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Archive for the ‘Paul Thissen’ Category

This morning, Rep. Matt Dean and Sen. Roger Chamberlain submitted a bill that would strip funding for Sen. Bakk’s Office Building:

Republican legislators are pushing a bill that would block construction of the much-maligned new Senate office building complex. Already a source of criticism from many conservatives, the building is now the subject of legislation brought by Rep. Matt Dean, R-Dellwood, and Sen. Roger Chamberlain, R-Lino Lakes, that would strip the crucial language from the 2013 tax bill, leaving the $90 million project unfunded.

Dean and Chamberlain highlighted their bill with a Monday morning Capitol press conference. Joined by numerous other GOP lawmakers, they spelled out a number of complaints with the construction plan, which they say is unpopular and unnecessary.

“Republicans’ priorities are family first, people first, before the needs of politicians,” Chamberlain said.

I can’t see Speaker Thissen letting this bill get a hearing, which means passing this bill is virtually dead in the water. Thissen can’t afford to let the bill get out of committee and to the House floor for a vote on final passage. If it gets a vote on final passage, his vulnerable members would have to choose between voting against the bill, which is political suicide or voting for the bill, which would put the Senate in a difficult position.

Frankly, this is a political hot potato for the DFL. Most DFL legislators in the House and Senate voted for the Office Building. Some, like Zach Dorholt, have said that they voted for the bill because they wanted to vote for the tax increases. If this comes up for a vote, Rep. Dorholt would have to decide whether he’ll leave Sen. Bakk and other DFL legislators hanging or if he’d vote against the Chamberlain-Dean legislation.

If the Chamberlain-Dean bill passes the House, Sen. Bakk will be in a predicament. If he tables it, it’ll create an anti-DFL backlash across the state. Every DFL legislator will be tagged as part of the party that puts politicians first. Voters won’t make a distinction between senators and representatives just like they don’t differentiate between DC politicians and state legislators.

The prevailing storyline will be DFL legislators looking out for each other. Either that or it’ll be politicians putting themselves first, families way down the list. This is a heads, the DFL loses, tail and the DFL can’t win situation. This is brilliant from a tactical standpoint.

That’s before talking about Jim Knoblach’s appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court. The first judge essentially ruled that anything could be included in the Tax Bill because it finances state or local government operations. In other words, that judge gutted the Single Subject Clause of Minnesota’s constitution.

If the Supreme Court rules the way the first court should’ve ruled, the Chamberlain-Dean bill will be moot.

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Last week, the DFL Senate’s spin about passing ‘tax relief’ was that the DFL added money to Minnesota’s Rainy Day Fund while providing tax relief to the people:

Nearly every Republican joined most DFLers in backing it, but GOP members criticized the majority for a provision in the bill that adds $150 million to state budget reserves. That brings the state’s rainy-day fund to more than $800 million, but Republicans said that money should go back to taxpayers too.

This puts the DFL in a difficult position. When they talk about a bonding bill, their predictable mantra is that spending x amount of dollars in a bonding bill creates thousands of jobs. When they’re talking about tax relief, though, taking $800,000,000 out of the private sector’s hands, the DFL’s argument essentially is that this doesn’t hurt job creation.

Having some money in the Rainy Day Fund is appropriate but having almost $1,000,000,000 in the Rainy Day Fund is criminal because it’s taking money that should be used for creating jobs and putting it away to maintain government spending longer than government spending should be maintained.

The other thing that the DFL has to be exposed on is the myth that the surplus is proof that Minnesota’s economy is booming. That’s BS. The government is wealthier than it was with the GOP legislature but that’s it. The surplus is proof that the DFL’s tax increase is stealing too much money from families and small businesses.

The DFL is ok with that because the DFL has sworn its allegiance to growing government to the point that it’s intruding in people’s lives too much. The DFL objected to PolyMet until recently. They’re still objecting to the silica sand mining in southern Minnesota. They’re objecting while chanting ‘the environment’. Nowhere in their chanting points is there a mention about families needing the high-paying jobs that silica sand mining and PolyMet would provide.

