Letter: Not higher taxes; Cut spending
Minnesotans annual cost to fully fund state/local pensions for the next 30 years, per household is 7th highest in the nation at $1,928 (just under California, 6th at $1,994). South Dakota is 43rd at $776. Iowa is 36th at $861. Nebraska is 33rd at $881. North Dakota is 30th at $1,042. Wisconsin is 13th $1,522.
U.S. Census Bureau reported that Minnesota has 2.48 persons per household. With spending of $1,928 per household it is costing every man, woman and child $777.42 per year for retirement benefits for state/local government employees. Do we have too many state workers or are we promising these workers more than our neighboring states, or both? Perhaps we should be doing what Wisconsin, ranked 13th highest, has already done and cut spending, but not being considered in Minnesota, ranked 7th highest in the nation.
Medicaid spending per capita in Minnesota is 10th highest in the nation at $1,399. In North Dakota is 43rd at $860. South Dakota is 41st at $884. Nebraska is 39th at $892. Iowa is 32nd at $976. This is the spending for every man, woman and child; but how much would it be for each taxpayer? Children and most retired people do not pay much income tax. Do we have more sick people in Minnesota than our neighboring states, or do we live in a Nanny State?
Minnesota is also ranked higher than our more conservative neighboring states on “Net Tax-supported Debt, per Capita” at $1,037. Iowa only has $73. South Dakota only has $135. North Dakota only has $327. One could argue that with low interest rates now is a good time to borrow for needed capital improvements. But, in addition to adding more debt, between 1980 and 2010 Minnesota governments, after adjusting for a 30.1 percent population increase, has raised taxes by 396 percent. To bring this closer to home a person who earned $25,000 in 1980 would have to make $99,000 in 2010 to keep up with government spending. This is 4.6 percent per year over and above our inflation rate during those 30 years.
Government is now telling us we are having very low inflation so we can keep interest at all-time lows. Yet Governor Dayton and Senator Rod Skoe are asking for increased Government spending of 8.5 percent over the current biennium budget.
We cannot do both increase long term debt and increase current spending without getting into trouble. The Democrats have already announced this year raise the biennium budget and next year future spending by authorizing capital projects through bonding bills; so more long term debt. This debt and interest has to be paid in future budgets. When will it stop?
Call the Governor’s office 800-657-3717 and ask no more taxes, cut to spending, and also Sen. Skoe’s office 651-296-4196.
Richard L. Bogaard