Ten better ways to respond to Minnesota's budget surplus

  • Article by: Dan McGrath
  • Updated: December 10, 2013 - 5:37 PM

Assuming the numbers stick, anti-tax measures should be way down on the list.

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supervon2Dec. 10, 13 5:55 PM

The author managed to bring up about 2 billion worth of added spending. I guess it's time to raise taxes again.

brianjapanDec. 10, 13 6:00 PM

Return some of the surplus to those of us who paid in this very high income tax. Wish I lived in a state with NO state income tax.

dakmarknetDec. 10, 13 6:23 PM

The surplus is as a result of the highest income earners in this state starting to return to the tax brackets that they paid back in 1999 and 2000. That is when good old Vetura reduced their income taxes and gave them a huge advantage over middle class taxpayers. Those incomes reaped billions while the rest of us in the middle class paid dearly so they could buy more Mercedezes. Finally, although they still haven't reached the level that we middle class taxpayers have (11% for high income earners, 12.5% for middle class earners), it is getting closer and you are seeing the results. Good job Gov. Dayton!

elmore1Dec. 10, 13 7:45 PM

Dan, this is just more big spending on programs that have questionable ROI. Case in point, the much publicized "bloated" (read stanch Democrat Arne Carlson's article in the Strib earlier this year) U has done little to improve things. They TRIPLED tuition over a 10 year period while inflation was in low single digits and simply passed it on to our kids. The current majority party gave them a huge "bailout" just to hold tuition flat for a couple of years. You want to give them MORE money? You need to take a moderate, common sense approach to your top ten list if you want to be taken seriously by taxpayers. We are generous and supportive in MN but the dollars are being spent to satisfy special interest groups and "buy votes" rather than true investments to improve things.

luzhishenDec. 10, 13 8:10 PM

read stanch Democrat Arne Carlson' - which shows just how far out to the right the author of the statement is.

dave9398Dec. 10, 13 8:17 PM

Let me guess Dan you aren't paying higher taxes. Your "vindication" about people paying higher taxes not harming the economy is interesting since we haven't even been through a year of Dayton's higher taxes and yet It takes years for tax policies to make any difference.

offmylawnDec. 10, 13 8:38 PM

"staunch Democrat Arne Carlson." That is so funny. He was, at the time, pretty much right wing. How far the right has moved.

Thenry8999Dec. 10, 13 9:16 PM

Hey Dan, would there ever be a aurplus big enough where you would recommend a tax cut? I didn't think so, just more and more spending, right? After all it's goverment's money and they get to decide how much we keep.

mikehessDec. 10, 13 9:27 PM

There will always be more ideas than money in any organization, including especially a government. Time to have some discipline. Lots of organizations have tightened their belts since the recession so the fact the state has to should not be a surprise. Believe it or not high levels if government spending isn't some kind of badge of honor. Pay back the debts, repeal the foolish narrow taxes the DFL and Dayton passed like the warehousing tax, and get back to balancing the budget vs running a big surplus

RossbergDec. 10, 13 9:42 PM

I have no doubt there's no end of "worthy" causes which could be funded by the surplus. I'm sure funding TakeAction Minnesota comes to the author's mind as a random example. However, the purpose of the tax increase was, as publicized by Gov. Dayton, to eliminate the deficit, not simply to redistribute income to achieve some far-left agenda goal. Therefore, there would be little justification to do anything other than rebate it to the sources from which it came rather than make an opportunistic grab for it out of fear that it might slip away. Mr. McGrath needs to learn to be patient. There is another legislative session coming up during which he and his cohorts can make their case for another round of tax increases to fund their objectives. If successful they can then fairly make claim to a future surplus. But until then the presence of a surplus does not in itself justify a round of spending increases no matter how noble he presumes his motives to be.


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