Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Quick... Find Five Billion, You Have Five Days.

The State of Minnesota Legislature has been in session since February 4, 2010.

For many years now the State of Minnesota has been dealing with the realities brought about by a STATE spending curve that has long ago past the "hockey stick" profile, and is now approaching the near vertical.

The State of Minnesota's outgo, has been exceeding its income, for a long time now.

And the future projections are staggering to those willing to look at them.

Yet the spending, and legislating, and mandating, and agency-creating, and taxing ways of the last two generations continues.

".....and the calliope crashed to the ground"

So here we are with five days remaining till the mandated end of this legislative session and very little to show for it.

At least to those with a sober and adult viewpoint to the progress.

And to add insult to injury, the Governor's budget balancing measures of last year (needed because the Legislature, like always, waited till the last minute to not address the spending problem); have been ruled unconstitutional by the MN Supreme Court, and therefore undone.

So now we face at least a five billion dollar deficit to the budget.

Minnesota has a Constitutional Mandate to run on a balanced budget and the opportunities to shuffle bags of money from here to there are about used up.

The party in power has suggested adding another income tax bracket on the top end setting it at about %9.1+.

This would not come anywhere near closing the gap, but it feels good to the party in power.

Minnesota has an income tax, sales tax, property tax, electrical generation tax, Liquor tax, tobacco tax, state Lotteries, gas tax, mining tax, vehicle tax, and many more taxes. Not to mention all the fees for activities.

And the outgo still greatly exceeds this huge income stream.

This is also the start of the election cycle for all State House Members and and it is going to be very interesting and I think one of the hottest election in my lifetime so far.

Many people, agencies, and organizations, dependent on the STATES growth curve will be heard from.

And anyone in their way will...we'll I don't know what, but judging by past actions and tactics, it may be more than interesting as we approach the only poll that matters, the one in November.

But as of today, the STATE of MINNESOTA has five days to find five billion dollars.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Friday May 07, 2010

It is an early spring in Minnesota. It is electric and magic.

The buds on the trees are bursting the grasses are passing the standing brown stalks of last fall.

The ice is long gone and the geese are setting up shop on shorelines. The songbirds are singing loud and long and flitting about declaring territories.

The fruit trees are in flower and each have a strong fragrant aura all their own.

The bees are out.

But today a cold front is approaching and has been dumping heavy wet snow over half the state.

Since I have been alive I have heard of the old wise folks saying...

"do not plant you're tomatoes yet, nor your flowers unless you are ready to cover them; for it may be pleasant and shirtsleeve warm today, the winter is not quite through with Minnesota yet."

And so it is in early May in Minnesota. Fantastic.

Get the boats ready!!