The DFL’s Rainy Day rip-off is proof that the DFL’s highest priorities are feeding government while appeasing militant environmentalists. Those aren’t the average Minnesotan’s priorities. They want policies that create jobs that don’t require raising taxes to create. At this point, the DFL doesn’t champion policies like that.

The DFL’s policies promote intrusive, expensive and inefficient government. How many people know that taxpayers’ money is being used to lobby the legislature to spend more of the taxpayers’ money? The Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities spent $840,000 lobbying for the legislature to spend more of the taxpayers’ money. While they’re the biggest in that classification, they weren’t the only organization doing that. The League of Minnesota Cities spent $628,945 lobbying the legislature to spend more of the taxpayers’ money on cities.

The definition of corruption is using the taxpayers’ money to convince legislators that they aren’t spending enough of the taxpayers’ money. In that scenario, the taxpayers are getting shafted twice. How isn’t that corrupt?

That’s before talking about the millions of dollars being paid to legislative liaisons. Legislative liaisons is government-speak for taxpayer-funded lobbyists. State agencies are littered with legislative liaisons. If that position was eliminated from state government, government spending would drop dramatically.

It isn’t that legislative liaisons get expensive salaries. It’s that they convince DFL legislators to spend tons of money they don’t need to spend.

If Minnesotans want a real economy, the DFL is the worst option. If Minnesotans want money spent efficiently, the DFL is the worst option. If Minnesota families want government dictating to them what they can and can’t do, then the DFL is the right choice. If Minnesota families want government ripping them off and putting productive money into a dead fund, then the DFL is the only choice.

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This article sickens me because it’s intellectually dishonest. Baird Helgeson is intent on portraying the DFL as heroic tax cutters. That’s BS. The DFL is the party that taxes first, then waits to see if there’s a backlash. If there’s a backlash, they pass a Tax Repair Bill like they did Friday.

“This is a monumental victory for the DFL leadership in the Legislature and just shows that we have a balanced approach to Minnesota,” Dayton said during a celebratory news conference with DFL House and Senate leaders. “That’s what people wanted.”

Despite Gov. Dayton’s attempt to praise the DFL leadership in the House and Senate, it’s just proof that Gov. Dayton is intent on painting over his criticism of Sen. Bakk earlier this week. Here’s what he said earlier this week:

I’m very disappointed that we have not been able to reach a bill and frankly, we’ve got a meeting this afternoon with House and Senate leaders. I just have to say that the impasse isn’t around the tax bill. It’s about the Legislative Office Building and the Senate’s insistence that they have the building and they aren’t willing to let a reasonable tax bill proceed on a timely basis until they get the building and the House’s unwillingness at this point to agree to that. So I hope that Minnesotans will communicate with their legislators, and these are Democrat legislators, I’m sorry to say, that this is inexcusable and unacceptable.

Which is it, Gov. Dayton? Does Sen. Bakk deserve praise for stalling a bill to pressure the House into approving Bakk’s Palace? Does the DFL deserve praise for passing the biggest tax increase in Minnesota history last year, then repealing a tiny fraction of them this year? Does the DFL deserve praise for raising taxes and fees by $2,400,000,000 last year, then giving $440,000,000 of that back this year?

Minnesotans shouldn’t be happy that the DFL finally listened to them. They shouldn’t be happy that the DFL did the right thing only after the DFL started worrying about this year’s elections. That isn’t representing the people. That’s voting the DFL’s ideology.

It’s proof that the DFL will always do the right thing…when it’s the only option left.

The House and Senate passed the bill overwhelmingly on Friday. Nearly every Republican joined most DFLers in backing it, but GOP members criticized the majority for a provision in the bill that adds $150 million to state budget reserves. That brings the state’s rainy-day fund to more than $800 million, but Republicans said that money should go back to taxpayers too.

Putting that much money into the state’s rainy day fund is criminal. That’s stealing money from businesses that would create jobs with it. The DFL is putting money aside so the DFL won’t have to spend money efficiently. They’d rather pay off their special interest allies with the taxpayers’ hard-earned money. The DFL wouldn’t be able to pay off their special interest allies with taxpayers money if money was spent efficiently. It’s time the DFL stopped feeding their special interest allies and started representing their constituents.

