The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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May 18, 2013

DFL budget leaves out reform

The 2013 Minnesota Legislature started facing a projected budget shortfall of $635 million and by state mandate must balance the budget.

The new DFL controlled government has a “fix” for this shortfall; raising taxes and fees for all Minnesotans by as much as $2,944,895,000. Yes that is $2.9 Billion! That’s $547 for every man, woman and child in Minnesota, $2,188 for a family of four. There are not enough “rich” people in Minnesota to raise that kind of money, so they have to tax everybody. The hard working folks in Minnesota cannot afford these tax increases to feed the DFL’s insatiable appetite for growing government. In fact they wouldn’t have to raise taxes at all, not even $1 to close this budget gap.

During the 2011 budget session a $5 billion deficit had to be dealt with, due to the recession/slowdown in our economy. The GOP Legislature balanced this budget for the most part by making government more efficient, lowering the projected growth of many state programs and by continuing a school shift that the DFL Legislature began the previous biennium. These actions, just one year later left Minnesota with surplus monies to start paying back the school shift, but the governor vetoed that proposal. Our budget projections are still benefiting from the legislative changes we made to roll back the automatic growth of government.

In 2012, the GOP Legislature created the Reform and Redesign Subcommittee. The subcommittee’s mission was to pursue an efficient, effective, citizen-centric government. This year the DFL controlled Legislature did away with the Reform and Redesign Subcommittee, seeing no need to reform government and replaced it with a Tax Reform Committee — in reality a “Tax Increase” Committee.

It takes real work and courage to produce a more efficient and effective government. Democrats are sidestepping the unpopular job of making government more efficient. It is easy to grow government; by creating and expanding programs and government jobs via tax and spend. It is much more difficult to eliminate out of date and non-essential programs.

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