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Democrats should follow Robert Reich’s blueprint to revitalize the Democratic Party. One of the parts of the article that’s interesting reading the part when Reich starts talking about insiders. Specifically, he said “the Democratic party apparatus is ingrown and entrenched. Like any old bureaucracy, it only knows how to do what it has done for years. Its state and quadrennial national conventions are opportunities for insiders to meet old friends and for aspiring politicians to make contacts among the rich and powerful. Insiders and the rich aren’t going to happily relinquish their power and perquisites, and hand them to outsiders and the non-rich.”

The Democratic Party has always been the party of party insiders. That’s their identity. It’s their DNA. That being said, Reich has a point in saying “It must harness the energies and idealism of young people across the nation who were drawn to Bernie Sanders’s campaign because of its promise to get big money out of politics; reverse widening inequality; turn the nation’s wildly expensive and baroque healthcare complex into a single-payer system; reverse climate change; end the militarization of our police and the mass incarceration of our people and stop interminable and open-ended warfare.”

If that’s what you think the Democratic Party needs to return to political relevance, then Keith Ellison is the perfect fit for DNC chairman. Part of the Democrats’ problem is that they all sound alike. Here’s what Rep. Tim Ryan, the man who’s opposing Nancy Pelosi, said:

If Donald Trump’s going to defund Planned Parenthood, privatize Medicare, just simply cut taxes for the top 1 percent and throw people off their health care, he’s going to be in a street fight with a kid from the Youngstown area, and that’s how that’s going to work.

Considering the fact that Democrats have presided over the most pathetic economic growth since the Great Depression, it probably isn’t wise to sound like Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton.

Back to Reich’s plan. This video is a lengthy pep talk to the troops:

Reich spend most of his time talking about climate change, bragging about the (supposedly) positive accomplishments of the EPA and advocating a Medicare for all health care plan. How will that connect with the pipefitter working on a pipeline infrastructure project? How will those things tell the electrician that you understand them? This won’t connect with voters. At this point, people don’t trust Washington, DC. They think DC doesn’t understand them, probably because Washington, DC hasn’t understood them for years.

What’s especially delicious is listening to Reich saying that Democrats have to do a better job of listening to the people, then saying “particularly sensitive to widening inequality, particularly sensitive to the corruption that widening inequality generates. When you have huge wealth at the top that is being channeled and used in order to gain influence to get even more wealth.” That isn’t in touch with America.

People don’t think in terms of income inequality. People just wish they had a secure job in a growing economy. Income inequality is an abstract concept. A secure job in a vibrant economy is something people can relate to.

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Salena Zito’s latest column deals with the Democrats’ problems connecting with voters. In the article, she quotes “Bruce Haynes, founding partner of Purple Strategies, and a GOP strategist.” Haynes is right in stating that the Democrats’ “challenge is they have lost their connection with the American voter. In short, they have a macro problem.” Haynes is essentially saying that improving their messaging might help around the margins but it won’t fix their biggest problem.

Apparently, “Steve McMahon, a Democratic strategist also at Purple Strategies”, didn’t get that memo. In the article, he’s quoted as saying “there was no screaming, no partisan attacks; the tone was neither shrill nor harsh, just simple messages that began with ‘Are you tired of …’ or ‘Think about this …'”

Howard Dean’s 50-state strategy produced positive results electorally. What it didn’t do, though, was produce positive results for the American people policywise. That’s the important metric by which things are getting measured.

The Democrats’ newest difficulty is that Dean’s 50-state strategy eventually led to the Democratic majorities that created the ACA. The Democrats’ worst nightmare possibility is that Trump’s agenda is as successful as Bill Clinton’s in terms of economic growth and job creation. The Democrats will have to answer why they should be given access to power after they’ve passed Obamacare and let the EPA run wild while mining jobs disappeared.

The Democrats’ biggest problem is that they’re the radical party. If their agenda doesn’t change from income inequality, raising the minimum wage and insisting that climate change is the biggest threat to American society, they’ll wander this self-inflicted desert for a decade or more.

