Minnesota Farmer

MN government shutdown

I’m getting increasingly frustrated with the Minnesota government shutdown.  All I hear about is that we should be sure that the top two percent of the earners in Minnesota should pay their fair share.  To that I agree.  But there is more going on here.

During the last budget cycle, Minnesota spent $32 billion.  The Legislature approved a balanced budget for this cycle that spent $34 billion on state government programs, which included $2 billion in new revenue without raising taxes.  Governor Dayton vetoed that budget when it was put on his desk.  The governor wants to spend $35.8 billion on state government programs, and increase income and corporate taxes, and expand the sales tax, by a total of $1.8 billion.  Does expanding the state sales tax affect only the rich?

What I’m seeing is a Legislature that is doing its job and bringing budget proposals to Governor Dayton, and the governor rejecting them because the tax rate is not high enough.  Is that any reason to shut down programs for the fragile people in our society?  Do we need more taxes so much that highway construction and repair must be shut down?  Why must so many people be hurt just so that Governor Dayton can get a tax increase?

I agree that the richest should pay their fair share, but the rich have ways of avoiding taxes that the rest of us do not.  If you are worth millions of dollars, would you choose to live in Minnesota when you could live in the Bahamas?  Perhaps you would summer here, but Texas, Florida and Arizona have a better winter climate and lower taxes than Minnesota.  Taking up permanent residence in another area is just one way to avoid paying taxes.

Getting a tax increase on the top 2% of earners is not worth the government shut down that we are now going through.  Many people who need government services are being hurt.  Let’s get this budget worked out and get Minnesota workers back on the job.  There will be other ways and other days to tax the rich, ways that do not hurt the poor in the process.



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