Posted: 03/13/13 19:11
by Dave Mindeman
What would happen if the Chamber of Commerce was running this state? That's a legitimate question, because they obviously think that state government operates for them.
I say that because Governor Dayton got into a frank discussion at a Minnesota Chamber meeting today and the back and forth was illuminating.
Dayton took a lot of criticism from the Chamber and other business groups regarding his sales tax expansion to business services. The proposal would have solidified state budgeting for the foreseeable future and have allowed more investment in education and infrastructure. Spending which the Chamber has supported in the past.
Yet, when they are asked to contribute in a meaningful way to pay for that investment, they cry foul.
So Dayton dropped the sales tax proposal with the caveat that his increased income tax on higher income earners would go forward.
But they object to that as well. They continue to promote the addage that this tax will affect small business...and yes, here we go, the "job creators". They continue this argument even though the Department of Revenue has shown that only 6% of small business would be affected. And again, we are only talking about the highest portions of their income. If they are making substantially more than $250,000, why the huge objection to paying some back to a state that has benefitted you greatly?
So, I come back to my original question. What would happen if the Chamber was running the state? Well, it is obvious that spending cuts are their priority and the cuts would have to come from programs for the poor. They want to keep their 6 and 7 figure incomes untouched, while taking subsistence money away from the homeless.....medical premium subsidies from those unable to get health care.....and education support programs for low income districts.
We will revisit the GAMC debacle that Pawlenty foisted upon us during his unallotment days. We would be forced to block health care reform and continue to use Medicaid as corporate health care for low wage workers. We would continue to watch our infrastructure deteriorate and transit progress reversed because there is no money....and then the Chamber would complain that this deterioration will "hurt business".
The Chamber is selfish, arrogant, myopic, and horribly short sighted. They can only think about the next fiscal year and not about Minnesota's future.
Dayton has listened to their concerns. But it is never enough. They want a government that does their bidding.
And I think it is time we tell the Chamber of Commerce..... to shove it.