Former Gov. Arne Carlson holds forth on the state's budget problems:
The job growth in Minnesota is extremely weak, and it's been weak for a number of years. During the '90s, we led the nation in growth. Now we're rather low compared to other states. I don't have the answer to the problem. I don't know what it is. But the point is, it's imperative that the leaders know what it is.
So what I would recommend is, one, that we get a really good sense of the lay of the land. I would bring in people like Darrell Runge from the University of Minnesota. I'd bring in Tom Stinson. I'd bring in some economists from the private sector. I'd bring in Steve Lewis, the former president of Carleton College. I'd bring in Dan Laufenberg from Ameriprise, a very good economist. I would spend hours with them, and I'd ask, what is it that you believe is going on?
I'm not talking about solutions here, I'm talking about first understanding what the problem is. Because if the problem is very temporary, that suggests one kind of strategy. If the problem is rather permanent, that tells you another strategy. It's important that we know the answer to that.
Gov. Carlson says he'd welcome the help of Democrats and of tax increases.