring. That kinda contradicts with your whole cost efficiency spiel you are giving.

    Oh well never mind, your focus is proving how little spending $150K on pensions per person means nothing. Yup in addition to the 40K tea party that is CONSTITUTIONALLY” mandated these are all red herrings. You mean they could not spend that money as say for example a library literacy outreach !!!

    Teenage mothers – I think my quotes prove it all. Thank you.

    “For the first time in 16 years, teen pregnancy is on the rise in Minnesota, where in one year the state saw an increase double that of the national pace.”

    ” The states known to have the highest pregnancy rates among black teenagers aged 15–19 were New York, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota (132–149 per 1,000). ”

  56. Submitted by Raj Maddali on 07/08/2011 - 02:31 pm.

    re:Rachel Kahler

    Seneca was a Roman philosopher, mid-1st century AD. Just saying.

  57. Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 07/08/2011 - 03:07 pm.

    You’ve ignored that the answers to your questions are right in front of you. Tribes and tribal property are NOT public property, they are TRIBAL property. Not “sofistikated” at all.

    You’ve made up numbers regarding library spending and pensions, but have provided no basis for them. It is VERY important to note that the $40k you are ranting about is part of a CONSTITUTIONAL amendment (that is, one voted on by the MN public) that guarantees a certain amount of money to arts and conservation that CANNOT be used for anything else. Red herring.

    As for the pensions, they are part of the employment agreement between employees and the state. A contract. We are legally bound to our contracts. The total cost of pensions for ALL MN public employees that are eligible for them is less than 3% of expenditures. Oh, and by the way, pensions are not free. Public employees PAY IN–so pensions are both income and expenditure ( Plus, those MN employees eligible for pensions are likely NOT eligible for Social Security ( and DO NOT get health insurance upon retirement. I suppose you’re for saving a buck so that a person who works to serve the people of the state can retire in a cardboard box.

    I know what I’m talking about. You’ve failed to actually read the information I’ve provided.

  58. Submitted by will lynott on 07/08/2011 - 05:06 pm.

    #48, yes, I guess we’d better make this very simple, indeed.

    What you said in #41 was, “Property Taxes. If you are paying more of your income in property taxes, that’s because u bought a bigger house.” And I asked if you were serious. Apparently, you are.

    Here’s a news flash: people all across this state have experienced huge property tax increases ON THE SAME PROPERTY for the last decade. They did not buy bigger houses. Their taxes went up because their local governments raised their property taxes because in turn state LGA has been dropping like a rock since the turn of the century. Blaming this phenomenon on people buying bigger houses is fatuous.

    Get it now?

  59. Submitted by Raj Maddali on 07/08/2011 - 05:30 pm.

    Rachel Kahler

    “You’ve ignored that the answers to your questions are right in front of you. Tribes and tribal property are NOT public property, they are TRIBAL property. Not “sofistikated” at all.”

    Read the below statement, really, really, really slowly. That was the starting context of the discussion of tribal gaming.

    “”You have conveniently omitted the hundreds of millions lost to the state of Minnesota by allowing this monopoly to continue.”” – #44

    “You’ve made up numbers regarding library spending and pensions, but have provided no basis for them”

    So now you won’t admit that there was a 40K spending on a speaker at the library or there were $150 pensions. Try reading the Star Tribune once in a while. Dont’ worry its quite a liberal rag. Want me to provide a link ? Sure why not

    “Pensions deliver big paydays for top officials”

    Nobody denies that there are pensions and employee contributions. However where was the accountability when this thing was getting out of hand over a number of year. You claimed how there was Cost efficiency analysis. What happened ?

    There u go again on the 40K wine and cheese speaking party. You never answered the question whether that money could have been spent on a literacy program.

  60. Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 07/08/2011 - 06:56 pm.

    I know who Seneca is. (Full name is Lucius Annaeus Seneca.) I’m just sayin’ that dead philosophers often said pretty words, but that doesn’t make them particularly correct or relevant.

    My overall take on your responses is that they are filled with sound bites, statistical anomolies, opinions, and outright falsehoods. They lack depth, understanding, and (particularly importantly) data. I’ve provided you with links to hard data and you outright ignore it.

    Particularly salient to the issue of teen pregnancy (and, generally, your arguments’ lack of depth) is this quotation from the article you mentioned regarding teen pregnancy, “According to data collected by the Minnesota Department of Health, from 2005 to 2006 Minnesota’s teen pregnancy rate grew by 6 percent. The numbers for 2007 are not available yet.” A more recent article ( indicates that a 2 year SMALL increase in teen pregnancy rates does not a trend make. After 16 years of steady decline, there was a blip, followed by another drop.

