I can’t imagine Minnesotans would be rude in response to Gov. Dayton’s defending his and the Senate’s decision to give themselves a pay raise (“Dayton says forum crowd in Shakopee was ‘juvenile,’ ” May 1). As the governor put it, “It was rude, and if they can’t handle the truth, they can’t handle the truth, but that’s the truth as I perceived it.”
As a taxpayer and employer, I, too, have an opinion — perceived as the truth. While I’m all in favor of raises for employees who earn it, I’m not in favor of pay raises for our Senate, House and governor’s office. They haven’t earned it.
Consider some recent history:
• The inability of the Legislature and governors (current and former) to compromise.
• A government that gives itself a deadline each year to complete its task, yet routinely requires special sessions, and sometimes shuts down, costing taxpayers more money.
• Public schools going underfunded.
• Our governor and Legislature passing an extremely underfunded stadium bill based on inappropriate, misleading and inadequate information.
• Government pension funds severely underfunded and government bailing them out with taxpayer dollars.
• A government willing to throw millions of taxpayer dollars at higher education without accountability. According to a 2012 study, the average graduation rate in Minnesota’s public higher education for a four-year degree is between 20 percent and 50 percent at every Minnesota State College and Universities system school and at the University of Minnesota.
I appreciate our governor’s reminder that one’s perception is one’s own reality. Based on my perception of the work this government has done in recent years, there should be no pay raise until taxpayers agree to it. My perception is that the Legislature and governor owe the taxpayers a rebate.
Cam Mader lives in Lake Elmo