Rep. Thissen Calls Out MN GOP For Raising Taxes, Cutting Jobs

Rep. Paul Thissen speaks against HF130

House Minority Leader Paul Thissen delivers a fiery speech against a GOP proposal that he says will lead to higher property taxes and will hurt senior citizens and children. Majority Leader Representative Matt Dean responds.

Text of Representative Thissen’s speech against HF130

What a contrast! Earlier today, we heard Governor Dayton lay out a vision for our state based on Minnesota values: fairness, opportunity and shared responsibility. He laid out a vision for a broadly prosperous Minnesota – a state that works for all Minnesotans once again.

This afternoon, we’ve been rushed back to the House floor to act on a bill that offers no vision whatsoever other than blindly, randomly hacking away at fairness by increasing property taxes, hacking away at opportunity by driving college tuitions higher, and hacking away at any sense of shared responsibility for the future of our state.

We’ve been rushed back to the House floor to watch the Republican majority break promise after promise, and play politics with a sure veto as opposed to get things done.

You said your first priority was job creation, yet this bill cuts jobs.

You said that you would hold our seniors harmless, yet you harm them with this proposal.

You said that children would be a priority, yet those children who most need someone to protect them from being abused are your victims.

You said that you wouldn’t raise people’s taxes, yet your first bill will inevitably result in higher taxes.

You made big promises along the campaign trail, yet you are breaking them here at the Capitol.

No one disputes that we have to make tough choices to balance the budget deficit. The governor has said it, and the DFL caucus has said the same.

But in contrast to this bill, we refuse check our values or our reason at the door, no matter how dire the crisis we face. We reject the flawed belief that the middle class must bear the budget burden that should fall on the many. Ordinary Minnesota families have been squeezed too much by Tim Pawlenty’s flawed economic policies – policies this bill blindly continues.

Bemidji, Detroit Lakes, Alexandria, Marshall, Willmar, Moorhead, Mankato, Albert Lea – all of these communities and more have spoken out and asked you not to kill their small businesses, not to raise their property taxes, not to make them pay when others will not. Where is the fairness?

Chambers of Commerce from Crookston to Albert Lea have said that this bill hurts business, but here we are, on this runaway train of reckless Republican budgeting.

Minnesotans are paying billions more in property taxes because of the policies that this bill expands and extends. From all across the state, they’re calling on us to stop the madness. They’re going to town hall meetings and writing letters to their local papers begging us to listen to their justified concerns about their property tax bills.

Well, I’m sorry, Minnesota, the Republican Majority is not listening.

More important, Minnesota – prepare for a lot more of the same and worse from the Republican legislature. Because of all the promises the Republicans offered on the campaign trail, there is one promise that they have consistently and repeatedly insisted that they will keep:

This Republican Majority told Minnesotans that an all cuts budget will be delivered – with no need for single dollar of new revenue at all (no new taxes, no new fees, no new gambling proceeds, no school shifts, nothing).

Well, I for one want to see that budget and not another bait and switch. This bill is a political game with a guaranteed veto result.

I want to see the bill that you swore up and down you would deliver, a full proposal, cutting $6.2 billion.

Put your money where your mouth is.

You were elected to govern, to do business differently. That’s what you tell us anyway.

This bill isn’t leadership. It has no vision, or even rational justification. It does not tell us where we are going. It simply recycles where we’ve been.

Vote No.

Michael McIntee

Michael McIntee is a former network TV news executive with more than 30 years of broadcasting experience. He began his broadcasting career at the University of Minnesota's student radio station. He is an expert producer, writer, video editor who has a fondness for new technology but denies that he is a geek.

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