Archive for the ‘Capitalism’ Category
Greg Gutfeld’s column offers the perfect explanation why the Affordable Care Act, aka the ACA, is destined for failure. Mr. Gutfeld starts by highlighting what iTunes would look like if it was a government invention:
Now imagine if iTunes had been run by the government. This is how I see it:
To enjoy my recently repurchased Marshall Crenshaw’s song “What Do You Dream Of”, I’d have to pay for an additional 19 songs I do not want, in order to help pay for someone else’s desire to listen to Ke$ha. Or worse, Enya. The iPod would come with a mandated airbag, and it would be the size of a baby’s head, and weigh 45 lbs. It would require that 34 percent of the music I purchase be polka. It would probably start overheating after an hour of use, break down, and give you thyroid cancer.
But as a reasonably compensated guy, the government believes that my desires for my music would require purchasing other music I don’t want, and I’d have to subsidize the musical choices belonging to some old guy I don’t even know.
And chances are all the music would suck (think Dave Matthews and Maroon 5). It would all cost more and satisfy less, which is what happens when choice is replaced by coercion.
That’s essentially what the ACA requires. This isn’t pie-in-the-sky. Those are the principles behind the ACA. Young healthies are essential to the equation because their overpaying pays for older, less healthy enrollees. Then Gutfeld explains why it’s destined for failure:
My point: just as civilization is moving toward an endless fragmentation allowing for options beyond our wildest expectations, President Obama believes the opposite course is “the right thing to do.” It is his warped version of progress. It’s no different than a young man staring at the advances in medicine and thinking, “No thanks, I’ll take the newt’s tail and onion powder for my cancer.” Ancient Chinese secrets no longer are acceptable medicine, except with Obamacare, what’s retro is now progress.
It’s like choosing to eat raw meat even when you know fire’s been invented and works reasonably well under certain circumstances. That’s what Obama is doing. He’s staring at a Ferrari V4i, and thinking, “No thanks, I’ll take this penny-farthing.”
There’s no questioning that world is going megachoice. President Obama’s ‘reform’ relies on limiting choice. By definition, the ACA is a dead man walking. The choice movement is the irresistible force. For all of this administration’s efforts to fix HealthCare.gov, the ACA’s biggest flaw is that it limits appealing choices.
So, you can be depressed over Obamacare, because it’s worth being depressed about. But it can’t win. Not against the human, creative mind and its desire for options. Sooner or later it will collapse, and then people will have the freedom to choose — the way health care should have been from the start.
It isn’t a question of whether the ACA will collapse. The only questions still to be answered are when will it collaps and how much destruction will it cause before it collapses. Charles Krauthammer wisely stated that anything that can’t be sustained won’t be.
Technorati: Greg Gutfeld, Free Market Capitalism, iPods, Affordable Care Act, Command and Control Economy, Individual Mandate, Employer Mandate, Minimum Required Benefits, HealthCare.gov, President Obama, Democrats
Another Fortune 500 company announced it’s leaving Minnesota. It’s explanation is starting to sound familiar:
“SpartanNash chose Western Michigan as its headquarters due to it being centrally located to the merged entities operations, the positive business climate taking hold in Michigan, including a more favorable tax environment, and the quality of life Michigan provides for its associates,” the company said in a statement.
That sounds familiar. Here’s what Cargill said when it moved:
Dan Dye, Horizon’s president and Ardent’s CEO-to-be, said in a statement that the decision “will allow us to offer great quality of life for employees, provide excellent service to our customers and position the business for long-term growth.”
If Gov. Dayton and the DFL are given 4 more years to implement their leftist vision for the state, Minnesota will be in worse shape than California and Illinois are in right now. Cargill cited their desire to “position the business for long-term growth.” Nash Finch, aka SpartanNash, talkd about “a more favorable tax environment.”
Implicit in both statements is their belief that the Dayton administration’s and the DFL’s anti-prosperity policies would hurt their companies’ ability to make profits and continue employing people. The leftists’ belief that profits are despicable is utterly wrong-headed.
I cited a single-payer health activist’s quote in this post:
There would be a removal of profit-motive in health care. The driving force behind the health industry would be patient care and not profit maximization.
