Minnesota politicians failed to broker an agreement on their expected $5 billion budget deficit last night. And so, at midnight, public services statewide were shutdown, including, as The New York Times and Politico noted, construction projects, state parks, zoos, the lottery system and vital websites. Former state governor and current placebo presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty held a press conference at Minneapolis-St. Paul International airport last night and figured this could be a good thing for a deal. Writes Politico:

Tim Pawlenty said that he wished the 2005 government shutdown he presided over would have lasted longer, and that the paralysis underway now in the state could be a good thing.

"I think it was nine days (of shutdown) at that time, and I think we could have gotten a better deal if we had allowed that to continue for a while and the people of Minnesota would have seen the issues play out a little longer," the Republican presidential hopeful said Thursday night...

"The equivalence is this: Both in ‘05 and now – you had Democrats demanding that we raise taxes and raise spending," Pawlenty said.

This morning, Mother Jones blogger Tim Murphy picked apart Pawlenty's statement:
This misses one key thing, which is that the actual shutdown itself has an economic impact. As Minnesota Public Radio reports, the shutdown could cost about $12 million per week in lost tourism revenue, $10 million in lost productivity, $2.3 million in lost lottery revenue, and a few million dollars more in lost productivity because workers were drawing up contingency plans for the shutdown rather than doing actual work. Beyond that, one direct consequence of laying off tens of thousands of state workers is that those people become unemployed, placing an even greater strain on the economy.
For their part, Minnesota citizens don't appear too pleased with the shutdown.