It astounds me how much time is being wasted on divisive social issues in St. Paul as the budget and a still-recovering economy sit on the back burner.
It seems the only time we hear the legislative majorities talk about jobs and the economy pertains to huge tax increases that would stifle both. We received a breather this week when Gov. Mark Dayton formally announced he is abandoning a number of tax increases he planned to foist on Minnesotans, including a business-to-business tax and expanding taxes to include services like haircuts and oil changes.
We are not out of the tax woods just yet. The governor’s tax proposals are merely part of his budget recommendations. Democrats in the House and the Senate ultimately will be responsible for authoring bills to form our state’s next biennial budget. They did not immediately take Dayton’s lead in scrapping tax increases.
To the contrary, a House committee recently heard a Democrat bill that would raise taxes on snack foods. This follows bills to raise taxes on alcohol (by 350 percent for some), cigarettes (by $1.60 per pack), gasoline (10 cents per gallon) and more.
While we wait for details on the Democrats’ tax increases, they have been advancing social issues. Restrictions on guns, unionized day care providers, government involvement in our health care and redefining traditional marriage have come to the forefront. I do not support any of these proposals.
Barely one-third of all Minnesotans support redefining marriage. All precincts in District 9A voted in favor of a constitutional amendment proposal in 2012 to protect traditional marriage.
The new majorities should fulfill promises they made last fall to focus on jobs and the economy, along with paying back money owed to our school children. That is what the citizens of Minnesota expect and deserve.
Rep. Mark Anderson, R-Lake Shore,