(FYI – the Golden Gophers are the sports teams of the University of Minnesota.)
I managed to watch an inning or two of the Phils’ eventual 7-6 win over the Florida Marlins today in the regular season finale (the team will open at home against Colorado in the NLCS this week). And I overheard announcers Tommy McCarthy and Chris Wheeler commenting on other teams due to play in the post season. Eventually, they had a word or two to say about the American League Central race between the Detroit Tigers and the Minnesota Twins (as I write this, Detroit has beaten the Chicago White Sox and Minnesota is kicking the stuffing out of the Kansas City Royals, so it looks as if Detroit and Minnesota will play a one-game playoff).
Now ordinarily, I wouldn’t care a whole lot about the American League (nothing personal), but Wheeler said something along the lines of “isn’t it a shame that the teams would have to play their game in Minnesota on Tuesday instead of Monday because, awww, they just had a widdle multi-purpose stadium instead of one each for the Twins and the Vikings, and the football team is playing the Packers on Monday night at home.”
Well then, I think it’s time to look at the finances of the state of Minnesota to find out why they just don’t seem to have enough dough to accommodate Wheeler’s priorities.
This tells us the following…
(Repug Governor Tim) Pawlenty’s unilateral cuts to city Local Government Aid (LGA), the state’s revenue sharing mechanism intended to keep property taxes under control, have continued a trend of balancing the state’s budget problems disproportionately on the back of Minnesota’s communities. LGA has fallen precipitously since 2002, the last year of the Ventura administration.
The state’s decision to disproportionately cut city LGA in response to the state’s budget problems have caused both large reductions in funding for city services and infrastructure and large increases in city property taxes. Pawlenty’s 2009 and 2010 LGA unallotments are the most recent step down this path. Minnesota needs a new budget path that doesn’t shift the state’s budget problems disproportionately to our communities and local property taxpayers.
Also, Governor “Pawlenty Of Nothing” isn’t exempting the state’s university students from the budget pain – as noted here from February, he “propose(d) $151 million cut in University funding over the next two years. While (University of Minnesota) President Bob Bruininks claim(ed) he will work to keep tuition raises under 10 percent, an increase of 18 percent of tuition by 2010 would be needed to amount to the governor’s proposed cuts.”
And of course, though Pawlenty opposed the “stim” like almost every other Repug, he has no trouble with taking credit for the jobs it has created, as noted here (which have helped to alleviate the budget crisis caused in part by the aforementioned LGA cuts since 2002).
Which leads us all back to the stadium question, though, as noted here…
A new stadium would cost an estimated $950 million, with the Vikings possibly needing $700 million from the state.
“I think a stadium is very low on anyone’s priority list,” says Rep. Margaret Anderson Kelliher, the Speaker of the House. “There hasn’t been any plan or bill that works in terms of financing a new stadium.”
So the hell with people in Minnesota who need city services, as well as homeowners paying higher property taxes (as well as college students also getting gouged by Pawlenty’s cuts). Chris Wheeler is annoyed that the Vikings and the Twins don’t have their own stadiums, dammit. And they’ll have to play their damn baseball playoff game on Tuesday instead of Monday as a result. And nothing else matters.
Thanks for giving us a peek inside your little bubble, “Wheels” (what a nitwit).