Sunday, March 1, 2015

Extra Revenues: MN DFL Wants to Spend It

So what do you folks think we should do with all that "extra revenue" during these "good times"?

MinnPost Budget Surplus Raises Stakes
Star Tribune $1.9 Billion Surplus
MPR Battle Looming
MPR What should be done with surplus?


Sean said...

Spend some, save some, some tax cuts.

John said...

Spend some - What is your rationale for increasing the size of government over this one time "good times" windfall? Or are you thinking one time expeditures?

Typically government grows excessively during "good times" and then the DFL bemoans draconian cuts that occur during bad times. Of course forgetting that the extra spending was only temporary. Remember the gnashing of teeth when the food programs were reduced back to their normal levels after the recession.

Save some - We just refunded the saftey net fund reserves last year. What is your rationale for saving more?

Tax cuts - For who? In what way? Last year the DFL gave the money back to folks who paid little or none in MN income tax.

Laurie said...

I think they should give enough to higher ed to freeze tuition for another two years. I think they should expand early learning scholarships. I think they should use some for roads and bridges. I would would also do some sort of tax cut (don't know for who or how much) because taxpayers would be mad if they didn't get something back. Last, maybe they need to increase the reserves so next time there is a shortfall they won't have to borrow from schools.

Harvey said...

Pay down the debt! The report I heard was the state has 85billion in debt when you include unfounded pensions. If we don't fund these in the good times, when should we?

Sean said...

Spend: I think a one-time boost in transportation funding would be warranted, as well as increasing funding to nursing homes.

Save: I could argue in favor of increasing the cap on reserves.

Taxes: I think the gas tax increase is important. I would trade an increase in the gas tax for an income tax cut (on the lowest bracket) or sales tax reform.

John said...

Harvey, Welcome.

So it seems there is some question as to if there is a pension problem. And my question is... Is the problem that government promised too much or they have not set enough funds aside?
Fiscal Excellence Post
Pension Paper

Most companies figured out that they could not be competitive by offering traditional full blown defined benefit pensions. Why do we think the Public employees should still get these? Just curious.

John said...

Hi Sean,
I think total taxes are more than progressive enough, however I do understand that Liberals like to see themselves as Robinhood.

How do you look in tights carrying a bow?

Sean said...

An income tax on the lowest bracket is an income tax cut for *everyone* who pays income tax.

It's an appropriate offset to raising gasoline taxes, which tend to hit lower-income taxpayers harder.

John said...

Good Point. I'll need to give that trade off more thought when I get a chance.

Sean said...

I think sales tax reform would be better for the economy, but last session demonstrated how impossible that task would be in the current political environment.