If competing states were to draw up a plan that chased jobs and companies from the state, the Dayton budget and Gov. Dayton vetoing key reforms would certainly be part of that plan. Let’s start with Gov. Dayton’s vetoing GOP reforms. A good place to start is examining Rep. Rich Murray’s op-ed:

We continued to get the sense that Gov. Dayton and his staff had refused to even read the bills we’d crafted over the past few months. Lawmakers were especially disappointed that all of the common sense reforms that we worked hard to enact, provisions that would not only make government more efficient but would save Minnesota’s taxpayers millions of dollars, were basically ignored.

Keith Downey’s 15 by 15 legislation was criticized as proof that Republicans hated “working people.” The DFL knows that that isn’t even remotely close to the truth but that’s their lie and they’ve stuck with it.

The DFL’s opposition to Rep. Downey’s legislation was predictable. The DFL had to oppose Rep. Downey’s legislation to please their union special interest allies. If Gov. Dayton signed that into law or if DFL legislators supported that legislation, union support would evaporate. That’s something that the DFL can’t afford ever.

King Banaian’s priority-based budgeting reform legislation was vetoed, too. King’s bill would’ve dramatically improved Minnesota’s budgeting process, both from a taxpayer standpoint and from a getting-government-spending-under-control standpoint.

King’s legislation has the audacity of telling Minnesota government that they have to justify the spending that they’re requesting. They’re being told that autopilot budgeting is over, that the bureaucrats will be reminded at budget time that they work for Minnesotans, not vice versa.

At the beginning of the year, the Legislature began session with the goal of proposing a nearly $32 billion budget, which is what Minnesota spent during the last budget cycle. Gov. Dayton responded with a budget that spent more than $36 billion and included a multi-billion dollar tax increase to pay for it.

The Legislature later responded with a compromise move to the middle of both proposals by passing a balanced budget of $34 billion that does not raise taxes.

Gov, Dayton moved his number down to $35.8 billion and insisted the Legislature pass a $1.8 billion tax increase on Minnesotans to make his numbers work. The full House debated his proposal, and opposed it by a 73-60 margin. Despite this, the Governor is criticizing the Legislature for not compromising further and for refusing to raise taxes on Minnesotans.

During his Friday night debate with Michael Brodkorb on Almanac, DFL Chairman Ken Martin said that “Republicans started with a $34,000,000,000 budget and finished with a $34,000,000,000 budget.” To put it gently, Rep. Norton’s op-ed shows that the DFL chairman didn’t get his details right. I’m shocked.

Gov. Dayton insists on a major tax increase. He’s said that the Minnesotans he knows are “better than that”, inferring that it’s patriotic to pay higher tax rates. Let’s highlight the fact that North Dakota is recruiting workers from Minnesota:

North Dakota’s governor and commerce and tax commissioners, among other state officials, recently launched a full-scale recruiting mission in the North Star state. They are seeking engineers, electricians, IT pros, machine operators, health care experts and anyone else who wants a job, so long as they don’t mind relocating.

“We are in such a wonderful position over here right now,” said North Dakota Commerce Commissioner Alan Anderson. “But we have a 3.3 percent unemployment rate…So we have to either get some more folks coming back home or get more coming across the state line to share in the opportunities.”

In the Twin Cities, North Dakota officials have dined with business leaders and brought in 40 businesses to interview 350 Minnesotans at a job fair in Minneapolis. They also have tapped Minnesota’s colleges and universities for hiring leads.

Look at the list of jobs that North Dakota’s employers need: engineers, electricians, IT professionals, machine operators and medical experts. Those aren’t low-end burger-flipping placeholder jobs. I’m certain that most of those jobs pay at least $25 per hour, with engineers and medical experts making well in excess of that.

The current DFL legislature insists that raising taxes won’t hurt Minnesota’s competitiveness. They’re either lying or they’re incredibly ignorant. In addition to the great jobs available in North Dakota, there are other things that will appeal to Minnesotans:

North Dakota’s ambassadors dangle carrots, emphasizing their state’s budget surplus and recent cuts the governor made to personal, corporate and property taxes.

I can’t argue that the oil, natural gas and coal-mining booms haven’t had a tremendous impact on North Dakota’s economy. That’s obvious. What’s equally obvious, though, is that North Dakota’s economic blueprint extends far beyond those industries.

I wrote months ago that 13 of North Dakota’s 15 biggest employers are in the health care industry. That’s very forward-looking. By comparison, Gov. Dayton’s and the DFL’s plan looks to the 1970s and 1980s for its blueprint.

It’s impossible to think anything other than that North Dakota’s commitment to mining is the exact opposite of Minnesota’s ongoing hostility to PolyMet and its past hostility to Big Stone II power plant.

In North Dakota, they’re committed to building a multi-faceted, mining- and technology-based economy. Minnesota isn’t. North Dakota’s legislature and governor are committed to limited government that’s cut income, corporate and property taxes. Minnesota’s governor isn’t.

How can the DFL and Gov. Dayton say that they want to raise taxes on Minnesota’s job creators when North Dakota will gladly welcome them with lower income, corporate and property taxes? Raising taxes isn’t just stupid economic policy. It’s economic suicide.

If Minnesota wants to see its economy dramatically shrink over the next decade, they should rally to Gov. Dayton’s and the DFL’s budget while rejecting the GOP’s reforms. They should raise taxes on Minnesota’s employers. They should remain hostile to Minnesota’s mining companies while partnering with militant environmentalist organizations like MEP and the MCEA.

Maintaining Minnesota’s environmental policies while raising taxes and running multi-billion deficits for the forseeable future should make North Dakota awfully appealing.

On the other hand, if Minnesota wants to become economically viable again, Minnesotans have to reject the DFL’s hostility to industry, the DFL’s free-spending habits and their tax-first mentality. Most importantly, they must embrace the GOP’s commitment to limited, reformed government that’s friendly to entrepreneurs and low taxes.

Finally, I’ll just ask this: How many North Dakota residents are worried whether businesses are paying their fair share? I’m betting that North Dakotans couldn’t care less about that. I’m betting that they only care that their economy is booming and their bank accounts are bulging.

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4 Responses to “Dayton’s Agenda: Killing Minnesota’s Economy, Chasing Jobs to North Dakota”

  • M Hanson says:

    North Dakota has been looking for workers for a long time before their recent development of the oil sector. We now have more rigs operating than at virtually any time in our history.
    You do have to live in those vacant northern plains. Many folks couldn’t survive the winters nor the open space.

  • M Hanson says:

    Or maybe the fact Washington send ND four-five bucks for every dollar they send to Washington. Minnesota got 72 cents.

  • eric z says:

    If North Dakota is so attractive, why are the Republicans not leaving here for there in droves? They are market driven, aren’t they?

    Let them pass stupid amendments instead of legislating there, and leave here alone for the DFL you say is problematic.

    If the right people leave for North Dakota, the Republicans, bless them.

  • Gary Gross says:

    No thanks. We’d rather live in Minnesota but that isn’t etched in stone. Besides, this isn’t just about R’s & D’s. If Republicans leave, independents will get crucified while the DFL spends everyone, themselves included, into oblivion.

    It’s a shame that the DFL hasn’t figured it out that if they keep spending on one supposed good cause after another, sooner rather than later, they’ll run out of other people’s money to spend. Gov’t jobs don’t create wealth. Gov’t jobs just keep a specific group of people employed. Wake up & realize that that isn’t how to grow prosperity. It’s the way to grow deficits & shrink the economy.

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