Daytonomics – a noun, referring to economic conditions that look rosy on the surface, but worse and worse the more one examines them. See also: “Potemkin”.
The DFL is running the bulk of their state campaigns – the Legislature, the Constitutional Officers and Governor – on the notion that two years of Daytonomics have left Minnesota an economic powerhouse.
Like squatters who move into an “Architectural Digest” house, there’s still some zing in the state’s economic elevator pitch – leftovers from ten years of at least partial GOP stewardship.
But under the surface?
There are three signs that the various editorial boards are doing their level best to avoid, or at the most downplay:
- State revenue keeps falling short of projections. It’s lagging because personal income tax withholding is slowing down. They’re slowing down because personal income in Minnesota is not keeping pace with expectations as of the last budget session. The fact that it means we’re heading for another deficit is the least of the issues; the economy isn’t that damn good.
- Along those same lines? The Minnesota Zoo is laying people off. Costs are up – thanks, Barack Obama! – but attendance is also down. 4.5%. The Zoo – especially the Minnesota Zoo, which is a pretty spendy day out for a family – is something people do when they’re feeling flush, and feel like showing the kids a good time. You’ll note that attendance at the Como Zoo – which is free, unless you’re a Saint Paul taxpayer – isn’t hurting.
- Oh, yeah – after a year or so of bragging about Minnesota in comparison to Scott Walker’s Wisconsin that Minnesota is dead last in new job creation in the Midwest.
Wanna see the interesting part of this last story? Look in the graph comparing the states in the Midwest. Check out the historical job numbers:
- 10 years ago, when Tim Pawlenty and a GOP House ran the show? Booming economic growth.
- Five years ago, when Tim Pawlenty at least held the line on DFL spending? At the depths of the Great Recession, no less? We were among the region’s leaders!
- Two years ago, at the end of the GOP’s control of the Legislature? Still good.
This is Mark Dayton’s economy.