This isn’t just a glimpse into the mind of hardline leftists. It’s who they are. That statement explicitly says that they think things would improve if profit-motives were removed from health care. The opposite is actually true.
Companies pursuing their own self interests are what make the economy stronger. The great inventions of the last 150 years came when there was an incentive, aka profit, to create and innovate. Milton Friedman once told Phil Donahue that the only economic system where “the masses escaped the grinding poverty you talked about” were in societies that appreciated capitalism and “largely free trade.”
SpartanNash and Cargill are exercising their right to enhance their profits by moving their operations. They’re moving their operations because Gov. Dayton and the DFL drove up the cost of doing business in Minnesota this last session. If Minnesota doesn’t reverse Gov. Dayton’s and the DFL’s policies, Minnesota will soon look like a ghost town.
Cargill and SpartanNash just implicitly said that Minnesota is that special that they wouldn’t leave. Will it be that much longer before other companies leave?
Charles Krauthammer’s latest column offers this advice:
It’s Halloween. There is a knock at your door. You hear: “We’re the government and we’re here to help.”
With the Affordable Care Act failing beyond even the most pessimistic Republican’s worst nightmare, that’s sage advice. This, though, is the most disturbing information in Dr. Krauthammer’s column:
So that your president can promise to cover 30 million uninsured without costing the government a dime. Which from the beginning was the biggest falsehood of them all. And yet the free lunch is the essence of modern liberalism. Free mammograms, free preventative care, free contraceptives for Sandra Fluke. Come and get it.
And then when you find your policy canceled, your premium raised and your deductible outrageously increased, you’ve learned the real meaning of “free” in the liberal lexicon: something paid for by your neighbor best, by subterfuge.
That last clause in the last sentence reminded me of this famous quote:
As soon as A observes something which seems to him wrong, from which X is suffering, A talks it over with B, and A and B then propose to get a law passed to remedy the evil and help X. Their law always proposes to determine what C shall do for X, or, in better case, what A, B, and C shall do for X… What I want to do is to look up C. I want to show you what manner of man he is. I call him the Forgotten Man. perhaps the appellation is not strictly correct. he is the man who never is thought of…. I call him the forgotten man.
There’s a poem that goes with that famous quote. It says “If you promise to not tax me, I promise not to tax thee. Instead, let’s tax that fellow behind the tree.” That’s the essence of the Affordable Care Act. In fact, it can’t survive without the “forgotten man” subsidizing someone else’s health insurance.
In this instance, the forgotten man are really forgotten people. Specifically, they’re called “young healthies” by the pundits. They’re being counted on to buy health insurance they don’t need. If they don’t buy insurance in significant numbers, there isn’t a way for the government or the insurance companies to pay for health care of older people and/or people with pre-existing conditions.
Another forgotten man in this are middle class families who make too much to qualify for premium support but who’ve been getting squeezed with higher taxes and higher costs of goods. They’re getting hit with higher premiums, thanks to A and B conspiring to force the forgotten man, aka middle class families, into buying health care coverages they don’t want or might never need.
That’s why it’s wise to be suspicious of politicians promising free lunches.
Technorati: Free Lunches, Individual Mandate, Health Insurance Exchanges, Sandra Fluke, President Obama, Affordable Care Act, Free Lunches, Government Bureaucrat, Democrats, Liberalism, William Graham Sumner, The Forgotten Man, Charles Krauthammer, Conservatism, Free Markets
This video shows Megyn Kelly pulverizing Rep. Frank Pallone, (D-NJ), on what’s causing insurance companies to cancel millions of individual policies:
Saying that Rep. Pallone is a BSer is understatement. In fact, it’s quite possible that he isn’t a BSer. It’s possible that he’s just a liar. During the interview, Rep. Pallone continually insists that the reason why insurance companies are cancelling these policies is because they know that they can’t “sell inferior policies at higher prices.”
In the gospel according to Rep. Pallone, he and his Democratic allies alone are the only people qualified to determine which policies are superior and which are inferior.
It’s insulting to hear that bald-faced lie. CBS has run multiple reports on people who’ve lost their insurance because the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, makes it illegal for companies to sell the policies that people liked. CNN and Fox have run similar articles, too.
