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FACT CHECK: Emmer Campaign Ad “Living Within Our Means”.

Below you’ll find our fact check of Tom Emmer’s latest campaign ad.




Tom Emmer:

We don’t need more taxes.  We need more jobs


I’m Tom Emmer.  My plan to balance the budget funds our schools


Emmer direct to camera




Classroom shots

Budget Calls for $1.8 Billion K-12 Cut.
  In June 2010, the Minnesota
Department of Economic Development released their “2010 End of Legislative
Session General Fund Balance Analysis.” 
The analysis shows that the State of Minnesota is statutorily
obligated to provide $15,621,575,000 in K-12 education funding in the FY
2012-13 biennium.  Meanwhile,
Emmer’s budget calls for only $13.836 billion in FY 2012-13 K-12 funding, a
difference of nearly $1.8 billion. 
[Minnesota Department of Management and Budget, accessed 09/24/10 (.pdf);, accessed 09/24/10] 


But requires the rest of government to
live within it’s means


I’ll end the automatic spending increases

Emmer direct to camera





Emmer in a coffee shop shaking hands

Graphic: End Automatic Spending Increases

Budget Projections And Forecasts Emmer Calls “Automatic Increases” Are Not
Automatic But Are Required By State Law.
  The budget planning process requires,
statutorily, that certain projections and forecast be made about the upcoming
budget.  Tom Emmer calls these
projections “Automatic Spending Increases,” when in reality the only
automatic increases come to state entitlement programs, such as K-12
education, health care, and welfare are forecast by staff from various
agencies and are based on enrollment and cost trends.  Those forecasted expenditures must
still be passed in to law by the legislature.  [MN Legislative Reference Library, accessed 10/27/10]


Budget Forecasts Don’t Even Account For Inflation. 
Statutorily required budget
forecasts in MN do not account for inflation.  Emmer should know, he voted against the simple planning
measure in
May 2007.  [Minnesota House of
Representatives, HF 2268, House Journal 7575]

Is your income going up 17%?






Then government spending shouldn’t either

Graphic on white background: Mark Dayton
for Nearly 17% Spending Increase



Emmer to Camera

Emmer’s Own Admission, Dayton Won’t Increase Spending 17%. 
On his
website, Emmer’s Budget Comparison Chart, Emmer
lists Dayton’s total spending as “?” but says that Dayton will increase
revenues over projected FY12-13 levels by about 14%.  [, accessed 10/27/10]

I proposed the only honest plan to
balance the budget.

Emmer shaking hands in coffee shop

And Horner Have Both Released Detailed Budget Plans. 
budget plan can be found here
and Horner’s here.  [accessed 10/27/10]


Budget Admittedly Lacks Any Real Specifics.
  In September 2010, MinnPost reported
on Emmer’s budget plan roll out:

But how
exactly, those pesky reporters were asking, would he make the cuts — which
programs, which aid to cities? How? Where? Some reporters were asking about
the specific cuts to specific programs within those massive trims from the
state’s $31 billion biennial budget, which is expected to grow to $38 billion.

“So, just
to be clear,” Hauser asked politely, “we know the numbers that you’re
trying to get to — we just don’t know exactly how you’re going to get

Replied Emmer:
“I suppose that’s one way of looking at it. The other way of saying it
is we are respecting the process at the same time.” By process, he meant
the give and take with the Legislature. 
[MinnPost, 9/14/10]

And unlike my opponents I won’t raise
taxes, because it hurts families and it costs jobs

Emmer and kids throwing a football around


Emmer family porch shot

Budget Plan Includes Inevitable Property Tax Increases.
  In an October, 2010 analysis of
Emmer’s budget plan, MN 2020 wrote:

Rep. Emmer’s
claim that his cuts to property tax aids and credits will not translate into
property tax increases lacks credibility, given that Emmer’s own actions on
the Delano City Council show that he voted to increase property taxes in
2003; according to Emmer, his decision to increase property taxes was to
“fill the hole” left by state aid cuts.

The average
homestead property tax increase statewide would be approximately $215 per year
($430 for the biennium) or 8.8 percent. 
[MN 2020, 10/11/10]


Tom Emmer, the jobs governor we need

Tom and Jacquie Emmer

Graphic: Emmer Jobs Governor





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