I support efficient, not expensive government

By Sen. Paul Gazelka, Guest Columnist

I believe Minnesota will prosper with a government that is efficient in how it conducts its budget priorities by supporting hard-working Minnesota families and small business owners.

Democrat leaders announced their budget and spending targets March 20. Minnesota’s current budget is $35.2 billion, and the Senate Democrats’ proposal spends $38.2 billion over the next two years. This is an 8.5 percent increase in spending. Meanwhile, we wait for them to release an exact budget outlining from where they will raise the revenue. In my opinion, without a budget proposal, all you have is a spending proposal.

I believe that Minnesota doesn’t need another dime from hard-working taxpayers in Minnesota until it proves that every cent the state spends can be used effectively. The unfortunate reality is that Democrats are calling for tax increases that will hit Minnesota’s working families directly in their pocketbooks.

Let’s be clear and transparent. Democrats are pushing to increase taxes in order to increase spending in an inefficient manner. From Gov. Dayton’s push to tax Minnesota’s retired “Snowbirds,” to Democrat leaders in the legislature pushing for tax hikes on gas, alcohol, cigarettes and digital downloads. Under the Democrats’ spending proposal, everyone in Minnesota will pay more.

Minnesota needs and deserves a budget plan that includes efficient spending. I believe growing government and bureaucracy will not help to build a stronger and more secure economy. We should make sure every dollar the state takes in is used efficiently and effectively before we even think about asking Minnesotans to pay more.

I believe our economy is fragile at the moment and the budgeting choices we must make as legislators must be responsible and far-sighted. We must look 10, 20, 30 years down the road as we make budgeting decisions today.

Raising taxes to fund ineffective programs on the backs of Minnesota families is not only unsustainable, it’s irresponsible.

Sen. Paul Gazelka represents Senate District 9, which includes Morrison County.