Further, we know that people aren’t fond of buying health insurance policies that cover neo-natal care, pregnancy coverage and substance abuse coverage. Millions of people don’t need those coverages. They shouldn’t have to purchase policies that include those coverages.
Let’s stipulate that the grandfathered in issue is a ruse. It isn’t a real issue. The federal government shouldn’t be telling people what coverages they must have. Under the Affordable Care Act, politicians and bureaucrats determine what coverages individuals and families must purchase. In a best practices world, families consulting with their primary care physicians would determine which coverages are needed.
Another absurdity of the Affordable Care Act is that it requires every health insurance policy sold in the United States cover the same types of things. The only difference between the bronze, silver and gold plans are the premiums, deductibles and co-pays. The smaller the co-pay or deductible, the higher the premium. The reason why that’s absurd is because the federal government thinks cookie-cutter policies fit each family’s needs perfectly.
Only a politician with an ego bigger than the Montana sky would think that identical policies fit each family perfectly. Rep. Pallone fits that description perfectly. He’s a dishonest politician. He knows the Affordable Care Act isn’t delivering health insurance policies that provide more coverage at lower prices.
In a post-Affordable Care Act world, people, acting on the advice of their primary care physicians, will buy policies that fit their families’ needs. There won’t be a need to grandfather policies in because the people, not government, will determine what they should buy.
Admitting that people have the ultimate authority for their decisions is a revolutionary concept. It’s why we fought the Revolutionary War.
This LTE in the St. Cloud Times insists that we aren’t a deadbeat nation:
There should never be any bargaining about raising the debt ceiling. We are not a deadbeat nation.
KrisAnne Hall has a different perspective:
On Friday, President Barack Obama told workers at a Ford plant in Liberty, Missouri, “if we don’t raise the debt ceiling, we’re deadbeats.” This is a prime example of “fundamentally transforming” America. This is part of the strategy that leftists use, change the definition of words, seize the vocabulary. Obama wants you to believe that racking up bills that you can’t pay for in the first place, and then borrowing money to pay those bills, and then passing on that debt to your children is the responsible thing. It used to be that people understood that if you robbed from your children you were, fundamentally, a deadbeat.
To Ms. Maizan’s point that we aren’t a deadbeat nation, I’d simply argue that a government that spends money it doesn’t have on things it doesn’t need is the quintessential deadbeat nation. Glenn Reynolds’ column provides a fantastic solution:
With these lessons learned, here’s my budget proposal: An across-the-board cut of 5% in every government department’s budget line. (You can’t convince me — and you’ll certainly have a hard time convincing voters — that there’s not 5% waste to be found in any government program.) Then a five-year freeze at that level. Likewise, a one-year moratorium on new regulations, followed by strict limits on new regulatory action: Perhaps a rule that all new business regulations won’t have the force of law until approved by Congress.
Earlier in his column, Professor Reynolds stated something elementary:
As economist Herbert Stein once observed, something that can’t go on forever, won’t. And this can’t go on forever.
Anyone that thinks federal spending can be sustained is foolish. By this definition, Ms. Maizan is foolish. Taxing the rich more to pay for irresponsible spending won’t fix anything. In fact, I’d argue that raising taxes without questioning what politicians are spending money on is the political equivalent of a junkie scoring a fix for his addiction.
Professor Reynolds makes a string of fantastic points on the shutdown. Here’s my favorite:
The big lesson of the shutdown is that, in a time when so-called “draconian cuts” usually refer to mere decreases in the rate of growth of spending on programs, America was able to do without all the “non-essential” government workers just fine. (The same AP poll cited above says that 80% have felt no impact from the shutdown; a majority also oppose increasing the debt limit.) Turns out that most of those nonessential workers really are non-essential. And it’s a safe bet that some of those who stayed on the job, like the National Park Service people who chased veterans away from an open-air memorial, could be done without, too, in a pinch. Under the shutdown, new regulations also slowed to a trickle, suggesting that we can do just fine without those, too.
Let’s not forget this point. If President Obama hadn’t implemented his World War II Memorial strategy, taxpayers wouldn’t have noticed that government is shut down.
