Minnesota’s economy has been recently ranked as one of the strongest in the nation. In 2015, Minnesota was ranked as the top state on Gallup’s Job Creation Index, and also came in first place on CNBC’s Top States for Business rankings. Despite this evidence, Republicans and their allies continue to look for signs that Minnesota’s economy is weak to back up their philosophy that tax cuts for big businesses and the wealthy are the key to prosperity.
A new report from the right-wing Center of the American Experiment (CAE) argues that Minnesota’s tax policies are causing people to leave the state. The CAE report, which bases its conclusions off of incomplete data that the IRS removed from its website due to inaccuracies, argues that tax cuts for the wealthy are needed to restore economic prosperity to Minnesota. The report fails to account for the fact that people leave Minnesota for a variety of reasons other than taxes, such as to be closer to family or to live in a warmer climate.
In 2013, our state faced a $627 million deficit with $2 billion borrowed from our schools. By asking the wealthiest Minnesotans to pay their fair share, the DFL-led legislature and Governor Dayton righted our fiscal ship. Minnesota now has a $900 million surplus, and has outpaced Scott Walker’s Wisconsin in nearly every economic indicator. Millennials from all over the country are flocking to the Twin Cities, which has the highest employment rate for 18 to 34 year olds in the country and headquarters more Fortune 500 companies than any other metro area of similar size.
Before jumping to conclusions at the first sign of economic downturn (a $900 million surplus instead of a higher one), we need to continue down the path of creating an economy that works better for all of us, and not just the wealthy.