MN GOP Shuts Down Government, Parks, Offices and My Kids

When I first read the news that the MN government shutdown was really happening today, my reaction was to tweet, “There go my 6 yr old autistic son’s summer therapies.”  Maybe that seems like a selfish initial response, and maybe it is.  But I prefer to think of it instead as a personal response, because after all, what our legislators do in the sterility of government chambers ends up affecting everyone somehow, somewhere personally.

It’s an old meme that the personal is political. It’s also universally, oftentimes heartbreakingly true.

There has been a lot of debate and discussion in the run-up to the shutdown about what would and would not be considered essential government business if the legislators could not reach a budget agreement–even a State Supreme Court case.  It’s hard enough to take that Minnesota GOP legislators want to solve our state’s budget deficit by making what has been described by our governor as “Draconian cuts” that will slash programs for the poorest and most vulnerable of populations here.

It’s harder still to swallow that an impasse can come over Gov. Dayton’s proposal for a tax increase on only 7700 of the wealthiest MN millionaires instead.

Lost income, lost childcare, lost help to disabled

Hardest of all is knowing that all this GOP entrenchment and vehement protection of personal wealth means so much more than closed state parks and a pause in the lottery.  It means middle class workers losing their pay, low-income working parents losing their subsidized daycare, the sick, elderly and disabled losing PCA assistance to care for them. It means the MN GOP has made my home state a place whose actions I’m ashamed of.

In my personal, political world, it means frozen state-funded grants and waivers that provide therapy and medical equipment for children with developmental disabilities, and a shutdown on the developmental strides my sons could have reached this summer.

As a parent of two autistic youngsters, 6 and 4 years old (the younger who recently graduated from “autistic” to “speech delayed with emergent ADHD” as a result of two years of tireless aggressive therapies and early intervention services), I can attest to the high emotional and financial costs of raising special needs children.  Their needs require massive amounts of time, therapeutic tools and medical specialties–siphoning away both the parents’ ability to earn and the income they do bring in at an alarming rate.  After more than two years of waiting for state funded grants to help defray these costs and give my boys access to the needed autism therapies most middle class families can really only dream of (which are also prohibitively expensive and, bizarrely, still not covered by most private health insurance), the government of Minnesota shut down and froze their grants, on the very first day they would have been available for use.

In the end, it’s the least among Minnesotans who will suffer, including little boys with autism.

Related Care2 links : California Has a Budget, Minnesot has a Shutdown

Photo Credit: Angela Braun


Dave Tohunga
Dave te tohunga6 years ago

The US has been gutted by corrupt politicians in the pay of corporate criminals.
Worse is yet to come, just like in Argentina & Greece,
especially with the 'War on Terror' PsyOp which has given the corrupt criminals at the helm the powers to 'deal with' home grown terrorists, such as those who object to corrupt criminals stealing their democratic and constitutional rights, their jobs, their homes, their children etc.
The only alternative is to make those who hold public office personally and individually responsible for crimes they commit and not allow them to use the cloak of 'national security' to conceal their crimes!

Rebecca M.
Rebecca M.6 years ago

It's long been understood that the Conservatives' main goal is to destroy the Democratic party. Conservatives rule by fear and intimidation. I hope people are becoming more aware of this. We used to have a progressive income tax. The rich still got rich and the middle class was stable and secure. We may have a spending problem, but we've also got a definite revenue problem. Conservatives, or anti-Federalists, will argue that taxation is unconstitutional. I suggest that they re-read the US Constitution. What will happen when they finally succeed in wiping out the middle class? A middle class is vital to the stability and strength of a country. The wealthy will then have to fight it out among themselves as to who among them will be considered middle class. It may come to be that making a mere $10 million a year won't be enough to be considered rich, only middle class. Strip away their wealth and they're no different than anyone else.

Grace Adams
Grace Adams6 years ago

It almost seems the Republicans care more about destroying the Democrats than they do about promoting any workable policy to alleviate any problem that is a political issue.

Suzen R.
Suzen R6 years ago

I can not believe that the only ones that they GOP cares about are the very rich. It is true but I really can not fathom people being that callous and uncaring.

Lin Moy
Lin M6 years ago

The world is going to hell in a hand bag it seems.

Danny W.
Danny Wilson6 years ago

And he ruined it for the tourists as well. Way to go bonehead.

Sound Mind
Ronald E6 years ago

Those pretentious zero epitomes of douche baggery total waste of skin ReThugLyingtwofacedsackofsh*tKochRoach-icans aren't going to quit until the US is a full blown Fascist state, or we throw them out of office.

Diane L.
Diane L6 years ago

It's crazy timing with the 4th of July weekend. All the State Parks shut down and lots of tourists wanting to be there. The State is losing money on a prime time weekend. People's jobs left to wonder how will they pay their bills. The Legislature made sure their checks and benefits will continue. Screw the little people. Don't think we won't forget this come election time. Remember you are supposed to be working for us Republicans!!/dopes!!

Devon N.
Devon N6 years ago

We are in the middle of a long weekend to celebrate our independence. One poster here asked why we were not up in arms about this kind of GOP politicking. Good question because if the GOP has its way we will soon be back to living like slaves under the yoke of corporate interests and religious fanaticism. So this 4th of July weekend, why not get your friends and family and neighbors together and go celebrate your independence by picketing legislators homes, corporate retail stores like Wal-Mart, congressional offices and the homes of your reps. and senators? Why not create camping areas in front of every state capital building in this nation and demand that the wealthy pay their share of taxes - after all, we gave them the place and opportunity to make all that wealth!?! Maybe this 4th of July, spontaneous uprisings of rallies and tent cities is what is needed to free us from this insanity within the GOP! Let the rallying call be sounded - WE ARE FREE AND WE ARE PROUD AMERICANS WHO DEMAND JUSTICE!

Sharlene H.
Sharlene H6 years ago

take your problems to the Repug party memebers, need day care take your child to your representatives house and have them look after your children, they have money to burn, and possibly nanny's. need any thing, go camp out on your members lawn, pitch your tent, metephorically, don't need you arrested for tresspassing.

If anti abortion groups can picket Doctors homes, what is stopping you from picketing your Gop members home. A few signs may wake them up. Maybe a vote that they don't get paid too would help. But I am quite sure the GOP made sure they will get their pay, and health care while they shut down the rest of the government.