Archive for the ‘Mark Dayton’ Category

This morning’s ruling in the Harris v. Quinn case is a major setback for public employee unions. First, Harris v. Quinn
is the lawsuit brought by Pamela Harris, a home care giver in Illinois. The ramifications will be felt immediately in Minnesota. GOP gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson issued this statement immediately following the ruling:

“Today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling is a tremendous victory for Minnesota childcare providers and all those who value employment freedom. It was beyond the pale for Governor Dayton to use the livelihoods of hundreds of small businesswomen throughout the state as collateral to pay back his union campaign contributors. I congratulate the brave and determined women who fought back, and I look forward to ensuring this November that Mark Dayton never has the opportunity to do this to them again.”

The Supreme Court ruled that public sector unions can’t collect fees from home health care workers who object to being affiliated with a union. The Court’s decision nearly guarantees that Dayton will lose his lawsuit with Minnesota childcare providers.

This statement was issued by Deputy House Republican Leader Jennifer Loon and Rep. Mary Franson after the ruling:

“Today’s ruling is a welcome relief for Minnesota’s small business owners and hardworking families whose livelihoods were put in jeopardy by Governor Dayton and the Democrat-controlled legislature,” said Loon. “With the annual costs of childcare exceeding the average cost of in-state college tuition and fees, combined with the fact that Democrat legislators refused to give moms and dads with kids in daycare bigger tax refunds this year, Minnesota families simply cannot afford the additional strain that unionization would have imposed on their budgets.”

“The ruling from the Supreme Court today sends a clear signal to Governor Dayton and Democrats in the legislature that they must cease their reckless attempts to force independent childcare providers into a government union. Our children deserve better than to be pawns in a scheme to get more union dues out of hardworking parents” said Franson, a former childcare provider. “Minnesota parents and childcare providers can now breathe a sigh of relief knowing it’s likely that their childcare will not be imperiled by the higher costs and reduced choices of forced unionization.”

This is a major setback for AFSCME and the SEIU. Likewise, it’s a stinging defeat for Gov. Dayton and the DFL legislature, who passed the law that allowed for unionization elections. Meanwhile, this is certain to cause joy with in-home child care providers.

I got the reaction of in-home child care providers last fall, which I published in a 3-part series. The links are here, here and here.

This has been a terrible week for the Obama administration. It hasn’t been a stellar week for the Dayton administration, either. They both lost on the Harris v. Quinn ruling. Meanwhile, President Obama got spanked when the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that his recess appointments were unconstitutional. For Gov. Dayton, his other major loss was the news that MNsure won’t be functional before the next open enrollment.

It’s understatement to say that this hasn’t been a good week for liberals. Combine last week’s SCOTUS rulings with the headwinds slamming Democrats electorally and you’ve got reason to believe that this won’t be a happy election campaign season for Democrats.

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Ted Plombon’s editorial in the St. Cloud Times is the best explanation I’ve heard on why the number of uninsured people has dropped in Minnesota. Here’s Mr. Plombon’s explanation, complete with statistics:

Let’s take a look to see where those previously uninsured people are getting their coverage. Some of this information is taken from the State Health Access Data Assistance Center. (View the entire report at

The authors of the report took data from Sept. 30, 2013 and May 1, 2014. Their finding was that there was a drop of 180,500 of uninsured people in Minnesota or 40.6 percent. However, the drop was primarily driven by an increase in the number of Minnesotans who enrolled in the state’s health insurance programs, Medical Assistance (Medicaid) and Minnesota Care. Of the 180,500 newly insured, over 155,000 were enrolled in these two taxpayer programs.

This is possible because Obamacare expands the eligibility for Medicaid. That equates to less than 25,000 insureds who actually purchased private health plans through MNsure. Most of those plans were also subsidized by you and I, the taxpayers.

While this is good news for people enrolling in expanded Medicaid, it’s terrible news for Minnesota taxpayers. Medicaid is funded by both the federal and state government. By expanding Medicaid, Gov. Dayton just destined Minnesota taxpayers to overwhelming tax increases.

