A few times Dan and I have joked that Wisconsin has the highest per-capita drinking in the USA. I'm sure that Minnesota isn't far behind, with winters just as brutal as those in Wisconsin and not too much sunlight during those dark days and nights.
It is summer now in Minnesota and the state is shut down. As it turns out, apparently that isn't a big deal. They don't let all the prisoners out of jail, they just shut down the inessential services such as the annoying bureaucracy that requires you to get innumerable permits and papers to conduct your daily business. These not-so-essential state workers total 22,000 in Minnesota; probably a great batch of employees to cut next.
The new Democratic governor in Minnesota, Mark Dayton (wealthy heir who turned into a stone-redistributionist Dem) actually ran on a platform of taxing the top 1%, which is literally the stupidest thing in the world from a state tax perspective, since THOSE ARE THE PEOPLE THAT CREATE ALL THE JOBS IN MINNESOTA. As it is, you'd have to be nearly out of your mind to live in the darkness, snow and miserable mosquitoes (in summer) of Minnesota in the first place; but to put dis-incentives for the rich to live there is even more insane (note - I worked in Minnesota for many years and long winters and met some of the nicest, smartest people in that hard working state. But they are still insane for living in that weather).
As in Illinois, with our governor Quinn, the Democrat eked out a win (with 43% of the vote in the case of Minnesota) and then took this as a "mandate" to implement all of their programs as if they were Roosevelt trying to get the country out of the great depression (although that didn't work so well, either). In the case of Quinn he raised Illinois taxes 67%, abolished the death penalty, appointed his cronies to state positions, and didn't cut any spending. Awesome. In the case of Dayton, his plan was to raise taxes on the richest to 13.95%, on top of the Federal rates. Unclear in his plan is WHY anyone wealthy would intentionally stay in Minnesota to have all of their income taxed away while many other states with better climates (Florida, Texas) don't have any state income tax AT ALL.
I think Dayton was crazy enough to hold out forever, as a populist. Unfortunately for him, the state was running out of booze. Apparently bars need to fill out a permit for $20 or so in order to buy booze and as they expired the bars would have to shut. Miller was going to have to shut down their operations for a clerical snafu (they overpaid so the state sent their permit back) and not distribute booze at all.
I really do think that the impending stopping of alcohol in the state of Minnesota helped precipitate a resolution to this budget standoff, where the governor gave in on his plan to drive all job-creators from the state.
Hats off the Minnesota legislature for standing firm. Unlike Illinois, where not only do the dems run our legislature but our red representatives aren't creative enough to flee the state at the prospect of a giant tax increase, like they did in Wisconsin to attempt to block Walker's reforms.
Cross posted at Chicago Boyz