I agree with Reynolds and KrisAnne Hall. It’s time to stop spending like a deadbeat. It’s time to say NO MORE!!! This administration’s reckless spending isn’t sustainable. If it can’t be sustained, it won’t continue. This nation can’t afford 3 more years of President Obama playing the role of deadbeat politician.
Heidi Schierholz’s op-ed for CNN strips away the administration’s spin that the economy is recovering. It isn’t. Here’s Ms. Schierholz’s explanation:
According to Congressional Budget Office estimates, if the labor market were healthy, the labor force would number about 159.2 million. But the actual labor force numbers just 155.8 million. That means about 3.4 million “missing workers” are out there — jobless people who would be in the labor force if job opportunities were strong.
Given the weak labor market, they’re not actively looking for work and so aren’t counted. If those missing workers were actively looking, the unemployment rate would be 9.4%.
The White House has repeatedly said that the key to growing the economy is to grow the middle class. Here’s a recent example of their spin:
While more work remains to be done, today’s employment report provides further confirmation that the U.S. economy is continuing to recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression. It is critical that we remain focused on pursuing policies to speed job creation and expand the middle class, as we continue to dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began in December 2007.
The flaw in the administration’s thinking is that increasing demand for products is the key to growing the economy. It isn’t that this strategy hasn’t worked in the past. It’s that it isn’t working this time. That’s because small businesses are getting hit with this administration’s extraordinary burden of regulations.
While Wall Street prospers thanks to their army of K Street lobbyists, small independent businesses have gotten hammered. This administration’s hostility towards small and medium-sized companies is frightening.
We need 8.3 million jobs to get back to the prerecession unemployment rate, considering the 2 million jobs we are still down from the start of the Great Recession in December 2007 plus the 6.3 million jobs we should have added since just to keep up with normal growth in the potential labor force.
Over the past three months, we’ve added 175,000 jobs a month. At this rate, it will take six years, until the middle of 2019, to return to a healthy labor market.
Repealing the PPACA and aggressively increasing fossil fuel energy production would transform today’s economy from the sluggish millstone of the Great Stagnation into a rapidly expanding economy that creates 250,000-350,000 full-time jobs a month for 3-5 years.
It’s time to be blunt with this administration. Job creation stinks. Economic growth is stagnant. Wages have shrunk. Employers have shrunk employees’ hours to avoid the penalties of the PPACA as much possible. If the Fed wasn’t pumping in $1,000,000,000,000 a year into the economy, we’d be in another major recession.
The reason we are having such a sluggish jobs recovery is not complicated — there is simply not enough work to be done. Economists refer to this as weak aggregate demand. Another way to say this is that demand for goods and services hasn’t picked up enough for businesses to ramp up hiring.
There’s a simpler way of putting it. When families have little disposable income, they can’t afford much more than paying their rent or mortgage, heat or cool their homes and feed their families. That won’t lead to a strong economy.
Check back later today for the second in this series.
Technorati: Obama Administration, The Great Stagnation, The Great Recession, Unemployment, Laborforce Participation Rate, Part-Time Nation, PPACA, Overregulation, Democrats, Heidi Schierholz, Capitalism
This afternoon, Dan Ochsner interviewed Bill Blazer from the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. The first topic, the only topic really, was Dayton’s ultimatum insisting that he won’t call a special session if the four legislative leaders don’t agree to an agenda limited to releasing the federal disaster relief funds and repealing the farm equipment repair sales tax. If Republicans insist that repealing the warehouse tax must be part of the agenda, Gov. Dayton says he won’t call a special session.
Blazer told Ochsner that nothing is nonnegotiable. He hinted that the Minnesota Chamber would continue to lobby for including the repeal of all of the business-to-business sales taxes. Twenty-four hours ago, I thought Gov. Dayton was bluffing. I’m rethinking that position in light of the fact that July’s revenues missed projection by 2.2%. They expected to collect $936,000,000 this month. The state collected $915,000,000, a deficit of $21,000,000.