Thus far, the DFL hasn’t proven that they’re interested in doing the right thing the first time. They’ve proven quite the opposite. This week, the DFL proved that they’ll do the right thing only when they’re worried about the next election.

That isn’t leadership. That’s called brinksmanship, which shouldn’t be rewarded with praise. This isn’t tax relief:

Much of the tax relief is delivered by conforming to recent changes in federal tax law, and about $57 million of it is retroactive to taxes paid in 2013.

Typically, tax conformity is the first bill passed by the legislature each year. It’s typically the first bill the governor signs each year. By waiting until after thousands of people have filed their tax returns before passing the tax conformity bill, the DFL just caused taxpayers the headache of filing an amended return. The DFL didn’t give thousands of people the opportunity to do their taxes once. Instead, Sen. Bakk opted to force thousands to file amended returns.

That isn’t cause for celebration. That’s cause for criticism. The DFL, specifically Sen. Bakk, put a high priority on getting the Senate Office Building approved. The DFL, especially Sen. Bakk, didn’t put a high priority on passing what I’m calling the Tax Repair Bill. Sen. Bakk said that the Senate couldn’t be rushed into passing the Tax Repair Bill because they were studying the impacts the tax repeals would have.

Sen. Bakk said that until he was exposed as playing political games with the Tax Repair Bill. Then he went into warp speed.

The GOP deserves praise in this for not supporting the biggest tax increase in Minnesota history. The GOP deserves praise for not buying into the DFL’s counterproductive tax increases. Minnesotans deserve praise for passionately criticizing the DFL’s tax increases.

UPDATE: This video is sickening:

Speaker Thissen spoke about tax relief for possibly 1,000,000 Minnesotans. Sen. Bakk praised the DFL for working at warp speed to get these tax ‘cuts’ passed. Isn’t it interesting that Sen. Bakk conveniently omitted the part about how he tried holding the tax repeals hostage to force the House to approve his Senate Office Building project? He didn’t budge until Gov. Dayton threw him under the bus because the political backlash was threatening a second Dayton term.

Sen. Bakk deserves criticism for playing politics with this Tax Repair Bill. Speaker Thissen and Gov. Dayton deserve criticism for passing the original tax increases which they repealed Friday. The DFL ‘leadership’ deserves criticism for putting a higher priority on voting their ideology than representing their constituents.

The good news is that we can fix two-thirds of the problem this November.

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Based on this article, I’ve got to question whether the DFL is the united party that Twin Cities journalists, aka the DFL praetorian guard, would have us believe. Here’s the latest information that suggests the DFL isn’t the united party it’s pretending to be:

Gov. Dayton made his first public appearance since undergoing hip surgery in February to voice his disappointment for Senate DFLers, who he claimed were holding a tax relief bill hostage unless their demands over a new building were addressed. “The impasse is not around the tax bill,” Dayton said. “It’s about the legislative office building and the Senate’s insistence that they have the building.”

But Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk of Cook denied allegations that his members were holding up millions of dollars. “I don’t believe it’s been delayed any and I don’t know how much faster we could’ve gotten this up to the floor than we’re doing right now,” Bakk said.

That high-level back-and-forth between Gov. Dayton and Sen. Bakk over Sen. Bakk’s precious office building is just the tip of the iceberg. Here’s where the fight escalates:

Though he wasn’t willing to provide names of which senators were holding up the bill, Dayton did state, “The differences on tax policy are relatively minor and easily resolvable. It doesn’t do justice for the people of Minnesota to be in the situation we’re in now.

But House Speaker Paul Thissen of Minneapolis was willing to point fingers and right at Bakk. “It became clear that Sen. Bakk thinks that including a Senate Office Building in the tax bill is the only way he’s going to get his Senate Office Building done. We don’t believe that is the case but that is where we are,” Thissen said.

