GOP must give for shutdown to end

Published 11:00 am Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fergus Falls Daily Journal editorial

The Republican majority in the Minnesota Legislature can blame Gov. Mark Dayton all they want, and talk about how a tax on the richest Minnesotans will kill jobs.

But the bottom line is, it appears that if the state shutdown, which began Friday, will end, the Republicans are going to have to allow the tax increase.

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While Republican leaders have talked about compromising on various spending bills and creating a “lights-on” bill, none have said they are willing to even consider Dayton’s proposed income tax increase.

It’s clear that Dayton believes that, no matter where the cuts come from, increasing taxes is a more palatable option than cutting additional spending. It’s also clear that, for Dayton, who left the U.S. Senate after only one term, re-election is not a priority.

The Republicans, it seem, have no choice. But if and when they do approve a tax increase, they will have options.

If evidence is found that the tax increase caused business owners to cut back on employees or move their businesses elsewhere, their gubernatorial candidate can make a great case to Minnesota voters in 2014.

And if the Republicans win the governorship and both majorities in 2014, they can eliminate the tax increase.

For now, however, it’s time to give Dayton his tax increase, and remove the barricades to state parks.