- Article by: LORI STURDEVANT
- Star Tribune
- October 25, 2011 - 1:42 PM
One day ahead of Gov. Mark Dayton’s day-long “jobs summit,” state Senate Republicans on Monday advanced what could be a useful idea. Too many state business regulations are out-of-date, duplicative and unnecessary, four GOP state senators argued. A bipartisan, executive-plus-legislative review board ought to be charged with finding the worst of the lot and recommending their repeal.
Until such a panel reports, the state should put a moratorium on additional regulations, the senators said — just like Arizona Sen. John McCain proposed on Oct. 13 at the national level.
That’s because “uncertainty” among “job creators” is paralyzing the job market, the legislators said — just like Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell has been saying on TV talk shows for the past month.
He keeps saying it, even though the claim has been debunked by a number of independent analyses.
The other thing that would stimulate job creation, the state senators said, is a cut and eventual phase out of the state’s business property tax. That move would aid any property-rich business, whether it’s inclined to create jobs or not, while doing little for comparatively property-poor high-tech businesses, which might be among the most inclined to hire. A property tax cut also would blow a bigger hole in the already drafty state budget, leading to more government layoffs.
What the idea has going for it is consistency with the national party. At GOP presidential debates, business tax cuts are a favorite elixir for what ails the U.S. economy — even though the same candidates, sometimes in the next breath, say the federal government must reduce its debt.
Minnesota Republicans evidently have fallen into the habit of falling in line with their national party.
The reason for doing so was obvious when two of their number, Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty, were running for president. Now that Pawlenty’s run has ended and Bachmann’s is flagging, they would do better to chart a more independent, Minnesota-specific course.
And DFL Gov. Mark Dayton would do well to consider their idea for a regulation review board.
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