The animosity between Sen. Bakk and Speaker Thissen is one of the worst-kept secrets at the Capitol. Simply put, they’re enemies, not rivals. You can practically feel the joy Speaker Thissen felt in criticizing Sen. Bakk. This isn’t just a little dispute. This is the start of a full-fledged war:

Addressing the Senate building accusations, Bakk did admit that he was “disappointed” that the House hasn’t made progress on the issue and assumed it was because House members wouldn’t be impacted by the need for space. “To think that the Senate is going to give up all this space and just be kicked out on the street. That’s just not going to happen. And we just don’t understanding why the House hasn’t acted in some urgency,” Bakk said.

I’d say that someone needs a timeout for not playing well with others but that’s just my opinion. Seriously, Sen. Bakk’s mini-diatribe might indicate that he realizes he’s just lost his biggest bargaining chip against the House in his quest for getting Bakk’s Palace built.

That’s before talking about the erupting fight between the Iron Range Democrats and the Metrocrats. Sen. Bakk represents the Iron Range while Thissen and Dayton represent the Metrocrats. Thanks to their differing opinions on PolyMet, a fight is about to break out on that issue:

“Clearly this opens up the clash and conflict between those DFLers who value the environment first, versus those who value jobs first. We will all have to answer the question, ‘Whose side are you on?’” Anzelc said. “I think this issue has the potential to divide the DFL convention this summer. The table is set for Democrats running for statewide office to have a real challenging time of it in the ’14 elections.”

This is one of those rare times when the Republicans’ best strategy is to step to the side and watch the DFL fur fly. There’s no sense interjecting one’s self into a fight when your enemies are destroying each other.

It’ll take some effort resolving to get Sen. Bakk on board with the DFL agenda after he’s gotten shafted on his office building project. It’ll take a minor miracle to unite the DFL considering the looming fight over PolyMet. This is shaping up to being a major food fight for the DFL.

It ain’t gonna be pretty.

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Earlier this week, I spoke with a suburban legislator about whether the House Rules Committee would vote to prevent the building of the Senate Office Building. This legislator said that there’s virtually no chance the Rules Committee will vote to stop construction of Sen. Bakk’s Palace for Politicians, adding that Sen. Bakk is playing hardball on a host of issues to guarantee he gets his palace.

This article is just verification for me:

The old adage “two can play that game” is being played out at the Capitol as DFLers in the House and the Senate go nose to nose, jaw to jaw, threat to threat.

There’s a common belief among DFL House members, as well as Republican senators, that Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk is going to slow down virtually every bill of substance the House passes until he gets the Senate Office Building he seems to want so much.

It’s quite melodramatic to say that the House and Senate are about to go “nose to nose, jaw to jaw, threat to threat.” This is the tipoff that a deal is imminent:

The House Rules Committee, headed by Murphy, has held a hearing but has taken no vote — and has no vote planned. “We’re doing our due diligence,” said Murphy of her plans for the bill.

That’s legislative speak for “We have a big stick and we’re gonna use it.”

That’s political speak for ‘we won’t say yes until Bakk says yes on our stuff.’ The minute the House gets what it wants, the House Rules Committee will approve the plans for Bakk’s Palace for Politicians. The House Rules Committee isn’t primarily interested in doing what’s right for Minnesotans. They’re thinking only in terms of how many things on their ideological wishlist they can get signed into law. Period.

Make no mistake about this: If the House Rules Committee approves plans for Bakk’s Palace for Politicians, they will have said ‘the taxpayer be damned.’ They will have voted to give a spoiled brat and elitist what he wants. The DFL’s concern for taxpayers is virtually nonexistent.

Despite Rep. Murphy’s insistence otherwise, there’s no due diligence to do. The building is a waste of $90,000,000. The Senate doesn’t need this building:

The DFL House and Gov. Dayton don’t care about taxpayers. If they did, they wouldn’t have put this spending initiative in last year’s Tax Bill. If the DFL wants to be tagged with the reputation of out-of-touch big spenders who don’t care about taxpayers, they should vote today to approve Sen. Bakk’s Palace for Politicians project.

If, however, the DFL wants to earn the reputation of caring about taxpayers, they’d better change directions and stop spending taxpayers’ money on foolish things like Bakk’s Palace.