Minnesota does have the highest tax at 3.5 percent of premium to help offset some of the cost, but I have a feeling they will be asking the taxpayers to once again dig a little deeper into their pockets.

I wrote here about the bailout that the DFL legislature passed this year and that Gov. Dayton signed. The bailout was $400,000,000 this time. According to the Pioneer Press’s article, there will be a significant increase in the number of people on Medicaid in 2015 than there are right now. That means the $400,000,000 bailout that the DFL legislature passed is just the start of the Medicaid/MNsure bailout. The next bailout will be substantially higher.

In my earlier post, I quoted Sen. Michelle Benson. Here’s what she said:

He noted pushback from legislative Republicans, including the contention of Sen. Michelle Benson of Ham Lake that, to the extent the reduction came from people enrolling in the state’s Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare insurance programs, the state “didn’t need MNsure at all.”

When Republicans were the majority party in 2011-2012, 93% of Minnesotans were insured. Of those that weren’t insured, half were eligible for taxpayer-subsidized health insurance. In other words, Minnesota could’ve had a higher rate of insured people before MNsure/Obamacare than they have now.

The truth is that Gov. Dayton won’t be able to keep his promise of limiting the tax increases to just the top 2%. He’ll have to raise taxes on the middle class to pay for MNsure. That’s the thing voters need to keep in mind when they hear Gov. Dayton or a DFL legislator say that MNsure is a success.

MNsure will guarantee middle class tax increases. If that’s the DFL’s definition of success, I don’t want to see their definition of failure.

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Towards the end of the 2014 legislative session, the DFL quietly passed a $400,000,000 bailout of MNsure. Technically, the bailout was for MinnCare but MNsure caused MinnCare’s insolvency. Based on the information in this Pi-Press article, that bailout was just the tip of an iceberg. Here’s what I’m talking about:

Most of those enrolled through the exchange are on public subsidies. As of last week, nearly a quarter-million Minnesotans had enrolled. Of those, 88 percent, 218,615 out of a total of 249,369, are receiving a public subsidy.

That leaves 30,754 Minnesotans who purchased a plan on their own via MNsure.

The ratio of subsidized to “commercial” enrollees “needs a long hard look going forward,” said Julie Brunner, executive director of the Minnesota Council of Health Plans. Unless they “ramp up significantly,” she wonders if the low numbers on the commercial side will provide “the financial support that MNsure needs to have a balanced budget.”

That’s stunning information. Based on that information, MNsure isn’t sustainable financially. If MNsure needs a bailout, that means tax increases can’t be far behind. This is more bad news:

The system is preparing to absorb still more public enrollees. MNsure has delayed until August a major transition of public insurance beneficiaries to the system. About 800,000 Minnesotans will be renewing their current coverage.

MNsure CEO Scott Leitz told the editorial board earlier this month that the agency “wanted the system to be stable” to handle the influx.

That’s disturbing because MNsure isn’t stable:

During the assessment, 47 of the 73 sub-functions addressed were found either to be absent or not functioning as expected. Six of the 73 sub-functions could be considered for implementation post-open enrollment. The remaining 41 sub-functions need to be provided for the 2015 Open Enrollment either through changes/enhancements to the systems or through contingent means.

That’s what instability sounds like. Last fall, MNsure’s rollout was a disaster. This year’s open enrollment will be a bigger disaster than last year’s open enrollment. Thanks in part to that, the revenue shortfall will be greater this year than last year.

With MNsure stability being at least a year away, it’s likely that the shortfall for the next biennium will be huge. It’s difficult to see this turning out well for Minnesota taxpayers. In the end, though, these shortfalls will put pressure on the DFL Senate to resist changing MNsure.

It’s time for the DFL to accept the reality that it’s time to start over on health care reform. When a system is this disfunctional, this expensive and this unpopular, it’s time to start from scratch. Minnesota was a leader in health care. We should’ve learned from that. Instead, Gov. Dayton and the DFL legislature created this financial nightmare.