Gov. Dayton insisted that the warehouse tax will be repealed during next year’s regular session. I’m not sure it will. Frankly, it’s irrelevant. If it’s repealed, another tax will be created or raised. With this DFL legislature and a Democrat governor, it’s just a game of whack-a-mole. Kill one mole, another pops its head up. Kill that mole, a different mole pops its head up.
Last night at the BPOU fundraiser, one legislator told me that Minnesotans should brace for more tax increases. This legislator said that’s just who the DFL is. It isn’t just what they do. It’s part of their DNA. They’ve got a lengthy list of things that their special interest allies want to pay for. They’ll only quit raising taxes if their special interest allies suddenly run out of things on their wish list.
That won’t happen, which means the only effective way of stopping the tax increases is to defeat them, to remove the gavels from their hands and to get a conservative governor in office. Democrats insisted that making historic investments in education and transportation would spark an economic revival.
Cargill saw that historic investment in education and left for Colorado. Red Wing Shoes saw the DFL legislature pass a warehouse tax and Gov. Dayton sign it into law. Then they lobbied for repealing the tax. Gov. Dayton hinted that it would get repealed during the regular session. With a major deficit looming, Red Wing must be seriously thinking about building their warehouse in Wisconsin. They’d be foolish not to.
Yes, we need a well-trained workforce. Yes, we need a world-class transportation system. Unfortunately, that isn’t enough. Minnesota needs a world-class tax and regulatory environment, too. Right now, we don’t have a world-class anything. That’s why businesses and people are leaving Minnesota.
If we don’t change that, Minnesota will be a cold California, a state with great natural resources and a tanking economy.
Tags: Special Session, Special Interests, Farm Equipment Sales Tax, Federal Disaster Relief, Mark Dayton, DFL, Bill Blazer, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, Business-to-Business Sales Tax, Cargill, Colorado, Red Wing Shoes, Wisconsin
When it comes to highlighting liberals’ wrongheaded economic thinking, nobody’s been better at it than Milton Friedman. This video is a great example of Friedman’s wisdom:
Friedman’s wisdom on the subject of minority education is playing out in big cities daily. First, Friedman said that nothing traps young people in poverty more than underperforming “government schools.” That’s being verified by the fact that the DC Opportunity Scholarship program has far more minority applicants than scholarships. The documentary “Waiting for Superman” highlights parents as they attempt to rescue their children from government schools by getting them into charter schools. In St. Paul, a healthy portion of the families wanting their children in charter schools are minority parents.
Time after time, minorities are hurt by government schools. What’s worst is that the teacher unions and Democrat politicians protect bad schools. New York City is famous for its Rubber Room:
Educators accused of breaking rules, abusing kids, or simply failing to provide students with a decent education, will be paid a stunning $22 million by the city this year for doing absolutely nothing.
Charter schools aren’t restricted by union rules, which gives them more latitude to innovate. Charter schools can get rid of underperforming teachers quickly, something government schools can’t do.
Here in Minnesota, Republicans included a Basic Skills Test requirement in the Omnibus Education Bill that Gov. Dayton signed. This year, with the DFL running state government from A to Z, Democrats repealed the Basic Skills Test requirement. It wasn’t surprising that Gov. Dayton didn’t hesitate in signing the requirement’s repeal.
The message that sends to teachers is that competence isn’t required, that a union card is what’s important. That cheats students by telling parents, students and teachers alike that union membership is more important than high quality teachers.
Friedman also explains why increasing the minimum wage hurts minorities. Mitch Berg’s post highlights why increasing the minimum wage is actually keeping unemployment high:
The inevitable result of across-the-board minimum wage hikes? Fewer minimum wage jobs.
Case in point; as minimum wages around the country rose during the 2000s, McDonalds started pre-cooking its hamburger patties, so they’d only need to be reheated in the stores. This got rid of most of the traditional “burger-flipper” jobs, the ones that liberals sneered at but provided hundreds of thousands of opportunities for teens and others entering and re-entering the workforce to learn how to show up for work on time and do a good job at something.
Democrats will argue that increasing the minimum wage doesn’t affect hiring. They’re wrong. It’s accurate to say that increasing the minimum wage doesn’t always affect unemployment. Democrats think businesses owe it to society to hire people. That’s wrongheaded thinking. Entrepreneurs hire people if they think it’ll makes them money. Period.