Finally, Sen. Bakk apparently thinks he’s in the driver’s seat because they aren’t up for re-election this year. He might get what he wants this year but the taxpayers will remember. They’ll remember because I’ll repeatedly remind them in 2016. I’ll remind taxpayers that their senators foolishly spent $90,000,000 on Bakk’s Palace. I’ll even remind people which DFL senators voted for Bakk’s Palace.

Good luck with that, Sen. Bakk.

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The DFL’s hostility towards businesses has been frequently documented. Tax the Rich became their mantra in 2008. It’s still part of their mantra today. Unfortunately for Minnesotans, Gov. Dayton and the DFL didn’t just ‘tax the rich.’ They dropped a ton of taxes on the middle class and the working poor.

Speaker Thissen officially went on the record at a Minnesota Chamber of Commerce event that the DFL will raise the minimum wage and that it’s likely to be closer to $9.50 per hour than $7.75 per hour:

Tuesday’s Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Session Priorities event may have been full of literature, displays and speeches promoting business interests, but House Speaker Paul Thissen wasn’t shy about telling business leaders that they won’t be getting some of the biggest items on their wish list.

For starters, the highest income tax bracket is not going away, the DFLer from Minneapolis predicted. There will be a minimum wage hike, and that new minimum wage will be closer to the high end than the low end, he said.

“Quite frankly, I think this is the right direction for Minnesota to go. I know that’s going to disappoint a lot of the people in the room, but I think it’s where we should head,” Thissen said at the RiverCentre in St. Paul, where 1,650 tickets were sold to the annual event.

The short-term effect of raising the minimum wage to $9.50 per hour is that fewer teenagers will find jobs if the minimum wage is raised. In this sluggish economy, employers will have an additional excuse not to hire teenagers for summer jobs.

What’s most disturbing is that Thissen thinks that Democrats think this is the right direction to head in. It indicates that the DFL doesn’t understand what creates prosperity. One of Thissen’s top lieutenants, Rep. Ryan Winkler, repeatedly says that raising the minimum wage doesn’t hurt hiring. He’s both right and wrong. There’s sufficient proof that raising the minimum wage during good times isn’t tragic for businesses. It isn’t helpful but it isn’t catastrophic.

Likewise, there’s sufficient proof that raising the minimum wage during a struggling economy hurts hiring, especially with young people looking for their first job.

Finally, it looks like the warehousing services sales tax and the farm equipment repair sales tax will be repealed. Two weekends ago, SEIU Local 26 President Javier Morillo-Alicea tried spinning the repeal of these taxes as DFL tax relief. That’s the most deceitful spin I’ve heard in ages.

The DFL legislature passed a Tax Bill that raised too many taxes. After a lengthy public outcry, they’ve decided that it’s in the Democrats’ political self-interest to repeal their mistake before voters punish them this November. This isn’t about the Democrats realizing that their tax increases will hurt businesses.

It’s important to remember that these taxes were in Gov. Dayton’s initial budget. They were stripped from the Democrats’ Tax Bill thanks to an intense lobbying campaign by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. On the final weekend of last year’s session, the DFL put the tax increases back into the final bill.

Simply put, Democrats thumbed their noses at the Chamber. The DFL only changed directions when they noticed how upset the Chamber was with these tax hikes. Thissen is especially worried because the Senate isn’t up for re-election. That means all of the Chamber’s anger will be directed at House DFL legislators.

That isn’t automatically catastrophic with a statewide candidate, though it can’t help. It’s likely to have the biggest impact in House races where a well-funded challenger can defeat a vulnerable incumbent. That’s why Thissen is rightfully worried.

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These days, the environmentalist wing of the DFL, aka the elitist Metrocrats, seem determined to shaft miners. This time, it’s Speaker Thissen that’s giving the Iron Range the shaft:

The Minnesota House speaker will not allow any legislation to pass this year setting an amount PolyMet Mining Corp. should set aside to fix environmental damage done by its proposed copper-nickel mine.