Electing Keith Ellison as chairman of the DNC would help cement the Democrats’ image of being the radical party. This interview cements Ellison’s image as being a back-bench bomb-thrower:

Dennis Miller got it right about Ellison:

The Democrats’ biggest problems are that they’re hyperpartisan and their policies haven’t worked. Put differently, they aren’t that likable and their policies either hurt families (think Obamacare) or people ignore their far-left agenda (think $15 minimum wage or transgender bathrooms).

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This past Sunday, Chris Wallace’s panel broke things down beautifully why Hillary Clinton lost. One of the eye-popping exchanges came when Chris Wallace asked “You know, George, one of the things that, and we’ve been around too long probably, we shouldn’t tell people that, but one of the things I’m always amused by is at the end of a campaign, the winning campaign, they were all geniuses. The losing campaign, they were all dopes. The winning party, they’re on the course to building a permanent majority in the country. The losing campaign is in tatters. How much of that is actually true?”

Will’s response was “Well, the losing party here is in tatters. The Republican Party is as strong as it’s been since the 1920s and probably more. Broad and deep. Sixty-nine of 99 state legislative chambers are now controlled by the Republicans. Twenty-four states, they have the Republican governor and the entire control of the legislature. Only six states have Democratic governors and Democratic legislatures. Thirty-four Republican governors. That means if you’re looking for a deeper bench for presidential candidates for the Democratic Party, you have to start with 16 governors is all they’ve got. Furthermore, one-third of the House caucus of the Democratic Party are from three states, Massachusetts, New York and California.”

Think about that set of statistics in terms of its implications to the Democratic Party and its ability to regain control of the US House of Representatives. A total of 24 states with 185 congressional districts are controlled by Republican governors working with GOP majorities in their legislatures. With Republicans totally controlling the redistricting process in those 24 states, the odds of Democrats regaining control of the US House in the next 3-4 election cycles are slim at best.

Then there’s this:

WILL: They were united by Barack Obama. They were united by an agenda. Chuck said people felt forgotten by — no, I think they felt condescended to. And there’s something about progressivism that just is condescension. We know what your healthcare ought to be, be quiet and take your medicine. We know how much water should come through your shower head. We know what kind of toilets you ought to have. We’re going to change your light bulbs, be quiet and take our direction, and people are tired of it.
LANE: Yes. Well, I — I have to say, I’ll take that as a friendly amendment, George. And I also think, just when we’re talking about factors here, I think environmentalism in a usual way worked against the Democratic Party this year. I did a little back of the envelope coalition about the most coal dependent states in terms of electricity generation in this country. There are 25 most dependent, 20 of them Trump carried. He carried Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin, which are the three most coal dependent states in terms of electricity generation. That power plan to focus on global warming and stuff that he pushed with a relatively thin legal basis might have provided the small — a part, at least, of the small margin that contributed to his defeat.

Think about what Charles Lane hinted at. He essentially said that the Democrats’ siding with the environmental activist wing of their party finally caught up with them. Trump identified these blue collar voters as swing voters, then courted them, telling them that he’d be their voice in DC. Mr. Trump promised to take on the EPA if elected. He promised to be their champion.

Unlike Mrs. Clinton, he didn’t promise to retrain coal miners who lost their jobs due to her eliminating their jobs in favor of green energy jobs. That’s when Pennsylvania and Ohio knew that they’d have a champion in the White House.

The Democratic Party is so indebted to the environmental activist wing of their party that it’s almost inconceivable that they’ll be a majority party in the House in the foreseeable future.

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There wasn’t much doubt about whether Zach Dorholt was a far left lefty going into this campaign. He’d voted for the biggest tax increase in Minnesota history. He voted for the biggest spending increase in Minnesota history, too. Of course, Dorholt said he voted for the tax increase to pay for property tax relief. It’s worth noting that Dorholt’s property tax relief didn’t appear. The things that Dorholt voted for that did appear were the tax increases and the Senate Office Building.

Among the other things that appeared were taxes on small businesses and farmers. When Dorholt returned home, he got an ear full from business leaders for his vote on those tax increases. It didn’t take him or the DFL long to change their minds on those tax increases. The first order of business when they returned to session in 2014 was to repeal some of the tax increases they’d passed the previous session.

It’s become even more clear that Mr. Dorholt is a far left lefty this election. That’s because an organization called Our Revolution is officially supporting Dorholt. The Our Revolution About Us page. starts by saying “Our Revolution will revitalize American democracy by unifying the millions of people who got involved over the course of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign in support of progressive causes.”

