October 5, 2010
Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer today charged that Senator Mark Dayton’s unbalanced budget plan and his promises to increase government spending even beyond the unsustainable projections makes it inevitable that Mark Dayton will increase taxes on middle-class taxpayers.
Mark Dayton has released two versions of his so-called “budget plan” for dealing with the difference in revenue projections and unsustainable spending increases he’s proposed in state government. Neither version of the Dayton “plan” represents a balanced budget.
In the most recent version, Dayton lays out the “Forecast deficit” of $5.766 billion and “Total tax increases & spending cuts” of $4.876 billion. This represents $890 million in projected spending which Dayton evades addressing through either additional spending cuts or additional tax increases.
“Mark Dayton needs to come clean with Minnesotans. He has twice tried to balance the budget on the backs of Minnesota small business and has come up short,” said Tom Emmer. “He has already said Minnesota will not have the highest tax rate in the nation and has promised to increase government spending by at least $8 billion but comes up almost a billion dollars short.”
Tom Emmer, in contrast, released the only balanced budget plan on September 14, detailing precisely job-creating tax incentives for employers, funding priorities like K-12 education and health and human services with increases, and reductions in other areas of the state’s budget.
Dayton’s budget plans have included raising income tax rates on the “rich” labeled by fellow DFLers Margaret Anderson Kelliher and Matt Entenza as a tax increase on many middle-class Minnesotans. Subsequent analysis by the Minnesota Department of Revenue proved that Dayton’s tax-the-rich proposal would raise only part of his claimed new revenue. Since releasing his revised budget proposal, three things have occurred:
First, Dayton has promised even more government spending increases.
Second, he has resisted specifying any additional cuts to current spending beyond his September 22 budget plan.
Third, Dayton has indicated that he does not intend to produce a balanced budget proposal before the November 2 election. In fact, in an interview this past Sunday with WCCO’s Esme Murphy, Dayton said of his budget plan: “It’s a work in process and of course, if I’m elected, I’ll have three months to continue that process until I submit a budget to the legislature.”
“What is Mark Dayton trying to hide?” asked Emmer. “Where will more than a $1 billion come from? One can only assume that he has a secret plan to tax Minnesota’s middle class to cover the difference. Tax increases are the worst thing we can do for our economy, especially taxing our overburdened middle class.”
Dayton’s current television ad claims just the opposite, but Mark Dayton cannot explain how he will fill the over $1 billion hole in his second attempt to produce a budget plan for voters’ consideration. We are left with only one inescapable conclusion:
If elected governor, Mark Dayton will act on a secret plan to raise taxes on the middle class by up to $1 billion dollars.