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Letter: Do you like no-drama government?

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Governor Pawlenty used his governorship to run for president. Governor Dayton has served the office to improve the lives of Minnesotans. The past two years are what no-drama government looks like. If we choose it, we could have eight years of no-drama government. And, we just witnessed one of the most productive legislative sessions in Minnesota, thanks to state representatives, like Jay McNamar.

What does no-drama government look like? It looks like balanced budgets, lowered unemployment, improved schools, improved working conditions, improved statewide infrastructure, restored local-government-aid – with a helping of fairness and compromise.

On top of this, Minnesota has one of the highest rates of job growth in the entire country. And, unlike Texas or North Dakota, we don’t have fossil fuels in Minnesota. We have created new opportunities fueled by our skilled workforce.

Minnesota has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation. In Stevens County it is three percent. In the Twin Cities, it is 3.9 percent. Additionally, we have the second highest number of insured people in the United States, with only 4.9 percent uninsured.

Finally, a note about taxes. Nobody likes taxes (or fees, or whatever you call them). Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “Taxes are the price we pay for civilized society.” Indeed.

In Minnesota, we raised income taxes on the top two percent of earners to balance the Pawlenty deficit, payback the schools, and provide services that many of us want for our communities, for our grandparents and parents in nursing homes, for good schools, for good roads, and so on. We currently have a projected $1 billion-dollar budget surplus. For perspective, the median household income in Stevens County is about $53,000. Couples making more than $250,000 a year (or $150,000 for individuals) paid more in income taxes in Minnesota. For perspective, in Stevens County we have about 10,000 people and about 75 households paid more in income taxes (roughly 0.7 percent). And, just in case you are wondering, many studies show that higher taxes don’t cause people to leave the state in large numbers. Most people still want to live in Minnesota. People want good community, good air, water and soil.

Minnesota is a great place to live. And, it matters who we elect. I choose Representative Jay McNamar. I choose Governor Dayton. I choose no-drama government.

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