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Your Letters: Tell Gov. Dayton $34 billion is enough

With a state government "shutdown" looming on the horizon, there are some important facts that all Minnesotans should be aware of. Both houses of the state Legislature have approved and submitted a balanced budget proposal for Governor Dayton's signature. This proposal would spend $34 billion over the next two-year biennium, representing a 6 percent increase over the last biennium (not a budget cut as misleading state public union ads would like you to believe). This budget would, in fact, be the largest general fund budget in the state's history and would provide important increases in K-12 education, public safety and health care funding compared with actual funding during the current two-year period. Importantly, this level of state spending can be funded through existing revenue sources (taxes and fees) without the need to raise taxes on hard-pressed individuals and small businesses. In short, this budget proposal meets the important tests of "common sense" and fiscal responsibility.

Unfortunately, the proposal is not good enough for Governor Dayton. Dayton stubbornly insists on increasing spending by another $1.8 billion (which would represent a 15 percent increase over the current biennium) and he also insists on paying for this increase by raising taxes on "wealthy" Minnesotans and small businesses. Minnesota is already the fifth highest taxing state in the nation for individuals and the second highest taxing state in the nation for small businesses. Does the governor really believe it would be a good idea to make Minnesota's business environment more hostile by becoming the highest taxing state in the nation? We are already losing business investment and jobs to surrounding states because of Minnesota's tax and regulation policies. What good does it do to spend billions on education if our children and grandchildren are forced to move out of state to find decent private sector jobs?

A state government shutdown is both unnecessary and unwise. Let your voice be heard. Call the governor's office at (651) 201-3400 and tell him to put jobs ahead of partisan politics.

A.L. Kleinke