Sen. Michelle Benson might’ve put it best:

A key point, however, noted by the Pioneer Press’ Christopher Snowbeck: The report couldn’t say exactly where the uninsured found coverage, that is, whether insurance was obtained through public programs, private insurers available through MNsure or commercial plans sold outside the health exchange.

He noted pushback from legislative Republicans, including the contention of Sen. Michelle Benson of Ham Lake that, to the extent the reduction came from people enrolling in the state’s Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare insurance programs, the state “didn’t need MNsure at all.”

That’s spot on. Rather than weighing the options, Gov. Dayton, Sen. Bakk and Rep. Thissen let their ideology drive their votes. As a result, all Minnesotans will be hurt financially.

Let’s be clear about this. There aren’t enough rich people in Minnesota to raise taxes on…again. The DFL will have to raise taxes on the middle class if these MNsure deficits continue as expected.

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Gov. Dayton attended a rally in Virginia Monday but that doesn’t mean he’s committed to mining.

DFL Gov. Mark Dayton urged iron miners to step up the fight against foreign countries illegally dumping steel in the U.S. and threatening the local mining industry.

“The story of the Iron Range is one of standing strong against exploitation and oppression, and too often of a government that will not stand with them,” Dayton said to a cheering crowd of 1,500 iron miners. “Today’s enemies are not the companies, but the countries that dump their steel in the U.S. market, depress the prices and take away your jobs.”

It’s interesting that Gov. Dayton will rally with miners who work at existing mining companies but won’t support new mining projects like PolyMet and Twin Metals-Minnesota. I didn’t say that Gov. Dayton’s behavior is inexplicable. It’s quite understandable.

When it comes to taking a stand on jobs or the environment, Gov. Dayton is a wimp, always siding with environmental activists like his ex-wife Alida Messinger. This year, despite loud protestations from the Range, Gov. Dayton has insisted that he won’t take a position on PolyMet until the reviews are done.

That isn’t leadership. That’s what spineless wimps do.

Republicans are capitalizing on the PolyMet issue:

GOP gubernatorial candidate Scott Honour’s running mate, state Sen. Karin Housley, drove up to attend the rally. “Scott Honour and I support the mining jobs in northern Minnesota,” Housley said. “We are all about mining jobs.”

After the rally, Housley toured the proposed copper-nickel mine in Hoyt Lakes, where PolyMet Corp. is seeking approval for a mine that could bring hundreds of jobs and millions in new investment. But the 20-year mine would also require environmental clean-up that could stretch 500 years.

Housley said she has a long connection to PolyMet. She is a member of a small group of hobbyist investors who first invested in PolyMet about eight years ago and even toured the facility.

“There is room for common-sense growing jobs and protecting the environment,” she said. “We are all over creating jobs up here.”

GOP-endorsed gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson issued a statement saying Dayton is not leading on job-creation issues on the Iron Range.

“Attending rallies is not leading – it is standing,” Johnson said. “When I am governor, I am not just going to stand with people who are losing their jobs, I am going to do everything I can to ensure that mining jobs aren’t just protected, they are expanded.”

Of course, the DFL doesn’t like the possibility of losing support on a long-time electoral stronghold:

Dayton and other Democrats took direct aim at Republicans at the rally, saying that the GOP has repeatedly tried to raid special Iron Range funds whenever the budget got tight. Democrats said the Republican’s sudden interest in the Iron Range is a fleeting political ploy.

First, Gov. Dayton’s support of mining is questionable at best. He hasn’t said a positive word about mining since becoming governor. Second, Democrats sound defensive now that GOP gubernatorial candidates are fighting for Iron Range votes.

Third and most importantly, Democrats talk about budget tightening while they’re causing the tightness by not letting the Iron Range economy flourish. Their history of creating jobs on the Range is awful. That’s why the MHI for Eveleth is $35,500.

