Minnesota Management and Budget announced today that, notwithstanding original reports that today’s budget forecast was going to be a billion dollars light, today it was announced that the state is 876 million in the black.
Let’s be clear about something; we have this surplus because the state’s economy grew. And it grew because Mark Dayton’s gigantistic spendthrift agenda was thwarted in the Legislature.
And the credit goes to two groups:
- Minnesota’s businesses, for hiring people (or at least hanging on and laying off fewer of them), keeping them working, and paying for that work. I think it’s safe to say they did this because of the efforts of…
- The GOP-controlled legislature, for holding the line on the budget even as well as they did. While – as the Strib notes – economists note we’re not out of the woods economically, especially because we are tied to the national and international macroeconomy, it could have been a lot worse. (And with an 8,000 vote swing, it could have been a lot better, but we can’t cry over spilled milk).
- A lot of DFL gargling about how it’s not really a surplus, since it was “balanced on the backs of property taxpayers and the poor”. Call BS on that; property taxes are set by city councils and county commissions and school boards; Local Government Aid, our state’s redistribution of wealth from the parts of the state that don’t work by the parts that do, is getting reformed; cities and counties – mainly Minneapolis, Saint Paul and Duluth – are going to have to start justifying their waste with their own taxpayers, rather than laundering it through the state. (Did you notice how the parts of the state that don’;t get LGA raised their taxes less than the parts that do?)
- The Vultures will be coming out to feed. Did I say “vultures?” I meant “Vikings”. Expect not a few Grain-Belt-addled weekend statists to say “Hey! We got a billion bucks to spare! Let’s build the stadium right now!”. No. No, a thousand times no. Any Republican who puts Wilfare on the agenda is going to have at least one blogger slagging him and his entire anscestry until the 2012 election, and doing his best to lead a group line-dance on his or her political grave.
Let’s call this for what it is – a huge win by the Minnesota Legislative GOP Caucus, and for the Minnesota taxpayer.
Let’s make sure we Real Minnesotans spend the next 11 months making sure the rest of Minnesota understands that.