President Reagan famously said the nine most terrifying words in the English language are “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” Boy that sure seems true today. When Republicans are in charge, it is really scary for the average citizen. In Wisconsin there are protests and shutdowns happening because Governor one-term, I mean Walker and his Republicans cronies think it is OK to take away worker’s rights. (Political insight: Not sure that was the smartest or most sensible thing to do in a state with a history of being pro-labor.)
Thankfully, we have a smart and sensible governor here in Minnesota. After 8 years (12 if you count Ventura’s term) of irresponsible leadership from the governor’s office under T-Paw, who was hell bent on proving government can’t work, only to be proven wrong by DFLers in the legislature, we finally have a leader more concerned about the future of our state than a personal political agenda.
His budget proposal proves that. Dayton’s budget is responsible and balanced. He is addressing the problems that have caused our reoccurring deficits, and doing it responsibly with difficult cuts that, yes, will affect vulnerable Minnesotans, but there are also tax increases for the very richest Minnesotans. He even put responsible rules in place to end the highest taxes on the richest Minnesotans after a couple years when we are hopefully fully recovered from the mess previous governors let us get into.
Governor Dayton is doing exactly what he said he would do by investing in education and protecting the middle class. 95% of Minnesotans will not pay an extra penny of tax, and he is not asking teachers to take a pay cut, unlike the Republicans who are not only proposing cuts to teacher’s income, but proposing to increase the profits of giant corporations by letting them pay less in taxes when we have a deficit. You really can’t make that up…
Dayton realizes the importance of investment. Investing in education will make our state stronger in the future. Despite what Republican leaders are saying, investment is not a bad word, and if they plan to turn the word investment into a negative, our future is going to be even worse. I invest in a retirement fund, a college fund for my boys, I invested in a car I thought would save me money in the long run, we invested in a home that is worth a lot more than we paid for it, I invest my time and energy into making my community a better place to grow up in. Investments are a good thing. Investments make the future better. And I expect my tax dollars to go towards making the future better. That means investing in infrastructure that will keep our state growing, investing in public education and public colleges so that Minnesota is a hotbed of innovation, invention and ideas, and I expect my tax dollars to be invested in ensuring the safety of our citizens.
Kurt Zellers and Amy Koch called Dayton’s use of “investment” a “fancy word” for tax and spend. Absurd! Dayton’s budget is very reasonable. I guess to Republicans the “worst” part about this bill is that people who make hundreds of thousands of dollars will pay more to enjoy the benefits of living in this state where they likely made hundreds of thousands. Pat Kessler on WCCO said a family making $200,000 will pay an extra $139 in taxes under Mark Dayton’s plan. That is $5 each bi-weekly paycheck!!! Poor well-off Minnesotans! How will they be able to retire?
And the smug Republicans in the legislature cry about that extra $139 like it will break our economic back. Then at the same time the tears are pouring down they propose that a corporation’s tax be cut in half. That makes sense. (Read that again with extra sarcasm.) Let’s balance the budget by taking in half the revenue! Seriously! Think about it, a family making $200,000 takes home roughly $150,000 after taxes to spend, INVEST, or do whatever they want. So that family will pay an extra $139 under Mark Dayton’s plan. A corporation with $150,000 in taxable profits would keep over $7,000 under the Republican plan.
So which is the plan that will responsibly fix our deficit? In reality, I guess we don’t know yet because the Republicans keep proposing incremental fixes. Only Governor Dayton was responsible enough to layout an entire plan. Come on Republicans! You wanted this job and have gloated over getting it. Step up and show us your plan to fix the entire deficit. Then listen to the people. Do you really think they will choose more potholes, worse school, more crime and more corporate profits over the wealthiest Minnesotans paying a little more in taxes? I think I know the answer, and 2012 is looking better and better.