Dayton and other Democrats fought for projects and jobs “that would improve your quality of life on the Iron Range, across Minnesota and across the country.”

On that front, Gov. Dayton and the DFL failed. One in 6 people living on the Range live in poverty. That isn’t the definition of jobs that “improve your quality of life.” That’s the definition of failing the Range while leaving them in misery.
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This op-ed by Reps. Tara Mack and Joe Hoppe criticizes Gov. Dayton for not releasing health insurance premium rates until after the election:

In 2013, Dayton’s administration and insurance companies worked to release plan details a month before open enrollment. This gave people an idea of what to expect before shopping on MNsure, and consumers had three months to find, select and purchase a plan. This year Minnesotans won’t know the price of plans until MNsure’s next enrollment period begins on Nov. 15.

As disgusting as the DFL’s secrecy is, this part is the most troubling:

They’ll have just four weeks to find a plan and complete enrollment.

I won’t hesitate in making this prediction: Based on Deloitte’s report, 4 weeks won’t be enough to get everyone enrolled who wants to be enrolled. Here’s part of Deloitte’s report:

As the nation moves toward the Fall of 2014 (open enrollment for Benefit Year 2015), in addition to supporting initial enrollment, a State’s Health Insurance Exchange must also be able to process the renewal of existing enrollment base. These additional demands compound the remediation efforts that have been underway in Minnesota.

During the assessment, 47 of the 73 sub-functions addressed were found either to be absent or not functioning as expected. Six of the 73 sub-functions could be considered for implementation post-open enrollment. The remaining 41 sub-functions need to be provided for the 2015 Open Enrollment either through changes/enhancements to the systems or through contingent means.

In other words, minimal progress has been made on MNsure. According to Deloitte, Minnesotans shouldn’t expect major progress this year, either:

The 3 most critical absent functions are included in this release plan: (1) Changes in circumstances, (2) Medicaid renewals and (3) Qualified Health Plan (QHP) renewals.

That’s the least terrible news from pg. 8 of the Deloitte report. This is worse news:

Some of the system requirements for this functionality have not been finalized. If this functionality isn’t implemented on schedule, its absence could have a significant adverse impact on MNsure operations during open enrollment.

Last year, the conventional wisdom was that a) Obamacare would remain flawed because it was built on terrible policies and b) the website would get fixed relatively quickly. Deloitte’s report casts additional suspicion on last year’s conventional wisdom.

The sarcastic side of me thinks there’s a possibility we’ll elect Obama’s successor before Mnsure is operating properly. I’m not certain my sarcastic side isn’t right.

The Dayton administration’s own economists said MNsure and Obamacare will increase insurance costs in Minnesota by as much as 30 percent. A different report published recently from the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research shows that the price of premiums in Minnesota has increased on average by 47 percent after the implementation of Obamacare.

Whether the website is working or not, the reality is that premiums have jumped since Obamacare was signed into law. Obamacare, aka the Affordable Care Act, is expensive and unpopular. The MNsure website still isn’t working. In fact, there’s little reason for optimism that it’ll be fixed anytime soon.

Add the Dayton administration’s attempt to hide insurance premium information from Minnesota families and there’s reason to be skeptical about Obamacare.

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Tim Pugmire’s article on the Senate Office Building highlights the DFL’s misplaced priorities and the DFL’s campaign year spin:

A recent KSTP poll found the public disapproval of the building at 68 percent. The four Republicans trying to unseat Dayton are making it a campaign issue, and so are their allies. The group Americans for Prosperity highlighted the issue in a new radio ad slamming Dayton.

“Let’s not forget that he spent $90 million for a brand new office building for state Senators…and new offices for himself too,” an announcer says in the ad. “So, Mark Dayton is building places for politicians while we struggle to make ends meet.”

Here’s House Majority Leader Erin Murphy’s spin on the DFL’s disaster:

“It’s not coming up for Minnesotans. It’s not coming up as I’m talking to our members, and they’re out door knocking already,” said Murphy, DFL-St. Paul. “So, I understand that the Republicans think it’s an issue that they can use to drive division, and they will spend their time talking about that. “We’re going to spend our time talking about the future of Minnesota.”

