Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Management and Budget describes
challenges facing Minnesota, and opportunities arising from them. He
explains the variability of state revenue and cautions that the
state's control in certain areas, such as higher education, is
decentralized and rarely direct. He sees presently a greater
opportunity for change than at most any other time in his career.
For the complete
interview summary see:
Readers have been asked to rate, on a scale of (0) most disagreement,
to (5) neutral, to (10) most agreement, the following points discussed
response ratings shown below are simply the mean of all readers’
zero-to-ten responses to the ideas proposed and should not be
considered an accurate reflection of a scientifically structured poll.
The hard reality
that state-local government is a loose collection of systems, not one
entity, compounds the challenge for the Governor and Legislature to
federal student loans can lead to state support in certain higher
education programs irrespective of ultimate job prospects for
To balance the
budget--while confronted by aggressive advocates for all sorts of
legitimate human needs--the Governor and Legislature must have quality
information from the state Department of Management and Budget.
Robert Freeman (7.5) (5) (10)
Anonymous (10) (5) (7.5)
3. Advocacy. I
agree but the DMB has only a limited amount of information, vision and
ability to influence the direction that the state could, should or
would go. Honesty, integrity, vision, curiosity, and other attributes
must be a part of the other sectors that influence and determine state
policy. The DMB does have an important role but it too is not without
Broden (0) (10) (7.5)
The state-local government approach is often the excuse for not being
able to resolve some of the issues. Perhaps looking at who can best do
the job rather than focusing on the complexity of the situation and
also looking at the services and facilities required would be more
appropriate topic than are there too many units or how complex the
various units make government execution.
student loans. There is no doubt that easy funds push the growth of
some education institutions.
Agree that the State must provide confirming or refuting data for all
issues. On the other hand the data should come not only from the state
but also from both sides of an issue as well as from other interested
groups. We should not make decisions on government only data.
Dennis L. Johnson (0) (7.5) (7.5)
General Comment: Showalter appears to be another lifetime bureaucrat,
a class who have concluded that government is far too complex for we
mere mortals to comprehend and therefore only people like them are
needed to change anything. They then agree with each other than
nothing can really be changed due to the complexity of government,
thus ensuring that their own jobs survive. Is it really all that
complex? Why not just cut all recipients of State funds by ten, or
fifteen, or whatever percent is needed, and let each recipient figure
out how to get by with less money. Then, once the budget is balanced,
there will be time to reconsider or reinvent the structure of
government to save even more. One way is to terminate all the
professional bureaucrats and use people with real experience in the
Schmitz (10) (7.5) (10)
And they do not benefit if one system saves another money. Thus,
(there is) no incentive to do so.
student loans. But that assumes an irrational decision by the student.
3. Advocacy. And
then they need to accept the information; this seems to be lacking
Peter Hennessey (0) (0) (5)
1. Innovation. If
the premise is true, then the conclusion is wrong. It is a good thing
that a central authority has difficulty ruling, especially in matters
that are properly a local responsibility anyway. It is amazing that
none of the questions today are related to the
outrageous statements and assumptions made in this speaker's
No, there is no
transitioning to a federal framework for medical services. The state
should and must assert its 9th and 10th Amendment rights and tell the
feds to go away, both with their money and their unfunded mandates.
They have no constitutional authority to butt into medical services at
any level. The “Obamacare” law in particular is unconstitutional and
is widely admitted now to be nothing but the means to destroy the
private health care and insurance industries, and to set up a
deliberately broken system to facilitate the imposition of socialized
No, you don't
settle on how much revenue to collect and who pays. You settle on what
is the absolute minimum size of the government needed to fulfill its
most essential functions.
No, you don't
need to reform government except to shift control as far down toward
the local level as possible.
No, you don't
need to adapt agencies to the aging workforce, unless of course your
employment practices have been so blindly and greedily screwed up that
you neglected the need to keep bringing in the next generation.
No, you don't
have to redesign for the future and certainly not by implementing "big
ideas." There are no big ideas to be implemented; the bare essential
government services have been the same for countless generations. The
only "big idea" that you need to implement is to privatize as much of
the services as possible, on the model of the water, sewer and garbage
services, for example.
levels are not unpredictably volatile, if you settle on a decent and
fair formula. For example, if you eliminate all taxes and fees on all
persons and businesses, and replace them with a simple retail sales
tax, then government is taken out of the business of interfering and
screwing it up by tinkering with the tax code in the name of "social
justice," "economic justice," and other
lunatic Marxist ideas.