Bernie Sanders’ policies are to the left of Barack Obama’s — by a country mile. Others that Our Revolution endorsed include Keith Ellison and Raul Grijalva, co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Rep. Marcy Kaptur and Russ Feingold, the man that tried to limit political speech with the McCain-Feingold legislation.

There isn’t a centrist in this bunch. The fact that Our Revolution endorsed Dorholt and Ellison speaks volumes about Dorholt’s politics. St. Cloud might not be conservative but it isn’t far left socialist, either. That’s who Bernie Sanders is. That’s who Keith Ellison and Raul Grijalva are.

Apparently, that’s who Zach Dorholt is, too.

After fleecing taxpayers, Community Action Partnership of Minneapolis has shut its doors:

DHS auditors accused the corporation of spending more than it helped. The state wants Community Action Minneapolis to repay more than $850,000 in grant money that was spent incorrectly. The audit showed more than $200,000 paid for unallowable costs like cruises, golf trips and alcohol. William Davis, the Chief Executive Officer, is accused of receiving an excessive bonus and spending thousands on a personal car loan.

Initially, Davis tried rationalizing the expenditures:

Auditors blamed Community Action’s board, which includes several well-known politicians and community leaders, for a lack of oversight and for personally benefiting from $34,892 worth of activities that “do not appear to serve a business purpose, and are considered waste and abuse as defined in state policy.”

Those activities included two weekend trips, between 2011 and 2013, to Arrowwood Resort in Alexandria, where board members and senior management spent $9,000 for lodging, $3,200 for food and $900 for spas.

Davis defended the trips as a “small gesture on our part to offer them a moment of relaxation or entertainment. It’s not like we do this every single week of the year.”

What’s telling is that Davis didn’t think he’d done anything wrong. The only thing more appalling than Davis attempting to rationalize his reckless spending was Gov. Dayton’s statement denying that something like this could happen:

Initially, Mark Dayton responded to Jeff Johnson’s call for an extensive audit of NPOs by saying “The decades-old accusation that Minnesota government recklessly wastes money on people who are poor, sick, or elderly is unfair and unfounded.”

Later, Dayton backtracked quickly:

Gov. Mark Dayton on Monday said that a Star Tribune report of a nonprofit using state funds to subsidize cruises, a director’s car lease and spa treatments was very concerning and alarming. “I was personally really appalled,” Dayton said. “I take it very seriously.”

Let’s revise Gov. Dayton’s statement. Gov. Dayton was “personally really appalled” the minute he thought that the fiasco might damage him politically. Prior to that, he pretended that Community Action was totally trustworthy.

The truth, I’m afraid, is that Gov. Dayton knew about this audit prior to the story going public. Since the Strib article was published, DHS has tried pushing the notion that they should get credit for spotting this during their audit of the organization. Gov. Dayton can’t first say that he’s surprised by this, then say that his administration spotted this during an audit.

I’ve never bought into Gov. Dayton’s I-didn’t-know-about-[Fill in the blank] schtick. I’ve always thought that he used that gambit to get through a politically embarrassing situation. See FarmFest. The DFL legislature should’ve taken their oversight responsibilities seriously. Then again, with tons of prominent DFL politicians and activists on Community Action’s board, it probably didn’t take much to get them to look the other way.

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In his most recent e-letter update, Keith Ellison suggested that the United States is just as bigoted now as it was in the 1960s:

Senator Klobuchar and I called on Congress to protect voting rights after the Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act that protected voters in states with a history of voter suppression. The action of the Court was a step back for voting rights in the country.

With people like Sen. Klobuchar and Rep. Ellison, bigotry never disappears. The Supreme Court sees things differently:

(3) Nearly 50 years later, things have changed dramatically.Largely because of the Voting Rights Act, “[v]oter turnout and registration rates” in covered jurisdictions “now approach parity. Blatantly discriminatory evasions of federal decrees are rare. And minority candidates hold office at unprecedented levels.” Northwest Austin, supra, at 202. The tests and devices that blocked ballot access have been forbidden nationwide for over 40 years. Yet the Act has not eased §5’s restrictions or narrowed the scope of §4’s coverage formula along the way. Instead those extraordinary and unprecedented features have been reauthorized as if nothing has changed, and they have grown even stronger. Because §5 applies only to those jurisdictions singled out by §4, the Court turns to consider that provision.Pp. 13–17.

