GOP gives Dayton budget a cold shoulder

MinnPost photo by James Nord
House and Senate minority leaders Rep. Kurt Daudt and Sen. David Hann found nothing to like and everything to fault in Gov. Dayton's budget proposal.

The Republican response to Governor Dayton’s budget proposal approximated the outdoor temperatures this week.

Senate and House minority leaders Sen. David Hann and Rep. Kurt Daudt found nothing to like and everything to fault. They characterized Dayton’s proposal for a lowering and broadening of the sales tax as a middle-class tax increase and job killer.

“A more fitting title for the governor’s budget would be that this budget is for a better Wisconsin because that is where Minnesota jobs will go,” Daudt said. 

Hann noted that a sales tax would be levied for the first time on clothing, hair cuts, oil changes and health club memberships. He then dismissed the Dayton administration contention that business would pay most of the $2 billion generated by the sales tax expansion.

“We are going to raise two billion dollars in sales taxes but nobody’s going to pay them?” he asked. “How does that work? So the businesses are going to be absorbing these taxes and what is going to happen? It’s not going to pass them to ordinary people and consumers?  So, of course, people are going to pay.”

That’s what the Republicans don’t like on the revenue side of the governor’s budget. The spending they care for even less, noting the budget proposal calls for a 7.6 percent increase over the current budget. 

Daudt picked one budget nit — reinstatement of the political contribution refund program. “We’re taxing Baby Tylenol to pay for welfare for politicians,” he said.  “We think that’s wrong.”

Hann again countered the governor’s budget answers with more questions. “When we’re spending this kind of money, spending to this degree, what are we going to get for it?” he said. “What’s the big thing that we’re going to get for this? To buy down property taxes? Is that the big idea?”

The closest that the Republican leadership came to a proactive statement dealt with the so-called school shift, payments to schools that have been delayed to balance past budget deficits. The Dayton budget does not re-pay the shift that the DFL has cited as a high priority until the 2016 budget cycle.

“We need to pay back the shift in this current budget,” Daudt said. “We’re punting that down the road.”  

Still, Daudt, said, House Republicans are ready to work.  “My caucus is ready to roll up its sleeves.”

But Hann offered no similar words of encouragement but had a realistic take on the Republicans’ loss of power in budget negotiations: “We don’t have the votes.”

Furthermore, Hann and Daudt hinted that Republicans may even be content to let the DFL take the budget lead. “We’ll certainly invite the public to come to the Legislature and voice opinion on the increased taxes,” Hann said.

Daudt even speculated how the governor’s budget, if adopted, would affect the 2014 elections. “I think it would fare very well for Republicans,” he said. “I don’t think people are going to respond very well to paying a tax on a coat for their children.”

With their criticism and lack of critical mass, Republican legislators appear to be indicating that the budget debate will be a one-party discussion and that they’re betting the voting public won’t like what it hears.

Comments (11)

  1. Submitted by Todd Hintz on 01/22/2013 - 04:52 pm.

    GOP Reaction

    Dayton could propose that we eliminate all taxes and all government and the GOP would still poo-poo the proposal. Their position is “if a Democrat is for it, I’m against it.”

    Carry on with business as usual and let the conservatives try to keep up.

  2. Submitted by Dimitri Drekonja on 01/22/2013 - 05:23 pm.

    Ms. Brucato could take a vacation, and leave the following boilerplate to be filled in:

    “After Governor Dayton’s announcement of ______, GOP leaders immediately responded that the proposal would lead to an exodus of job creators, and furthermore, would limit freedom. They called for immediate across-the-board tax cuts, which they indicated would lead to 3% unemployment, indefinite budget surpluses, and unicorns for all.”

  3. Submitted by Jim Bernstein on 01/22/2013 - 05:33 pm.

    Republicans Are So Predictable

    Sadly, as expected, the Republican legislative leadership could muster nothing except “no” to everything proposed by Gov. Dayton. Instead of promising to make the sales tax increase more palatable or more fair for middle and lower income folks, they wander back to their discredited “job killer” nonsense they use to trash any kind of new revenue ideas.

