RSS Follow Become a Fan

Recent Posts

Q&A with Sen. Tom Cotton
Q&A with Sen. Ron Wyden
Q&A with Rep. Louie Gohmert
Q&A with Rep. Ted Lieu
Q&A with Sen. Tim Scott


Adam Kinzinger
Adam Weigold
Affordable Care Act
Agenda 21
Ajit Pai
Al DeKruif
American Enterprise Institute
American Legislative Exchange Council
America's Future Foundation
Amy Koch
Andrea Kieffer
Andrea Mitchell
Ann Coulter
Arlen Specter
Arne Carlson
Atlas Shrugged
Bad Legislators
Bad Republicans
Barack Obama
Barbara Banian
Bashar al-Assad
Ben Ginsberg
Ben Golnik
Ben Wiener
Beth Cobert
Bill Jungbauer
Bill Paxon
Bill Pulkrabek
Bob Barr
Bob Corker
Bob Davis
Bob Gunther
Bobby Joe Champion
Book Reviews
Brandon Petersen
Brandon Sawalich
Brian Johnson
Bron Scherer
Brookings Institution
Budget Control Act
Carla Nelson
Cass Sunstein
Cato Institute
Chamber of Commerce
Charles Chaput
Charlie Rangel
Chip Cravaack
Chris McDaniel
Christine O'Donnell
Christopher Painter
Civil Forfeiture
Claire Robling
Climate Change
Common Cause
Cynthia Lummis
Dan Hall
Dan Severson
Dave Brat
Dave Senjem
David Fitzsimmons
David Sturrock
Department of Justice
Department of Labor
Diane Johnson
Diane Rehm
Dick Armey
Donald Trump
Ed Morrissey
Edward True
Elijah Cummings
Erick Erickson
Erika Harold
Evie Axdahl
Federal Budget
Federal Communications Commission
Francesca Chambers
General Electric
Geoff Michel
Global Warming
Good Legislators
Greg Davids
Growth & Opportunity
Growth and Opportunity Report
Haley Barbour
Harry Reid
Henry Barbour
Heritage Foundation
Hilda Solis
House Amendment 111
Iowa Caucus
Iowa Republican Party
Jabhat al-Nusra
Jake Duesenberg
Janet Beihoffer
Jason Chaffetz
Jason Lewis
Jeff Bingaman
Jeff Flake
Jeff Johnson
Jeff Sessions
Jeh Johnson
Jim Abeler
Jim Oberstar
Jim Taylor
Joe Scarborough
John Blatnik
John Boehner
John Chafee
John Cornyn
John Gilmore
John Howe
John King
John Kline
John Kriesel
John McCain
John Nolte
John Yoo
Jonathan Merritt
Josh McKoon
Julianne Ortman
Julie Rosen
Justin Amash
Katrina Pierson
Keith Downey
Keith Ellison
Kelly Fenton
Keystone XL
King Banaian
Kurt Bills
Kurt Daudt
Kurt Zellers
Labor Department
Laura Ingraham
Lee Goodman
Liberal Republicans
Linda Killian
Loretta Lynch
Lost Generation
Louie Gohmert
Marco Rubio
Margaret Cavanagh
Marianne Stebbins
Mark Buesgens
Mark Dayton
Mark Foley
Mark Kennedy
Mark Meadows
Martin O'Malley
Marty Seifert
Mary Franson
Matt Dean
Matthew Feeney
Media Bias
Mercatus Center
Michael Brodkorb
Michael Cummins
Michael Gerson
Michael Kubesh
Michael Mukasey
Michele Bachmann
Mike Benson
Mike O'Rielly
Mike Osskopp
Mike Parry
Mike Pompeo
Mike Sommers
Minimum Wage
Minnesota Budget
Minnesota Conservatives
Minnesota Legislature
Minnesota Republican Party
Minnesota Tea Party Alliance
Mitch Berg
Mitch McConnell
Mitch Pangerl
Mitt Romney
Modern States Education Alliance
Morrie Lanning
Nancy Pelosi
National Security
Neal Peterson
Net Neutrality
New York Times
Newt Gingrich
Norm Coleman
Norm Ornstein
Office of Fossil Energy
Orrin Hatch
Pat Anderson
Pat Buchanan
Pat Garofalo
Pat Shortridge
Paul Demko
Paul Gosar
Paul Koering
Paul Krugman
Paul Teller
Pete Hegseth
Pete Nelson
Pete Sessions
Peter King
Phil Krinkie
Pine City
Pine County
Pine County Republicans
Politics in Minnesota
President 2012
Rand Paul
Raul Labrador
Ravi Zacharias
Reason Magazine
Reince Priebus
Religious Freedom Restoration Act
Renee Ellmers
Republican Liberty Caucus
Republican National Convention
Republican Party of Minnesota
Republican Study Committee
Rich Murray
Rick Nolan
Rick Perry
Rick Santorum
Rick Weible
Right to Work
Rod Hamilton
Rodney Davis
Roger Crawford
Ron Carey
Ron DeSantis
Ron Erhardt
Ron Latz
Ron Paul
Ron Wyden
Rory Koch
Rudy in the Media
Ryan Winkler
Scott Dibble
Scott Honour
Sean Duffy
Sharon Angle
Simply Right
Solar Power
Star Tribune
State of the GOP
Steny Hoyer
Steve Gottwalt
Steve Hensley
Steve Jobs
Steve Largent
Steve Perkins
Steve Scalise
Steve Smith
Steven Chu
Sue Jeffers
Tad Jude
Tarryl Clark
Tax Foundation
Taxpayers' League of Minnesota
Tea Party
Ted Cruz
Ted Lieu
Ted Lovdahl
Terry McCall
Thad Cochran
Thomas Mann
Thomas Massie
Thomas Miller
Thomas Sowell
Tim Cook
Tim Faust
Tim Griffin
Tim Huelskamp
Tim Kelly
Tim Pawlenty
Tim Scott
Title II
Tobacco Taxes
Todd McIntyre
Tom Clougherty
Tom Coburn
Tom Cotton
Tom DeLay
Tom Emmer
Tom Graves
Tom Harkin
Tom McClintock
Tony Sutton
Trans-Alaskan Pipeline
Twila Brase
Vin Weber
Virginia Foxx
Walter Mondale
Warren Buffett
Will Hurd
William McBridge
Xi Jinping
Yvonne Prettner Solon
Zygi Wilf
powered by