Sen. Klobuchar and Rep. Ellison insist that the extraordinary circumstances that temporarily justified the federal government’s intervention in state-run elections in 1965 still exist. Moreover, they insist that the remedies implemented in 1965 haven’t worked.

They’re entitled to their partisan opinions but the facts don’t support their opinions.

Though he’s an attorney, it’s apparent that Rep. Ellison doesn’t respect the Constitution much:

The right to vote should be guaranteed and that’s why I’ve introduced a constitutional amendment with Rep. Mark Pocan to do just that. The Pocan-Ellison Right to Vote Amendment would amend the Constitution to provide all Americans the affirmative right to vote and empower Congress to protect this right.

First, this proposed constitutional amendment won’t get a hearing because it’s at odds with the Ninth and Tenth amendments. States administer elections through counties. The federal government isn’t equipped to enforce election laws. That means Ellison’s talk about empowering “Congress to protect this right” is just that — talk.

Second, this is political grandstanding meant to fire up minority voters. This doesn’t have anything to do with good governance. It has everything to do with Ellison and other Democrats playing the race card right before the 2014 election.

Third, this is the Democrats’ war on election integrity. Klobuchar’s and Ellison’s proposal has everything to do with preventing Photo ID from becoming more popular. In Minnesota, Democrats know how to undermine election integrity. They’ve undermined election integrity by refusing to promptly updating the Statewide Voter Registration System, aka SVRS, which HAVA, the Help America Vote Act, requires.

We know this because hundreds of felons, both those still in prison and those who haven’t had their rights restored, are still on Minnesota’s SVRS. We know this because registrations that were submitted in 2008 had addresses that turned into empty lots. Six years after the fact, those ’empty lot voters’ are still on the SVRS.

How likely is it that the federal government would be even slightly interested in maintaining the integrity of the SVRS’s for 50 states, especially considering how disinterested they’ve been in this since 2003?

Ellison is a race hustler on a par with Sharpton, Jackson and Michael-Eric Dyson. His agenda is focused mostly on stirring up racial hostilities where they don’t exist.

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This afternoon, Keith Ellison and I got into a little dispute on Twitter:

REP. ELLISON: targeting is wrong. Obama said so; replaced people. IRS apologized. Political orgs posing as social welfare orgs is wrong too.
REPLY: He’s right. It’s wrong. Why did his 2008 campaign start that tactic? Check out what Bob Bauer & Tom Matzzie did.
REP. ELLISON: do you want to fix the blame or fix the problem? Obama’s fixing the problem.
REPLY: Obama’s campaign tactics contributed to the problem. Obama’s governance looked the other way when the problem erupted. I want both. PS-Obama administration targeted reporters, conservatives.

Rep. Ellison’s question of whether I wanted to affix blame or fix the problem was his attempt to distract from the question at hand. It’s important to affix blame because that’s the only way forward.

The bigger point, though, is that President Obama’s administration specialized in these tactics, starting in 2008. They made a point of using the IRS to intimidate their political opponents. Conservatives shouldn’t ignore these facts. Rather, they should highlight the fact that the Obama administration is the source of these tactics.

When we criticize the Obama administration, we should expect the Democrats to criticize us for politicizing these scandals. We should expect the Obama administration to retaliate. Our response should be swift and hardhitting. Our reply should be that we’re appalled by Holder’s DOJ attempting to intimidate reporters from doing their jobs. We’re appalled that the IRS targeted TEA Party activists, Christians and other conservatives just like the Obama 2008 campaign did under Bob Bauer’s leadership.

It isn’t enough for President Obama to pledge to change how his administration and his campaigns have operated. Frankly, at this point, informed people who are willing to see the truth as the truth know President Obama’s machine have specialized in the things he’s now promising to fix.

Rep. Ellison is a willing flack for President Obama. If only he was willing to criticize President Obama for his administration’s willingness to act without integrity. That would be news indeed.

