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Letter: More big government is not the answer

The good news is that the State of Minnesota enjoyed a budget surplus of $876 million in 2011 and an additional $323 million in FY 2012-13. I understand the state is now predicting a budget deficit of 1.1 billion for FY 2014-15. We need to be aware that most of this surplus came from reduced spending by the Republicans, not from an increase in revenue. Revenue is projected to increase again this year, but not enough to satisfy the Democrats appetite for constantly increasing spending.

The bad news is that Governor Dayton now wants to increase our sales tax and also income taxes. Governor Dayton wants to raise taxes by $2.1 billion. This is on top of the big Federal government's tax increases just handed down to all of us on Jan. 1.

Governor Dayton was careful not to include sales tax on the services provided by most union workers, only on those jobs that are mostly nonunion. I understand that Dayton wants to raise income taxes 25.5 percent on incomes over $150,000. This will crush small businesses. Our economy cannot live with another tax increase. The philosophy "Tax the Rich," which includes small businessmen and women who earn more than $150,000, is absolutely ridiculous. These are the job creators. It will not only hurt small businesses but will also increase our unemployment. Higher taxes on wealthy people will only drive more of them out of the state. Wealthy retired people do not have to live in Minnesota.

The paragraph below shows the enormous increase in Minnesota state and local tax revenue between 1980 and 2010. The taxes include State Income Tax, Sales Tax, Property Tax, Corporate Tax, and Other Misc. Tax. This information came from Minnesota Management & Budget, Consolidated Funds and Price of Government Report:

Between 1980 and 2010 Minnesota had a population growth of 30.1 percent. In 1980 total tax collected was $4,557,369,000, with a population of 4,075,970 amounting to $1,118 taxes per capita. In 2010 total tax revenue was $23,486,173,000, with a population of 5,303,925 increasing the tax per capita to $4,428. After adjusting for the population increase, we have an increase in taxes of 396 percent in 30 years. How many Minnesota families have seen their incomes increase 396 percent from $25,000 in 1980 to $99,000 in 2010? Minnesota government is too big; a 396 percent increase in government spending in 30 years is sucking the life out of the private economy. Call and tell Governor Dayton, "No more spending."

Richard Bogaard

Park Rapids