The Dayton Dustbowl: The Count Is 0-2

Mark Dayton is scheduled to present his budget tomorrow.

The question, as I see it, isn’t so much “how will he balance the budget” as it is “how far off from balanced will his proposal actually be?”

Let’s take a walk back through recent history.  We’ve been down this road twice before.

The First Dayton Budget:  Immediately after the party conventions last spring, Mark Dayton released a “budget plan” that, a fairly casual examination showed, deserved the scare quotes I just gave it.

It was  three billion dollars short of balancing the forecast shortfall – the $6.2 billion “deficit” in paying for the wish list the DFL kicked down the road after the 2010-2011 biennium – and that was only if you left out some gaping holes in his assumptions (that taxing “snowbirds” is legal, that the state can cut contractor expenses on work that is largely legally-mandated and for which by law no state workers can be currently qualified, that cutting “patronage” jobs will rack up a lot of savings, that the feds will look the other way when Dayton eliminates the testing that is the cornerstone of the feds’ accountability standards, that jacking up licensing fees would shake lots of money out of Minnesota businesses without driving them across the river into Wisconsin or the Dakotas, that the state could violate the law in setting up a teachers health insurance pool, and many other gaps.  Calling it three billion dollars off was a complete gift.

Strike one.

If At First You Don’t Succeed: And then – after Tom Emmer released a coherent, detailed, balanced budget plan – Dayton tried again.  And his second attempt was, by Dayton’s own admission, almost $900 million short; the real figure was well over a billion dollars short, and that’s even if all the assumptions above (before “strike one”) didn’t happen (they will), and the “wealthy” – Minnesotan couples whose income is over $130K a year – don’t move themselves (as “the rich” in Oregon did) or their money (as Mark Dayton himself does) elsewhere, which they will.

So given that Mark Dayton has never once submitted a budget that came within a billion dollars of granting his supporters their wish list, and given that his State of the State address telegraphed a “spend like it’s 1972!” approach to the issue, what do you suppose the odds are that tomorrow’s budget will be ready for prime time – other than, of course, by lowering the defintion of “the rich” to “people with jobs?”

12 thoughts on “The Dayton Dustbowl: The Count Is 0-2

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Dayton budget attempts: two strikes. #stribpol #mnleg #mngov #godfl #narn2 - And here's the windup... --

  2. Let’s play a little game called: What will the Dunken Governor say?

    #1: Blame Pawlenty
    #2: NOT blame the previous House and Senate (in DFL control)
    #3: Protect LGA for his buddies in Minneapols, St. Paul, and Duluth
    #4: Raise income taxes on at least one bracket
    #5: Open sales taxes to other items
    #6: Blame Pawlenty again
    #7: Refuse to defund or reduce one labor position in state government

  3. Might I humbly suggest to the Grand Knight Mitch:

    Call this game: “Drink along with Markie!”

    Assign a drink (shot of your favorite whiskey) value for each phrase or idea that comes out of the Drunken Gov. Shot value depends on the rarity of the chances that the words will spew from the brain-cell killed head of Dayton. Suggestion:

    Blames Pawlenty: Thimble shot
    Raises a tax: Pony shot
    Protects LGA for DFL strongholds: Standard shot

    Takes responsibility for DFL over-spending: Drink a fifth
    Cuts spending with no observable tax change: Chug a bottle

    Ask us to predict out level of intoxication, based on the Former Senate President Metzen’s breath-o-meter.

  4. You people are so mean-spirited. Poor Governor Dayton has only been in office for two months. You should give him some time to run Minnesota into the ground.
    Jim Beam for everyone!!!

  5. Is it just me or when push comes to shove the Dems always blame the person in before them? I don’t remember Bush blaming Clinton for the crash and I don’t remember T-Paw blame Jesse for the mess he left him (even though he easily could have) Moonshine will not make it to my birthday (August 18th)

  6. Notice how Walker in Wisconsin is not blaming Diamond Jim Doyle for the mess there. He is just going to work on the hugh deficit.

  7. Pingback: Shot in the Dark » Blog Archive » The Budget Game

  8. Pingback: Shot in the Dark » Blog Archive » Chanting Points Memo: If You Love Something, Set It Free

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