That’s what’s known as whistling past the graveyard. Rep. Murphy wishes this wasn’t an issue. Unfortunately for her and the DFL, wishing won’t make it so. It’s an issue because it’s another instance where the legislature ignored the will of the people.

The DFL can spin this all it wants. The numbers tell the tale. People understand that it’s wrong to spend $90,000,000 on a building that’ll be used 3-5 months a year.

This issue ties into another issue that’ll hurt the DFL, which is that they increased spending by $6,000,000,000 this biennium over the 2012-13 biennium. It’s right for Minnesotans to ask what they got for that spending. The answer is simple.

They didn’t get much. There’s still a mega-sized achievement gap in K-12 education. Incompetence is the rule, not the exception, in the MnSCU system. Iconic companies are leaving Minnesota. MNsure is still a mess. MNsure didn’t work when it launched. What’s worse is that it won’t be fixed this fall, either.

In short, the DFL spent money foolishly and in record amounts. What’s worse is that the DFL specialized in growing incompetence, not prosperity. As a result, Minnesotans paid higher taxes without getting a benefit.

As such, the Senate Office Building is the perfect symbol of what happens when the DFL controls the levers of the state government.

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Gov. Dayton recently said that MNsure “has been tremendously successful”, something he might regret saying in light of Deloitte’s executive summary. Here’s the key part of Deloitte’s executive summary:

A high level roadmap was created to outline the major activities, key dependencies, critical milestones and success criteria/assumptions for the State to consider in closing as many of these 41 gaps as possible by November, 2014. It should be noted that the roadmap does not imply that all 41 levels of functionality can be achieved by systemic changes but provides a framework for the State can manage the activities needed and the timeframes that must be met in order to deliver the functionality or resort to contingent options.

That’s grim news but the AP’s article isn’t great news for Gov. Dayton:

“I wish we could tell you today that it’s all on track, it’s all going to be delivered systematically by November 15th. However, from experience, I think it would be poor of us to start planning that all of this would be delivered systematically. There will be a heavy reliance on manual intervention,” Keane said.

That’s a polite way of saying that the website won’t be working properly when open enrollment starts this November. Deloitte’s informed opinion is that they’d better have additional staff on hand to manually enroll people. As in additional staff to fill out the applications by hand.

That’s disgraceful. The Dayton administration spent the $160,000,000 it got from the federal government on a website that won’t be functional the second year it’s required to be operational. It’s bad enough that the website didn’t work last October when it was required by law to be operational. The fact that it isn’t functional a year after it’s supposed to be running is something only a government could do.

“MnSure is a poster child of Mark Dayton’s incompetence and inability to govern. After one year the Dayton administration can’t even build a working web site. Minnesotans deserve leadership that works for them,” said Jeff Johnson.

“Minnesotans need effective, efficient government—not government programs that fail to work and leave people worse off. When I am elected I will petition the federal government for a waiver, so Minnesota can show the rest of the country what a world class health care system really looks like,” Johnson concluded.

When $160,000,000 is spent on a website, Minnesotans have a right to expect that they can fill out their application online in one sitting. They shouldn’t have to worry whether the website will crash when they’re almost finished filling out their application.

Further, they shouldn’t have to deal with someone manually filling out the 23-page application. They certainly shouldn’t be told that they’d qualified for premium support initially, then be told that they don’t qualify for the premium support because the software malfunctioned.

Gov. Dayton appointed the people who were to oversee the implementation of the software. Based on what’s happening, it’s safe to say it’s a disaster. Gov. Dayton had the chutzpah to suggest that MNsure was a success:

That’s chutzpah! The people got signed up because Scott Leitz finally hired tons of staffers who filled out the people’s applications manually. That isn’t a sign of success. That’s proof of failure. The Dayton administration spent $160,000,000 on a website that still isn’t functioning. People got signed up was because MNsure staffers filled out tens of thousands of applications manually.

