Thursday, March 19, 2009

DFL to MN Taxpayers: Bend Over and Take it Like a Man

From an email from MN 15A Representative Steve Gottwalt on today's DFL legislative hijinx:
Frankly, I'm disappointed. Today, as Minnesota's unemployment rate hit 8.1 percent, House Democrats proposed $4.4 billion in tax increases on struggling Minnesotans. As I've emphasized before, we must focus on economic recovery by helping businesses retain and create more jobs. Raising taxes by $4.4 billion is an absolute job killer! You can't say you're for jobs and in favor of tax increases. It's like saying you're for eggs, but you want to strangle the chickens. They also clipped tax
aids and credits and workforce funding that help create jobs and economic opportunity

To make matters worse, House Democrats plan to cut veterans and public safety funding, cut health and welfare spending, and offer no increase in education funding. They propose a $1.77 billion education funding shift that's almost $500 million larger than the governor's proposal they criticized just days ago. The Senate Democrats want to cut education funding 7 percent. Education Minnesota, is not pleased.

We waited half a legislative session for this set of budget targets, and still do not have a detailed budget proposal from the majority.

Here are the basics of the House Democrats' budget targets released today:

* No increase in K-12, early childhood or higher education spending
* An education funding shift $500 million larger than the governor's
* Less Health and Human Services spending than the governor in 2010-11
* Cuts to veterans and public safety
* $4.4 billion worth of tax increases (no details yet on the new taxes)

FY 2010-11
$843 million in reductions
$1.77 billion K-12 payment shift (73/27) -- actually, a cut to our districts
$1.5 billion in tax increases
$750 million in federal deficit "stimulus" money

FY 2012-13
$2.1 billion in reductions
$148 million K-12 payment shift
$2.9 billion in tax increases
No federal deficit "stimulus" money
So the Minnesota DFL wants to raise taxes--during an economic recession leaning on the edge of depression. Yeah. That oughta help.

Sorta like trying to fix a headache with a sledgehammer to the skull.

The governor, who will certainly veto this bill, and the Minnesota House Republicans who will hopefully sustain the veto are the only ones standing in the way of this tax, tax and tax some more "final" solution. I say "final" solution because it will deal our already fragile economy yet another blow--a death blow from which it may take years, if ever, to recover.