I just wrote that Gov. Dayton isn’t dealing with budget realities. It appears as though the DFL’s grip on reality is slipping. This time, it appears as though Ember Reichgott-Junge is suffering from Dayton Deficit Delusion Disorder.

Appearing on @Issue With Tom Hauser, Reichgott-Junge said that, in years past, “the legislature passed budgets that were at least close to the governor’s budget.” That isn’t attached to reality in any meaningful way. It simply isn’t.

First, the DFL supermajorities didn’t pass budget targets in 2007 or 2009. It didn’t happen. I recall one of Gov. Pawlenty’s veto notes in 2007 to Speaker Kelliher and Sen. Pogemiller saying that he wouldn’t sign budget bills until the DFL said how much the DFL wanted to spend that biennium.

I recall that the first set of DFL omnibus spending bills in 2007 would’ve increased general fund spending by 17+ percent. The final omnibus spending bills increased spending by 9.3%. That’s a $2,500,000,000 difference.

I’d love hearing Sen. Reichgott-Junge explain that a $2,500,000,000 spending difference is “at least close to the governor’s budget.”

The reality is that there isn’t a huge difference between the GOP legislature and where the DFL is really if the DFL isn’t willing to raise taxes. The gap is less than $500,000,000.

Gov. Dayton’s budget proposes to spend $37,000,000,000. Since the DFL won’t vote for Gov. Dayton’s tax-the-rich scheme, that requires removing another $2,700,000,000 in spending because the revenue isn’t there. In practical terms, that puts the DFL budget at $34,300,000,000. The GOP budget calls for spending $34,000,000,000 during the 2012-2013 biennium.

That isn’t a big gap. It’s anything but insurmountable.

The only way it doesn’t get closed on time is if Gov. Dayton insists that his tax-the-rich scheme be part of the final solution. If he insists on that, he’ll isolate himself from the DFL and reality. Good luck with that.

Let’s be clear about something else. The DFL isn’t being honest with Minnesota. Their chanting points include complaining that the GOP won’t raise taxes. The DFL’s dishonesty is exposed by the fact that the DFL won’t vote for Gov. Dayton’s tax-the-rich scheme. They’ll just criticize the GOP for not breaking the promise that they made with Minnesota voters.

The DFL must decide in the next 2 weeks whether they’ll follow their failed leader off the proverbial cliff or whether they’ll put a serious budget together.

With Gov. Dayton’s budget so unrealistic, the DFL is faced with a put up or shut up moment. The DFL’s options are to follow Gov. Dayton into oblivion or vote for the GOP budget.

The GOP knows the DFL’s game. Just this once, the DFL says, we must raise taxes. What they’re really saying is that they want a free pass this time and they’ll think of another excuse the next time they want to spend recklessly.

The GOP is right in saying ‘No Thank You’ to Gov. Dayton’s tax increases. I hope the GOP just closes up the conference committees and passes the omnibus bills. Further, I hope they force an override vote on the tax bill because I’d love putting the DFL on the spot of either supporting Gov. Dayton’s job-killing tax increases or supporting the GOP’s tax sanity plan.

I’m fed up with the DFL’s tricks and gamesmanship. They’re acting like it’s just a big game aimed at winning back seats. Gamesmanship isn’t what’s needed. Statesmanship is required.

Unfortunately, statesmanship in the DFL died years ago. I haven’t found and DFL legislators that’s classify as a statesman. I’m not holding my breath on it either.

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