If hiring a person at minimum wage will hurt profits, businesses won’t hire people. It’s that simple. The benefit must exceed the expense. If it doesn’t, unemployment is the result. It’s that simple regardless of what Rep. Winkler and other Democrats say.
The move is designed to boost efficiency and make ordering more convenient for customers. In an interview with the Financial Times, McDonald’s Europe President Steve Easterbrook notes that the new system will also open up a goldmine of data. McDonald’s could potentially track every Big Mac, McNugget, and large shake you order. A calorie account tally at the end of the year could be a real shocker.
The touch screens will only accept debit or credit cards, adding to the slow death knell of cash and coins. This all goes along with an overall revamp of McDonald’s restaurants worldwide aimed at projecting a modern image as opposed to the old-fashioned golden arches…
While it’d be pushing it to say that McDonalds is installing these touch-screen ordering kiosks because of the minimum wage, it isn’t a stretch to say that installing those kiosks will help McDonalds avoid dealing with minimum wage employees. Rep. Winkler isn’t interested in increasing the minimum wage to help the working poor. He’s interested in it because many union wages are based on the minimum wage.
Limiting government’s size and influence isn’t just an ideology. It’s a time-tested method for ushering in lengthy periods of prosperity. Capitalism is still the greatest weapon in fighting poverty and creating upward mobility.
Tags: Milton Friedman, Free Market Capitalism, Charter Schools, Upward Mobility, Prosperity, Conservatism, Minimum Wage, Ryan Winkler, Government Schools, Rubber Room, Union Protection, Waiting For Superman, DC Opportunity Scholarships, Liberalism
With Minnesota’s 2013 legislative session in the books, it’s time to total up the DFL’s damage to Minnesota’s economy. The tax increases will hurt Minnesota’s economy the most are the business-to-business sales taxes on warehousing and telecommunications. The warehouse tax has been tried in several states, including Massachusetts. It’s been quickly repealed because it does lots of damage in a short period of time. I suspect that the DFL will repeal the warehousing tax early next session. If they don’t, the damage that tax will do will be considerable, both in terms of economic damage and in political terms.
Another tax increase that will hurt Minnesotans is the cigarette tax increase. In Chicago, where the cigarette tax is high, 75% of cigarette packs don’t have a tax stamp on them. That’s how many cigarette smokers buy their cigarettes on the black market in Chicago. Follow this link for more on cigarette tax avoidance.
Another way that the DFL hurt the middle class they claim to fight for is through the energy bill, which I wrote about here. Here’s what Rep. Mike Beard, the premier authority on energy issues in the Minnesota legislature, said about the DFL’s energy bill:
House Democrats passed their hugely controversial Energy Policy omnibus bill this week that increases even more aggressive, unfunded renewable and solar mandates on utility companies.
Besides huge technological difficulties implementing the new law, it will increase electric costs for all ratepayers (homeowners, businesses, hospitals, you name it) and decrease the reliability of our state’s energy sources.
This bill benefits, to the best of my knowledge, a few Minnesota solar companies that rely on a mandated pool of government money to survive, even though they have over three decades of federal mandates throwing hundreds of billions of dollars at their industry.
The DFL’s energy bill, passed in the name of global warming, will drive up electricity prices:
REP. BEARD: I still have a picture of a poster in my office that Jimmy Carter’s administration put out in 1978, thirty-five years ago, that by the year 2000, fully 20% of our power would come from solar PB. He dropped $12,000,000,000 on that adventure. And what do we have to show for it? Nothing. One tenth of 1% today, thirty-five years later, is solar PB. And so we’re going to take another run at that windmill, and I’m not talking about the ones on Buffalo Ridge. We’re picking winners and losers and we’re desperately hoping that these are winners this time.
In short, the DFL raised taxes on the middle class by raising the cigarette tax. The middle class will get hurt through higher electric bills thanks to their energy bill. The DFL passed that bill to satisfy another of their special interest allies, namely environmental extremists.
Finally, their multitude of tax increases on small businesses will chase some businesses from Minnesota. Other businesses will keep part of their operations here while expanding their businesses in states more hospitable to businesses.
