Tom Bakk: it's time for honest conver...

Tom Bakk: it's time for honest conversation about Minnesota's b...

There are 11 comments on the TwinCities.com story from Dec 4, 2009, titled Tom Bakk: it's time for honest conversation about Minnesota's b.... In it, TwinCities.com reports that:

Last year when I was considering running for governor, I traveled across the state and met with community leaders, including local elected officials, small business owners, and newspaper editors.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at TwinCities.com.

Steve

United States

#1 Dec 4, 2009
I appreciate State Senator Tom Bakk’s entreaty to honesty and bipartisan cooperation in resolving the state’s budget deficit. In that spirit of honesty, every American should be aware of some facts from the non-partisan, non-profit Economic Policy Institute’s biennial report on the state of working Americans: In 1973, the average CEO was paid $27 for every dollar paid to a typical worker, by 2007 that ratio had grown to $275 to $1. From 1979 to 2006, the richest 1% of Americans went from having about 10% of all American income to nearly 23%. 91% of all income growth went to the top 10% while only 9% of income growth was parceled out to the remaining 90% of Americans. <p><p>

This is all despite the fact that it is the average working Americans’ consistently-increasing productivity that is responsible for the increased wealth in America. Then consider that working Americans’ tax dollars went to bail out the wealthy to save the economy last year. <p><p>

Thus my one disagreement with Senator Bakk is that anyone should feel frustration at the suggestion that one important solution to the state’s problems is to tax the rich. It is time for them to bailout the working people that they have to thank for their wealth.
Lux et Veritas

Minneapolis, MN

#2 Dec 4, 2009
What this editorial quizzically (but understandably) omits: the percentage of increase in Minnesota's biennial budget, and the factor by which that increase has exceeded the rate of inflation.

No matter how you slice it, legislative Democrats have never felt ethically or fiscally constrained to do what Minnesotan taxpayers have always had to do: live within their budgets.
Irish Muse

Minneapolis, MN

#3 Dec 4, 2009
It's about time someone tells Minnesotans the true political realities of what we face fiscally and actually. The political parties have forgot their basic ideological and philosophical principles and/or tenets.

If political and ideological change isn't forthcoming for Minnesota then it's crises as usual for the working public.

It's time for a change in conducting state business and a change for fiscal balance and stability for MN to progress toward a bright and prosperous future.
Interesting

United States

#4 Dec 4, 2009
Irish Muse wrote:
It's about time someone tells Minnesotans the true political realities of what we face fiscally and actually. The political parties have forgot their basic ideological and philosophical principles and/or tenets.
If political and ideological change isn't forthcoming for Minnesota then it's crises as usual for the working public.
It's time for a change in conducting state business and a change for fiscal balance and stability for MN to progress toward a bright and prosperous future.
It seems the Democrat party has become the party of the very rich and the very poor, and screw those who pay the taxes. Hundreds of billions in corporate welfare for Wall Street and green jobs for government "protection", and a few pennies to the poor. Don't hold your breath on prosperity, it's not coming back. The government at all levels is so huge and growing rapidly that the looter class has crowded out those pulling the wagon. The book Atlas Shrugged is being played out in real life.
Budget deficit

Minneapolis, MN

#5 Dec 4, 2009
We do need to do both cut and raise something like tax on clothing for instance. But one thing for sure both "houses" do not need nor deserve the per diem them receive. It is disgusting to me to have them tell us to tighten our belts. Wish I had one of their belts.
American Thinker

Minneapolis, MN

#6 Dec 4, 2009
Steve wrote:
I appreciate State Senator Tom Bakk’s entreaty to honesty and bipartisan cooperation in resolving the state’s budget deficit. In that spirit of honesty, every American should be aware of some facts from the non-partisan, non-profit Economic Policy Institute’s biennial report on the state of working Americans: In 1973, the average CEO was paid $27 for every dollar paid to a typical worker, by 2007 that ratio had grown to $275 to $1. From 1979 to 2006, the richest 1% of Americans went from having about 10% of all American income to nearly 23%. 91% of all income growth went to the top 10% while only 9% of income growth was parceled out to the remaining 90% of Americans. <p><p>
This is all despite the fact that it is the average working Americans’ consistently-increasing productivity that is responsible for the increased wealth in America. Then consider that working Americans’ tax dollars went to bail out the wealthy to save the economy last year. <p><p>
Thus my one disagreement with Senator Bakk is that anyone should feel frustration at the suggestion that one important solution to the state’s problems is to tax the rich. It is time for them to bailout the working people that they have to thank for their wealth.
ALL Americans are free to become CEO's is they so choose.