    Again, you’ve failed to look at facts. You insist on saying that “our education system” is not working, yet I’ve provided an abundance of data that says that’s simply untrue. Your response is as close to “nuh uh” as it gets.

    Regarding gambling, the Federal government requires that each state have a Tribal-state compact. That compact requires agreement between the state and tribes as to how gambling is conducted by tribes. The MN compact requires certain regulations, BUT Federal law states that if the state has a legalized form of gambling, it CANNOT prevent the tribes from having a LESS regulated form of gambling. That means if the state of MN legalizes state-run casino-style gambling, the compact must be renegotiated. See here:
    So, if you think that gambling is going to be the panacea of our budget woes, think again. There are AT LEAST two steps that need to happen before we can even think of building non-tribe casinos: 1. New laws (might or might not be supported by the public and legislature) AND 2. Renegotiate with the tribes. I would wager (hehe) that the tribes will offer a share of their winnings to keep widespread gambling illegal. The state MUST negotiate this and CANNOT force tribes to share profits.

    I could go on, but I won’t. I don’t have all day and I don’t have infinite patience for opinion-based arguments lacking proof or reason.

  61. Submitted by Raj Maddali on 07/08/2011 - 08:48 pm.

    Read this statement in its entirety

    “If you are paying more of your income in property taxes, that’s because u bought a bigger house. Are we saying all the SUV’s, mansions etc are bought only by the wealthy.”

    I point out that a lot of middle class folks bought mansions in the suburbs hence increasing the percent of their income towards property taxes. Are u claiming this never happened ?

    Get it now ?

  62. Submitted by steve anderson on 07/09/2011 - 08:57 am.

    If Gov. Dayton really was concerned, there would have been a lights on bill while they hammered this out. And the fact Gov. Dayton wants to raise taxes, does not matter on who because we all know when that fails they go after the next group, he acknowledges that this state has a spending problem. We really need to look at our budget here and see what can be cut because like most family budgets, we need to live within our budgets and cut out the extras and believe me this state has some extras!

  63. Submitted by jody rooney on 07/09/2011 - 01:35 pm.

    Rachel that was a valiant try I compliment you on your tenacity. You are more patient than I am.

    Now Mr. Maddali you base your discussion on tribes and casinos on Mystic Lake? Can you even name any of the other tribes, not the Casinos but the different tribes that own them? Do you know why there are tribal governments and where their authority comes from and what their relationship is to the state.

    As for wages your argument is irrelevant, no one is required to work in any business – labor is free to move around and people can chose where they want to work. The only publicly reported wages are those from non tribal gaming and indeed those are lower than the wages I am familiar with so perhaps you want to speak to the race tracks and the pull tab charities people.

  64. Submitted by Raj Maddali on 07/09/2011 - 03:46 pm.


    If you feel that being prepared in life to meet and accept opportunity is some kinda out dated and irrelevant concept, i think it shows the rest of us a good insight into your philosophy. i.e that the role of the state is to be the grandparent and the individual has no role in preparing themselves with the resources available. It is pretty sad.

    “Sound bites and statistical anomalies”. First u claim i made up numbers about pensions and library spending.

    Well lets see, the Strib (not exactly a conservative bastion) wrote a full Sunday headline on the poor state of pensions and people who are raking it in because of bad planning. And yet u claim its all hyperbole. I think for u, when u want to avoid a DFL boondogle u just call it “sound bites”. So easy to sweep a few billion under the rug

    Your big spiel on pregnancy omits my post that minorities with kids are among the fastest growing in Minnesota. Am I surprised. No.

    Just like education, where our local school boards mask the poor performance of minority kids by averaging their scores. Yup go School districts like St. Louis Park, where they have what are essentially a private school (Spanish Immersion with 90%+ whites) in a 30% + minority district. For elite whites that is not a problem, because they can always say “Oh look at St. Louis Park how well the schools are doing (and give u the well massaged statistics)”.

    Regarding the tribal gaming. Please read that again. No where does it state that the state is prevented from opening casinos outside the tribal areas. The compacts mainly deal with how gaming is conducted in the tribal casinos. No where in law does it say that if Minnesota allows gaming they have to negotiate a compact for such gaming with the tribes. That could be used as a wedge to force (else gaming in Burnsville , Shakopee) the tribes to give more money. Once again your analysis is erroneous.

