Letter: Legislative priorities are misguided
To the editor,
The job creation malaise continues in Minnesota. Despite a laser focus on jobs, jobs, jobs last year the legislative majority seems to have lacked the coherence implied by the term laser. Instead we got a wedge issue ballot amendment and more of the same accounting shifts. Many paychecks went dry during the shutdown and therefore the tax revenue stream also took a hit. Kurt Bills, our own Representative here in 37B, as chief author put forward a bill requiring legislators to take a 10 percent pay cut during each week of the shutdown. The bill did not advance, but assuming conviction lay behind the bill's introduction it would be of interest to know if the check he collected for the shutdown period reflected that conviction.
This year, 2012, will come to be a referendum vote on how well the 2010 majority in the House and Senate executed on their promises. Meanwhile the Governor has put forth a bonding bill which will in truth create paychecks. The GOP majority has countered with what smacks of the same trickle down theory that has failed us for over 30 years. The Governor can point to historic Minnesota success with the bonding bill approach but there seems to be a lack of proof that coddling one stratum of society benefits the broader society in terms of jobs. Nice theory but no proof in three decades of policy.
Support for the middle class will help stabilize the economy. The tried and true way to support the middle is to bolster job creation and not by introducing social wedge issue legislation.
Will the marriage amendment produce jobs? Probably not. Will a photo ID amendment produce jobs? Probably not. Will a super majority for taxation amendment produce jobs? Probably not.
With 85 percent of Minnesota jobs being non-union will a right to work amendment produce jobs? Probably not.
These are simply wedge issues meant to rile and agitate without bolstering economically the middle class. These issues are going to consume time during this short 2012 legislative session. Ask yourself if you consider that prudent use of the majority party's time.
It is fortunate that we have not needed to go so far as our neighboring state Wisconsin to correct misguided policies. This fall's election will be the Minnesota opportunity for recall of our own choice.
Support the Governor's intent with the bonding bill. And this fall vote smart, vote for the side that has the interest of more than one stratum of society at heart.
Jeff Wilfahrt is a candidate House in District 37B