Democrats and Republicans in the once-mild-mannered state of Minnesota are on the brink of a state shutdown effective tonight if they cannot reach a compromise over Minnesota's $5 billion budget deficit. Democrat Governor Mark Dayton wants to raise taxes on the richest 2% of Minnesotans, while Republicans predictably tantrumed and refuse to use anything but cuts to fix the deficit. The state's income gap has grown in recent years, and in 2011 the top 10% of Minnesotans will have 45% of all its personal income, so there's that to make you feel like a useless working slob. Pretty much Minnesota is like the rest of the U.S. and we can all just think of this as the "opening act" for our inevitable national destruction ahead:

Despite the secret meetings, which have stretched seven straight days, there was scant sign of a deal.

Legislators coming to the Capitol were greeting by hundreds of union protestors, urging the two sides to break the deadlock.

Gathering on Capitol steps, some held signs "I am a Proud Public Worker" and "Government Shutdown -- Harming Countless Minnesotans Is Not OK." Some held babies and others held umbrellas to protect them from the burning summer sun.

If the two sides can’t come to an agreement by midnight, Minnesota will slip into the most wide-reaching government shutdown in state history.



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