Let’s take a quick jaunt through history.
Spring 2011: Governor Dayton proposes a budget with a school payment “shift” – a delay of payments to schools until after an arbitrary date, the end of a fiscal year, to “move” the spending from one budget to another – of something well over $2 billion dollars.
May 2011: The GOP delivers a balanced budget that includes a shift of a little over a billion dollars. The DFL whinges that the GOP is “using a gimmick” to balance the budget. Notwithstanding the fact that Governor Dayton had himself proposed a “shift” twice as large as the GOP’s.
June 2012: The GOP proposes a bill to completely “repay” (i.e., pay before the arbitrary date) the existing “shift”. Governor
Messinger Dayton, incomprehensibly, vetoes it.
DFLers muttered that paying back the shift would have been irresponsible, although they never really said why.
Election Season, 2012: The DFL relentlessly beats the GOP over the head with its chanting point about “Short-changing the children!”, notwithstanding the fact that the GOP had made an effort to fix it, only to be thwarted by Governor
At this point, to the DFL, the “shift” is a campaign bludgeon.
Mid January 2013: The DFL proposes a budget that proposes paying back half of the “Shift”, but in a bill that – notwithstanding that the flood of other new spending and the tsunami of new taxes – has no funding mechanism, so the whole proposal is vapor.
Late January 2013: A DFL legislator says the shift “is just another tool”.
Summary: to the DFL, the “shift” has gone from “Irresponsible to pay back”, to “a fiscal assault weapon aimed at our children!” to “just a tool“.
Conclusion: The DFL defaulted on their promise “to the children”; they defrauded the voters by saying they’d pay “the shift” back, and they lied about the Republicans’ plans to do the same.
Special discussion point: why haven’t Rachel Stassen-Berger, Tom Scheck, Tim Pugmire, John Cronan, Pat Kessler and the rest of the elite capitol press corps reported on this?
CORRECTION: First two grafs were 2011, not 2012. Time flies when you’re fighting rapacious spendthrifts, doesn’t it?