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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen (R)

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News from Representative Gruenhagen 02-20-2014

Thursday, February 20, 2014
Dear Friends,
 
Session is just a few days away -- I'm very much looking forward to getting back to work for the residents of Sibley and McLeod Counties and tackling the big issues facing our state. Unfortunately with Democrats still in full control of state government, it's likely that we're going to see more of the same tax and spend policies that we saw in 2013.
 
Simply put, Democrats have put Minnesota on an precarious path. With their insatiable desire to increase spending and taxes, they've grown our state budget at a rate that far exceeds the growth of personal incomes of everyday Minnesotans. That's simply unsustainable and irresponsible. When government spending grows faster than personal incomes, it's a recipe for future deficits and budget shortfalls.
 
Worse, it has serious implications for your pocketbook. The Democrats increased spending by more than 10.6% last biennium in terms of all-funds spending, and Minnesota is now on pace to see its first-ever $40 billion dollar budget. To do that, they passed the largest increase in state tax collections in history. When spending is increased this dramatically, Minnesotans of all income levels pay the price. Price of government as a percent of personal income increased for Minnesotans across all income levels last session.
 
Unfortunately they aren't done yet. We're already hearing about possible tax increases on gas -- another increase that disproportionately impacts lower-income Minnesotan families. Despite the $1 billion surplus, some Democrats aren't willing to commit to repealing the damaging taxes that were passed last session to give that money back to the people it belongs to: the hardworking taxpayers.
 
It's puzzling to me why Democrats feel like they're entitled to keep more and more of your tax dollars. You work hard, and I believe pay more than your fair share to fund a government that has little regard for how it spends your money. $90 million office buildings for Senators, bailouts for the city governments of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, and pay increases for the Governor and other statewide office holders were just some of the examples of things Democrats have asked you to foot the bill for.
 
I will continue to oppose these misguided policies that threaten to stall our economic recovery. You can count on me to oppose any efforts to raise your taxes or increase fees. I will work hard to make sure that the budget surplus we enjoy goes back where it belongs -- to your pocket.
 
Take care,
 
Glenn
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