Rep. Leidiger – The changing landscape under DFL control

The dust has settled after a whirlwind legislative session run by Minnesota Democrats and Gov. Dayton. Three months into the DFL’s new budget, hardworking taxpayers are starting to see an economic landscape much different than the one they came to depend on over the last two years.
Families and business owners of all income levels must climb steeper, rockier paths to economic recovery because Democrats are forcing them to pay higher taxes and fees to fund historic, wasteful spending. In order to fully understand what we’re up against with Democrats in charge, let’s take a look at a picture of state government before and after the DFL budget went into effect July 1, 2013.

By the Numbers
Before the DFL budget: A government that lived within its means, held the line on taxes, and slowed government spending were highlights of the Republican-passed budget from 2011. All in all, the commonsense budget erased a historic $5 billion deficit and, with the help of hardworking Minnesotans, revenues exceeded projections to the tune of $3.4 billion that went to refill our reserve funds and pay for priorities.
After the DFL budget: Over $2 billion in higher taxes and fees, 10 percent ($3 billion) historic spending increases, and a bigger, more powerful state government is the reality of what hardworking Minnesotans of all income levels must face for the next two years.
State analysts recently revealed that state revenue intake was below projections for the first quarter under the Democrats’ budget. The simple fact is: state spending is far-outpacing our state’s economic growth. What’s concerning to me is that the DFL’s budget makes us heavily dependent on federal money to the tune of $20 billion every two years. If this money fails to come to the state — which could very likely happen — we don’t have a backup plan. The Tax Foundation this year named Minnesota the fourth worst state for business tax climate, because Democrats “enacted a package of tax changes that reduce the state’s competitiveness.” This includes a harmful sales tax expansion and warehousing/storage tax that penalize people trying to make a living.
What’s more, Democrats’ failure to conform with federal tax codes means hardworking taxpayers, educators, and students will pay more when they lose state tax deductions on simple things like the homeowner tax, teacher expense tax, and student loan tax.

Health Care
Before: Minnesota had a nation-leading health care system that offered flexible, higher quality, lower cost care. Ninety-three percent of Minnesotans had health care coverage, and of those who did not, more than half were eligible for programs of coverage.
After: Gov. Dayton and Minnesota Democrats created a $300 million Obamacare system this year that provides online health insurance plans that are more expensive in Carver County than pre-Obamacare private market rates. The money spent on this system, called MNsure, goes only to fund the new bureaucracy, not to actual health care or preventative measures.
Prior to MNsure, the private market already had options for purchasing health plans on cost-comparison websites (for example, eHealth.com) — at no cost to taxpayers. Since its start on Oct. 1, MNsure has been riddled with technical errors and consumers are still unable to know whether or not they can keep their doctor.
Prior to launching, a MNsure employee released the social security numbers of over 2,000 Minnesotans, making folks question whether or not their identity is safe in the hands of MNsure.

Jobs
Before: In 2011 we prioritized the private market and held the line on taxes so businesses could grow and Minnesotans could get back to work. The economy responded, and thousands of jobs were created, thousands of jobs popped up around the state, and revenues came in to the state $3 billion more than expected.
After: Democrats grew every area of the budget, even more than requested by government agencies. Taxpayers are funding 1,300 new government jobs, and Democrats are still working to unionize independent childcare providers.
If you have any questions regarding the new budget or anything related to state government, please feel free to contact my office. I am here to serve you!

Rep. Leidger can be reached by phone at (651) 296-4282. He can also be contacted via e-mail at rep.ernie.leidiger@house.mn, or via U.S. Mail at 317 State Office Building, St. Paul, MN 55155. Rep. Leidiger also encourages constituents to sign up for his email updates at www.house.mn/47a.

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