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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Tim Pawlenty's Deficit Helps Shutdown Minnesota's Government!

What A Shame GOP Leaders Across This Nation Are Pushing For Government Shutdowns!

This Includes Many GOP Governors, Former GOP Governors (i.e., Tim Pawlenty) & Many GOP-Controlled State Legislators Who Are Vehemently Pushing For Excessive Spending Cuts Which Actually Hurts Our Economy.


In Their Quest To Kick Pres. Obama Out Of Office GOP Leaders (NOT All Of Them!) Foolishly Believe Shutting Down The Government Be It On Federal, State Or Local Levels, Makes For Good Politics.

Many GOP Leaders Don't Seem To Care That Shutting Down Governments Will Leave Millions Of VOTERS Unemployed.

So As Long As It Makes Them Appear "Conservative" (Tea Party People) , They Will Do Anything To Help Get Rid Of Obama.

So They Think!

However American Voters Are NOT Stupid!

Encouraging Gov't Shutdowns Is Sure To Backfire On The GOP Come November 2012.

The Ditch They're Digging For Pres. Obama WILL Most Certainly Be The SAME One They Find Themselves In Because God Does NOT Like Ugly!

He's Going To Win Re-election. While Most Of Them Won't!

Hold Firm Pres. Obama!

GOP Leaders Must Be Accountable Too!

They Were Elected To Help ALL People NOT Just The Wealthiest Citizens!

If Our Nation's Deregulated Financial Messes (Created By George W. Bush) Are To Be Cleaned Up & Corrected, There Must Be SHARED SACRIFICE!

Fixing The American Economy Should NOT Always Be Done On The Backs Of America's Middle Class, Unionized Workers, Low Income, Senior Citizens, College Students & Veterans.

Nor Can It Be Done Via Just Budget Cuts!

Hold Fast Pres. Obama!

GOP Leaders Must Be Accountable Too!

They Were Elected To Help ALL People NOT Just Their Wealthiest Donors!


Minnesota Shutdown 2011: State Government Shuts Down

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton (D) and top Republican state lawmakers failed to reach a budget deal to avert a government shutdown ahead of a midnight (CST) deadline.

"I really believe I've done everything I possibly could and offered everything I could possibly think of," said Dayton addressing the state of the negotiations from his office on Thursday night. "This is a night of deep sorrow for me because I don't want to see this shutdown occur."

The Democratic governor and state GOP lawmakers had been engaged in contentious talks to close the state's $5 billion budget gap -- much of it left behind by GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty, who declined to seek a third term in the 2010 election.

The AP relays background on the discussions:

Negotiations between Dayton and legislative leaders were fitful, starting and stopping with no outward signs of progress, and details were scant, since the two sides agreed to what they jokingly called "the cone of silence." By Thursday night, Dayton and Republicans had not met for hours, leading Senate Democratic Leader Tom Bakk to remark that any hope for a last-minute deal to avert the shutdown had appeared to "disintegrate." ...

The showdown was something of a small-stage version of the drama taking shape in Washington between President Barack Obama and the Republicans over taxes and the nation's debt ceiling.

At a news conference at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport on Thursday, Pawlenty urged Republican lawmakers in his home state to hold their ground in negotiations to strike a budget deal.

"This country needs to get its government finances under control," he said. "That needs to happen in Washington, D.C., and that needs to happen in St. Paul, Minnesota."

A shutdown of the Minnesota government comes as the state's second in six years.

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton sat down with The Associated Press on Friday to talk about his state's government shutdown and his ongoing standoff with Republicans over taxes and the state budget. Here's a few quotes from Dayton:

* On his disagreement with Republicans about how much the state should spend: "Most of the money the state collects doesn't go to a bureaucracy. It goes to the people of Minnesota, who need services -- education, health care and the like. This is about the people of Minnesota, it's not about state government."

* On his demand that the wealthiest Minnesota residents pay higher taxes: "I remember a family meeting 15 years ago, my uncle Ken Dayton looked at our collective family situation improving over the year before. Therefore, our total taxes paid went up. One of my cousins complained about our taxes going up. My uncle Ken looked him square in the eye and said, `We should want to pay more taxes. That means we're making more money.'"

* On who loses politically in a shutdown: "I think the Republican majorities in the House and Senate and I will all suffer politically. I told them at the very beginning of session, I told their leaders, we can either make each other look good or we can make each other look bad. Our political fortunes are kind of inexplicably tied together here."

* On what it's like to preside over the shutdown that started Friday after budget talks with Republican leaders fell apart the night before: "Yesterday was probably the worst day in my six months (as governor). Today isn't much better. It's quieter. You know, I take this very, very seriously – the effect on peoples' lives, their livelihoods, the services that people need. People had their vacations planned and taken away from them. So I can't say it's fun right now."

With the shutdown of the Minnesota state government, Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty has come under fresh scrutiny after declining to seek a third term as governor of the state last year.

The Star Tribune notes that Pawlenty has pushed back when asked about a projected $5 billion budget shortfall on the day he left office.

“This two year budget cycle ends in the black this summer and the deficit two years after — that is a projection,” he recently said when asked about the matter at South Carolina's first presidential primary debate of the election season, Time reports. “It’s based on preposterous assumptions. It assumes a 25% or so increase in state spending. That’s outrageous. If they live within their means there’d be no deficit at all.”

Nevertheless, the Wall Street Journal reports:

Various outside agencies have flashed warnings about the state's fiscal position for well over a year. Moody's Investors Service, which grades the credit-worthiness of bonds, warned early last year that Minnesota was overly reliant on one-off fixes to balance its books. A report by the National Conference of State Legislatures last year said Mr. Pawlenty had used different one-time maneuvers to patch over more than 41% of the budget, second in the use of such maneuvers only to Alaska."This is entirely Pawlenty's legacy," said former Minnesota Gov. Arne Carlson, a Republican. Mr. Carlson led the state for two terms in the 1990s and has become a Pawlenty critic. "This governor and this legislature did not create this problem. They inherited it," he said.

Pawlenty told the Wall Street Journal in an interview that the government shutdown in Minnesota is "not going to reflect poorly" on him. He said, "I left the last budget with a surplus, and this next one presumes a preposterous amount of spending increase, which I would have never allowed as governor."

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Sources: CBS News, CNN, Huffington Post, NY Times, Wall Street Journal, Google Maps

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