To the editor:
Linda Runbeck's letter regarding state workers is right on the money...not. Minnesota is a state of relatively high taxes but we have a historical commitment to a quality of life that far exceeds most 'low tax' states. It is state employees who make sure that there are forest products to harvest far into the future, and it is state employees who will ensure that our children
and their children can have the thrill of catching a big walleye, and it is government employees who protect and help our future, our children, and yes, it is state employees who administer worker's compensation benefits, and it is state employees that work to ensure safe and clean food handling and restaurants, and it is state employees that ensure buying one gallon of gasoline actually is one gallon of gasolene, not 9/10ths of a galone, and it is state employees who administer state aid to cities. Tax pundits would put the burden of all taxes on that stereotypical but unlikely government employee that does nothing and has huge raises and great benefits. Sorry, but I was a state employee for five years and I worked really hard, as did most of my co-workers, but the salaries and the benefits and the raises simply were not that great and are not great today. Most state employees have experienced, frankly, dismal increases over the past decade.
Ms. Runbeck, herself, was recipient of your taxes as a State Senator. The question would be, what exactly did Ms. Runbeck leave as a legislative legacy other than saying no. Did Ms. Runbeck work tirelessly to save any of those lost 26,500 Minnesota jobs? Did she or the Taxpayer's League of Minnesota initiate any campaign to keep any manufacturing jobs from going to China or keep any technology jobs from going to India? Sandstone has to hire a consultant to figure out how to create jobs while our legislators and self-serving anti-tax population continues to send more and more jobs out of the U.S. year after year after year. Perhaps the Taxpayer's League of Minnesota should be asking for more state commitment to economic development and more support of rural cities and businesses. It's pretty easy to segue from an unillustrious career as a Minnesota Senator to an unsuccessful political candidate to another job saying no and mimicing Governor Pawlenty's visionless 'no new taxes' mantra. You can be assured that Ms. Runbeck's and Governor Pawlenty's nice Twin Cities suburban streets will continue to be plowed long before your rural township road (by a government employee).