Rep. Keith Ellison has fought a ‘valiant’ fight to protect wasteful government spending:

“If we can’t find a solution before these cuts hit, we should eliminate it altogether,” said Jeremy Slevin, a spokesman for Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), a co-chair of the progressive caucus.

“Our preference is to have a balanced approach to get [a] one-to-one” ratio of program cuts to revenue raising, Slevin went on. “But short of that we don’t think under any circumstances that the American people should lose their jobs because of Congress.”

The Goverment Accountability Office, aka the GAO, has identified 1,362 duplicative programs in the federal budget. According to GAO, $364.5 billion are spent on these duplicative programs. I transcribed part of Sen. Coburn’s “Sequester This” speech for this Examiner article. Here’s the key paragraph from that article:

SEN. COBURN: Next one, housing assistance. We have 160 programs, separate programs. Nobody knows if they’re working. Nobody in the administration knows all the programs. I’m probably the only person in Congress that does because nobody else has looked at it. Twenty different agencies. We’re spending $170 billion. If we’re really interested in housing assistance, why would we have 20 sets of overhead, 20 sets of administration? And what would it cost to accomplish the same thing?

That’s insane. It’s impossible to justify 160 duplicate programs. It’s totally impossible to justify intentionally establishing “20 sets of overhead, 20 sets of administration.”

Despite this stunning fact, Rep. Ellison’s spokesman insists on raising taxes or repealing the sequester.

Sen. Franken isn’t exactly a profile in courage when it comes to putting a budget together or cutting spending without gimmicks. Here’s part of Sen. Franken’s letter to Sen. Patty Murray:

Meaningful deficit reduction is critical and necessary, and our budget resolution must reflect tough choices and tough cuts. Deficit reduction must be achieved in a commonsense way that doesn’t just shift costs to our seniors, or parents raising children with disabilities. That’s why deficit reduction efforts should maintain a balance between targeted spending cuts and new revenues from closing tax loopholes that benefit corporations and wealthy individuals.

Sen. Franken, like Rep. Ellison, voted to raise taxes when he voted for the PPACA. That dynamic duo voted for raising tax rates on small businesses when they voted for the Obama ‘Fiscal Cliff’ tax increases. The payroll tax holiday tax increase went into effect the same day the PPACA tax increases went into effect. Now they’re demanding another (fourth) tax increase to hit the American people in less than 3 months.

Nowhere do they mention the duplicate programs and wasteful spending from the GAO report. That’s the definition of being MIA during the sequestration fight. Unfortunately, this isn’t surprising for either ‘public servant’. Neither has voted in committee for a budget since early in President Obama’s first term.

What’s most disappointing is the fact that Twin Cities media outlets haven’t asked why Sen. Franken and Rep. Ellison have fought tirelessly to protect government bureaucrats while they waste taxpayers’ money.

By comparison, Sen. Coburn has been persistent in highlighting the ways government wastes money:

I wish we could trade in Sen. Franken and Rep. Ellison for a real public servant like Sen. Coburn.

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Rep. Ellison, During your epic meltdown on Sean Hannity’s show, you insisted that President Obama was right. You insisted that it was imperative to raise taxes again. You insisted that President Obama had valliantly cut the deficit while making “key investments” in America’s future.

Those are exceptionally odd statements considering the fact that the annual deficits during President Obama’s administration haven’t wavered much, staying pretty much in the $1.1 to $1.3 trillion range. For awhile, President Obama insisted that everything would’ve been worse if not for the stimulus. Everyone with more than half a brain knew that that wasn’t right.

Considering the fact that Sen. Coburn has found hundreds of billions of dollars in duplicative programs, most of which are waste, it’s difficult to take anything you say on deficits, the necessity for raising taxes and the impossibility of finding even 2 pennies on each dollar spent in waste, fraud and abuse.

Rather than being part of the solution, you’ve insisted on being part of the partisan problem. By comparison, Sen. Coburn started working on finding the solution to this overspending crisis. Thanks to his persistence, it appears he’s found that solution without raising taxes.

