Thursday, January 29, 2009

Kitchen Table Budget Principles for Minnesota

An interesting budgeting idea from the Minnesota Budget Project (of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits) and Organizing Apprenticeship Project:
The state government has forecast a shortfall of $4.8 billion for the next biennium, July 2009 to June 2011. In the next few months, state policymakers will decide how to balance the budget.

We are all facing tough economic times. The unemployment rate is nearly 7 percent, and may well climb higher. Paychecks are downsizing. The value of our stocks and retirement portfolios is evaporating. Each night, tens of thousands of us are being turned away from shelters. Thousands of our homes have been lost to predatory sub-prime lending. Rent is rising. Food prices are going up. Bellies are growling with hunger. Thousands are without health care. College tuition is moving out of reach for more and more of us.

During these tough times, many of us are sitting down with our families around kitchen tables, talking about how we are going to make it through this downturn. We are figuring out what we can cut back on and what we can’t, trying to decide what is necessary.
More at

1 comment:

Leona said...

Notice the reference to a report I bet you were involved in:

No Good Economic News at the One Minnesota Conference
Thursday, January 22, 2009, 6:00:00 PM
Economic statistics and trends were described by several speakers at the "One Minnesota. Our State. Our Future" policy conference for legislators held on January 17. Steven Cochrane from Moody's Economy described economic conditions in Minnesota compared to the national economy and selected other states in "The Fundamentals: How Minnesota Measures Up." The conference wrapped up with a talk by Tom Stinson, the State Economist, and Tom Gillaspey, the State Demographer, "The Minnesota Perspective." The current economic downturn may seem sudden, but Tom Gillaspey noted that long-term economic challenges to the state were described in a 1995 report from the State Planning Agency, Within Our Means. "If there is a time to solve the state's fiscal problems, it is now. After 2010, solutions will be more difficult, as the percentage of Minnesotans of working age begins to decline." (p. 9) Their discussion of the effect of changing demographics on economic issues was sobering.