Pawlenty’s Fiscal Mullet

pawlenty-mullet-2-300c397379-pixelsIs it possible for Governor Pawlenty to raise “fees” by about 21% while continuing to brag about keeping a no new “taxes” pledge?

As Minnesota 2020 notes: “While some fee increases may be necessary to pay for increased costs, it is clear that fee increases are also being used to back fill a hole in the state budget.”

Call it a fiscal mullet. Cosmetic constraint in the front, unrestrained growth in the back.

– Loveland

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14 Responses

  1. Did the Rowdy Crowd hire Industrial Light & Magic for special effects? That photo touch-up job is stellar.

  2. I don’t Twitter, but I Skitch like no one’s business.

  3. Entenza’s solution? Raise taxes to lower fees. Pick your poison.

    By the way, local governments are raising taxes quite fine, which is your objective after all. Presumably the citizenry has no issues with this, or they would boot their city council and county commissions. And they’re not doing that.

  4. I want honesty. Don’t raise the bill via fee increases and then claim the silly no new taxes pledge is kept.

  5. You know, the zoombie-like chant “No new taxes” is part of why we are all operating on shoe strings now. Our elected leaders haven’t heard of surpluses — not since Bill Clinton, anyway.

  6. “Shoestrings”?! $28 billion to $35 billion budget in 4 years? Starve a bureaucrat, save a taxpayer.

  7. The Republican philosophy of less government and, therefore, less tax, has resulted only in less government but not less spending and ultimate taxation. We have fewer food inspectors, which means China’s crap slips through. We have had no oversight on Wall Street, which has cost taxpayers billions. But with less government function, the Republicans — aided, I know, by Democrats along the way — haven’t managed to cut government spending, especially when you factor in the debt which will have to be paid by our kids and grandkids through — tah dah — taxes.

    Or fees.

    Lovely photo tampering, Joe. I’m impressed.

  8. I am a longtime reader, first time caller… I couldn’t resist telling you that this post by Loveland made my otherwise state-budget depressed day. You are a clever, clever man.

  9. Today I chatted with with a contractor who is working on my house. He’s a one-guy shop most of the time. When he needs help, he calls in another contactor buddy to lend a hand. Tomorrow he has to go to a workshop where one of the topics is a new fee. When he pays his buddy $100 to help out on a job, he has to set aside 2% of whatever he’d pay him and pay it to the state. But at least his taxes didn’t go up. Can’t wait to hear the details.

  10. Thanks for calling, Lily. It’s good to hear new voices. Call back any time!

  11. […] Pawlentese. We know that Pawlenty’s “no new taxes” pledge translates roughly into “yes new fees,” “yes higher local taxes,” and “yes higher long-term […]

  12. […] be sure, the Executive Mullet is hardly the only thing about Pawlenty that is evolving. These are among the cooling patterns […]

  13. […] and important question. While the Governor has played cutesy games on the revenue side (e.g. increased fees, labeled tobacco taxes “fees,” shifted revenue burdens to others) it does look pretty clear […]

  14. […] only that, he revealed his secret weapon too. The mullet? The “TPaw” self-branding? His cheeky TV ad showcasing his oh so hot “34-inch […]

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