Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Steve Gottwalt on Minnesota's $5.4 Billion Shortfall

In an email to his constituents, SD 15-A representative Steve Gottwalt had this to say:
We received the latest budget forecast information today and it indicates Minnesota faces a projected $1.2 billion shortfall for the current two-year state budget, and a $5.4 billion deficit for the next biennium.

This is tough news, and underscores the need for even greater state fiscal restraint. Minnesotans want state government to live within its means instead of raising taxes on families and businesses. Small businesses create the vast majority of new jobs, and they have told us loud and clear they cannot afford more government. We must rein-in state government spending and focus on sustainable reforms that boost our economy. That is the "goose" that lays Minnesota's "golden eggs."

In the 2010 Legislative Session, we need to confront reality and adopt meaningful structural reforms to solidify our economic future. State spending must be brought in line with revenue received, as families and businesses must do. Hard-working taxpayers cannot continue to pay for backward thinking where the state spends money before it knows what’s in the checkbook. Minnesotans expect state government to live within its means.

We cannot tax our way out of this deficit! Tax increases will kill the jobs we need to turn around our economy and state revenues. We have a spending problem; not a revenue problem: Government spending in Minnesota has grown by 140 percent since 1992, and we have seen numerous proposals in the last few years for billions of dollars in new tax increases. We must set good priorities, and live within our means
instead of raising taxes on struggling families and businesses.

Liberals propose “tax increases only on the wealthy.” However, most of the so-called “wealthy” are small businesses filing through individual tax returns - the same small businesses we need to help grow more jobs for a sustainable economic recovery. The top 10 percent wage earners in Minnesota already pay 57 percent of all personal income taxes, and 38 percent of all taxes in our state. Even if we raised their
tax rate a full 10 percent, it would generate only $381 million toward our persistent deficit.

We cannot tax our way to prosperity while families and businesses are battling to make ends meet with less in these tough economic times. Increasing the tax burden would drive out the jobs and revenue we need to turnaround Minnesota’s economy.

The Legislature’s top priority in 2010 must be creating sustainable jobs in the private sector by reducing tax and regulatory burdens. I will continue working to kick-start Minnesota's job market by promoting an environment that supports business growth!
Of course, Mr. Gottwalt speaks nothing but sense here. To tax the bejesus out of the job creators will not create any more taxpayers than depriving a garden of its water will grow more produce.

The crappy part about it is that Margaret Kelliher, Tarryl Clark, Larry Haws, Larry Hosch, and the rest of the tax-n-spend DFL'ers will wail, moan and gnash their teeth, saying the "evil rich" aren't paying their fair share;, when it is the "evil rich" (as Gottwalt stated, the Mom & Pop concerns) that create the very jobs that render a vibrant economy that sustains both economic prosperity and, of course, tax revenue for governmental functions.

And look for Tim Pawlenty, in one of his last acts in office, along with the Minnesota House Republicans to once again play the adult.

Look for yet another infantile show down by the DFL this coming budgetary cycle.