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Last week, I received an email from Sarah Anderson talking about the state budget surplus. Rep. Anderson wrote “Dear Neighbors, today the state budget forecast was released showing a whopping $1.54 billion surplus.” We have another $2.45 billion in the State’s rainy day fund. Despite all this money sitting in Minnesota’s coffers, it’s stunning that the DFL is pushing tax increases.

It’s time to ditch Minnesota’s ‘business model’ and establish new priorities. The achievement gap isn’t closing, at least not compared to what they should be for all the money that’s gotten spent.

Minnesota’s economy isn’t terrible but it isn’t exactly hitting on all cylinders, either. The DFL spent most of the last decade building Minnesota’s government instead of building Minnesota’s economy. In 2013, Gov. Dayton and the DFL legislature passed the biggest tax hikes in Minnesota history. Since then, the middle class of all age groups have left Minnesota. The only income group that’s increasing their percent in the state are the lowest incomes.

It makes sense. From an education standpoint, Minnesota is mediocre. From a taxes and regulations perspective, Minnesota isn’t competitive. It isn’t close. If the DFL doesn’t admit that their blueprint isn’t working, we’ll quickly turn into a cold California. Why does the DFL think that raising taxes will strengthen the economy?

In 2007, the DFL insisted that spending should be indexed to inflation. Now Melissa Hortman insists that, because spending isn’t tied to inflation, the $1.54 billion surplus is really only $382,000,000. According to Hortman, that’s justification for additional tax hikes.

The moral to this story is that the DFL doesn’t understand a thing about economic competitiveness. They want their tax hikes regardless of whether it hurts or not. This move hurts badly. Throughout the state, people from all income groups (except the poor and the working poor) are leaving for lower-tax states. That’s what’s driving the worker shortage.

Let’s hope Hortman and Walz don’t kill Minnesota’s economic competitiveness entirely. BTW, this is how socialism kills economies. When people lose the ability to make profits, they either leave the state or they stop making what they’d been making.

According to this article, the Center for the American Experiment is ruffling a few feathers with its recent report on Minnesota’s economy. Economist John Phelan, the author of the report, wrote that “The state’s economy is growing, but it’s growing below the national average.”

Later in the article, it says “Phelan cited data that has become popular with conservative economists: gross domestic product per worker. By that measure, Minnesota ranks 28th among the 50 states and Washington, D.C., and is well below the national average. It’s in stark contrast to the figures cited by economists, including gross domestic product per capita. By that measure, Minnesota is indeed above the national average and ranked 15th. The difference is that per capita measures the state’s economy against its entire population, while per worker measures it against only those who are employed.”

Economists can argue which is the better way of measuring economic growth. The only thing that people care about are whether lots of good-paying jobs are getting created. They aren’t. If the economy was creating lots of good-paying jobs, there wouldn’t need to be a push for a $15/hr. minimum wage because the economy would be creating lots of jobs that pay more than that.

Further, companies and people are moving out of Minnesota for places like North Carolina, Georgia, Texas and other states because Minnesota’s business climate sucks. The DFL argues that we just need a well-trained work force. I don’t disagree that we need skilled workers but I’ll vehemently disagree that that’s all we need. I was stunned to hear during the campaign that Minnesota’s lowest income tax bracket was higher than the top bracket in 20+ states.

That’s before we talk about Minnesota’s regulatory regime. Saying that it’s stifling is understatement. It’s designed to prevent competition and prevent economic growth. Most of it is built to appease the environmental activists and encourage lawsuits.

Given the high taxes and punishing regulations, why would anyone build or expand their business in Minnesota? They’d have to be masochistic.

This article reminds me that hard-core leftists don’t hesitate in using intimidation and harassment to threaten conservatives.

During the campaign, leftist anarchists attacked 2 legislative candidates in Minnesota. I titled my post The party of hate. I’d hoped that this threatening behavior was confined to Minnesota, though I didn’t hold my breath on that considering how violent Antifa, Black Lives Matter and other Democrat-associated hate groups are.