    At least Rep. Daudt suggest his caucus may want to participate – thought they are largely powwerless – in the legislative process this session. Sen, Hann has pretty much said that he wants his caucus to sit this session out. Of course, he wants to run for governor in ’14 and actually working with the DFL leadership and the governor only hurts his chances with the Tea Party/Ron Paulites running the Republican Party these days.

  4. Anonymous Submitted by Anonymous on 01/22/2013 - 05:49 pm.

    “GOP gives Dayton budget a cold shoulder.” Who cares? Why is this news? Dog bites man.

  5. Submitted by Frank Phelan on 01/22/2013 - 06:19 pm.

    No GOP Prosals?

    Did they all drop their ALEC memberships?

  6. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 01/22/2013 - 07:02 pm.

    Slow Learners – but good whiners

    The Republican Party apparently don’t realize, yet, that they lost everything in Minnesota in the last election by having the very same attack lines that lost the previous election for them. Now they will come back with everything they have from Ronald Reagan’s tired, failed platitudes and myths and hope they will work this time. The state has moved on and the party hasn’t. Senator Hann, in every interview so far, you have shown nothing but contempt toward anyone who doesn’t think like him. When the Republicans aren’t in control of anything they will be forced to put the word “Compromise” back into their dictionary if they want any input. Losing elections has consequences. That is the way the system works. Republicans are even leaving their own party, there is a strong message there. This would be a good time for the Republicans to put their party back in shape again or they will lose the next election also. The choice is totally up to the Republicans. Try not to screw it up because the electorate, as you may have noticed, won’t wait for you.

  7. Submitted by Kenneth Kjer on 01/22/2013 - 07:12 pm.

    Hann and Daudt

    They are just as stupid as there predecessors. They just had knee jerk, negative reaction and everybody is aware they didn’t spend 2 minutes reading Dayton’s budget. I just sent them both an email, and like there predecessors, I will not get a response from them.

  8. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 01/22/2013 - 09:35 pm.

    Is this a surprise?

    I’ve only lived here a few years, but I can’t imagine that, in the current political environment, this would be considered “news.” In decades past, perhaps several decades past, it might have been newsworthy that a significant minority in a state legislature opposed virtually everything a sitting Governor proposed, but I think Mr. Hintz above has nailed it. Mr. Daudt appears to be somewhat more thoughtful, but Mr. Hann is an older version of the petulant 3-year-old. He didn’t get to eat his dessert first, and now he’s just NOT going to touch his vegetables. With that mind set going into the process, it doesn’t make any difference what Dayton proposes, Mr. Hann will oppose it.

    I’d like to see a few more details before reaching a conclusion about the latest Dayton budget. My guess is that there are things to like, and things to dislike.

  9. Submitted by Stu von Wald on 01/22/2013 - 11:52 pm.

    Daudt’s out of touch statement

    My understanding is that Gov. Dayton’s proposal is to pay sales tax on clothing over $100. I don’t pay $100 for a coat for my children, nor do I know anyone who spends that much for a coat for their child. Those who want to spend over a hundred dollars for a coat SHOULD pay tax on it, as it obviously isn’t a big deal for them to waste money. Daudt’s statement proves how out of touch he is with most “people” that he says are going to be mad about Dayton’s clothing tax proposal.

  10. Submitted by Jackson Cage on 01/23/2013 - 07:46 am.

    Now the tables have turned….

    …Remember when T-Paw had free rein to ignore the DFL? Remember what’s happening in Wisconsin? It’s payback time. If I were the Repubs, I wouldn’t bother holding elections, or even showing up at the capitol for that matter. They should be completely and utterly ignored.

  11. Submitted by Gerry Hokanson on 01/23/2013 - 11:08 am.

    Government produces nothing without digging in your pocket

    It doesn’t matter which party is in control, government produces nothing without digging in our pocket to pay the bill. Lowering the tax rate while expanding the base is still digging 2 billion deeper in our pockets. More money doesn’t reduce the debt it only feeds an insatiable craving to spend.
    A budget increase 2-3 times the inflation rate while still running a deficit is not responsible dealing with the debt, it’s more spending and digging deeper in our pockets.
    Same sized house in Florida has property taxes half of Minnesota’s, no state income taxes, and lower sales tax rate equates to a lot more money to spend on family instead of government. For my family this equates to over $600 per month to spend on family instead of government.

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