“We are not taking up any legislation related to mining, one way or the other,” House Speaker Paul Thissen, D-Minneapolis, told Forum News Service on Friday. “The best thing is to let the process work its way out.”

One of Thissen’s committees held a 5½-hour meeting this week dealing with how much money the state should require PolyMet to pay up front to clean up any environment issues once the mine closes. PolyMet itself has said perhaps $200 million should be available at mine closure, with a few million more a year for some time afterward.

When Yvonne Prettner-Solon announced that she’d gotten tired of being ignored by Gov. Dayton, she created an opening on the Dayton ticket. Rather than picking Tony Sertich, Gov. Dayton picked Tina Smith, creating an all-Minneapolis ticket.

This time, Speaker Thissen is saying he won’t lift a finger to help out the Iron Range. It’s worth noting that Thissen is the quintessential Minneapolis Metrocrat. He’s danced the environmentalists’ tune every time they’ve demanded it of him.

At some point, the blue collar workers of the Iron Range will have to ask whether Gov. Dayton, Speaker Thissen and Alida Messinger care about them after they’ve cast their votes for the DFL. Thus far, the Metrocrats have proven that they’re interested in the Iron Range’s support at the polls. What’s worse is that the Metrocrats have shown that they’re totally disinterested in supporting the Iron Range’s pro-mining agenda.

FOOTNOTE: During Friday night’s political roundtable, SEIU Local 26 President Javier Morillo-Alicea said that this isn’t a big deal, that “voters don’t think in terms of geographical balance.” Andy Brehm pounced on that, saying “Spoken like someone from Minneapolis.”

It’s true voters don’t walk into a voting booth and say “I can’t vote for this ticket because it isn’t geographically balanced. That said, there’s tons of reasons for Iron Rangers to abandon the DFL, starting with the indisputable fact that Alida Messinger, the biggest funder of the DFL, hates mining.

Funding the DFL isn’t the only activism Ms. Messinger has engaged in. According to Conservation Minnesota’s website, Ms. Messinger is the Vice-Chair of CM’s Board of Directors. CM is one of the biggest supporters of MiningTruth.org:

Our goal is to provide a resource for Minnesotans to get the facts about sulfide mining and its impacts. Today, there is little awareness and even less understanding about proposed sulfide mining projects in northern Minnesota.

Our state has important choices to make that impact every Minnesotan. The more people who participate in these decisions, the better the outcome. Learn more about sulfide mining.

Founding partners of Mining Truth are Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, Conservation Minnesota. See the full list of supporters.

Apparently, Thissen doesn’t want his DFL House caucus voting on anything controversial:

However, Thissen said the DNR should proceed with its studies, adding that he is confident the process will provide enough information that those in charge “can make the right decisions.”

“We do have this process in place,” the speaker said. “It feels like the information is getting out there. I feel this is going to be an extensive process.” Thissen said fellow House Democrats, who hold a majority of the votes, do not appear to be leaning “one way or the other” on the PolyMet issue.

That’s pure BS. The Twin Cities DFL want to kill the PolyMet and Twin Metals projects. The Iron Range DFL want those project built ASAP.

Politics is definitely a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately proposition. Lately Metro DFL legislators have given the Iron Range the shaft. They just didn’t give them the mine to go with it.

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I didn’t know about Joe Soucheray’s column from the Jan. 11, 2014 edition of the Pioneer Press. It’s a fascinating read. Here’s part of Mr. Soucheray’s column:

Not only is a new state Senate office building unnecessary, but the effort to bring it about was, essentially, crooked. In the final minutes of the last legislative session, the lodge tucked into a massive tax bill language that authorized a new edifice for themselves. They might as well have been throwing candy from a parade float.

They didn’t even know what it would cost, and they apparently didn’t care. They didn’t even seem to care that their action might very well have been unconstitutional. Former state Rep. Jim Knoblach, R-St. Cloud, filed a lawsuit in October. We should be cheering for this guy. He contends in the suit that authorizing the project in a tax bill, instead of the usual bonding bill, violates a state constitutional requirement that a law embrace only one subject. A hearing is scheduled this month in Ramsey County District Court.

