Tom Emmer’s wish list

What is there left to cut from already cash-strapped state institutions?

Editorial board

The bottom line to Tom Emmer’s jobs creation plan is this: He wants to cut further sources of revenue for the state, hoping businesses will hire more workers.

In unveiling the first part of his budget plan Monday, Emmer proposed cutting the Minnesota business income tax from 9.8 percent to 3 percent by 2015. He wants to cut the state property tax, reduce taxes on small businesses and expand research and development tax credits. The plan would cost the state $626 million.

Minnesota has high business taxes. But the state is simply not in a position right now to give up more than $600 million in revenue. We face a nearly $6 billion budget deficit. Lawmakers have cut government support to institutions like the University of Minnesota as far as they can go. Indeed, officials announced Tuesday the state will delay further payments — including some to the University — and is considering taking out short-term loans to stay afloat.

Emmer would like you to believe that cutting taxes to businesses will mean more job creation. But it’s hard to hold businesses to their word. That’s a gamble best taken when the bettor has extra money to spend, not after having taken a beating from the House.

“The media and the professional politicians keep on trying to make this election about what the candidates want for government,” Emmer said while announcing his plan, “as if the most important problem in Minnesota is just balancing the books.”

Rep. Emmer, that is the most important issue facing the state. This plan does nothing to solve that problem.

We’re hopeful, but doubtful, that the next aspects of Emmer’s plan are a bit more realistic than this.