Doing much more, much better, with much less in St. Paul

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"All the millions upon millions of dollars this state is pouring into K-12 education, is only getting average results."

Big week last week. The troops have been sworn in. The Governor has already given a "poor me" presser in how hard it is going to be to get anything done working with these recalcitrant Republicans. Well Governor, here is a news flash from a citizen who lives in your high tax state. You have no idea of the ship storm which is about to hit. And for you and other statists, it will indeed be a ship storm. For freedom loving patriots, it will be like a welcoming summer breeze.
Let me start off with this. Education. We are tired - no sick and tired, of pouring good money after bad into our education system. The federal Department of Education is going to be in for a rude awakening when Betsy DeVos takes over later on this month. The magazine Education Week just came out with a grading of all education (K-12) in the nation. It gave the nation a dismal "C". Personally, I hope Ms. DeVos pulls up our Department of Education by the roots and strangles it. This huge government entity has been of zero value for years. Just a waste of time and money.
Then we get to Minnesota. This last week it was reported that our great state, the state which had the "Minnesota Miracle" given to us by Governor Anderson, only received a "B -" from the Education Week article. What does that mean? All the millions upon millions of dollars this state is pouring into K-12 education, is only getting average results. My solution? Starve the beast. Make the state change the education formula we have been using. Most of us bill payers would like to see coming out of this session, a plan to do much better with much less.
The new Congress in Washington is poised for a huge "re-do" on taxes. Good. That is long overdue. Now it is our turn in Minnesota to follow suit. Our taxes are atrocious. We need to fix our death tax, our corporate tax, and our sky high personal income tax. Now. This session. But the grand daddy of them all is low fruit on the tree. The fix which will give just about everyone of age an instant and meaningful tax cut. And it should be bipartisan. Which one is that? Social Security.
Mr. Speaker. You and I have discussed this issue many times in the past couple years. The time is NOW. We need to trail blaze this session. Show the good people of Minnesota that we CAN do so much better. The majority of us (who pay the bills), would like this state to do more, do it better, and for much less. Those of us who have worked in the private sector have heard some words like those for years from all levels of management. Good companies thrive by practicing it. Companies which don't, do very poorly. As a state, we need to do more, for a whole lot less - and do it better.
Once again, I expect to see social security exempted from any state tax this session. Listen up folks, as this is important. The average senior gets about $20,000 a year in social security. There is NO WAY to escrow state tax from social security. Say the average senior is in the 8% state tax bracket. $20,000 times .08 equals $1,600 in taxes. For the average senior who is not getting squat for social security increases these days, that amount of money is a game changer. And if a senior is married to another senior, well that number then goes up to $3,200.
One more thing before I close. Fixing our state taxes should be of the highest priority this session. Yes, MNSure and other things need to be fixed also. But we have one of the highest tax rates in the country for businesses and personal taxes. Plus we are one of only SIX STATES which fully tax social security.
The time is now Mr. Speaker. We control the purse strings. In 2017, we need to show we can do more, and do it better, with a whole lot less.