Minnesota is $5.2 billion in the hole

Some big scary headlines:

Economy lost another 533,000 jobs in Nov.  Worst month since December 1974 brings total this year to 1.9 million

Minnesota is $5.2 billion in the hole

I found out earlier this week that nobody in our office will be getting a raise this year. Add to that increased healthcare, increased spending at home because things are more expensive, and increased spending because my boys are getting bigger and consuming more, I am not sitting in neutral, I am going in reverse. We don’t have simple places to cut spending, like others do. We don’t eat out, we don’t have cable, we don’t drink coffee or soda, we don’t even rent movies, if I want to buy food and keep my house warm, either my wife or I need to work more, so I am probably going to look for a part-time job. If the state wants to provide services, it can cut some, but it can’t cut everything, so it needs to work to get more money, that means it needs to raise taxes.

Minnesota has a population around 5.2 million, and that population has a median household income of about $55,000. The deficit is 5.2 billion over two years, that is $1000 per person, or $500 per person per year. That means my families share is $2500 per year, probably around $1500 for an average household. If we say that we can cut half of the deficit through cost cutting, that makes an average household’s share $750, and structure a tax increase in a graduated fashion so that people below the median pay less, with the tax growing for wealthier individuals and businesses. Why don’t we tighten our belts, bite the bullet and do that for a two year period? The state gives money back when we have a surplus, it seems like common-sense that the state should take extra money when we don’t.

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One thought on “Minnesota is $5.2 billion in the hole”

  1. I heard Gov. Pawlenty on the news tonight talking about possibly freezing teachers’ salaries rather than cutting other educational programs. Who says we have to cut anything from an already financially challenged educational system? Didn’t he notice who won the presidency and Congress — and why? It is time to reverse Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy. Minnesota has a lot of very wealthy families and companies. It is also time to look at the wealth in Minnesota and raise the taxes of people who can EASILY afford to pay more taxes.

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