To the editor,
It is imperative that we improve the way our state operates to maximize the effectiveness of our tax dollars.
We are preparing for the 2012 session by developing a package of bills called Reform 2.0 to put our state on a better path. I am honored to be serving on the Regulatory Reform Work Group, a Reform 2.0 subcommittee which will focus on freeing businesses from unnecessary, cumbersome red tape.
Our top priority must be revitalizing the private sector because small businesses are the backbone of our economy. Our government should protect us and provide core services, not act as a hiring firm.
We do not need more follies like Solyndra, a California “green” company which declared bankruptcy after receiving $528 million dollars in federal loan guarantees. There were 1,100 jobs lost, at a cost to taxpayers of $480,000 each. If this same amount of money had been used to reduce taxes on small businesses, we could have created over 9,000 private-sector jobs.
Additionally, we in Minnesota put a decade of planning and $41 million of taxpayer money into an energy project near Hibbing and have nothing to show for it.
Thousands of jobs could have been created if all those millions spent on boondoggle projects had been put toward private-sector tax relief. Small businesses are the key to an economic turnaround, but Minnesota has not been friendly to entrepreneurs. Our state’s small business climate ranks 50th worst in America (www.sbecouncil.org/businesstaxindex2011/report.pdf)
A good first step to improve Minnesota’s business climate, create more jobs and reduce energy costs would be to repeal the mandate requiring that Minnesota utility companies provide 25 percent of our electricity through green, renewable sources by 2025. Mandates like these are unfounded and the theory of man-made global warming remains unproven.
Citizen participation is crucial as we shape Reform 2.0. I welcome your ideas via email at rep.glenn.gruenhagen.house.mn, or log onto http://www.facebook.com/reform2 to participate in an ongoing public forum.
Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen