Minnesota's Democratic governor Mark Dayton and top Republicans have struck a deal to end the longest state government shutdown in recent history. Dayton sent GOP leaders a letter Thursday, saying he would drop his insistence on a new tax on the state's millionaires, and Republicans responded by agreeing to close the $1.4 billion gap between their budget proposal and Dayton's by delaying payments to schools and selling tobacco payment bonds, instead of slashing the state workforce by 15 percent. Was this an even trade, or did Dayton essentially surrender?
Yes, Dayton conceded too much: Dayton gambled by imposing this unnecessary shutdown to force through a tax increase on the rich, says Bryan Preston at Pajamas Media, but his class warfare turned off Minnesotans. Now he's agreeing to a deal that amounts to "almost total capitulation" on his part. "Minnesota isn't exactly a red state," so this shows how much Republicans can accomplish by "defending taxpayers from the predations of the state."
"Wow: Dayton caves, GOP wins Minnesota shutdown battle"
Well, the GOP did have to give a little: This wasn't an easy pill for Republicans to swallow, "despite Dayton's near-total acceptance of their terms," says Laura Clawson at Daily Kos. Dayton did insist on a $500 million bill to put people to work building bridges, roads, and other infrastructure projects. Disappointed Dems might find that small potatoes, but "it's hard to blame Dayton, since he was faced with opponents who did not care how much pain they inflicted on the state, while he did and does care."
"Minnesota shutdown: Dayton conceding to most Republican demands"
Nobody should be celebrating this cowardly deal: Both sides had to compromise to end the two-week shutdown, says Martiga Lohn at the Associated Press, "but they didn't really solve their budget problem." The deal will reduce spending, but it really just closes the state's $5 billion deficit with more borrowing. Instead of fixing the mess, these politicians "just shuffled it down the road to be faced another day."
"Minnesota government shutdown deal pushes budget problems down the road"