CNBC ranked Minnesota the best state for doing business on Wednesday, citing our educated workforce and high quality of life as key components of our success.
But wait, haven’t Republicans been warning us for years that the sky is falling? That there’s no way asking the richest Minnesotans to pay their fair share could ever be a good thing for our state? That we can’t invest more in our schools because businesses are hurting?
This new ranking should put those “the sky is falling!” protests to rest (finally), but let’s take a look at the top 5 things Republicans have said about Minnesota’s economy and Governor Dayton’s approach to building a better economy that just don’t make sense.
5. Republican Representative Dave Baker said:
“Business has been ‘deeply hurt’ under Democratic domination.” [Grand Forks Herald, 5/30/14]
Well, we know that’s just not correct. Huffington Post elaborates:
By late 2013, Minnesota’s private sector job growth exceeded pre-recession levels, and the state’s economy was the 5th fastest-growing in the United States. Forbes even ranked Minnesota the 9th-best state for business (Scott Walker’s “Open For Business” Wisconsin came in at a distant #32 on the same list). Despite the fearmongering over businesses fleeing from Dayton’s tax cuts, 6,230 more Minnesotans filed in the top income tax bracket in 2013, just one year after Dayton’s tax increases went through.
4. Republican Representative Kathy Lohmer said:
“‘How can we pay for all these state programs when we’re closing businesses left and right?’ Lohmer asked.” [Star Tribune, 5/16/09]
It turns our we’re not closing businesses left and right, as Representative Lohmer claims. And, it also turns out, many priorities of middle class families include investing in schools and colleges that build a stronger economy.
3. Republican Representative Tim Miller said:
“More proof that Mark Dayton’s policies hurt Minnesota: In addition to losing Fortune 500 companies; a new study shows that from 2011-2013, Minnesota ranks as the worst in the nation for the number of individuals starting a new business. We need common-sense solutions to get Minnesota moving forward.” [facebook.com, 06/17/14]
The common sense solutions put in place under DFL leadership include lowering the cost of college tuition, implementing all-day kindergarten for every four-year-old in Minnesota, asking the wealthiest Minnesotans to pay their fair share, and investing in middle class families. And, it’s also fair to say, that Minnesota is definitely moving forward. Sorry, Rep. Miller.
2. Republican Representative Jeff Backer said:
“Other states, especially border states, have a more favorable business climate than Minnesota.” [jeffbacker.com, accessed 05/15/14]
Let’s compare this to CNBC’s rankings. North Dakota ranks 6th, Iowa 10th, South Dakota 11th, and Scott Walker’s Wisconsin 15th. Our neighbors should be looking to Minnesota, not the other way around.
1. Republican Representative Tim Miller said:
“Other studies consistently place us well behind our Dakota neighbors and Wisconsin in job growth opportunities. We have a great state with incredible resources.” [standwithtim.com, accessed 09/26/14]
Rep. Miller is right that we have a great state with incredible resources, but the rest of his statement doesn’t pass the smell test. Much has been written comparing Minnesota to Wisconsin since Gov. Mark Dayton and Gov. Scott Walker took office in their respective states. Saying Minnesota should specifically look to Wisconsin for guidance on how to improve the economy is quite entertaining.