Monday, September 06, 2010

Emmer's Budget Plan? Increase the Deficit

Tom Emmer's strung along Minnesota voters for months with promises of a plan to balance the state budget without raising taxes on anybody. Today we found out that he plans on reducing revenue by at least $626 million dollars in the next biennium. Actually, it's "more than that," Emmer told a reporter at his Labor Day press conference at Permac Industries in Burnsville.

This news conference displayed the full blast of Emmer's condescension; calling the media "impatient" for wanting details of his plans, chiding Mark Dayton for not having the Department of Revenue run the numbers on his (actual) budget plan, and declaring windily "they just don't get it."

Watch live streaming video from theuptake at

You're right, Rep. Emmer, we don't get it.

We don't get how you can increase an already nearly $6 billion deficit by more than $700 million and declare that this deficit is "only on paper" because the government "wants to grow." Tell that to the students whose schools who would see a $2 billion dollar shift become a permanent cut, or to the people who would lose their health coverage. They're just "on paper."

We don't get why you continue to propose programs that you voted against (small business tax credits), or decry the lack of programs that already exist and that you also voted against (Veterans GI bill.)

We don't get why you think Indiana is a paragon of job creation to be emulated when they have an unemployment rate over 10%, a rate 3% higher than Minnesota. Or why you think South Dakota is some sort of economic powerhouse when their economy pales in contrast to ours, "high taxes" and all.

We don't get why you chose a site for your news conference that happily accepted government funds that you find wasteful. A federal stimulus program called the TANF Emergency Fund was used by Minnesota to increase subsidized hiring through country workforce programs. Permac President Darlene Miller gushed about the program just 4 days ago:
“The subsidized jobs program has provided us with a wonderful way to identify dedicated and dependable workers like Royal,” said Permac Industries President Darlene Miller. Permac Industries has hired five employees through the jobs program, expanding Miller’s business while training candidates for unsubsidized positions.
Let's be clear, I think this program is great. But TANF is what Emmer calls "welfare" and stimulus funds are what he calls "waste." Despite Permac President Miller's declaration that they received no federal stimulus dollars ("it was a county program,") Minnesota used these federal funds to double the number of subsidized positions. Her subsequent amnesia is highly suspect, considering she was happy to be used as an example in the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities news release supporting the federal program.

But what we really don't get is why you think no one will notice that the only details in your plan to balance the budget have taken you even further away from balancing the budget.

You said you didn't want to peak on September 1st. At this point it looks like you peaked on April 30th.

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1 comment:

Phoenix said...

It's scary.  The man is nothing but a pile of walking word salad.  It's like he's Sarah Palin stringing together a bunch of focus-group-tested words and phrases without any clue to or concern for their actual meaning.