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Minnesota government shutdown looms

Make the rich pay for the crisis
By Mick Kelly |
June 30, 2011
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Protest on eve of MN government shutdown
Protest on eve of MN government shutdown (Fight Back! News/Kim DeFranco)

St. Paul, MN – Members and supporters of the Welfare Rights Committee gathered on the steps of the state capitol building here, June 30, unfurling a huge banner reading “Tax the rich! No cuts to poor and working people.” Unless Democrat Governor Mark Dayton goes along with the Republican plan to slash the social safety net, the government will shut down at midnight.

“Time is quickly running out. Rather than make the rich pay one dime for the budget deficit, the Republicans are set on pushing our state into a government shutdown. For working and poor, disabled and elderly Minnesotans, a government shut-down would by far be a better outcome than the deadly cuts that Republicans are trying to force down our throats,” stated Angel Buechner of the Welfare Rights Committee.

Republican politicians have staked out a ‘no new taxes’ position and want to balance the budget with massive cuts to programs that serve poor and working people. Dayton’s original budget also contained huge cuts to health and human services. Also, in March, the governor backed down on his proposal for a surcharge on the very richest and increased taxes on million-dollar homes. In addition, Dayton has also floated proposals attacking Indian gaming, a move that would balance the budget on the backs of Native Americans.

The governor has stated recently that he wants to compromise 50-50 with the republicans. The Welfare Rights Committee asserts that Dayton has compromised enough. Kim DeFranco of the Welfare Rights Committee said, “We are against any budget compromise that comes at the expense of the people of Minnesota. The rich need to pay for this crisis.”