It’s disappointing that you haven’t taken off your partisan hat. Unfortunately, you’ve insisted on not putting on your ‘solutions hat.’ Unfortunately, it isn’t surprising that you’ve refused to work towards a solution. Unfortunately, it isn’t surprising that you’ve insisted on burying the American people under 4 tax increase in 3 months. In case you’ve forgotten, and I doubt you have, the American people were hit with a tax increase when the payroll tax holiday expired at the start of the new year. At the same time, they got hit with the full onslaught of tax increases from the ACA. Two days later, you voted for a $600 billion tax increase on “the rich” because you said they “weren’t paying their fair share.”

When President Obama insisted on closing loopholes, something he said wasn’t good enough when he insisted on the Fiscal Cliff tax increase on the rich, you supported him without hesitation but with great enthusiasm.

The question that you haven’t answered is simple. What makes you think that raising taxes 4 times in 3 months will strengthten the US economy? What historical proof do you have that that many tax increases in that short of a period of time will strengthen an economy?

Perhaps the better question is whether you’re insisting on tax increases simply because you’ve reflexively increased taxes whenever you’ve had the opportunity. I suspect that’s the case because that’s what DFL legislators think.

One question that doesn’t need asking is whether you think there’s tens of billions of dollars being wastefully spent. I’m certain you know there is. I’m equally certain you’re fine with that because that a significant portion of that wasteful spending is getting spent on your public union allies.

Finally, I’m thankful you aren’t my representative, though I am sad that you techically represent some of my friends.

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This morning, testimony was taken on Rep. Ryan Winkler’s minimum wage legislation. This testimony was given to a “joint meeting of the House Labor, Workplace and Regulated Industries Committee, and the Select Committee on Living Wage Jobs.”

The first testifier was Jennifer Schaubauch of the Minnesota chapter of the AFL-CIO. What she said was a stunning indictment of Obamanomics. She said that many higher paying jobs had been eliminated and replaced by minimum wage jobs. Ms. Schaubauch said that fact justified the need to raise the minimum wage to $10.55 per hour. Ms. Schaubauch insisted that raising the minimum wage was the only way to lift families out of poverty.

Another testifier in the first set of testifiers identified herself as a college graduate who’s been working the same minimum wage job for the last 3 years since graduating. That’s another testimonial to the fact that Obamanomics has failed. We didn’t hear stories like this during the Bush years, the Clinton years or the Reagan years.

That’s because incomes grew during their administrations. That’s the opposite of what’s happened during President Obama’s administration. During President Obama’s administration, median household incomes have dropped from $55,000 a year to less than $50,000 a year.

If the DFL cared about poor people, they’d stop enacting policies that’ve caused entrepreneurs to stop creating jobs. Yesterday, I wrote that Rep. Keith Ellison appeared on Hannity’s show last night to push for a third tax hike in 2 months.

During this morning’s testimony, Paul Rademacher testified, identifying himself as a small businessman. Mr. Rademacher listed the obstacles that the Obama administration has created and that the Dayton administration, coupled with the DFL legislature, are attempting to create. Here’s a partial list of what Mr. Rademacher said: fed income tax increased from 35% to 39.6%, fed capital gains tax increasing from 15% to 20%, Minnesota’s top income tax bracket increasing from 7.85% to 9.85%, a 71% increase in the state minimum wage and a major sales tax increase. Then Mr. Rademacher stunned people, saying that the average profit margin for grocery stores is 1%. The room fell silent when he said that, if these things became reality, it was possible he’d have to shut 2 of his grocery stores.

It’s rather apparent that President Obama’s policies have crippled the US economy. The AFL-CIO testifier, Ms. Schaubauch, testified to the fact that great paying jobs were eliminated while minimum wage jobs were created. Rep. Ellison pushed for President Obama’s alternative to the sequester, which is a third tax increase in 2 months. (Why do President Obama and Rep. Ellison hate economic growth this much?)

Gov. Dayton has proposed raising income tax rates while subjecting more people to a higher sales tax bill. The DFL legislature is in the process of forcing entrepreneurs to choose between laying people off, leaving the state or raising prices. Why does Gov. Dayton hate economic growth? Why is he intent on saddling cities and counties with crippling sales tax bills? Why is the DFL legislature intent on saddling businesses with massive labor cost increases while the economy is struggling?

Either the DFL doesn’t have a clue about economic growth or they’ve put a higher priority on passing everything on their special interest allies’ wish list than on growing Minnesota’s economy.

Either way, that’s terrible news for Minnesotans.

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