Rudy Takala's Columns

Does Republican Rhetoric on Minnesota's Budget Affect Future Policy Outcomes?

From an unfiltered political perspective, the $35.7 billion budget signed by Governor Dayton on Wednesday served a purpose desired urgently by both Republicans and Democrats to claim some sort of victory. That appeared to be the most admirable quality of the legislation for both sides.
Yet what is notable is that only Republicans are touting the legislation around, calling it a "victory." The Minnesota GOP went so far as to issue a press release on Thursday titled, "Republican Party of Minnesota Hails Budget as a Victory for the MNGOP and the People of Minnesota."
Though Governor Mark Dayton signed the legislation, his Democratic colleagues in the legislature have not been as supportive. They declined to vote for most of the twelve budget bills passed by Republicans, condemning them as inadequate and thereby consigning their ownership to Republicans, most of whom were proud to accept it.
So is Republican pride in this budget appropriate? Further, what are its consequences?
Was the Budget Really A Victory for Republicans?
The $35.7 billion budget spends too much, and that fact is universally conceded by Republican legislators. The previous biennium's budget spent $30.2 billion, or $32.5 billion if you included one-time stimulus money provided by the federal government. That equates to a spending increase of 12% if we use the static figures or 9% if we use the figures produced by including one-time funds. (Out of this year's $35.7 billion figure, $1.4 billion was produced using one-time funds that we will describe later on.)
Surprisingly, Republicans request that we use the the static figures that suggest a the higher percentage increase in spending. The reason is that the spending they passed for our next biennium consists of $34.2 billion, so they would prefer we think of that number instead of the figure of $35.7 billion. They do not expect us to think of the increase in terms of comparable percentages.
Before moving this analysis forward, it is worth ceding that Republican legislators cannot be uniformly blamed for the handling of budget negotiations or for the final budget product. The newer, (in some cases) more conservative legislators elected in 2010 did not have enough experience to work the system to their strong advantage. Others simply were not a part of leadership, so they did not have a voice that was relevant.
Those who did the negotiating with Governor Dayton were House Speaker Kurt Zellers & Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch. It may be a matter of opinion whether any strategical errors or ideological betrayals took place among Republicans; yet if it did, not much objection will be made to the observation that responsibility falls at the feet of those in leadership.While it might be an opinion, I think there is a fairly strong case to be made that Republicans' leadership abjectly and outrightly stomped upon their party's principles in proposing a $34 billion budget as a "first, last and best offer." That constituted an offer to increase spending by 12%, and they said that was their "best offer." It should have been their worst.
That spending increase was not a reason they were elected, and that proposal should be viewed as a failure. At the end of the day, it led to our state's final record-setting budget of $35.7 billion.
So why do Republicans Claim it was a Victory?
In spite of the spending hikes, Republicans claim the budget was a victory because of what they say are policy reforms that will save money in the long run. For example, one of the most notably and commonly toted reforms is a phase-out of the 2% MinnesotaCare provider tax. What legislators absolutely will not tell you is that it will not be phased out until 2019. As Twila Brase of the Citizens' Council for Health Freedom (CCHF) notes, that is "four legislatures, two governors, and 8 legislative sessions from now...during which the repeal of this year's repeal of the tax could be repealed."
Another example is that the rate of growth for Health and Human Service was set at a rate of 4.8% percent. That was a decrease from the previously projected rate of 15%. Of course, that may also be repealed. We should consider it questionable whether it is really a worthy goal to accept guaranteed spending today for the mere hope of less spending tomorrow. Democrats received a guarantee; Republicans received a hope. Generally, I do not believe it is desirable to provide a guarantee in exchange for a hope.
Additionally according to CCHF:
"Despite having repeatedly [been told] that the Obamacare Health Insurance Exchange (HIX) was not in the bill, [Twila Brase] found 'health insurance exchange' language in the 286-page" Health & Human Services legislation "shortly after it was placed online around 10:00 p.m.... and shortly before it was scheduled to be voted on and sent to the Governor."
Ms. Brase's efforts resulted in the HIX language being pulled from the legislation. Neither Republicans or Democrats would accept responsibility for its sudden insertion in the legislation, so it is a mystery how it arrived there.Fortunately, some of the reforms and programs established are worthwhile. One improvement likely to be over-iterated by Republicans seeking to say something exceptionally convincing was that the difficulty of using EBT cards to buy tobacco and alcohol was increased.
