Monday, May 18, 2009

A tweeted weekend 

I probably used Twitter more than ever this weekend in arguing a few points with people over the budget discussions. You'd be better off following that trail to find out what I said. A few points of summary:
  1. I doubt the DFL really thought either override vote would pass. It was theatrics and nailing a few positions down for the 2010 elections, particularly on the GAMC line-item veto. Expect what Gary calls the Fine Whine Tour over the next sixteen months. Certainly the reporting over the weekend over the "somberness" and crying of DFL legislators over the vote indicates this.
  2. Pawlenty spokesman Brian McClung (via Twitter) says legislative leaders are to be at the Governor's mansion in the next twenty minutes. There was this odd conflict last night over who was supposed to call who next after the governor dropped a plan on the DFL late Saturday night. One side said the governor's representative said they'd be in touch, the other side said the DFL would sleep on it and call back. Reminded me of teen love and phone standoffs that often happen therein. Besides, I doubt the DFL was going to do anything before getting their override votes. (UPDATE: Politics in Minnesota reporter says meeting delayed to 12:15 at DFL request: unclear why a delay.)
  3. The DFL seems still to be in denial over the recessionary effects of a tax increase. The least recessionary thing they could have done was to do something with the governor's tobacco bonds, but because that cuts revenue for them to spend in later years they don't want to do that. So they are stuck using a tired Keynesian argument that tax increases are less harmful than government spending increases. This is a better argument at national than subnational levels of government. Speaker Kelliher and the two tax committee chairs really needs to read Feldstein and Vaillant before talking about this again.

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