In the private sector, that team of software analysts would’ve been terminated immediately. Their reputations would be ruined. The CEO would get sent packing if the project was high profile enough.

This November, we’ll have the opportunity to fire that CEO. It’s time we fired Gov. Dayton. We can’t stand 4 more years of his incompetence.

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Now that Advanced Auto Parts is shutting its Bloomington, MN office, the big question is simple. What will Gov. Dayton say about this company taking more high-paying jobs out of Minnesota? Here’s what’s being reported:

Advance Auto Parts Inc. announced Thursday that it will shut its corporate office in Bloomington in September 2015 as part of a company reorganization following two key acquisitions. The decision means that Minnesota will lose about 100 jobs, including the CEO and CFO positions.

This commenter got it exactly right:

duck2013 So the second corporate headquarters leaves Minnesota in only one week? You Democrats better raise taxes quick! There’s people working and earning money and it’s not fair! lol

When Medtronic left Minnesota, Gov. Dayton said “As I look at the project as governor of Minnesota, this is a good deal for the people of our state.” What will Gov. Dayton say this time about AAP shutting its Bloomington office? We don’t have to wonder what Jeff Johnson thinks on the issue:

“Mark Dayton is presiding over an exodus of businesses, and declares it ‘good’ for Minnesota when they leave,” said Jeff Johnson, Republican endorsed candidate for governor.

“Minnesota is replacing its welcome signs at the border with ones saying ‘closed for business.’ It is never a good thing to see jobs fleeing the state, no matter what Governor Dayton says. We need to stop the bleeding, and get this economy healthy again,” Johnson concluded. “When I am governor, I will reform taxes and regulations to ensure that Minnesota has one of the best business climates in the world,” Johnson concluded.

Apparently, Gov. Dayton won’t hesitate in telling Minnesotans that losing high-paying Medtronics to Ireland is being a good deal. That doesn’t change the fact that high-paying jobs are leaving Minnesota. Gov. Dayton’s happy talk doesn’t change the fact that Minnesota is losing great companies to other states and other nations.

The capital flight that’s happened since last fall is both astonishing and frightening. It’s frightening because AAP is just the latest company to leave Minnesota. I wrote this post to highlight the fact that Nash Finch and Cargill were leaving Minnesota for other states. If Gov. Dayton and the DFL legislature want to run on the verified fact that major corporations are leaving Minnesota, that’s their choice.

That isn’t what they’ll do but it’s something Republicans should highlight every time they’re campaigning. Minnesotans might or might not care about tax increases, depending on whether they’re affected or not. Minnesotans, though, will snap to attention when they hear that high-paying jobs are leaving Minnesota for Ireland, Michigan and North Carolina.

Minnesota needs a new financial direction. We can’t keep raising taxes or threatening to raise taxes and expect companies to stay in Minnesota. Advanced Auto Parts, Cargill, Medtronic and Nash Finch are proof that companies will leave if the taxes are too high.

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It’s stunning what Gov. Dayton said about Medtronic moving their headquarters to Ireland:

Gov. Mark Dayton sees good news in Medtronic’s $43 billion deal to buy Irish medical device maker, Covidien.

“As I look at the project as governor of Minnesota, this is a good deal for the people of our state,” the governor said on Monday.

Dayton said he was personally assured by Medtronic’s CEO Omar Ishrak that, while the company would move its headquarters to Ireland, it would keep its operational headquarters in Minnesota. The result would mean that not only would the company keep its existing 8,000 employees in the state, it would also add an additional 1,000 Minnesota workers in the coming years.

Years ago, Northwest Airlines struck a deal with the state. One of the things that pushed the deal through was the number of jobs Northwest would create in Minnesota. Though the deal was signed into law, the reality is that the jobs were never created.

In fact, when Delta bought Northwest, they moved Northwest’s headquarters to Atlanta.