The Media/Democratic Response
More than simply being an odd budget for Republicans to take a lot of pride in, it is hard to defend. It was the product of Democrats' predilection to grow government by any and all means necessary; Republicans were perhaps forced to accomodate them, but the Frankenstein of a budget that was created in the process isn't something it would seem like they would really want to own.
Legislators used two methods to raise one-time funds for this budget. One was delaying school payments. The second was grabbing $640 million in future tobacco settlement proceeds that were supposed to be allotted annually. A July 20th editorial in the Star Tribune expresses this critique (with which I concur) of using the settlement money:
"The upshot in the future will be lower general-fund revenues, larger debt-service obligations and higher interest costs, in part because Wall Street bond houses are bound to scorn what is, in essence, deficit spending."The editorial continued with this reasonable critique of education payment delays:"Almost as ill-advised is a $700 million delay in school payments, forcing many districts to borrow operating funds. Minnesota has 'shifted' the timing of school payments before, and has restored the regular payment schedule years later. A shift can be justified near the end of a biennium, when tax increases or spending cuts cannot act quickly enough to balance the books. But employing an emergency tactic at the start of a biennium is a marker of poor management, and using the delay's one-time savings to pay for ongoing expenses compounds the error."
The editorial concluded, unfortunately, with this terribly false analysis:
"Small-government conservatives defend these bills as a way to force more spending restraint in 2013 and beyond. We'd describe them as unprecedented and irresponsible."
In reality, small-government conservatives would agree that the legislation is unprecedented and irresponsible. If legislators want to spend massive amounts of money that do not exist, unprecedented and irresponsible actions will have to be taken. That is the nature of big government.
Republican leaders sadly are tarnishing the reputation of conservatives activists by falsely characterizing their budget as being conservative. Advocates of re-election they may be; friends to the conservative movement they are not. That is their right, but more honesty in that respect would be nice. It would diminish liberals' ability to slander and mischaracterize the things for which conservatism stands.
The consequences of Republicans' pride in a deeply flawed and grossly oversized budget are multifaceted. It is ironic, because Republicans did not play a defining role in the budget's creation. (If they really want to insist that they did, they have a lot of explaining to do to people who supported them under the impression that they would work to limit government.)
It is also a problem for advocates of limited government, whom the media will characterize as paradoxically supporting both a big government and an inefficient, dysfunctional government.
Activists (though perhaps not average voters) who supported Republicans in the last election did so with enthusiastic fantasies in mind of Republicans defeating their opponents on the legislative battlefield. Those fantasies were somewhat exaggerated, and many of those same activists would acknowledge it. I certainly understand that the budget situation was a difficult one this year, and I can understand how we ended up with a less than desirable budget.
What is not understandable, however, is how Republicans can claim that the budget belongs to them. It is not understandable that they are trying to promote it as being admirable, desirable, or commendable. It is not.
In trying to appease their party's activists, whom Republican leadership likely views as delusional, irrational, and somewhat stupid, they have been too willing to accept a portrayal of themselves, construed by the media and by Democrats, that they "won" the budget situation. In the eyes of the voters, and especially conservative voters, that is nothing to be proud of. In the long run, that is a detriment to the party and particularly the conservative movement's ability to send a coherent message.

2 Comments to Does Republican Rhetoric on Minnesota's Budget Affect Future Policy Outcomes?:

Comments RSS
www.bestessaypoint.co.uk on Friday, September 22, 2017 6:14 AM
This is my first on this website. I think this article shares an outline regarding the activities and also the role of this foundation. After reading this article I am really impressed on this website
Reply to comment

John Gordon on Thursday, July 05, 2018 1:43 AM
Very well written article about political perspective.I must say you have work hard in making this website.I have read the content found it good to read. Buy eye shadow boxes at low price
Reply to comment

Add a Comment

Your Name:
Email Address: (Required)
Make your text bigger, bold, italic and more with HTML tags. We'll show you how.
Post Comment
Website Builder provided by  Vistaprint