We are on day 12 of the Minnesota state shutdown, and still there is no budging from the Republican party. The state GOP has made no counteroffer since its final proposal that was fraught with newly returned social issues that had been previously vetoed by the governor — an offer that was made the evening before the actual shutdown. Although Democratic Governor Mark Dayton has made two new offers since then, one asking for a 3 percent tax increase on just those Minnesotans making more than $1 million per year through 2013, and one asking only for a cigarette tax hike, both were rejected out of hand by the GOP, who said absolutely no revenue raisers can be allowed.
Meanwhile, the tide of public opinion is starting to shift against Republicans, as even more conservative leaning areas are asking for compromise before the state crumbles. “Republicans are worried that if the top 2 percent of income earners – more specifically, businesses owners – are taxed more, they will leave Minnesota for greener pastures and take jobs with them. It’s a plausible theory, but it seems more like speculation than fact. The cold, hard truth is that if social services are cut thousands of Minnesotans will hurt – and these are our neighbors we’re talking about. This, we know, and the proof is evident right now under the shutdown. Take away these services, or cut into them, and you cut into people’s quality of life. You know people who would suffer. You’re probably related to one.”
Of course, people’s quality of life is already suffering, and the GOP would like to see more of that. Complaining that the courts have deemed too many services “essential” in the state, five Republican legislators challenged the court, demanding even more services be shut down.
Dayton has announced his plan to take his budget proposal on the road to talk to Minnesotans about the effects the shutdown is having on them. And, because of the lack of available state services, he will be driving for most of the trip rather than using the state airplane.
What will Dayton telling the people of Minnesota when it comes to why he will not agree to the Republican budget cuts? Watch below.
Photo credit: William Wesen