The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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June 19, 2013

Democrats used bait and switch on business

— Some run for political office who, when running, say they are “business friendly” but in reality are not.

Businesses need elected officials to fight against tax increases, overbearing government regulations, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and other government agencies that not only add significant dollars to the cost of doing business but result in a competitive disadvantage.

The 2012 Citi[1] report notes that the “start-up” rate for small businesses has declined from about 12 percent in 1980 to only 8 percent in 2012. This is extremely troubling considering that small businesses account for approximately 60 percent of all new jobs created.

Regulatory compliance costs per worker is much higher for small firms than for larger firms, according to the Small Business Administration[2], and affirmed by millions of small businesses all over the nation. Dealing with government is a regressive tax, favoring largeness and discouraging small business creation and growth critical to Minnesota’s future economic success.

The Democrats illustrated this earlier this year by doling out taxpayer money directly to a few select large corporations such as 3M and the Mayo Clinic, among others while expecting small businesses (many with fewer than 20 employees) to pay for these subsidies through higher taxes, more tax complexity and additional regulations.

We need legislators who understand the significant impact of government regulations on farms and businesses. We all agree that clean air and water are important, but what happened in the 2012 election when folks voted for so-called business friendly Democrats is a whole other story.

In the House of Representatives, Rep. Jean Wagenius, DFL- Minneapolis, became chair of the Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Finance Committee (another “great” Democrat idea by the way : combining Agriculture with the “Environment” committee).

Rep. Wagenius is far from business and agriculture friendly being an extreme, environmentalist from the metro area; thus, the bait and switch. One votes for a legislator who seems business friendly based upon their campaign literature but one gets a chair of a major committee in St. Paul who knows nothing about agriculture, has never lived on a farm, and is not remotely business friendly.

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