Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Open Letter to Republicans

Dear Gov. Pawlenty, Republicans in the MN Legislature, and Republicans in the US Congress.

We've tried tax cuts to stimulate the economy.

Most recently, in the spring of 2008, we had the Bush tax rebate to stimulate the economy. It didn't work! Everyone agrees it didn't work. Please quite asking for more tax cuts in the Obama stimulous package. Your complaints are a distraction at best.

In Minnesota, we had the Ventura/Pawlenty tax cuts about eight years ago. It didn't work! Minnesota's economy has tanked since then. Once you could count on Minnesota's economy out performing the national average and all the other rust belt states. No more. Once we had great public schools. No more. Once we had a quality highway system. No more (try driving I-35 south of Owatonna for an example--or, remember that bridge?). Since that tax cut, we've had one state budget disaster after another. Governor Pawlenty, please fix the Minnesota tax system. restore those poorly considered tax cuts.


a taxpayer


Christopher Mitchell said...

Quite. Additionally, I'm not sure why we are talking about tax cuts when practically no one is profiting.

MPR just had a story about how no one can take advantage of solar tax advantages because everyone is already losing money!

I have a job, as does my partner right now. But we aren't spending practically anything because we are worried about having those jobs in 6 months. So if we get tax rebates, we'll be putting it in our rainy day fund, not a new TV.

Jonathan Carter said...

Chris -

I would say we are trying to save businesses in the state and, in turn, save jobs by cutting business taxes.

A Tax Foundation study shows that Minnesota has the third-highest business tax rate in the world, adding together state and federal taxes. Another study shows we're ineffective when it comes to creating a climate conducive to small-business growth. The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council ranked Minnesota 46th of the 50 states in its Small Business Survival Index.

How long before the likes of Target and 3M look at headquartering somewhere else where the business climate is better?

Christopher Mitchell said...


I wouldn't be surprised if the Tax Foundation has a study, using different methodologies for every state in the country, showing that that state has a top ten tax rate if you consider x, y, and z and blah blah.

These studies are extremely suspect.

How long before the likes of Target and 3M look elsewhere because Minnesota no long has an impressively educated workforce, strong infrastructure, and a high quality of life that comes from effective government?

I suspect we will find out before too long.

I am not anti-business. I actually run a business and I hate doing my taxes because of how confusing it is - but that is more a result of complexity from poorly considered tax cuts here and there rather than the taxes just being too high.