Why would a skeptical person believe that Medtronic will create those 1,000 jobs, especially in light of this statement?

Opponents of the income tax hikes the DFL governor pushed have laid blame on Dayton for the company’s decision to move its headquarters to Ireland. Dayton said that blame is ill-founded.

“Minnesota taxes were not an issue in their decision, Minnesota taxes (on Medtronic) will remain essentially the same,” he said.

With the DFL on a major spending binge, it’s only a matter of time before the DFL attempts to raise taxes again. There’s no certainty that Minnesota’s corporate tax rate will remain essentially the same. I’m not supporting Scott Honour but he’s right with this statement:

But Scott Honour, a former venture capitalist also running to unseat Dayton, said the governor is the one who doesn’t understand what’s going on.

“Governor Dayton is dangerously out of touch if he thinks it’s ‘tremendous news’ when one of Minnesota’s flagship companies moves its headquarters to another country. This is a slap across the face telling Minnesota and America to wake up,” Honour said on Monday. “Our tax and regulatory policies are chasing away Minnesota’s best companies.”

It’s apparent that Gov. Dayton doesn’t know how to build a flourishing economy statewide. The question Minnesotans, especially the Rangers, have to ask themselves is whether they’re better off now than they were 4 years ago. Simply put, Rangers definitely aren’t.

This isn’t the first flagship businesses that’s left the state during Gov. Dayton’s time in office. I wrote this post about Nash Finch and Cargill leaving Minnesota.

This exodus started on Gov. Dayton’s watch and while the DFL controlled the legislature. This isn’t coincidental. It’s happening because Gov. Dayton and the DFL majorities in legislature were increasing spending and raising taxes. Those things have told businesses that the DFL saw them as ATMs for expanding government, not as engines to build a prosperous Minnesota.

The frightening thing about Gov. Dayton’s statement is that it I can’t tell if he’s serious of if he’s just lying to cover his butt.

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According to this article, medical device manufacturer Medtronic is leaving Minnesota’s high state taxes. In fact, it’s leaving the federal government’s high corporate rates, too:

Medtronic Inc. (MDT), the globe-spanning medical device maker founded in a Minneapolis garage in 1949, is poised to become the biggest company yet to escape the U.S. tax system by shifting its incorporation abroad.

Medtronic said yesterday it plans to take a legal address in tax-friendly Ireland as part of a $42.9 billion takeover of Covidien Plc. (COV) Although Covidien is run from Mansfield, Massachusetts, it’s been incorporated in Ireland since 2009.

That’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Here’s more:

Minneapolis-based Medtronic joins some 44 American companies that have reincorporated abroad or struck plans to do so, including 14 in a recent wave of moves that began in 2012. Earlier this year, Pfizer Inc., the largest U.S. drugmaker, briefly proposed taking a U.K. address, a move that might have cut its tax bills by as much as $1 billion a year.

The truth is that Medtronic is running from Minnesota’s high taxes just like it’s running from high federal tax rates on corporations. While it’s true that Medtronic isn’t shipping its manufacturing operations overseas yet, that’s just an eventuality.

More companies are looking at this option:

Shareholders are pressing drugstore chain Walgreen Co. to get a Swiss address. Without a change in law, a congressional panel estimated last month, future deals will cost the U.S. $19.5 billion in tax revenue over the next 10 years.

President Obama and Gov. Dayton apparently haven’t learned that capital and labor are mobile. At this point, it isn’t likely that they’ll ever learn. Apparently, they haven’t figured out that companies are in business to make profits for their shareholders. They aren’t in business to support out-of-government spending, which is what President Obama and Gov. Dayton think.

If Gov. Dayton is re-elected and he keeps Minnesota’s corporate tax rate high, more companies will leave. That’s before businesses worry about whether Sen. Bakk will bring back the B2B sales taxes that were just repealed.

It’s time Democrats, both in Minnesota and on the federal level, understood that high marginal tax rates matter. It’s time they noticed that companies are leaving and, with them, good paying jobs for Americans.

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