Don’t Deplete Dedicated Funds
It might be tempting to say that, yes, Minnesota (and most places in the US) are running a deficit, and that if we have some surplus money in the coffers, well, we should use that money to bring our state back to the black. Another way of putting this would be the GOP plan to help Minnesota balance the state’s budget: Instead of raising revenues through taxes, use funds dedicated to a certain purpose for the express purpose of budget deficit.
An MPR article explores this as an economic plan for budget crises. It is not a Republican/Democrat solution; both sides have tried to use one-time funds or dedicated money to solve immediate deficits. How does it rate as a solution?
“It never fixes what financial experts call the structural imbalance, which means that without permanent tax increases or spending cuts, the budget problem just crops up again in future years. By tapping these funds, Republicans are masking the level of spending cuts needed to erase the deficit.”
The other problem that arises, on top of not solving the budget issues, is the lack of funding for those express purposes. Be it environmental, public safety or economic development funds. Taking money from causes that have been decided valuable will not create lasting budget security. So please, DFL and GOP in the state houses, be reasonable. Don’t “reallocate funds.” That doesn’t help.