“Live Life with GUSTO!!!”

Since: Jun 08

St. Paul, MN

#7 Dec 4, 2009
Lux et Veritas:

If you saw the "light and virtue" to what Bak waas trying to convey then you would realize he makes generally a lot of sense. Both parties are to blame for the demise of our fiscal balance sheets.

It's time, in the spirit of unity and cooperative effort, to move forward and get Minnesota on the tracks to prosperity and progress. To do such has to be done in a spirited politically neutral manner.

It's time to put aside petty differences and idiosyncrasies to find ways to balance the budget and even make some additional revenues. Fighting politically, philosophically, ideologically, or idiotically among ourselves serves no useful purpose. It's time for progressive change or otherwise this state will fall in disrepute.

Changes start with each and everyone of us putting aside our biases and prejudices by uniting or working constructively together for a common cause. That's the American and Minnesotan way of doing things or solving great massive problems.

Maybe, that's what Bakk is trying to tell us. Who knows if there is "light and virtue(truth)"[lux et veritas] in what he says. He does make a lot of sense. Let's give him a chance to try.
gtV
Lux et Veritas

Minneapolis, MN

#8 Dec 4, 2009
gtVoyageur wrote:
Lux et Veritas:
If you saw the "light and virtue" to what Bak waas trying to convey then you would realize he makes generally a lot of sense. Both parties are to blame for the demise of our fiscal balance sheets.
It's time, in the spirit of unity and cooperative effort, to move forward and get Minnesota on the tracks to prosperity and progress. To do such has to be done in a spirited politically neutral manner.
It's time to put aside petty differences and idiosyncrasies to find ways to balance the budget and even make some additional revenues. Fighting politically, philosophically, ideologically, or idiotically among ourselves serves no useful purpose. It's time for progressive change or otherwise this state will fall in disrepute.
Changes start with each and everyone of us putting aside our biases and prejudices by uniting or working constructively together for a common cause. That's the American and Minnesotan way of doing things or solving great massive problems.
Maybe, that's what Bakk is trying to tell us. Who knows if there is "light and virtue(truth)"[lux et veritas] in what he says. He does make a lot of sense. Let's give him a chance to try.
gtV
And let's give him the opportunity to be more forthcoming at the outset by telling us the percentage increases in the state's budget for the last decade or two.

And let's ask him about these figures, too:

**Minnesotas State/Local Tax Burden Above National Average
During the past three decades Minnesotas state and local tax burden has consistently been among the nation's highest. Estimated at 10.2% of income, Minnesotas state/local tax burden percentage stands at 12th highest nationally, above the national average of 9.7%.

**Minnesota's 2010 Business Tax Climate Ranks 43rd
Minnesota ranks 43rd in the Tax Foundation's State Business Tax Climate Index. The Index compares the states in five areas of taxation that impact business: corporate taxes; individual income taxes; sales taxes; unemployment insurance taxes; and taxes on property, including residential and commercial property. Neighboring states ranked as follows: North Dakota (25th), South Dakota (1st), Iowa (46th) and Wisconsin (42nd).

**Minnesota's Individual Income Tax System
Minnesota's personal income tax system consists of three separate brackets with a top rate of 7.85% kicking in at an income level of $74,650. Among states levying personal income taxes, Minnesota's top rate ranks 10th highest nationally. Minnesota's 2006 individual income tax collections were $1,337 per person, which ranked 7th highest nationally.

