As we prepare to embark upon the final week of the 2023 legislative session and near the May 22 deadline for adjournment, this year’s biggest bills remain in flux but the story already has been written.
And I doubt history will be kind to this Democrat trifecta.
This will go down as the year the Democrats sent state spending into orbit and raised taxes by billions of dollars despite a massive surplus, creating further fiscal instability that will prevent those same Democrats from delivering on their promises and forcing someone else to clean up the mess they’ve created.
This will be remembered as the year where deliberation and democratic process took its death knell at the Capitol. It’s when we reached a tipping point beyond which activist legislators turned our hallowed legislature into an elite club of insiders codifying extreme ideology which nobody publicly advocated and nobody asked for. It’s led to the world’s most radical abortion policy, an assault on the First Amendment, a threat to the Mayo Clinic, a plan to knee-cap local charities and more. Those are just a few of the details under their overarching plan to increase the state budget by 40 percent and increase taxes by nearly $10 billion despite a massive $17.5 billion surplus.
Again, these are things no normal Minnesotan wanted.
Here’s an interesting twist: A new KSTP-TV/SurveyUSA poll indicates a mere 37 percent of Minnesotans approve of our Democrat-led legislature’s performance. That’s no real surprise, but the interesting thing is that Gov. Tim Walz has not yet sunk to such lowly depths of approval, despite his prominent involvement in the legislative Democrats’ decisions.
Make no mistake, while Democrat legislators sign their names to an endless array of horrific bills, they take their marching orders from the governor every step of the way.
In turn, Walz takes his orders from radical activist groups. We’ve heard Democrats on the House floor shamelessly admit activist involvement as though radicals are now speaking for workaday Minnesotans. While we don’t know exactly to whom he was referring, when the all-Democrat Public Safety Conference Committee wrapped up, the lead Democrat even thanked his fellow Democrats for the work they’ve done behind closed doors, saying “You’ve done so much work at this table, and not at this table.”
The impacts of the Democrats’ detrimental policies already are rearing their head in Minnesota. In just one year, more than $1.5 billion in adjusted gross income fled Minnesota to other states. Minnesota lost .8% of all adjusted gross income to other states for the most recent tax year available (2021) – the highest rate of income loss in our state for at least 20 years and among the worst in the nation.
I’ve had quite a few social-media exchanges with Democrat apologists who try to explain away this trend. I acknowledge there are certain factors at play in Minnesota other than the plain cost of doing business, but that is one thing we can control and we’re doing a terrible job of it.
Look at it this way: Democrats in the next week or so will be committing Minnesota to an immense government spending with revenue projections cooked into their blueprint. What happens if these wild-eyed policies continue driving out more and more top income earners? Who’s going to pay for it?
Back to where we started: The Democrats own bad decisions are going to prevent them from delivering on their promises. It’s going to be up to the rest of us to come in and do the heavy lifting to get our state back on track.
Watch for more from the Capitol as the session winds down. For now, I want to close with a couple other important messages:
Happy Mother’s Day to moms in our district. Thank you for all you do and I hope you are able to spend extra time in the company of loved ones as we celebrate this holiday.
Minnesota’s fishing opener is this weekend. Good luck to anyone who ventures out on the water. On a related note, Democrats recently approved a bill which raises fees for fishing, boating and visiting state parks. Those increases could be in place by next year – pending the final outcome of those provisions in an omnibus bill that remains under construction.
Hope you land a lunker like this 50-inch hog of a sturgeon pictured to the left.