To the editor:
After reviewing this week's news concerning the ongoing battle between the Republican-led state legislature and Democratic Governor Mark Dayton, I think our local Republican representative and senator need to listen to the undercurrents of the people in the district they were elected to represent.
The balanced budget created by the legislature is placing significant burdens on the backs of many Minnesotans, including those in Southwest Minnesota with abrupt cuts offering no time with which to prepare. The legislature seems to blindly pursue a policy of "no new taxes" while a distinct minority of Minnesotans continue to preserve significant amounts of discretionary income in the higher brackets. Surveys have shown that many of those that would be affected by a tax increase are willing to shoulder that minor inconvenience while the alternative approach advocated by the legislature will deprive many of health benefits and employment as a result of this budget.
There are more voters affected by the draconian cuts than would be harmed by a tax increasesomething to consider when reelection time rolls around for the fragile, first-term Republican majority.
I don't know what's happened to the Republican party that has received my life-long support over many elections. I'm seeing a radical fringe creep into state government that I've not seen before. I hope our local representation and their colleagues wake up to the voice of the people before this budget attempt destroys higher education, healthcare and the infrastructure that makes Minnesota the great place that it is. Balancing the budget isn't hardbut doing it with skill, compromise and wisdom is another mattersomething yet to be seen this legislative session.