To the editor:
How much spending is enough? How much do Republicans have to compromise before the DFL will acknowledge that they have compromised?
The Republicans, including Rep. Chris Swedzinski and Sen. Gary Dahms, passed a balanced budget before the end of the Legislative Session of $34 billion. A 6 percent increase over the last biennium. The highest state budget in Minnesota history. Hardly an "all cuts" budget, I'd say! Has anyone's household budget increased 6 percent? Mine sure hasn't.
Since the Legislative session ended, Republicans have offered several compromises. One of them was to accept Gov. Dayton's budget for K-12, the courts and public safety. Republicans have offered a compromise on almost half of the budget. Gov. Dayton has refused to accept this compromise. Even though Republicans are willing to accept what Gov. Dayton wants! Why won't Gov. Dayton accept this compromise?
The other compromise they've offered is to drop their request for tax relief in exchange for Gov. Dayton dropping his tax increase (Dayton wants to increase the top rate from 7.85 percent to 10.95 percent!). So no income, property or business tax relief, a proposal strongly supported by the Republicans in the Legislature, in exchange for no tax increase, a proposal that got only one DFL vote in the Legislature when it was voted on during the Legislative Session.
It seems to me that the real question is this: When will Gov. Dayton put forth a proposal for compromise? A month ago, he said he would agree to $1.8 billion in cuts. But he has yet to give any specific details on those cuts. There can hardly be a discussion on cuts that no one (perhaps even Gov. Dayton himself) has any detail on. On Thursday, June 16, a reporter asked Gov. Dayton during a press conference what he was willing to cut. Gov. Dayton's response: "If I were to tell you, then I would have come forward with it." When are you coming forward with it, Gov. Dayton?
I'd like to thank Rep. Chris Swedzinski and Sen. Gary Dahms for their service to our district and the State of Minnesota. Not an easy task in this climate!