Republicans distorting facts on budget ‘surplus’

/ 8 March 2012 / jennifer

Jack Krage, Winona Daily News, March 8, 2012 –

Minnesota Republicans are boasting of huge state surpluses due to their keen budgeting measures. I would like to set the record straight.

In order to balance the state budget during the last session, the Legislature deferred payment to our schools. In other words they short-changed the education of our youth in order to make themselves look good. They will say that tough times call for tough measures. The honest-to-God truth is that if you take into account these deferred payments to schools, we are operating in the red.

We owe the schools in Minnesota approximately $2.4 billion that was budgeted for the operation of their school districts. To make up for this denial of funds, the schools had to borrow money to meet their expenses.

The Republicans are claiming that the state of Minnesota has a $1.2 billion surplus. If you look at the facts, we actually are still about $1.2 billion short. The people of Minnesota deserve politicians that are honest and straight-forward.

They could easily have balanced the budget by simply raising the taxes on the people with the greatest income. Instead, they opted to mortgage our children’s future.

Does this really look like sensible business? It appears to me to be an attempt to manipulate the numbers in order to win another election.

The children deserve better. The people of Minnesota deserve better.