Dayton’s tax-hike: good idea

Bernardo Vigil, A&E Editor

The Super Bowl is awesome. It’s as American as white picket fences and apple pie. It’s competition at its finest and the NFL works well at making sure the same team doesn’t win every year. This is done by giving the Super Bowl winner last pick in the following year’s draft; also, every team gets an equal budget. In other words, the National Football League punishes success. It’s too bad that this system pushes team not to win and stifles competition… oh wait.

Governor Mark Dayton announced his budget plans to bridge the 6.2 billion dollar gap between the state’s revenue and expenditures by “punishing success” and taxing the rich. The governor is hiking taxes on the people hit hardest by the recession: the top five percent of earners in Minnesota and people who own homes worth over a million dollars. I’m sorry, but I’m not feeling the sympathy, especially considering that just over half of these tax increases are set to expire after three years. The state has been cutting social program after social program and this increase will help fund some of the things that have fallen in our efforts to balance the state budget (education––both higher and K-12––and child care for working people). Furthermore, this new statewide tax hike will help take some of the pressure off our local governments that have had to deal with the state budget cuts.

The proposal isn’t all about taxing the wealthiest Minnesotans, though. Like any feasible balancing proposal, it also made some substantial cuts to statewide relief programs––specifically state funding for nursing homes, healthcare and public employment––that were not well received by the working class (or me seeing as I work for the city and am looking at getting my hours cut); however, while these cuts will hit some people hard, they are unfortunately necessary.  What we at the receiving end of these cuts need to remember is that our Republican legislature is vehemently opposed to tax increases of any sort which means that any balancing proposal they write up will probably mean even deeper cuts than Dayton’s. Well, unless you make over $500,000 a year.