After proclaiming that the GOP’s budget was filled with gimmicks, especially including the school shift, the DFL’s budget failed to pay off the school shift. In 2012, the GOP legislature passed a bill that would’ve paid off the school shift, which Gov. Dayton promptly vetoed. After refusing to pay off the school shift, Speaker Thissen had the audacity to say that their budget didn’t include shifts or gimmicks.
Thanks to the DFL legislature, Minnesotans will have fewer dollars in their pockets and capital will continue leaving Minnesota at an alarming rate.
This statement on Workday Minnesota’s website is spin. Take this statement:
MAPE, the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees, and AFSCME Council 5 denounced the corporate-backed “United for Jobs” initiative as a misleading and deceptive paid advertising campaign. The ads target Governor Mark Dayton’s proposal to raise more revenue for public services by raising taxes on the wealthiest Minnesotans.
“While the TV and radio ads are designed to make the audience believe that ‘United for Jobs’ wants to safeguard Minnesota families and small businesses, in reality, ‘United for Jobs’ is funded by corporate advocacy groups that want to protect the pocket books of their multi-millionaire members,” the unions said.
Here’s the TV ad that’s been running for about a week:
Here’s the transcript of the ad:
NARRATOR: Minnesotans pay some of the highest taxes in America. Now some Minnesota politicians want you to pay even more. They’d raise the income tax to be the second highest in the country to fuel a nearly $2 billion spending increase. There’s a more responsible way. Go line-by-line. Cut the waste. Do your jobs. Make government more efficient and effective. Be accountable for every taxpayer dollar you spend. Tell Gov. Dayton and DFL legislators they don’t need more of your money. They need to spend it better.
While it’s true that the ad highlights the DFL’s proposed income tax increase, it’s misleading and deceptive to say that the ad “targets Gov. Mark Dayton’s proposal to raise more revenue for public services by raising taxes on the wealthiest Minnesotans.”
First, the ad highlights the need for politicians to “go line-by-line” through the budget and to “cut the waste” from the budget. In that context, the focus is on the legislature to do its job of spending the taxpayers’ money wisely.
Second, the ad points the spotlight at “Gov. Dayton and DFL legislators,” not just Gov. Dayton. That’s perfectly appropriate because it highlights the fact that Gov. Dayton, Sen. Bakk and Speaker Thissen are threatening to raise the rates on regressive taxes as well as raising the top income tax rate. Then there’s this statement:
The unions said the ads also mislead the audience into believing that the Governor’s tax proposal for the wealthiest 2 percent of Minnesotans will raise taxes on “hard-working Minnesotans” – insinuating that all Minnesotans will get a tax increase. This is not true. The Governor’s proposal is a targeted tax increase to have the wealthiest pay their fair share, the unions said.
The unions’ statements are intentionally misleading. Their leadership knows that the DFL’s tax bills propose raising the tax on cigarettes by $1.60 per pack and the liquor excise tax from $4.60 a barrel on beer to $27.75 per barrel.
Sin taxes are necessarily regressive. They hit people who aren’t “the wealthiest Minnesotans” because they’re paid by everyone regardless of income. I’d love hearing Eliot Seide explain how AFSCME’s statement is accurate. In fact, I’d sell tickets to that event. I’d sell popcorn at that event, too. It’d be fun watching Seide slip and slither, twist and turn while doing his best to not answer my questions.
Seide, Gov. Dayton, Speaker Thissen, Sen. Bakk and their allies know this ad hits them hard. That’s why they’re responding with this dishonest counterattack.
Seide and company better be prepared to spend tons of money on their advertising campaign because the DFL has given these pro-business groups tons upon tons of ammunition with their tax bills. They’d better pack a lunch for this fight because AFSCME and MAPE will be fighting this fight for quite awhile.
Tags: Tax Increases, Cigarette Tax, Income Tax, Special Interests, Eliot Seide, AFSCME Council 5, MAPE, Middle Class Tax Increase, Tax The Rich, Mark Dayton, Tom Bakk, Paul Thissen, DFL, United For Jobs, Capitalism, MNGOP