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Tea Party formula is wrong for Douglas County

To the editor:

In a letter to the Echo Press on December 25, Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen expressed concern for Minnesota’s economy under Governor Dayton’s budget. Senator Ingebrigtsen and his Tea Party colleagues were elected in 2010 on promises of creating more jobs. Without Governor Dayton’s threat of veto, the 2010 Republican Legislature would have made drastic cuts to publicly-funded jobs, enacted large tax cuts for the wealthy and prevented access to health care for thousands of Minnesotans.

With Governor Dayton’s leadership and the Democratic legislative majority, Minnesota’s budget is balanced for the first time in years. The state debt owed to our public schools is paid off years ahead of schedule. Our state is fifth in the nation for economic growth, has a low unemployment rate and Minnesota exports set a record in the third quarter of 2013.

December was the 13th consecutive month of growth for manufacturing in the state, adding thousands of jobs last year. Our state’s GDP was a job promoting 3.5 percent in 2012, while Wisconsin’s Tea Party-led economy grew at a stagnant 1.6 percent GDP.

Progressive policies have kept Minnesota’s economy strong. State support for education, health care and infrastructure is vital to keep moving forward.

Tea Party-supported cuts to public spending would have had an adverse effect on Douglas County’s diverse, but government-service-based economy. Senator Ingebrigtsen and the Tea Party’s formula for economic growth is wrong for the nation, wrong for Minnesota and wrong for Douglas County.