This weekend, Fox News personality Kat Timpf was threatened by other Democrat-associated haters:

Fox News personality Kat Timpf revealed that she was felt so threatened by a woman angry at her for working at the cable news outlet that she left a restaurant to prevent an altercation from ensuing.

From there, things escalated:

But later, another women accosted Timpf when she found out she worked at Fox News. “This girl started going nuts on me, screaming at me to get out of the bar. I found her very threatening,” Timpf said.

She indicated that she tried to move to another part of the bar, but the woman followed her and continued screaming at her. Timpf said that the woman appeared intoxicated, and was surrounded by friends who laughed at her harassment. She said she was afraid the incident would escalate, so she left the bar. “It was super uncomfortable and I didn’t want things to get physical,” Timpf said.

The blame for this incident can be laid right at the feet of incoming Democrat Chairwoman Maxine Brown. Remember this?

It’s time to tell Democrats that Maxine Waters is unfit to be a member of Congress. People are getting intimidated by the Democrats’ anarchists. The Democrats’ anarchists need to be stopped ASAP before someone gets Scalised again.

Last Tuesday night, Keith Ellison was elected to replace Lori Swanson as Minnesota’s Attorney General. In this post, I wrote about Skip Humphrey and Walter Mondale’s op-ed endorsing Ellison for the AG position.

Prior to that op-ed, I’d thought of them as terrible on policy but somewhat of a family legacy. After that op-ed, I’m forced to admit that they’re just like most DFL politicians. They’re a pair of political hacks who put the DFL ahead of what’s best for Minnesotans. They’re a pair of losers, too.

Skip Humphrey’s biggest claim to fame isn’t that he’s Hubert Humphrey’s son. Skip Humphrey’s biggest claim to fame is that he’s the politician who finished last to this clown:

Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura defeated Norm Coleman but he thrashed Skip Humphrey. After that thrashing, Skip had gone into hiding. He would’ve been better off if he’d stayed out of the limelight.

Walter Mondale’s biggest claim to fame is that he’s the only politician who’s lost elections in all 50 states. In 1984, he lost 49 states in President Reagan’s re-election victory. Mondale won Minnesota’s 10 electoral votes and DC’s 3 electoral votes that year. President Reagan won the nation’s other 525 electoral votes. After Paul Wellstone’s tragic death in a plane crash in northern Minnesota, the DFL recruited Mondale to run against Norm Coleman. That’s when Mondale lost in Minnesota. BTW, everyone my age and older remembers this moment:

Those moment have been eclipsed by Skip Humphrey’s and Walter Mondale’s endorsement of a man who has frequently supported cop-killers. Keith Ellison is a low-life who isn’t qualified to be Minnesota’s AG. It’s quite telling that the DFL hasn’t shown any remorse for endorsing a man credibly accused of beating his ex-girlfriend and who has begged the Castro government not to release Assata Shakur back into US custody.

Friday night, Tim Walz tried being the ‘I’m all things to all people’ candidate during his debate with Jeff Johnson on Almanac. On one of the first questions, Walz talked about single-payer health care being where most people finally arrive at. Then Walz went into a long-winded spiel about how preventive care drives down health insurance premiums, which is why we need single-payer.

That’s BS. What drives up premiums is aging. As we get older, we reach our high-use years. Preventive care is a worthwhile thing to do because, theoretically, it keeps us healthier longer. Still, it doesn’t drive down health insurance premiums. Then Walz totally stepped in it, saying “everyone knows that there’s no plan to protect people with pre-existing conditions unless you have the ACA in place.”

Johnson jumped in at that point, saying “That’s utterly ridiculous. We did it for 30 years in Minnesota before the ACA and we did it better before the ACA. But let’s be honest about what single-payer is. Single-payer means that everybody loses their insurance. There is no private insurance and we’re all forced onto one government plan.”

That’s true. I wrote about the DFL’s single-payer bill in this post. That bill has 31 coverage requirements for each policy. Think of it this way. It’s the ACA except that it’s totally run by bureaucrats. After the rollout disaster of the ACA, that can’t sound appealing.

