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Minnesota Gubernatorial E-Debate - Oct. 2006 » Blog Archive » T3 - Competitive Minnesotans Feel the Squeeze - Mike Hatch - D

T3 - Competitive Minnesotans Feel the Squeeze - Mike Hatch - D

Theme 3 - Competitive Minnesotans Feel the Squeeze

Most middle-class Minnesotans and their families expect to thrive, not just survive. Based on the dozens of questions we’ve received, many Minnesotans are feeling squeezed by taxes and fees, fuel and energy costs, housing costs, and tuition on one side and the lack of income growth on the other. Whether the lack of income growth is speculatively based on a mix of global pressures of outsourcing, immigration, and higher corporate profits or benefit costs, many Minnesotans feel the squeeze each month as expenses rise.

What is your perspective? How will Minnesotans be better positioned by your Administration to compete globally and enjoy a high quality of life? What are your top three or four priorities or initiatives that will help more Minnesotans fight the squeeze over the long-term?

Mike Hatch

Response from Mike Hatch:

As Attorney General I have fought hard to hold HMOs, pharmaceutical companies, predatory lenders, energy companies and other special interests accountable to middle class consumers.

As Governor, I will stand-up for middle-class Minnesotans.

The same cannot be said for Governor Pawlenty.

Middle class families are finding it harder to make ends meet because of skyrocketing health care costs, increased college tuition, and excessive property tax increases.

Over the last four years, middle-class Minnesotans have seen:

* Health care out of pocket costs increase by over 50%.

* Property taxes increase by 59%.

* College tuition increase by more than 50%.

My top four priorities as Governor for addressing the middle class squeeze are the following:

* Reduce Health Care CostsI will work to make health care more affordable because the cost of health care should not make Minnesotans sick. As Attorney General, my audits of HMOs and hospitals showed that 40% of our health care dollar is wasted on overhead. As Governor, I will work to ensure that we reduce health care costs so that middle class Minnesotans are able to afford health care.

* Make College Tuition More AffordableI will close a nearly $300 million tax loophole that allows corporations to hide profits overseas, and I will use every dollar of savings to rollback college tuition. By the end of my first term in office, I want to ensure that every Minnesotan who wants to attend college will not use cost as an excuse.

* Provide Property Tax Relief I will work to provide property tax relief so that homeowners will see the benefit. Property taxes are one of the most regressive forms of taxation as they hit middle class and lower income homeowners the hardest. As Governor, I will work diligently for local property tax relief so homeowners are not taxed out of their house and homes.

* Support All Day Kindergarten—I will work to ensure all day kindergarten for our children. Our children should not suffer a learning gap because we did not adequately prepare them and educate them for life as an adult. Investing in early education is the best and most cost effective way to address the achievement gap.

Through initiatives like the ones above, middle class Minnesotans will begin to feel less pinched and more secure.

Related Links:

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