“Strive to create the most business-friendly economy in the
nation and jobs WILL follow!”
By Representative Mark Buesgens
I just spent four months on something created by DFL House
Speaker Margaret Kelliher called the Minnesota House Jobs
Task Force. During countless hours of hearings and
testimony from a dizzying array of political wonks,
(with a minimal number of business owners sprinkled in),
the goal of a more business-friendly economy rarely
came up. Instead, we heard a lot of talk about the need
for moregovernment intervention.
Democrats (who dominated the committee 28-8) are lining up
another mammoth round of borrowing, which creates only
short-term jobs in sectors dictated by the government.
They want to embark on new spending under the Orwellian
pretense of retraining workers for “new” jobs -dictated by
the government. Perhaps most amazing, they cling to the
fading hopes of re-orienting the nation’s economy based on
the discredited premise of preventing climate change.
Their type of “command-and-control” governing suffers from
two fatal flaws that make it incompatible with a business-
friendly economy: it is grounded in the notion that
government creates jobs and wealth, and it relies on
raising taxes – on everybody.
The DFL proposals necessitate government picking economic
winners & losers to create a sustainable business climate.
This model is challenged very simply by asking the
following questions: Who has created more jobs, Nancy Pelosi
and Harry Reid, or Bill Gates and Fred Smith? And another
critical question: When did government identify the next
Steve Jobs or Sam Walton? Politicians cannot create the same
high-quality jobs as entrepreneurs and business owners.
Government has not picked out the next innovator or success
story, and it never will. In short, government is worthless
at picking winners & losers—but that is what the DFL's
The DFL proposals must raise taxes today to cover new
spending, and raise taxes tomorrow to cover new borrowing.
We can’t even afford the government we already have. There
is no possible way we can afford the government Democrats
want without reaching even deeper into our already pilfered
pockets. This threat suffocates any discussion of new
Thankfully, there exists another path. By liberating
individuals and businesses from the burdens of government
and empowering them to create new growth, we can turn a
future of high taxes and deep deficits into one of new
prosperity and common good. We know that catchy slogans
fail to get the job done (remember Hope and Change?). Here
are three concrete steps for making Minnesota more
Reduce the regulatory burdens that weigh on expansion.
Environmentalists (the Copenhagen types) have an iron
grip on the state’s environmental and energy policies that
are choking the life out of our economy. Permits and
reviews drag on for months while other states finish them in
days or weeks, making us a less attractive place to start a
business. In good economic times these regulations made job
growth difficult. In tough economic times they make job
End the pandemic of uncertainty. The risks of new income
taxes, hugely expensive cap-and-trade energy schemes, or
expensive new health care mandates are making expansion an
uncertain endeavor in this time of already tight margins.
Resisting these damaging policies will send the clear message
that we prioritize job creation in Minnesota and will free up
capital currently forced to the sidelines.
Balance the employer-employee relationship. In order for the
employer-employee relationship to be of mutual benefit, both
sides have to be on a level playing field. Transitioning to
a right-to-work state and resisting the call of more mandated
benefits will send potential job creators the message that
Minnesota welcomes their entrepreneurial spirit.
Instead of relying on tax increases, these three steps to job
growth rely on the government exercising fiscal restraint and
responsibility. This will accomplish two things. First, it
will prevent the government sprawl we have seen with its
involvement in banking, the auto industry and now health care.
Second, it will force government to run more efficiently,
reforming the programs that need change and jettisoning those
that are unnecessary. A more efficient delivery of government
services means less demand for higher taxes and tells
potential job creators that we would love to have them relocate
to our state.
Four months of the Speaker’s Jobs Task Force has produced
nothing that would encourage potential private sector job
providers. Instead, it has only served to heighten uncertainty
and concerns and exacerbated our job loss condition. We can
no longer afford to sit on our hands while jobs, people and
economic capital leave for warmer and more affordable
pastures. The time for real leadership and action is now.
Monday, December 28, 2009
Posted by Bill Jungbauer at 9:20 AM