Next subject up was immigration. Mr. Walz went first, saying this:

I spent 24 years on national security and numerous trips to the border to actually witness how we do security in-depth and how we do it electronically and with surveillance. Every sovereign nation has the right and the need to control its borders but the issue is about stoking fear and telling us we’re not stronger because of immigration. It doesn’t matter what your plans are. The next governor of Minnesota must have the capacity to bring people together to solve problems. Immigration has always been an issue that has bound us together and what we see is this fear of telling people that they are in danger instead of coming up with real solid plans like comprehensive immigration reform that passed in the Senate but was never heard in the House.

Notice that Walz criticized President Trump, criticized House Republicans, tossed out the Democrats’ favorite go-to phrase on immigration but didn’t actually tell the moderators whether he’d advocate for turning Minnesota into a sanctuary state. Eventually, Walz admitted that he’s for turning Minnesota into a sanctuary state before lying about what a sanctuary state or city is.

Jeff Johnson immediately highlighted the fact that “there are only — what — 5-6 states in the nation that are sanctuary states in the country. We’d be the only one in the upper Midwest and what that means is that we would prohibit our law enforcement officers from cooperating with law enforcement from the federal government in any way.”

Walz denied that description, insisting that violent felons would go to prison. That isn’t at question. What’s at question is what state law enforcement officials would be allowed to do when these violent felons are released from prison.

After hearing Walz insist that Republicans have been stoking fear amongst citizens on immigration, I’d love hearing how Tim Walz would “bring people together to solve problems.”

At other points in the debate, Walz’s answers were more word salad than serious policy prescription. At one point, I hit pause on the DVR and told my roommate that “this guy is ‘The Babbler’.”

I highly recommend you watch the entire debate. Tim Walz was all over the place. Jeff Johnson’s answers were short, concise and actually fixed problems.

Special thanks to Prof. John A. Spry for writing this op-ed that highlights the constitutional weaknesses of the DFL’s health care legislation.

First things first: the bill being proposed by the DFL is HF358. The text of the bill, known as the Minnesota Health Plan, is found here. What’s interesting is the bill’s funding mechanism, which is explained “at the marketing website for the MHP.” It says “The Legislature and Governor would have no authority over the MHP revenues. This is necessary in order to prevent the use of MHP premiums to balance the state budget and would also prevent politicians from starving the health plan of needed funds, a problem that occurs in some of the countries where politicians are responsible for funding their national health plans.”

It isn’t surprising that Prof. Spry notes this:

The advocates of the Minnesota Health Plan want to take away your current health insurance and replace it with the health insurance the unelected government board decides you will have. They even want to take away your right to vote for the people who will make these decisions.

The single-payer Minnesota Health Plan puts health care decisions in the hands of people who are never accountable to the people at the ballot box. That is a terrible way to run a government.

If this is the DFL’s health care ‘solution’, then that’s proof that the DFL doesn’t care about We The People. It’s proof that they care most about bureaucracies and unaccountability.

The DFL’s single-payer health care solution creates more problems than it solves. On top of that, its funding mechanism is unconstitutional. Rather than the DFL scrapping the bill, I’d rather just scrap the DFL this Election Day.

Prof. John Spry’s op-ed talks about the DFL’s Minnesota Health Plan. In Part I of this series, I highlighted the fact that this bill, if passed and signed into law, would have the authority to raise taxes unilaterally:

(f) Premiums and other revenues collected each year must be sufficient to cover that year’s projected costs.

Prof. Spry then notes this:

The Democrats’ legislation says that regional health boards would select eight members of the new Minnesota Health Board. The first eight members selected by regional health boards would then appoint seven additional members who would have to be members of specified health care interest groups. These 15 appointees would never be accountable to the voters at a ballot box. They would have control over life and death decisions for every Minnesotan.

This bill provides for a lengthy list of ‘benefits’ for Minnesotans. See Part I for the benefits. The DFL doesn’t hesitate in telling Minnesotans that they have to buy expensive health care plans. This is especially unfair to young healthy people. Why do they need policies with 31 different coverages?

Prof. Spry then writes:

Americans have proudly rejected authoritarian rule by unelected officials. Our Revolutionary patriots proclaimed “No Taxation without Representation.” In that American tradition, the Minnesota Constitution gives the power of taxation to an elected Legislature. It further requires that this “power of taxation shall never be surrendered, suspended or contracted away.” It is democratic to never let the elected Legislature surrender its power of taxation to an unelected Minnesota Health Board.