    U know the saying. “Those who can’t , teach”. The easiest way forDFL elites to avoid a discussion is to preach to the rest of us bumpkins how unsofistikated we are. If u work in the real world, these kinds of spendings are indicators of bigger boondgogles that lie beneath. Its called the “cockroach theory”.

    That is the same way i cleaned up soccer in St. Louis Park. If u know any good lawyers, u may want to obtain their files from the Secy of State and take a look at their filings – to avoid answering questions my wife and i raised regarding their accounting. Yup, it all started when they claimed they were broke and needed $80 to run kids soccer. I found $170K and forced the president to resign. Now the DFL elite in that town; they did nothing. Surprised. Not at all. Typical DFL.

  65. Submitted by Raj Maddali on 07/09/2011 - 04:24 pm.

    Oh common Ms Rooney, thems are haaaard kuestions. You got to realize I am an affirmative action babyzs. I get to price securities for about 3000 mutual funds and deal with other komplex software issues because i got the job thru the kuota cystem. Me knows nothing about eknomik issues. I just price the dam things and when there are pricing challenges from Wall Street i tell them to go sit on a Wall. Aaah the advantages of a kuota job.

    I focus on gambling in Mistake Lake. I tried to join the Prairie Island tribe so i could get a free buffet at Treasure Island. But they would not let me. I even told them i had prairie grass in my backyard but no luck.

    Then i tried to join the Fond U Lac band of Lake Superior Chippewa to get some free stuff on the way to Duluth at the Black Bear Casino. I told them i had relatives in Fond U lac, wisconsin, but no dice.

    Do u think u could put in a good word for me. I would really appreciate it.

    Again i love it when u correct me for my insolence. I asked about the quality of jobs created by Kasinos and u tell me how labor is free to move around. Gosh darn i thought they were creating some real enigneering, scientefic jobs and industries with all that extra moolah. Me thought that with u being this sofistikated eknomist you would krow about it just a little. You know like Robert Reich; every time i see him on TV he is talking about high paying jobs. Oh well u know thats just TV>

  66. Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 07/11/2011 - 04:41 pm.

    By the way, the article you linked to was regarding several retirees whose pensions are high due to when the money for their pensions was invested. That is, they MADE money on their pension investments, resulting in MORE money. Are you suggesting that if I invested in my 401K and I hit a huge payoff, I’m not entitled to all of my 401K because the people who retired after me weren’t as lucky? That sounds downright…socialist.

    Also, I don’t need to read more slowly. It’s disingenuous to pretend I’m simple because I disagree with you.

    And, no, that $40k couldn’t have been spent on a literacy program. That wouldn’t fit under “art or conservation.” The amendment relevant to the point is: “The Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund receives 19.75 percent of the sales tax revenue resulting from the Legacy amendment to support arts, arts education and arts access, and to preserve Minnesota’s history and cultural heritage.” Literacy programs fall under social or educational programs, not arts programs (not even art education). The amendment can be found here (section 15):

  67. Submitted by Raj Maddali on 07/11/2011 - 06:24 pm.

    My posts keep getting dropped.


    Sound bites

    Regarding teen pregnancies, I pointed out that minority group have among the fastest growing in the nation. You claim thats a sound bite.

    Regarding a concrete example, I provided a concrete example of massive pay discrepancies. You claim that it is a sound bite.

    Regarding Pensions, I provided a full expose by the Strib on the failed pension system. You claim that it is a sound bite.

    Gambling and the Tribal compact

    The Gambling compact does not have to be renegotiated because it does not involve gambling on the tribal lands. Also the level of gaming outside is going to be the same as in the tribes.

    The Mystic Lake folks themselves are claiming the way they can retaliate is to serve liquor in response to additional gambling. Now to me that does not sound like some great constitutional or legislative hindrance. Yet u claim that it is a sound bite.

    I think we see a pattern here.


    “shall be deposited in the arts and cultural heritage fund and may be spent only for arts, arts education, and arts access and to preserve Minnesota’s history and cultural heritage.”

    Rename my suggested to “an art literacy program” and it fits fully and totally into the funding principles of this amendment.

    Regarding Pensions

    “They are also emblematic of a flawed pension system that proved unsustainable”

    On one hand you claimed there are all these cost efficiencies analysis in govt. Here i point out a pension program that has gone BILLIONS in the red due to poor management. Yet u claim its all good.

    The genius of this pension plan management was to assume the rate of returns during the nineties would be the rate of return in perpetuity. Therefore they jacked up the rate of payouts to their retirees.

    Gee, i wonder who ran these programs. And to these same bureaucrats under the same sets of checks and balances we are supposed keep funneling more of our tax dollars for supposedly the common good.

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