Budget woes | Pineandlakes.com - Pineandlakes Echo Journal

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Budget woes

Posted: August 6, 2013 - 5:30pm

Budget woes

You should see their faces when I tell people how big the state’s budget really is.

The scenario goes like this: A citizen approaches me in our district or at the Capitol to talk about state spending. They usually are expressing disapproval over Democrats increasing it by around 8 percent, all the way up to $38 billion.

The All Funds budget — with federal funding included — is what the state actually spends and the excessive spending Minnesota Democrats passed this year leads to the largest dollar-for-dollar increase in state history. A new Minnesota Management & Budget report shows All Funds spending is set to rise by $6.2 billion in 2014-15, compared with the last two years.

This is a full 10 percent spike, 270 percent more than what Republicans put in place when they set the budget in 2011.

All the way up to nearly $68 billion.

Just to get things straight: The state economy produced at least $3 billion in more-than-projected revenue the last two years. Jobs are on the rise, to the tune of 55,000 last year. Yet Democrats responded by raising taxes and fees on all hardworking Minnesotans by some $2.5 billion and drove up All Funds spending by an unsustainable 10 percent.

I don’t know too many Minnesota workers who received a 10 percent raise this year. I don’t know why government needs one and don’t see a return on taking more money from hardworking taxpayers.

We could have balanced the budget this year without raising taxes and were projected to enjoy a future surplus if we had just budgeted within the 3.5 percent revenue growth we are experiencing.

If only they could have stopped there. Instead, they raised our taxes to cover additional spending this biennium. Then, we the taxpayers will be told to pay even more in 2016-17.

Rep. Mark Anderson,

R-Lake Shore

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