Editorial: Time to step up and lead“My proposed budget will be reasonable, balanced and painful, because I see no easy alternative,” Mark Dayton said during his inaugural speech Monday.
By: Daily Globe, Worthington Daily Globe
“My proposed budget will be reasonable, balanced and painful, because I see no easy alternative,” Mark Dayton said during his inaugural speech Monday. The first Democratic governor of Minnesota in 20 years, therefore, immediately cast himself as a realist who, no matter what, is going to be forced to make any number of unpopular choices.
Dayton, of course, had one primary focus during his campaign: Tax the rich. And while Dayton apparently sees increasing taxes on the wealthiest Minnesotans as “reasonable” and “balanced” (not to mention “painful” for those in the upper income bracket), it’s a certainty that the Republican-controlled Legislature is going to disagree with him. District 22A Sen. Doug Magnus, R-Slayton, called any Dayton tax increase plan “pretty much dead on arrival” — and it should be noted that Magnus is the Senate’s assistant majority leader.
Don’t think for a minute, though, that Magnus and his fellow Republicans are the only ones signaling inflexibility. Moments after Dayton trumpeted what would be his “reasonable” budget, he said he’d welcome Republican budget ideas ... with a caveat that more than hints of partisanship: “To those who sincerely believe the state budget can be balanced with no tax increase, including no forced property tax increase, I say, if you can do so without destroying our schools, hospitals and public safety, please send me your bill so I can sign it immediately,” Dayton said.
Dayton may well be right about the necessity of raising additional revenue, and Republicans have every reason to be concerned about how any tax increase would impact economic growth. But if a final “reasonable” and “balanced” budget erasing a projected $6.2 billion deficit is to be passed, both parties are going to have to lead the way — while ensuring the “painful” part is shared fairly among all of us.