Mr. Soucheray is right. Gov. Dayton, Sen. Bakk, Speaker Thissen and the DFL didn’t care how much this building cost. They didn’t care that the building wasn’t needed or that there were cheaper ‘solutions’ to this non-problem. The Minnesota Senate needed that building like this ship needed more ice near Antarctica:

The Minnesota Senate needed that office building like Olympic athletes need this type of drinking water:

Let’s get serious about this. If we do, then we’ll be more considerate of the taxpayers’ plight than the DFL was. The DFL Tax Bill is a disaster. First, it raised taxes on the middle class and on small retailers. Next, it’s spending money we don’t have on things we don’t need, aka the Senate Office Building. Third, the DFL is already admitting that they raised taxes too much because they’re already preparing to repeal some of the taxes they created less than a year ago.

All of these things are major mistakes. Building the SOB is the biggest of those mistakes because, potentially, it’ll exist a generation or more. Hopefully, the middle class tax hikes will be repealed. (The sooner the better, right?) Repealing the B2B sales taxes will happen this session.

Unfortunately, if it’s approved by the DFL House Rules Committee, the SOB will be with us for a generation or more.

The biggest question Minnesotans need to ask themselves is whether they want inconsiderate, thoughtless people running state government. The DFL did what conservatives predicted they’d do. They raised taxes on the middle class and working poor. They foolishly spent money on things like the Senate Office Building. They built a collosal monument to their warped ideology when they passed MNsure.

I’d argue that the DFL is the ‘gang that couldn’t shoot straight’ if I thought that were true. Unfortunately, this DFL governor and this DFL legislature has aimed their taxing and spending guns at every Minnesotan. Every Minnesota taxpayer will pay for this monstrosity.

Mostly, the SOB is a testimony to the DFL’s appetite for spending money foolishly. That alone should get them fired this November.

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This article highlights a clash between Rep. Kurt Daudt and Rep. Paul Thissen. It doesn’t sound like much of a difference but it’s significant:

Thissen, a Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party member from Minneapolis, said “there’s clearly been problems, significant problems, in the implementation of it” but that the bugs are getting worked out and the system will provide coverage for thousands who hadn’t previously had it.

When Thissen started criticizing proposed GOP alternatives, Daudt, a Republican from Crown, jumped in, saying Minnesotans don’t want a “blame game.”

“The whole philosophy behind this is flawed,” Daudt said of MNsure. Under the state’s old system, he said, about 93 percent of people had coverage. “We scrapped the system that was a leader in the country,” Daudt said, to go to one that’s “riddled with problems.”

But that 7 percent who couldn’t get coverage under the old system represents about half a million people that the state has a moral obligation to help, Thissen said. Until Daudt has a solution for that group, “you ought to stop pointing fingers,” he said.

When he was a member of one of the committees with jurisdiction on the HHS omnibus bill, Steve Gottwalt pointed out that 93% of Minnesotans had health insurance and that half of those that didn’t have health insurance were eligible for a government-offered health insurance. That means approximately 96.5% of Minnesotans were eligible for government-offered insurance or had health insurance.

That’s before questioning whether the other 3.5% of Minnesotans wanted insurance. It’s possible that a significant portion of those people didn’t want health insurance.

That’s significant because it minimizes Speaker Thissen’s argument that Minnesota “has a moral obligation” to help these people. First, why would Minnesota have an obligation to help people who might not want help? The simple answer is that they don’t. Second, let’s get rid of Speaker Thissen’s fuzzy math. If the number of uninsured who can’t get insured is actually 2%, not 5%, then Thissen’s figure of “half a million people” is reduced to approximately 108,000 people.

Finally, Thissen saying that Republicans should stop their criticism until they have a plan is intellectually dishonest. Republicans have a plan. The DFL just doesn’t like it. Rather than the DFL saying what they like or don’t like about the GOP plan, the DFL pretends that Republicans don’t have a plan.

The DFL created a health insurance exchange. Unfortunately, their plan, not just the HIX, stinks. The policies offered through MNsure are the cheapest in the nation. Unfortunately, these policies’ premiums are more expensive than before the Anything But Affordable Care Act. That’s before talking about his significantly higher deductibles, which means higher out-of-pocket expenses for families.