“Things can only get better”

Since: May 08

Minneapolis

#10 Dec 4, 2009
As anyone who reads these threads on TOPIX will readily admit, there is a snowballs chance in hades of the fringe elements on either the right or the left agreeing on anything.
That leaves it up to the middle-of-the-roaders or moderates, if you prefer, to attempt to right the ship of state. I suggest that when we next go to the polls we throw out every incumbent on the ballot. Send someone new. Then the next time we vote, do the very same thing. The people elected that time will either know what their job really is or they will be the next one voted out of office.
Indypendent

Seattle, WA

#11 Dec 4, 2009
Lux et Veritas wrote:
What this editorial quizzically (but understandably) omits: the percentage of increase in Minnesota's biennial budget, and the factor by which that increase has exceeded the rate of inflation.
No matter how you slice it, legislative Democrats have never felt ethically or fiscally constrained to do what Minnesotan taxpayers have always had to do: live within their budgets.
Your comment has nothing to do with Democrats or Republicans and everything to do with the relation of health care costs skyrocketing at three times faster than inflation nationally. Today, health care costs account for about half of the state budget when you include all costs from all sources and not merely the Health and Human Services department. We need to bring health care costs under control or else this state will be sunk. Sadly, my Republican state rep has offered no proposals proven to fix health costs and she even admitted to our Chamber of Commerce that she knows nothing about the state's most critical issue or what to do it. It's time to stop reflexively blaming the other side for your own spending problem.
Lux et Veritas

Minneapolis, MN

#12 Dec 4, 2009
Indypendent wrote:
<quoted text>
Your comment has nothing to do with Democrats or Republicans and everything to do with the relation of health care costs skyrocketing at three times faster than inflation nationally. Today, health care costs account for about half of the state budget when you include all costs from all sources and not merely the Health and Human Services department. We need to bring health care costs under control or else this state will be sunk. Sadly, my Republican state rep has offered no proposals proven to fix health costs and she even admitted to our Chamber of Commerce that she knows nothing about the state's most critical issue or what to do it. It's time to stop reflexively blaming the other side for your own spending problem.
It's time to start laying the blame where it belongs, on those legislators who think it's their divine right to reflexively increase every state budget at an indefensible, unconscionable, profligate rate.

One former MN legislator writes,

"State General Fund spending in the last 10 years has grown from $24 billion to $34.5 billion; thats more than $10 billion or a one billion per year increase. This enormous growth in State government spending must have been caused by some dramatic events in our State such as large population increases or a significant economic calamity, right? Wrong! The population in Minnesota since the last census in 2000 has grown by about 300,000 to 5.2 million, hardly the basis for a 40% increase in state general fund spending.

"And the liberals remind us all the time of the "huge cuts" in state government back in 2003, so where is the economic fallout now. The truth isthe only thing that happened to the state budget in the 2004-05 biennium was spending only grew at single digit rates instead of at double digit rates for that two year period.

"But this isnt the whole story. State General Fund spending is only about 60% of total state spending. When all funds are added together, including federal and dedicated funds, state spending jumps in 2009 to almost $28 billion per year, up from $17 billion in 1999.

"Thats a 65% growth in state spending, yet by next weekmany politicians and newspaper editorial writers around Minnesota will claim "it isnt enough."
....
"As I previously wrote in a commentary in May at the end of the 2009 session, the states budget problems of this year were compounded because the legislature failed to truly balance the budget in 2008. And of course the problem will only grow worse in the next budget cycle of 2012-2013 because 40% of the dollars used to solve this years $6.4 billion shortfall (Fiscal years 2010-2011) were one-time federal stimulus monies.

"While I respect the former governors and legislative leaders who participated in this [Economic Summit] group, many of whom I served with, I question why anyone would believe that this group could provide any real insight toward a budget solution.

"Most of them contributed to the problem during their tenure in public office --- believed the state could spend its way to prosperity, pushed for more and more spending, expanded the size and scope of state government and supported higher taxes to pay for double digit spending growth each biennium, over the last two decades."

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