Letter: Who is fighting to keep government spending down?

Published 9:26 pm Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Fifty years ago this month I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Minnesota. My first job paid $5,600 a year. Minnesota’s state budget was about $1 billion. Currently Gov. Dayton wanted $46 billion! Has your income gone up 46 times since 1967? The Legislature has tried to save Minnesota this year.

Gov. Dayton opposed tax reform and relief for Minnesota and had three classic poor reasons. Lower Minnesota death tax? Wealthy Minnesotans do estate plans or leave our state. Farmers and small business get hit hard. Recently, Prince died suddenly at the age of 57 with no estate plan. Taxes and attorneys will feast on this estate. Poor plans lose.

Gov. Dayton likes smoke taxes (I don’t smoke). Smokes are being bought big time in Iowa by Minnesota people. The legislators tried to reduce this. Fifteen miles apart from Albert Lea a small Iowa town of 2,500 has smoke sales galore. Minnesota loses due to Dayton.

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Let us review Minnesota in the 1960s. 1963 yearly tuition and fees at the University of Minnesota for me were $375 — no Minnesota sales tax until 1967. Forty-five cents for fries, hamburgers and shakes in 1963 at the Dinkytown McDonald’s. (I made $1.27 per hour part time at the Sanford Hall dorm kitchen.)

In 1942, my dad made $21 a month when he started in the U.S. Army. His grandad made $13 a month in 1861 in the third Wisconsin Cavalry Unit. I started in the Army in 1968 at $98 a month — versus about $1,500 a month in 2016.

Who is fighting to keep down government spending and expenses in 2017? Our current U.S. president  — yes. Minnesota governor — no.

Tom Schleck

Albert Lea