A recent letter to the editor by a self-proclaimed left-wing liberal suggested that people who do not like Minnesota's high taxes should move to South Dakota.
Unfortunately for Minnesota, this is exactly what is happening from a business and jobs standpoint. Many Minnesota companies, both large and small, have elected to move or expand their operations to other states with less hostile tax environments. This is why cities like Fargo, N.D. and Sioux Falls, S.D. are "booming" while similar communities in Minnesota are struggling. This, also, is a major factor contributing to Minnesota's high unemployment rate of 8.4 percent compared to neighboring states with a lower rate of 3.2 percent. Unfortunately, Minnesotans who once enjoyed high paying jobs with good fringe benefits are now standing in unemployment lines and struggling to make mortgage payments.
Reasonable people on both sides of the political spectrum recognize taxes are necessary to fund essential governmental services such as public education, transportation infrastructure, public safety and a social "safety net" for people in need. Reasonable people on both sides of the aisle also recognize, however, that excessive, wasteful levels of spending by government bureaucrats and "confiscatory" levels of taxation can "kill the goose that lays the golden egg," which is the free enterprise system. This is already happening in Minnesota.
Excessive, double digit annual spending increases by major state agencies can no longer be sustained by higher and higher levels of taxation on individuals and businesses. Concurrently, the state is losing business investment and high paying jobs. Future generations can not survive on "cutting each other's hair and flopping hamburgers."
Fortunately, Governor Pawlenty is standing firm to curtail further liberal "tax and spend" actions. He deserves public support to sustain economic growth and prosperity for hard working families.
A.L. Kleinke, Nevis