Weather Forecast


Back on track to what?

A letter by Dave Butcher in the Journal/Echo said Minnesota is back on track with the tax and spend that Gov. Dayton and the DFL passed at the Legislature. Back on track to what, may I ask?

You would think state government spending has starved, tax collections have been going down and the health exchange legislation was some cost-saving idea.

Minnesota state government spending increased 13.8 percent in the 2012-13 biennium and projected 8.3 percent in 2014-15. That equals $6.9 billion in a general fund spending increase over four years before all the new spending and taxes passed by the DFL this year.

Hardly sounds like the beast we know as state government is starving.

In 2001, Minnesota collected just under $17.4 billion in total taxes. In 2012, Minnesota collected $26.4 billion in total taxes, a 51.7 percent increase in total taxes collected. Total taxes are projected to exceed $31 billion in 2017.

In 2001, Minnesota collected $5.91 billion in income taxes. In 2012, Minnesota collected $7.97 billion, an increase of 48.6 percent in income taxes. Income taxes are projected to exceed $10.2 billion in 2017.

Going down?

The Minnesota Health Insurance Exchange is a huge new bureaucracy that will not save Minnesota any money. In October 2012, cost estimates were $45 million. By November 2012, it was $54 million.

Now, the estimates as passed will cost more than $100 million by the 2016-17 biennium and will employ more than 100 full-time employees (these are not the costs of providing care or coverage, just managing the Internet portal!)

This is cost effective?

Instead of living within our government’s means, their decision was to pick your pocket for a pay increase for government and for the governor, and a slap in the face to hardworking, job creating taxpayers, families and small businesses in Minnesota.

David Anderson,


Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
(218) 855-5889