Friday, July 01, 2011

I wish they'd run away from home instead.

The Minnesota government is doing what governments do when the parties can't agree on how deeply into debt they want to go:
A budget stalemate forced a virtual full shut down of the Minnesota government on Friday and left only a limited array of state services in operation over the busy holiday weekend.

Visitors won't be able to go to the state parks or the zoo, and travelers will find the highway rest stops shuttered. Road construction projects will cease, as will licensing for teachers and businesses.
In other words, they're holding their breath until they turn blue. Maybe if that doesn't work, they'll run away from home. Our legislators did, after all*.

And notice how unbiased the CNNMoney report is? It's all "Oh, noes! They're closing the orphanages and they can't afford to feed the baby giraffles at the zoo!" No mention is made of all the kickback checks that can't be cashed, or how the governor's LearJet is sitting idle for lack of fuel (but of course those are probably 'necessary expenses') or of all the crackheads that aren't getting their stipends that go to subsidize the state's aftershave industry...

*Unfortunately, they came back.


Odysseus said...

We're fortunate in the MO to have both a balanced budget amendment and an amendment requiring tax increases to be ratified by a statewide popular vote.

It doesn't stop politicians from being politicians but it does make the public trough shallower.

Unknown said...

"Visitors won't be able to go to the state parks or the zoo..."

Oh. Without state employees to guide them, people wouldn't know how to use the state parks or the zoo? Or go to the bathroom at a highway rest stop?

"We're laid off, so you can't use your property."

Tremaine said...

MN resident here. No riots in the streets so far but I've got my colander and duct taped ceramic plate vest sitting next to my AR-15 just in case.

My bet is we won't even notice the shutdown.

Schools, jails and city governments are still getting paid. Welfare checks are still going out too so that will keep the drug addicts from going third world on us.

My $02? If this lasts long enough maybe it will teach the citizens that we we really don't need the gov as much as we think we do.

Mn is already has some of the highest state taxes in the nation. We don't need them higher. We need to live within out budget just like my family has to do to high taxes!

Lazy Bike Commuter said...

I wonder if they manage to save a little bit of money during these. Every little bit would help, but somehow I have a feeling it ends up costing more in the long (and short) run.

Bubblehead Les. said...

One down, 49 to go. But I betcha all those State Reps will still have their Paychecks placed in their Bank Accounts.

On a related note, Harry Reid just canceled the Senate's 10 day Holiday Recess (only one day off for us Citizens, of course) so they can "Raise the Debt Ceiling" before Armageddon occurs sometime in August. "If we don't raise the Debt Limit, we won't have a recession (Still in one, Harry!), we won't have a Double Dip Recession, we'll have a Depression WORSE than the Great Depression of the 30's!"

And the IMF says the U.S. MUST raise the Debt Ceiling, or it will STOP efforts to end the World Economic Crisis, i.e., we need more FREE U.S. Money to Bail Out Greece, Ireland, Spain, etc.

I expect the Republitard Golf Buddy Leadership to cave in any day.

Tam said...

"And the IMF says the U.S. MUST raise the Debt Ceiling..."

If they don't shut up, we'll throw their new chief in the pokey, too.

Anonymous said...

Of course, this Minnesota (so-called) shutdown is the Republicans' fault, since they won't agree to Governor Dayton's "screw the rich" tax plan.

Should he (Dayton) realize that even taking from the rich won't help the situation, what then? His only recourse is to lower the "rich" threshold, I presume.

Jon B.

Anonymous said...

They had several months to do this, and couldn't come up with a solution. As a MN taxpayer, I say that if the legislature and the gov can't do their jobs, they shouldn't be paid for the session. They spent the last two weeks going to judges to find out what they could keep open, and what would be shutdown so the finger pointing could begin this morning. "We tried, but weren't able to come to a compromise" Bullshit. They should be locked in a room until this is done. No 4th holiday for anyone, get to work.

OTOH, Tremaine has a point. Let's see how little we miss these services, and what can be cut from the big G. I bet a lot. I wasn't going to go camping, I don't need to renew my DL, so my guess is, this won't bother me a bit.

St Paul

Anonymous said...

"If they don't shut up, we'll throw their new chief in the pokey, too."

Are you kidding, do you have any idea how much the IMF lower staff would pay to have the top 3 layers of appointments thrown in the pokey?

