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Editorial: Don’t believe the budget spin

Published 9:28am Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Politicians in Minnesota are setting the stage to get their messages out in the wake of a forecast saying the state can expect a $1.086 billion surplus in the 2014-15 biennium.

The Republicans will claim tax and budget cuts under the Tim Pawlenty administration has led to economic growth that Minnesota is now seeing.

The Democrats will say increased state spending under the Gov. Mark Dayton administration has sparked the economy, along with federal stimulus spending.

Don’t believe either.

The fact is, consumer confidence is up. Period. Minnesota’s state revenue system is structured in such a way that when people spend more, the state makes more. It’s not about employers, employees, exceptional models of government or stealing from the pockets of good people.

It’s simply that Minnesota is outperforming the rest of the nation because its people have worked hard to get out of the Great Recession. Employment levels are back above where they were before the recession began, and numbers are looking bright into the future.

And consumer confidence — which is simply how optimistic folks feel about spending — sure can create a lot of good, quality jobs and solve many problems for fast-talking, spin-doctoring American politicians.