The thing that must be noted is that this takes virtually all decision-making out of the hands of families (in terms of what policies they want to purchase) and the legislature (in terms of taxation.) There is nothing democratic about the DFL’s bill. The DFL’s legislation is more fascistic than democratic.

That’s why it must be immediately rejected. Prof. Spry then asks this important question:

Why do Minnesota Democrats want to give the power to tax and spend to the appointed members of the Minnesota Health Board?

Then he provides their answer:

They explain at the marketing website for the single-payer Minnesota Health Plan (MHP):

“The Legislature and Governor would have no authority over the MHP revenues. This is necessary in order to prevent the use of MHP premiums to balance the state budget, and would also prevent politicians from starving the health plan of needed funds, a problem that occurs in some of the countries where politicians are responsible for funding their national health plans.”

In other words, they don’t want accountable people exercising control over their health care plan.

This legislation stands in opposition to the Minnesota Constitution. The Minnesota Constitution proclaims that all political power is inherent in the people. It provides for the regular election of public officials in the legislative, executive, and judicial divisions. It is democratic and good that legislators and the governor are accountable to the people at the next election.This fall, the DFL has run ad after ad trying to scare people into not voting for Republicans because, allegedly, Republicans want to deny people with pre-existing conditions health insurance. In the DFL’s ads, they try frightening people into thinking that Republicans will deny people coverage, which is a lie. What’s frightening is the DFL’s Minnesota Health Plan.

The Minnesota Health Plan has a lengthy list of benefits, including “inpatient and outpatient health facility services; (2) inpatient and outpatient professional health care provider services; (3) diagnostic imaging, laboratory services, and other diagnostic and evaluative services; (4) medical equipment, appliances, and assistive technology, including prosthetics, eyeglasses, and hearing aids, their repair, technical support, and customization needed for individual use; (5) inpatient and outpatient rehabilitative care; (6) emergency care services; (7) emergency transportation; (8) necessary transportation for health care services for persons with disabilities or who may qualify as low income; (9) child and adult immunizations and preventive care; (10) health and wellness education; (11) hospice care; (12) care in a skilled nursing facility; (13) home health care including health care provided in an assisted living facility; (14) mental health services; (15) substance abuse treatment; (16) dental care; (17) vision care; (18) hearing care; (19) prescription drugs; (20) podiatric care; (21) chiropractic care; (22) acupuncture; (23) therapies which are shown by the National Institutes of Health National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health to be safe and effective; (24) blood and blood products; (25) dialysis; (26) adult day care; (27) rehabilitative and habilitative services; (28) ancillary health care or social services previously covered by Minnesota’s public
health programs; (29) case management and care coordination; (30) language interpretation and translation for health care services, including sign language and Braille or other services needed for individuals with communication barriers; and (31) those health care and long-term supportive services currently covered under Minnesota Statutes 2016, chapter 256B, for persons on medical assistance, including home and community-based waivered services under chapter 256B.”

Prof. John Spry wrote this article about the Minnesota Health Plan. FYI- Prof. Spry is considered by may to be the best tax economist in Minnesota. He’s served on tax reform boards in the past. Here’s what Prof. Spry wrote about the MHP:

Minnesota Democrats have a plan to create a statewide single-payer health plan funded with state taxes, without lawmakers voting for tax hikes. Minnesota Democrats’ legislation would give an appointed Minnesota Health Board the unlimited power to tax. This unelected board would run the entire health care system in Minnesota with both tax and spending authority. This unelected board would enact the massive tax hikes that Democratic legislators are unwilling to support publicly.

Article IV deals with the Plan’s funding. Here’s the language from the actual bill:

Subdivision 1. General provisions. (a) The board shall establish a Minnesota Health Fund to implement the Minnesota Health Plan and to receive premiums and other sources of revenue. The fund shall be administered by a director appointed by the Minnesota Health Board.
(b) All money collected, received, and transferred according to this chapter shall be deposited in the Minnesota Health Fund.
(c) Money deposited in the Minnesota Health Fund shall be used to finance the Minnesota Health Plan.
(d) All claims for health care services rendered shall be made to the Minnesota Health Fund.
(e) All payments made for health care services shall be disbursed from the Minnesota Health Fund.
(f) Premiums and other revenues collected each year must be sufficient to cover that year’s projected costs.

