What we have here is a failure to compromise. Much of the state budget could have been passed, but the governor chose not to get those parts of the deal done. At midnight the lights went out unnecessarily on lots of state workers and government functions tied to parts of the budget that could have been passed. At the 11th hour legislators proposed a lights-on measure that would have kept the government running for a few more days. The governor dismissed it as a gimmick.If you read the Star Tribune, you would not know that. If you watch WCCO and KARE television, you would not know that, either. But there's more:
In other words, bring on the pain - an unnecessary infliction of pain. But, as they say, sometimes you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet. The DFL governor is apparently thinking he can inflict enough pain on the state to force the Republican Legislature to its knees.
Let's be clear. The Legislature passed a complete budget and sent it to the governor. He vetoed it. Meanwhile, the governor has yet to put forward a full budget himself. Instead, he put forward a set of numbers without the details to back them up.
Problem is, taxing the rich is a Band-aid, not a solution. We already have one of the higher state income taxes in the nation, so clearly high income taxes don't produce balanced budgets.The governor doesn't have a plan. The governor has a worldview. He's been able to get by with that up to this point in his career because he's never been in a position where he has to make executive decisions before now. Now that his worldview has come up against the shoals of reality, he's trying to bend the world, or at least the State of Minnesota, to his worldview.
And if you think even higher income taxes in an already high tax state are the answer, take a look at how things are going in New York, California and New Jersey. Those states have even higher income taxes than we do and still have all the same budget problems, if not worse.
It would be much easier to get behind the soak-the-rich agenda if were working for other states, but it's not. Or if the governor had a budget of his own and would explain to us how this approach will work not only in the upcoming biennium but in the one that follows and that one that follows that.
What's the plan? Tax the rich, then tax the rich again, then tax the rich again?
It's good that the Pioneer Press editorialists have begun to call him out. In order to solve the problem we have, we need the people who buy ink by the barrel to start telling us the whole story. There's a lot more in the editorial I linked -- make sure you read the whole thing.
There's a reason why Mark Dayton went into politics instead of his family's business. The bright people who run Target Corporation have to make executive decisions that make sense and that produce results. If Mark Dayton had wished to pursue an executive career there, he'd have gone nowhere.
Politics is easier than business, as long as you have the right gig. It was easy for Dayton to be state auditor, because he had a professional staff at his disposal that was largely responsible for defined duties, which freed him up to spend most of his time doing something that fits his worldview and skill set -- being a scold. Even though Dayton was a terrible United States Senator, he really couldn't do too much damage there because he was one of 100. Even when Dayton made the bizarre decision to close his office in 2004 because of terror threats that only he saw, Minnesotans were insulated from his actions, because the other senator, Norm Coleman, picked up the slack.
Now Mark Dayton is governor. There was nothing in his career to suggest he had the ability to be an effective governor. He was supposed to have a DFL majority in the lege that would give him what he wanted. He was supposed to be Henry Blake, a guy in a fishing hat who signed whatever his minions brought to his desk. Perhaps he has hidden executive talents that will see him through this mess of his own making, but I doubt it.