Aside from the inevitable "promotions all around" I suspect there would be a ticker tape parade for the po-po hauling them off.

If you ask nice, I'm sure they'll provide enough dirt to keep prosecutors in clover for years.

If only we could do the same for the fed bureaucracy.

Jim said...

We in Iowa are arming ourselves against the millions of Minnesotans expected to cross our border in mad lust for more government.

Anonymous said...

Another MN resident.
Other than the state parks, I doubt I'll miss a thing before the Repubs cave and it'll be back to business as usual (spending our money on turbo in St. Paul). And honestly, I won't even miss the parks much.

Something I've been toying with is the notion that the legislature should be required to pass a budget and have it signed by the Governor before doing any other work. No passing idiotic bills declaring a state "whatever" day or an official state "whatever" and especially, no legislating with reckless disregard until AFTER the question of how the bills get paid gets answered.
If nothing else, it should reduce the raging torrent of pure fertilizer they produce/inflict on us every session.

WV: "dechads" Not the preferred spelling, but it does describe most of that lot at the state house.


Bob B. said...

in some portion of my misspent life i found myself in night school. during break i had great reason to use the bathroom. it was locked. i proceeded to carve an appropriate message with my Buck knife in the bathroom door and drop my pants. good thing no one was around. next time i was at night school my mess had been cleaned up, door was patched and the door was unlocked here after. i've always considered that a fitting protest. maybe all minnesota residents should find a state building to do there business in front of.

Blackwing1 said...

Yeah, all "non-essential" state personnel have been put on notice, and aren't showing up for "work". Funny how that works...if they're not essential, just frackin' fire 'em all.

Blackwing1 said...

On the local Murderapolis EyeWash News this morning the traffic reporter wasn’t able to access the traffic cameras. Apparently the state turns off the traffic control center computers and cameras during a state shutdown. They’ve blown untold (and now un-countable) millions of taxpayer dollars on the system, with traffic sensors, cameras, and freeway entrance ramp meters (stoplights). The original justification was to improve commuting times. When that failed miserably, they changed their justification to reducing congestion. Now that’s failed, and the justification du jour is improved freeway safety.

So either they’re demonstrating their contempt for our safety by shutting the system down as “non-essential”, or they’re demonstrating their contempt for us by burning our money on a traffic system that does absolutely nothing. Either way, they’re contemptuous of the people (us) paying their bills.

Robert Langham said...

The only reason they have parks, pools and libraries is to shut them down and make folks scream during budget crisis.
I'm in agreement with several commenters: Don't pay the legislators-or their staffs, until the budget is balanced.

alcade said...

"Our legislators did, after all*.

Please stop sending your Democrats to our state. We have quite enough of them as it is.

Thank you for your understanding in this matter.

Anonymous said...

Don't blame the legislators.

Governor Dayton is playing politics, and holding the state hostage.

The legislature passed a balanced budget -- the largest budget in our state's history, with a 6% increase over the last biennium, two months ago.

Dayton, rather than accept that budget, is demanding an 18% biennial increase with his soak-the-rich plan.

Previous shutdowns have been "partial" -- only those budget areas that the governor and the legislature hadn't agreed upon. Governor Dayton has REFUSED to sign even those budget bills in which he and the legislature agree -- in order to force a total shutdown and cause the most pain.

- Andrew Rothman

fast richard said...

Our Governor was born one of the richest people in the state. He then married even more money. His first wife was a Rockefeller. The money from these family connections helped him bypass the party nomination process to become the Democratic Party candidate via the primary.

He now wants to "tax the rich" in a way that will not actually tax his wealth. He has never been much of an income earner. His money is all tucked away in trust funds in another state. His family doesn't even give hime much control of those trust funds, as they know better than to trust him in financial matters.

At least he doesn't have to do without his cook and gardener, as he gets to define what constitutes a critical state worker.

Steve Florman said...

Andrew Rothman hit the nail on the head. Although a lot of MN Republicans are everything Michele Bachmann could want, it's tough to lay this shutdown on anyone's door but Governor Goofy's.

That said, most of us haven't noticed. Some state workers are wasting their time picketing at the Capitol; the smart ones are polishing up their resumes and looking for jobs in real, profit-producing businesses (the few that are left in MN).