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Tom Horner: Moderation will strike balance between citizens, government

I am running for governor because Minnesota is at a critical crossroads, and the proposals presented by Mark Dayton and Tom Emmer will make matters worse, not better.

Tom Horner

I am running for governor because Minnesota is at a critical crossroads, and the proposals presented by Mark Dayton and Tom Emmer will make matters worse, not better.

Minnesota needs to strike a moderate balance between a state government that taxes too much and provides an excessive level of services and one that taxes too little and does not provide an adequate level of care for its citizens.

I think most Minnesotans are like me. They don't mind paying for necessary services that improve their lives. They don't mind paying for adequate police and fire protection. They don't mind paying for good roads and bridges. They don't mind paying for a good education for their kids, quality health care for themselves or assistance for our elderly and handicapped.

But I also believe most Minnesotans know we can't spend our way to success with state tax dollars. The No. 1 issue facing Minnesota today is job creation. State government needs to enact programs and policies that allow the private sector to flourish, creating new opportunities for our hard-working citizens. I'm not talking about short-term, public-sector, make-work kinds of jobs financed by state tax dollars. I'm talking about long-term, private-sector employment opportunities for our well-trained, hard-working men and women, whether they are sitting in an office or out on a job site.

We cannot spend our way to success, but we can grow our way to success. By setting the proper level of taxation and services, we can fund our priorities without killing our industries. It's just common sense. State government needs to set priorities, just as our families do. We need to focus our efforts and dollars on the things that matter most: making sure people have access to good jobs, quality health care and excellent education.

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We also need to retool state government and seek out better efficiencies. We need to eliminate state subsidies that are going to industries and individuals where the payback is inadequate. We need to rewrite state regulations that are strangling job creation. We need to look at creative ways to deliver services more cost-effectively.

As I have traveled around the state this year, I have spoken to thousands of Minnesotans. They are not happy with our current economic climate or the politicians who put us there. Those hard-working Minnesotans were told that if they went to school, earned their degree, got a job, worked hard and saved their money, they would be able to live comfortably and take care of their families. For too many among us, that isn't happening. Through no fault of their own, their family's security has been put at risk. Too many are unemployed, and many more are underemployed. Many young adults just finishing school are still living at home with their parents, unable to find work in their chosen fields. Many of our elderly are relying on help from their children, unable to care for themselves.

As governor of Minnesota, I will make it my No. 1 priority to make sure that each and every one of our citizens has access to a quality job and is able to care for their family to the best of their abilities. And I won't stop working until the job is done. With your support, I will bring moderation and common sense back into state government.

I would appreciate your support on Nov. 2.

Tom Horner of Minneapolis is the Independence Party candidate for Minnesota governor.

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