This SCTimes editorial about losing a congressional district avoids a topic most DFL politicians and DFL operatives would rather not talk about. In the second paragraph, it says “A slowing population growth rate in Minnesota and gangbusters growth in places including Texas, North Carolina and Florida signal a coming shift from eight House seats for Minnesota to seven.”
What it doesn’t say is why Minnesota is losing that district. DFL politicians, especially DFL governors, insist that Minnesota is doing fantastic. The truth is that Minnesota isn’t doing that great. We’re losing that district because we aren’t economically competitive. We have taxes that are far too high and regulations that are far too intrusive. Environmental activists have too many bites at the apple to kill prosperity, especially in rural Minnesota.
Today’s DFL is highly metro-centric and doesn’t care about blue collar jobs. Today’s DFL prefers white collar jobs in urban centers. The F in DFL stands for farmers. What’s disturbing is that today’s DFL have imposed costly regulations on farmers, making it more difficult for farmers to make a profit. The L in DFL stands for laborers. The DFL will fight to the death for public employee unions but they’ve ignored blue collar union jobs for 30+ years. That’s why Pete Stauber is favored to win re-election in the Eighth District.
When people think of Minnesota’s Eighth District, they immediately think of the Iron Range. That’s understandable but that’s just the most famous part of the Eighth. Huge portions of the Eighth are farmland (think Aitkin), woodlands ideally suited for logging (think Grand Rapids) and rural towns where the work ethic is outstanding (think Cambridge, Isanti and Park Rapids).
Those cities might as well be dead to the DFL. Anything beyond the inner ring of suburbs might as well be lunar landscape to the DFL.
Last year, I learned that 20+ states had a top tax rate that was lower than Minnesota’s lowest tax rate. In Pennsylvania, for instance, their top tax rate is 3.07%. Minnesota’s lowest tax bracket is taxed at 5.35%, with a top bracket taxed at 9.85%. That’s only because Republicans insisted on cutting taxes as part of their budget agreement. The DFL wanted to raise taxes. Is it any wonder why Minnesotans are leaving the state for low-tax states?
To compete with other states, you need a well-trained workforce, low taxes and fair regulations. Minnesota fails in all 3 categories. Why would a company start or expand here? Companies see what PolyMet has endured in terms of lawsuits, permitting and hostility and they cross Minnesota off the list.
The other thing that’s turning off Minnesotans is the number of scandals we’re dealing with. Whether it’s MNLARS, the multiple scandals within the Department of Human Services or things that government just doesn’t do well, people are paying a lot in taxes and getting very little in return. If Minnesota wants to lose another seat in 2030, they don’t need to change course. They just need to stay the course. If we want to become a prosperous state, then major changes need to take place.