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Letter: Legislator disappointed with House DFL budget proposal

I'm disappointed by a Minnesota House Democrat proposal that would eliminate a projected $11 billion budget deficit over the next four years.

Now we know why they wasted more than half of our legislative session before addressing our financial crisis. They want to make Minnesota the highest-taxed state in the nation."

Minnesota faces a $6.3 billion budget deficit in Fiscal Year 2010-11 (if you don't include federal stimulus funding) and a $5 billion deficit in Fiscal Year 2012-13. Both must be eliminated by the time lawmakers adjourn in mid-May.

House Democrats would balance the budget in part by raising yet-to-be-determined taxes by $4.4 billion over the next four years and by making deep cuts in nearly every state program. The tax increases will be determined by Democratic leadership in the tax committee in a process that could take weeks.

They want to enact mammoth tax increases and make devastating cuts to some of Minnesota's core priorities like veterans and public safety, while protecting their special interest groups. They can't even tell us which taxes they're going to raise. In fact, they won't even say the 'tax' word. They call it increasing revenues. What kind of budget is that?

House Democrats also plan to balance the budget by making a $1.77 billion education funding shift, which is almost $500 million larger than what Governor Pawlenty proposed.

They've spent weeks criticizing Governor Pawlenty for using budget shifts to solve the budget deficit, and accused him of operating a Ponzi scheme. Then they turn around and actually make an even larger shift in order to balance their budget. It is extremely hypocritical.

This budget is not well thought out and incomplete. The Democratic leadership in the House wants to continue business as usual by spending first and asking questions later. They are not living in reality and are unwilling to accept the changes that need to be made.