The bad news is the financial forecast for the next two years just got worse. According to news reports:
Minnesota's deficit projection shrank to $994 million for the rest of this budget cycle, down from the $1.2 billion projected late last year.
But there are dark times ahead -- state economists predict Minnesota's budget deficit will be $5.8 billion in the next two-year cycle.
The forecast deficit for the next two years went from $5.4 billion to $5.8 billion.
The reality of that coming deficit tsunami hasn't sunk in yet with lawmakers. It should be addressed now rather than put off until next year. How is that to be done? By cutting back on built in structural spending.
Even if lawmakers split the difference in 2011 that would mean, if distributed equally, a family of four paying $2,000 more a year in increased taxes. Without spending cuts that's $4,000 per a family of four.
The problem? We've been living well beyond our means and are still in denial. Our economic difficulties aren't over by a long shot.