That means I’m still waiting for the DFL to offer legislation that provides real health insurance reform.

Yesterday, I wrote this post highlighting Paul Thissen’s reaction to my post about how unions didn’t build the middle class. The activists in the MOB, aka the Minnesota Organization of Bloggers, aren’t unlike NATO in that, an attack against one is an attack against all of us. When they saw that Speaker Thissen had taken issue with my post, Mitch Berg and the Lady Logician jumped into the discussion. Here’s how the Lady Logician responded to Speaker Thissen’s tweets:

You misrepresent the smaller gov’t policy stance to mean no govt & that is simply NOT what small gov’t ppl want. No one is arguing against roads & education but when govt gets in2 the minutia of telling ppl what lightbulbs 2 buy or what HEALTHCARE to buy or whether or not they can own a specific type of dog, then we are going to argue.

Here’s Mitch’s response to one of Speaker Thissen’s tweets:

The evidence is, in fact, that gov’t research *follows* corp. innovation. Ditto education. Not other way around.

Mitch wasn’t done schooling Speaker Thissen. Here’s the rest of Mitch’s tweets to Speaker Thissen:

So did gov’t build roads out of pure goodwill? Or did biz pay for them? You’re saying government is the only body that can give us clean water? Record shows that’s untrue. Most municipal water systems in the US *started* as private enterprises. Nearly a quarter still are. The “gov’t brings us all riches” argument is the black/white one. Markets, not politics, deal well with nuance. Either is “private enterprise is lost without government”. Or rather it’s a fallacious place to start the conversation. At best, it’s “assisted” by gov’t. But the idea that prosperity follows infrastructure is utterly ahistorical.

That’s a typical Mitch-slap. Spoeaker Thissen probably didn’t realize conservatives were this principled about free markets and limited government. The reality is that Speaker Thissen didn’t address why he thinks government is equipped to run a complex online health insurance business for the entire state. That’s essentially what MNsure is. (That isn’t just my opinion. It’s what Jim Nobles said on Almanac last Friday.)

Was government responding to free markets when they passed legislation that specified what types of lightbulbs could be used? Why did government inject itself into the discussion as to what dogs were legal in Minnesota? Was there an outbreak of dog violence against people? Or were they just inserting themselves into an issue because they were reacting to one of their special interest allies? I’m pretty certain it’s the latter.

Speaker Thissen’s tweet that questioned whether people could get to their jobs or companies could move their goods without public roads dovetails with President Obama’s now-infamous statement that entrepreneurs didn’t build their companies, that government did. That’s BS. Mitch is right in saying that government might assist entrepreneurs but government isn’t what makes businesses thrive.

The Anything But Affordable Care Act is a perfect example of how twisted leftist thinking is. I wrote here about how MNsure made things worse for one Minnesota family:

This Minnesota family is a young married couple with three children. Until ObamaCare and Dayton’s MNsure came along they shared the cost of their Blue Cross-Blue Shield family health insurance policy 50/50 with the father’s employer. Thanks to ObamaCare, the cost of that policy sky rocketed and is no longer affordable to the family. After endless hours of working with MNsure, here is what resulted.

Without the parent’s consent, MNsure jammed their three children onto government insurance. The children are now covered by Medicaid at no cost to the family or employer, but 100 percent cost to the taxpayers. The father had to go with a single insurance plan from his employer and purchase a separate new policy for his wife. Because of the confusion and disarray at MNsure, neither he nor his wife currently has health insurance ID cards for the insurance they have already paid for.

That’s why limited government conservatives complain about government overstepping their constitutional authority. Additionally, this shows government isn’t capable of running a business.

In other words, government should get its claws out of the things it isn’t qualified to do and focus on the things that constitutions limits it to. Limited government conservatives don’t hate government, even though that’s the propaganda that ABM and other leftist propaganda organizations spread. It’s that we understand that the best decisions for families happen at a family’s kitchen table.

It’s time Speaker Thissen figured that out.

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