In Minnesota the clamor grew this week for more taxes and more government spending. This in spite of Gov. Tim Pawlenty introducing a budget that increases state spending 5.9 percent, and President Bush introducing plans to cut the federal deficit from 3.5 percent to 3.0 percent of gross domestic product in 2006 while increasing federal spending 2.1 percent.
Meanwhile, our neighbors to the south, in Iowa, have a different idea. There, the Legislature is considering eliminating the income tax on everybody under 30. That would cost the state $200 million, but the way the Iowans figure it, they are losing their brightest people in a brain drain to other states, Minnesota being one of them.
The fact is, there are jobs in Minnesota, particularly for the trained. Minnesota's jobless rate of 4.2 percent in November 2004 was tied for the 12th lowest among the 50 states.
Pawlenty, at least, recognizes that keeping taxes under control is important to continuing job creation in the state.
The competition is tough for Iowa and Minnesota since North and South Dakota have the third and fourth lowest unemployment rates in the nation.
We're not saying that Minnesota should eliminate its income tax, although South Dakota has done so. Our point is that even Iowans recognize that high taxes drive people away and slow job creation. Pawlenty is right to hold the line.