Gov. Dayton’s State of the State speech was filled with lots of lowlights. Fortunately, there were a few things that might get classified as positives.
First, I’d like to thank Gov. Dayton for highlighting the fact that the GOP legislature put the state on the right track:
According to our Department of Employment and Economic Development, there are over 72,000 more jobs available in Minnesota today than when I took office two years ago. Almost 52,000 of those jobs were added in the past year.
Almost all of the economic policies put in place in Gov. Dayton’s first two years were GOP policies. The GOP legislature pushed for and passed budget reform and permitting reform while doing their best to limit the DFL’s reckless spending. Those reforms gave entrepreneurs some assurances to put their capital at risk and create jobs. It isn’t likely that the DFL-owned legislature and governor will match that record in the next 2 years.
In the decade after Minnesota’s income tax reductions, our economy fared worse than the nation and most other states. And at both the federal and state levels, big tax cuts followed by serious recessions produced large budget deficits, which threaten our current fiscal strength and future economic prosperity.
Minnesota’s economy suffered during the last decade because the DFL legislature wouldn’t reform Minnesota’s permitting system, which often created a bottleneck that choked off continued job creation and economic growth. Permitting reform was the first legislation in the GOP House in 2011. That bill passed quickly, which eliminated many of the bottlenecks that choked off job growth.
The other thing that hindered job growth in Minnesota were Twin Cities elitist progressives like Alida Messinger, Margaret Anderson-Kelliher, Dee Long, Arne Carlson and other environmental extremists. These elitists waged war against high-paying mining jobs. Paul Aasen, Gov. Dayton’s first nominee to be the commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, aka the MPCA, proudly bragged that he’d killed the Big Stone II power plant project that would’ve created 100 high-paying permanent jobs in western Minnesota.
That war against prosperity continues. While the need for sand increases in North Dakota for harvesting Bakken oil, the DFL is pushing for a moratorium on shipping sand from Minnesota. The Bakken will get its sand regardless of the DFL’s hissy fit. The only thing that the DFL’s hissy fit will prove is that Minnesota’s environmental extremists don’t care about high-paying Minnesota jobs. The DFL’s actions prove that they’d rather raise tax rates than create high-paying jobs that result in greater revenue in Minnesota’s general fund.
This part of Gov. Dayton’s speech should frighten thoughtful people:
In Minnesota, we have made real progress in areas like energy conservation, more efficient farming and manufacturing practices, and the development and use of clean, renewable energy, especially wind energy, instead of polluting fossil fuels.
The question is: are we progressing fast enough? Are we doing all we can to utilize other renewables, such as solar, and also to make Minnesota the best place to locate these new industries and their jobs?
Many of you, who served in previous legislatures, deserve great credit for your pioneering work to expand our use of clean energy, including Lieutenant Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon and former Senator Ellen Anderson, who is also here tonight.
I challenge this legislature to work again with our state’s visionary clean energy advocates, large energy providers, large energy users, other stakeholders, and my administration to use your past achievements as springboards for Minnesota’s next big leap toward a sustainable energy future.
The Next Generation Energy Act isn’t an achievement. It’s hurt families’ budgets by driving up electric prices. What’s worse is the fact that the prices are artificially lowered by state subsidies that help hide the true cost of producing electricity through renewables. If wind and solar weren’t heavily subsidized and mandated by government, wind and solar companies would be going out of business left and right. (See Solyndra to remove all doubts about that.)
The worst part is that the fix is in on these policies. Alida Messinger and her environmental extremist allies are pressuring Gov. Dayton and the DFL legislature to pass counterproductive green energy policies that will hurt families when they’re still struggling.
After the next 2 years, Minnesotans will have a clear vision of 2 dramatically different ideologies. Gov. Dayton admitted tonight that the conservative blueprint works. The jury is still out on whether the DFL blueprint will work. Based on past experiences, it isn’t likely to succeed.