In other words, if the premiums and other revenues aren’t sufficient “to cover that year’s projected costs”, the unelected board has the authority to raise taxes to cover that year’s projected costs. According to this bill’s language, they don’t need to go to the legislature to raise taxes. This panel would have the authority to raise taxes on its own! Think about that a minute.

Prof. Spry then said this:

This legislation stands in opposition to the Minnesota Constitution. The Minnesota Constitution proclaims that all political power is inherent in the people. It provides for the regular election of public officials in the legislative, executive, and judicial divisions. It is democratic and good that legislators and the governor are accountable to the people at the next election.

More on this in Part II.

It’s pretty clear that Keith Ellison knows a thing or two about being slippery. With a week left before Election Day, Keith Ellison is still attempting to slip away from Karen Monahan’s accusations.

It’s fun reading that “Keith Ellison stood in front of reporters this week desperate to redefine the attorney general’s race as his poll numbers slide. The Democratic congressman’s campaign has been overshadowed for the two months since his ex-girlfriend accused him of physical and emotional abuse.” As the candidate with near universal name recognition, he’s fighting a difficult problem:

Ellison has denied the allegations, but the damage was done. Once leading Republican opponent Doug Wardlow in polls, Ellison trails by 7 percentage points in the most recent Minneapolis Star Tribune/MPR News survey. Still, Ellison has hope: the same poll shows 16 percent of voters say they’re not sure who they’ll choose. So there he was Thursday in the basement conference room at the state Capitol, imploring voters to examine Wardlow’s record instead of his own troubles.

Ellison doesn’t have much hope. Most undecideds break away from well-known candidates. If they know who you are but are still undecided, that isn’t a vote of confidence. That’s a sign that voters aren’t satisfied with their options.

Here’s mathematical proof that Ellison is in trouble. Let’s suppose that 1,000 likely voters were polled. If Ellison is getting 36% of the vote, then convinced 2/3rds of undecideds to vote him, which is highly unlikely, Ellison would finish with 467 votes. Wardlow is getting 43% of the vote. If he convinced 33% of the undecideds to vote for him, he’d finish with 483 votes.

The reality is that Ellison isn’t likely to win 67% of undecideds. He’ll be lucky to convince 50% of undecideds to vote for him. If Ellison and Wardlow each won half of the undecideds, Wardlow would finish with 51% of the final vote. Frankly, Ellison’s support of Assata Shakur should disqualify him from being Minnesota’s Attorney General:

Then, too, so should Ellison’s statement that he wouldn’t uphold Minnesota laws he doesn’t like. It’s time to end Keith Ellison’s political career.

In this article, Keith Ellison, the DFL’s disgraced candidate for Minnesota’s Attorney General’s office, is quoted as saying “I value and honor all members of law enforcement and am grateful for the work they do every single day.”

With all due respect to Rep. Ellison, that’s a pile of BS. This letter supports #BlackLivesMatter, not law enforcement:

In the letter to the Bloomington City Attorney, Ellison is quoted as saying “I am writing in response to reports that you are considering issuing charges against the organizers of the Black Lives Matters protest at the Mall of America on Saturday, December 20.”

He then adds this:

I request that you reconsider using your prosecutorial discretion to issue such charges. The purpose of the protest was to draw attention to concerns about police-community relations in light of the deaths of Eric Garner, Michael Brown and others in confrontations with police.

Ellison finished his letter by saying this:

The demonstrations didn’t damage property and protesters remained peaceful the throughout the demonstration. Many Minnesotans were inconvenienced during the holiday shopping season and I understand their frustration. Nonetheless, I encourage you and city leaders to consider the broader context of what the protest represented…

Does that sound like a letter who “values and honors all members of law enforcement”? It sounds more like something that a Black Lives Matter activist might say.