A story in the May Union Advocate (“A constant juggling act”) about state Rep. Jason Metsa of Virginia trying to live for a week on a minimun-wage budget brings to mind a quote from the famous novel “To Kill a Mocking-bird,” in which lawyer Atticus Finch tells his young daughter, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view … until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”
Well, I think a lot more politicans and business leaders need to walk around in the skin of workers and experience the hardships and frustrations of raising families and trying to make ends meet on low wages.
– Louis DiSanto, St. Paul, Former member of AFSCME Council 5
Session was pro-jobs
The 2013 session was a pro-jobs session. The cuts in property taxes for homeowners and renters will put more money in the pockets of the middle class. That will mean higher receipts for Minnesota’s small businesses. Freezing tuition also helps family budgets.
The one huge negative was the House Republicans’ voting down the bonding bill. The House GOP’s action costs the state several thousands of desperately needed construction jobs. The Republicans claimed they opposed bonding because it was the “off-year.” Wrong. House Republicans have objected to bonding three of the last four years. During Gov. Pawlenty’s last year, a “bonding year,” the GOP House caucus urged Pawlenty to veto three-fourths of the bonding proposals. In 2011 the GOP majority passed no bonding bill, but agreed to accept a modest amount after the government shutdown. Last year, they passed a modest amount – in an election year.
Shifting taxes from the middle class to those with highest incomes will help the economy. Gov. Mark Dayton and the DFL Legislature are on the side of the economic angels. Restoration of aids to schools and local governments will also slow down rises in property taxes. The improvements in education are designed to increase business productivity.
– Wayne Cox, executive director of Minnesota Citizens for Tax Justice