Column: Bonding puts us on fast track to big debtThree straight bonding bills, what do you get?
By: Steve Drazkowski, Wabasha, The Republican Eagle
Three straight bonding bills, what do you get? Another day older and deeper in debt.
Things are getting very interesting at the state Capitol. The Democratic majority in both the House and Senate are fast tracking a huge spending bill that borrows money to fund construction projects.
I call it the debt bill because it will just increase the financial responsibility of the taxpayers; it forces taxpayers into debt by another $1 billion — all in the face of a $1.2 billion budget deficit.
The Democrats call it the jobs bill because they think more borrowing and spending will completely turn Minnesota’s economy around.
Never mind the fact we’ve had three consecutive bonding bills under the last three years of DFL control and our economy and our unemployment rates continue to stink.
Never mind the fact that the large majority of the public is tired of Democratic “stimulus” spending proposals, and that their opinions are not only wanted but are being ignored by the legislative majority.
Never mind the fact that a Minnesota Management and Budget official told lawmakers that early passage of a large bonding bill “could, depending on a number of factors, have a debilitating effect on the state’s cash flow.” In effect, this means worsening state government’s current $1.2 billion deficit.
Never mind the fact that Minnesota’s bond outlook rating just went from “stable” to “negative” due to the complete mismanagement of the state budget by Minnesota Democrats over the past three years.
Yet this debt bill is going to solve all of Minnesota’s financial problems?
House Republicans clearly understand that you cannot spend and borrow your way into prosperity, and recently we tried to do something about it.
During the second floor debate of the 2010 session, our caucus attempted to “fast track” a plan that would help many job creators in Minnesota and encourage them to put more people to work.
The plan would have phased-out the corporate tax rate by 1 percent annually and alternative minimum tax at the same rate. This would have provided much needed relief to area businesses hit hard by the economic downturn and encourage expansion, providing more jobs for Minnesotans.
There’s no doubt employers are being cautious in this uncertain economic climate. Republicans believe this legislation would have created a more business-friendly environment and spurred private sector job creation.
The overwhelming majority of House Democrats disagreed, shot down our plan, and continued to “fast track” their debt bill.
At some point, our state government hast to stop creating debt and start creating jobs. Legislative leadership needs to send a strong signal to Minnesotans that they are ready to be accountable and responsible with their spending. Doing this will reignite confidence in our economy.
Simply fast tracking a huge debt bill will worsen the state’s financial condition and keep us on the current path of economic stagnation and uncertainty.
Reach Steve Drazkowski, R-Wabasha, at (651) 296-2273 or email@example.com