8 Myths from the 2013 Legislative Session

mngop From the Republican Party of Minnesota:

Democrat budget spin can’t hide the truth

Myth 1 : The Democrats are the party of the little guy and the middle class
The results of the Democrat-controlled 2013 session should dispel this myth once and for all. All Minnesotans will pay more for everyday things in their family budgets such as childcare, healthcare, cable television and electricity. It’s even worse for the middle class when you look at what Democrats tried to pass this session: increases in the cost of gasoline, clothing, insurance, snack foods and many more middle class expenses. Even Governor Dayton couldn’t deny it.

Myth 2: Your property taxes will go down
The Democrats claim they are providing property tax relief for homeowners, but there is no reduction in the statewide property tax – they simply pay more aid to local governments (LGA). Ironically, they have to raise other taxes to pay for the LGA increase! And in order for your property taxes to go down due to LGA increases, you first have to live in one of the cities that actually receive local government aid (half the people in the state don’t). Second, you have to hope your mayor and city council don’t spend all the money instead of lowering your property taxes. If history is a guide, get ready to pay more in property taxes. Homeowners have historically paid more taxes in years with LGA increases.

Myth 3: The Democrats promise to pay back the K-12 school shift
Paying back the K-12 school shift was a rallying call for Democrats in the 2012 election. They called it a budget gimmick. They accused Republicans of stealing from school kids to protect the rich from a tax increase. Suddenly when they were in control, the shift was no longer a priority. Failing to pay it back is the biggest broken promise in recent political history.

Myth 4: The Democrats are making up for 10 years of budget cuts
This one is a whopper. Fact: State spending in 2002-03 was $27 billion. Our current 2012-13 state budget is $35 billion, a ten year increase of $8 billion or 30%! And the Democrats just passed a $38 billion budget for 2014-15, an additional two year increase of $3 billion or 9%. How could anyone argue there has been ten years of state budget cuts?

Myth 5: Governor Dayton and the Democrats wouldn’t use gimmicks to balance the budget
Three gimmicks later, Minnesotans are right to ask why this promise was so blatantly broken. The biggest gimmick in state government is the K-12 funding shift (see myth #3). But the Democrats did not stop there. They snuck in a second gimmick to shift $400 million from the Health Care Access fund to meet their spending target for human services, and in order to do so had to reinstate the 2% provider tax that Republicans had set to expire by 2019! And gimmick might not be a strong enough word for Gov. Dayton’s plan to erase the previous Vikings stadium funding gimmick with an entirely new gimmick, taking $24 million out of the pockets of cigarette wholesalers and retailers to bail out the Vikings stadium. Even though the money is taken directly from the general fund, he continues to claim the stadium is not funded with general fund money.

Myth 6: Democrats claim education spending will build a stronger workforce
Democrats relied on the same strategy they use for everything – more money – rather than address the tough issues in our education system to fix the achievement gaps that plague Minnesota. Democrats ignored the fact that early education gains are wiped out by third grade unless significant reforms occur in the K-12 system. And in fact, they went backward on important K-12 accountability measures! They weakened the value of a Minnesota high school diploma by eliminating testing and weakened the quality of instruction by no longer using student achievement to evaluate teachers. They traded – guess what – more money, for a tuition freeze at the University, but did nothing to hold the system accountable to reduce their costs, redundant programs and administrative overhead. The under-served kids in our system need real fixes, not more money poured into the same old approach.

Myth 7: The Democrat-Farmer-Labor Party looked after farmers and rural Minnesota this session
Democrats started the session by putting Minneapolis liberals in charge of the agriculture budget so it’s no surprise they ended it with a business to business tax on agriculture inputs, including fertilizer storage and farm equipment repairs. Throughout the session, rural Minnesota took a back seat to Minneapolis and St. Paul when it came to policy decisions.

Myth 8: The Democrats would never pay back the unions for funding their election
Unions spent over $11 million during the 2012 election to help Democrats take control, and in response to a question as to whether the forced unionization of child care was “the Governor saying thank you to labor which helped him get elected,” the chief sponsor of the bill in the House admitted “you thank the people…you try to work with the issues of the people that support you.”

You can help bust these myths by donating today to elect a new legislature and to replace Mark Dayton and Al Franken in 2014! We need your help now to spread the word about the damage done to the Minnesota economy during the 2013 session.

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