The Minnesota Critic
is all over the shutdown coverage. Go read.
I'm also going to respond here to SD42 Webmaster
, who has been leaving comments on this blog and over at MDE. The question that he/she has posed is various forms of the following:
The Republicans propose to raise spending 8 PERCENT. How can this possibly not be enough?
No one seems to have answered adequately for him/her, so I'll do my best here.
To properly answer, one has to understand what that number means. And as best as I can tell, it means that Minnesota will spend 8% more money in the next biennium compared to the money it spends now. And at first, that might sound like a lot, but lets break that figure down. I'm told by folks who are supposed to be knowledgeable about this stuff that the 8% number is over the entire biennium, and that it actually means that state spending is going up by 4% a year. That doesn't sound like quite as much, does it? Next, consider inflation, which is (while I don't have exact figures) in the neighborhood of a couple percent a year. Then consider that the state's population is rising, and thus Minnesota is providing services for more people, and that tax revenue is also rising. Finally, the number that SD42 cites may also include accounting shifts that the Legislature made last year. If you spent $100 on something last year, but you paid the credit card bill this year, would you choose to say you spent the money last year or this year? Last year's Legislature chose to say they spent it this year. Thus, 8% may sound like a lot, but really is not enough for all the worthwhile things we need to fund and invest in. I understand that, at 8%, the state actually spends less money per Minnesotan
. And I just don't think that's acceptable.