By Jason Flohrs
This past August, our state recorded its lowest unemployment rate in almost two decades; job openings outnumbered job seekers; and 70 percent of Minnesotans polled said they were in better economic shape than their parents were at the same age.
This prosperity is no accident. Americans simply have more opportunity when government gets out of the way and lets them keep more of their money – and history has shown what happens when you give the American people opportunity.
As Minnesotans we have the capacity to achieve great things. Our productivity and willingness to push the limits of innovation have fueled our state’s economic success. Whether it’s in a factory or farm, a retailer or the corporate office, Minnesotans aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and get things done.
But too often, it seems Washington doesn’t trust the American people and is continually putting up obstacles and erecting barriers that get in the way of the opportunity to live our own individual version of the American Dream.
Sometimes, we need someone to fight back on our behalf.
Thankfully, Minnesotans have Rep. Erik Paulsen.
To help spur our economy to new heights, Rep. Paulsen supported the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which made Minnesota businesses more competitive within the global economy and brought tax savings back to Minnesota. For residents of the Third District, this one vote meant an average tax cut of almost $2,000 this year, and an average increase in take-home pay over 10 years of more than $33,000.
Rep. Paulsen also understands what happens when too much government gets between you and your doctor. He authored legislation that the House passed in July that would remove the burdensome tax on medical devices. The medical device tax disproportionately hurts our state, a leader in the industry, and adds unnecessary government imposed costs to health care bills that so many Minnesotans are already struggling to afford.
But some voters in this hyper-partisan election cycle discount that leadership or take it for granted, forgetting how sluggish the economic recovery has been with government’s heavy boot on the neck of the economy. Instead of rewarding tangible results, they are seeking instead to “send Washington a message”.
Fortunately, voters in the Third already have someone fighting for them even when it’s politically tough – and again, it’s Congressman Erik Paulsen.
When the administration in Washington announced that it would raise tariffs, Rep. Paulsen spoke out unequivocally against them because he knew this would only saddle middle-class families with higher prices for food, clothes and household goods. He also knew it would kill jobs – with aluminum and steel tariffs potentially destroying an estimated 16 jobs nationwide for every one temporarily saved — while failing to change the behavior of other countries.
One of Minnesota’s biggest challenges is a shrinking workforce; we don’t even have enough workers to fill the jobs that are available right now, let alone what’s needed for continued economic growth. Rep. Paulsen understands that immigrants are (as they always have been) critical to the future of Minnesota and has supported a reform agenda, which includes a pathway to legal status and the certainty they need to pursue their dreams.
He has been one of the most vocal Republican advocates for protecting Dreamers – those brought to America at a young age through no fault of their own. Again on this issue, he challenged leadership in Washington, both Democrats and Republicans, to live up to their promise “to fix DACA. They haven’t … I took action to solve this problem and there’s bipartisan support to do so,” he said.
The choice for Minnesotans in November couldn’t be any clearer: Rep. Paulsen stands on principle and does what’s best for the people – not what’s best for the party or for the Washington political establishment.
He has a proven record of empowering Minnesotans with greater opportunity and has delivered results on issue after issue important to Minnesota families. He has made the case for another term in office – why should voters in Minnesota’s Third District take a chance on someone else?
Jason Flohrs is senior adviser to Americans for Prosperity Action. He lives in St. Paul.