No, the state has
no moral or legal authority to run a structural deficit. If such an
abomination occurs, then the state must correct the structure of its
obligations and expenditures, by shedding both.
costs do not need to be federally driven. The state should and must
assert its 9th and 10th Amendment rights and tell the feds to go away,
both with their money and their unfunded mandates. They have no
constitutional authority to butt into education at any level.
student loans. First of all, the feds have no business interfering in
education at any level, and they don't have the money to do so anyway
except by borrowing and borrowing and borrowing. Secondly, even if
you could make a case for federal funding and assistance, it is the
height of irresponsibility to throw money at students too stupid to
know that they must have solid job skills and job prospects, both to
succeed in life and to repay the loans. If they want to nurture their
impractical fantasies, let them pay from it with their own money.
3. Advocacy. Yes,
everybody needs solid information before making a decision, about
anything and everything. Why specify that this information must come
from the MMB? Do they have a monopoly on information, judgment and
wisdom? And who says that the Governor and the Legislature must cave
to aggressive advocates? Don't they have enough spine to tell them to
Anderson (10) (7.5) (10)
3. Advocacy. The
needs are always greater than the funds available. Quality
information, balancing legitimate human needs, is essential.
Scott Halstead (0) (5) (10)
D. (Bill) Hamm (7.5) (10) (7.5)
While it may be a loose connection of systems looking at it from the
top down, it is an entrapping snare of mandates and control mechanisms
looking from the bottom up. Education and social services are at the
top of this list.
student loans. That's what happens when an imbalanced body of
attorneys dominates bureaucracies like this legislatively.
Sadly the quality of information available to our legislators doesn't
always affect the emotional, biased outcomes.
Juanita Reed-Boniface (7.5) (7.5) (10)
Shapira (2.5) (5) (0)
The real challenge is getting your social priorities straight. For
example, wasting up to a billion dollars on a new stadium for the
Vikings should be off the table now and forever.
That's what you're there for but the information must not be
politically influenced if that is ever possible.
Rosemary Schultz (10) (7.5) (10)
White (0) (0) (0)
student loans. This was an especially illuminating part of the
Fraser (9) (5) (10)
Miller (8) (7) (9)
Joseph Mansky (5) (10) (10)
This may be true, but is it the proper role of the state government to
be the sole source of innovation in the state? Shouldn’t elected local
government leaders have an opportunity to engage in innovative
activities without interference from the state?
2. Federal student loans. This leads to an interesting public policy
discussion: should the federal government pick the subject areas in
which it will offer public support for tuition and fees payments?
Should the Board of Regents or the legislature set tuition and fees at
the U and in the MnSCU schools at a lower rate for students in subject
areas that have been identified by the state government as either in
need or in demand by the state? Does the presence of the federal
government as a third party payer, through the guaranteed student loan
program, actually encourage cost increases in tuition and fees?
Jennings (9) (10) (10)
One more call for
redesign. He gave an example with government transparency implemented
quickly. We need to put more action steps to the concept of redesign.
Lutz (9) (8) (10)
Robert J. Brown (10) (10) (10)
2. Federal student
loans. Once the feds took over as the primary supporter of higher
education funding (which had been the role of the family until the
1960s) it enabled higher education to go on a spending spree greater
than health care. The only institutions that are challenged for
turning out students for jobs that do not exist are the propriety
schools. The state and not-for-profit schools should be held to the
same standard. A system of higher education vouchers would be the
first step in responsibility in post secondary education finance.
L. Edberg (8) (10) (9)
Olson (10) (7) (10)
It is insane to
talk of balancing the budget without adding revenue – the cuts would
just be too deep. You can get things trending in the right direction
and that is what needs to be the reasonable goal. Too much pain
otherwise, and throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
Stone (2) (10) (10)
‘"We talk about
state government as if it were a single, private organization,"
Schowalter said. Rather, it is a loose collection of systems that
indeed get some funding from the state, but have independent
governance and leadership.’
This previous statement seems to grossly understate the command and
control capabilities of state government.
Counties are de facto local offices of state government. Cities are
strongly limited by their home rule or legislative charter. State law
supersedes all lower levels of government. Unfunded mandates from the
state abound. The state is the pass-through agent for federal funding.
Minnesota has at least two governments-within-a-government and both
are predictably out of control. This is solvable by eliminating the
IRRRB and redefining the role of the Met Council.
Schowalter seems to miss the point that notwithstanding various
applications of political science, governing preferences must be
sustainable. Mark Dayton’s formulary for accelerated statist bloat is
not sustainable. Government that doubles every 3.27 biennia cannot
continue for long.
Bright Dornblaser (8) (10) (10)
Senn (10) (7) (10)
Clarence Shallbetter (9) (na) (8)
Detert (10) (9) (9)
Quie (0) (5) (10)
Harrigan (10) (10) (10)
Schwarzkopf (9) (8) (9)