Shutdown: Let’s Do It Again

Last summer’s government shutdown, according to Minnesota Management and Budget, was a wash:

A nearly three-week Minnesota government shutdown in July over a budget impasse left broad public frustration, but little impact on state finances, the state’s budget office said on Tuesday.

The longest and most expansive state government shutdown in Minnesota history left 19,000 government employees sitting at home and shuttered road construction projects, state parks, highway rest stops, the state lottery and horse racing tracks.

Costs for lost revenue from compliance with taxes, the lottery, the state parks and preparation leading up to the shutdown totaled about $60 million, but Minnesota also saved about $65 million in compensation not paid to state workers.

That, of course, was why the shutdown only lasted three weeks; Dayton left Saint Paul to go outstate, saw that nobody really cared, and realized that his gambit to squeeze Minnesotans into compliance with his tax-hiking platform was doomed.

Indeed the capsule summary shows a slim $5 million profit.  Here’s where I’ll call BS.  If the MMB – which is an executive office which reports to Mark Dayton – says it’s a $5 million profit, the state likely made out much better than that.

No, I have nothing to base that on – but experience watching the DFL-dominated bureacracy.  Which, in Minnesota, is both unsupportable and usually accurate.

Just saying.

4 thoughts on “Shutdown: Let’s Do It Again

  1. I’m not sure if the the $65 million savings includes an offset for unemployment compensation. Most state employees got about a week and a half of unemployment pay and I think the state is self-insured for it.

  2. Yep, that was the real hidden cost of this sad little episode. All the people who genuninely depend on those services were left to flap in the wind. The question of whether those programs should or shouldn’t exist is different matter. The fact that we have them in place and dishonored a commitment is the point. Unemployment sucks. Without that little insurance benefit, it’s much worse.

  3. I heard several state workers call into KTLK during the shutdown that said they supported the GOPs efforts. Most of them claimed that there was also wide support amongst their colleagues, but these claims can’t be verified. That said, I have faith that at least half of the AFSCME members don’t necessarily follow the DFL doctrine.

  4. It still makes me angry when I think of the number of union members who believe everything the union says (2005: “Budget impasse shutdown? Entirely Governors fault.”, 2011: “Budget impasse shutdown? Entirely Legislators fault.”). The willful stupidity required is staggering, especially in so-called “professional” unions. I think I’ve said it before: if you’re really a pro, you don’t need a union.

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