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After reading this article, you’d think something catastrophic had happened. House Minority Leader Melissa Hortman and Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk took turns criticizing Republicans after the budget forecast was released.

Hortman criticized Republicans, saying “Elections have consequences, and when Minnesotans switched control of the legislature to 100% Republican control, we went from a $1.6 billion surplus to a $188 million deficit in a little bit less than a year. Hopefully people will keep that in mind as we move into 2018.” Bakk chimed in, saying “I pretty strongly advised the governor the last night of the special session not to sign the tax bill because it wasn’t sustainable. I’m not happy I was right.”

Talk about a pair of DFL drama queens. Dave Orrick and Bill Salisbury co-wrote this article, which explains how little of a deal this is. First, they wrote “the federal government reauthorizes a health insurance program for children, which it very well might, the forecast shortfall would fall to about $10 million. There are other such variables that could make it rise or fall.” It’s virtually certain that they’ll reauthorize the CHIP program. That eliminates all but $10,000,000 of the deficit forecast. Next, the model used anticipated only 2.2% growth. That’s because this forecast model predicts that Congress won’t pass the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

It’s absurd to think that the economy will grow at only 2.2% since it’s grown at 3.1% and 3.3% thus far this year. The third quarter would’ve been better if not for 5 hurricanes hitting, virtually wiping out economic growth in Texas and Florida.

Even Myron Frans, the state budget commissioner, downplayed the deficit, saying that the “forecast deficit” was “more of a mist than a downpour.”

This video is part of the DFL’s press conference:

Sen. Cohen’s statements are partisanship at its worst. The term sore loser leaps to mind, too. The DFL talks about the 2013-14 biennium as though it was the glory days. They weren’t. Since the 2011 budget, spending increased by more than $15,000,000,000. That’s fifteen billion dollars with a B. That’s a spending increase of more than 33% in 2 biennium. Let’s also remember that the surpluses following the 2013 budget session were the size of the tax increase.

It isn’t that the economy grew by leaps and bounds. It’s that the tax increase accounted for roughly 90% of the surpluses. Any budget that doesn’t produce economic growth is worthless. That’s what the nation rejected when they said no to a third Obama term. Meager growth isn’t something to be praised. It’s something to be criticized.

The Republicans wanted to pass a pro-growth budget. Gov. Dayton resisted that. For the third time in 4 budget sessions, we had a special session. Yes, unemployment is low but that’s because we’re spending like drunken sailors. There’s a reason why people of all age groups are leaving Minnesota, especially for our neighboring states.

If Bakk, Cohen and Hortman don’t ditch their socialist and/or crony capitalist policies, that outmigration will accelerate. Finally, if the DFL constantly stands in the way of pipeline and mining projects, we’ll never see the good old days again.

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