Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category

Jeff Johnson’s interview with Bill Hanna, the editor of the Mesabi Daily News, provided Johnson’s sharpest attack on Gov. Dayton yet. Here’s the heart of Johnson’s criticism:

“I believe strongly that if Dayton wins, PolyMet will not happen. He is getting and responding to great, great pressure from environmentalists. Saw it at the DFL Convention when they got a resolution on copper/nickel tabled,” Johnson said.

I think that’s accurate. Gov. Dayton’s silence is deafening, especially considering the fact that he’s called himself the “jobs governor.” It’s more like he’s the jobs governor as long as it doesn’t interfere with the environmental activists’ anti-mining agenda.

Ken Martin breathed a big sigh of relief when a watered-down pro-mining resolution to the DFL Party Platform was tabled before it came up for debate. Martin was happy because he kept the lid on the major differences between Range Democrats and the Twin Cities ‘Metrocrats’.

In siding with Twin Cities Metrocrats, Gov. Dayton sided with people whose median household income is $63,559. What’s Gov. Dayton’s justification for siding with the Metrocrats rather than siding with people whose median household income is $46,231? There was a time when Democrats stood up for the less fortunate. In this instance, Republicans are fighting for lower income people and the Democrats are fighting for Twin Cities elitists.

Those thinking that that’s just a political cheap shot should notice who serve as Conservation Minnesota’s strategic advisors. There’s no more anti-mining organization than Conservation Minnesota. Most of the people on that list are Twin Cities elitists. That’s who Gov. Dayton has fought for.

“I will do everything I can to get PolyMet and other copper/nickel projects open up here. This has been delayed far too long and the governor helping those delays by being silent. A governor’s silence on a major project like this with so many jobs is deadly.

Gov. Dayton’s leadership on this issue hasn’t existed. He’s hidden in his little cubicle and said nothing about PolyMet. Meanwhile, Gov. Dayton has fought hard for projects like Rochester’s Destination Medical Center and the Vikings stadium in Minneapolis.

Gov. Dayton didn’t hesitate about pushing for those projects. Why hasn’t he shown the same enthusiasm in fighting for the PolyMet project? Is it because the Vikings stadium and DMC were high priorities but PolyMet isn’t one of his priorities? If that’s the case, Gov. Dayton should just admit that jobs in northern Minnesota just aren’t the high priority for him that Twin Cities jobs are.

That’s political suicide but it’s the honest thing to do. Unfortunately, doing the right thing isn’t a priority with Gov. Dayton or the DFL. They’re worried about doing what will keep them in office. Doing what’s right for all of Minnesota isn’t a priority with Gov. Dayton or the DFL.

This was Jeff Johnson’s stiffest attack on Gov. Dayton yet. He’s been the candidate who’s put together a statewide organization. He’s leveled the sharpest criticism against Gov. Dayton. That’s why he was the GOP candidate who did the best against Gov. Dayton in the latest KSTP-SurveyUSA poll.

In this interview, Jeff Johnson didn’t shy from criticizing Gov. Dayton on an important issue. Republicans are looking for a candidate that will take the fight to Gov. Dayton. Jeff Johnson certainly fits that requirement. If miners are paying attention, they’ll know that he’s fighting for them. If they’ve paid attention, they know that Gov. Dayton hasn’t fought for them.

The evidence is clear. Gov. Dayton has been silent on PolyMet. He’s shown that he’ll fight for Twin Cities projects but he won’t fight for the biggest jobs project on the Range. If the Range wants 4 more years of getting ignored, they should vote for Gov. Dayton. If they want high paying jobs, their only choice is Jeff Johnson.

It’s that simple.

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When George Stephanopoulos interviewed President Obama, President Obama’s arrogance was on full display:

BARACK OBAMA: You notice that he didn’t specifically say what exactly he was objecting to. I’m not going to apologize for trying to do something while they’re doing nothing.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Even if you get sued?

OBAMA: You know…the suit is a stunt. What I’ve told Speaker Boehner directly is: if you’re really concerned about me taking too many executive actions, why don’t you try getting something done through Congress? The majority of the American people want to see immigration reform done. We had a bipartisan bill through the Senate, and you’re going to squawk if I try to fix some parts of it administratively that are within my authority, while you are not doing anything.

First, President Obama got slapped around yesterday in the NLRB vs. Noel Canning decision. That’s because he insisted that the executive branch had the authority to tell the legislative branch when the legislative branch was in session. (Apparently, he didn’t pay attention to the constitutional concept of co-equal branches of government.)

Second, getting things done is a two-way street. There are literally dozens of bills waiting for a Senate vote that’ve been passed by the House of Representatives. President Obama and Sen. Reid are pretending they don’t exist because they don’t want to admit that Republicans have constructive, substantive solutions to America’s problems.

In their minds, they think they’re the only people with solutions. In President Obama’s mind, his ideas are the only legitimate ideas worthy of consideration. In President Obama’s mind, anything that Republicans propose isn’t worthy of consideration.

Thirdly, and most importantly, the federal government is based on checks and balances. That’s what the Constitution mandates. President Obama thinks the presidency is really a kingdom, a place where he has the authority to unilaterally rewrite laws that he’s signed. Yesterday, the Supreme Court slapped him down again. Their ruling in the NLRB v. Noel Canning case marked the thirteenth straight time that the Supreme Court told him he’d overstepped his authority.

If President Obama were to speak honestly in his response to Stephanopoulos, here’s what he would’ve said:

BARACK OBAMA: I’m not going to apologize for acting like an autocrat. It isn’t my fault that the Founding Fathers didn’t choose a monarchy. It’s time it became a monarchy.

President Obama is a despicable person who doesn’t care about laws he’s signed or the Constitution he’s sworn to uphold.

The end of his term can’t come soon enough. Ditto with the repeal of his policies. President Obama’s lawlessness can’t come soon enough.

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President Obama is still convinced that he can bamboozle the American people. To a certain extent, he’s right. What’s discouraging, though, is that he still thinks he’s America’s king, not America’s president. President Obama’s press team is doing its best to sell him as a man who cares about the middle class. Meanwhile, Al Franken didn’t want anything to do with President Obama’s visit to Minnesota.

I can’t blame Sen. Franken for not associating with President Obama, especially a day after the Commerce Department admitted that the Obama-Franken economy shrunk by 2.9% in Q1 of 2014. If I were Sen. Franken’s campaign manager, I’d tell him to distance myself from President Obama, especially after the Supreme Court issued its 13th straight 9-0 rebuke of an unconstitutional presidential power grab.

I’d especially want to distance myself from the arrogant man that insisted that the IRS scandal is just Washington being Washington. How dare that arrogant SOB tell us that Lois Lerner’s targeting of TEA Party organizations is just Washington being Washington. How dare that arrogant SOB tell us that Lois Lerner’s targeting of a sitting US senator is Washington being Washington.

President Obama is the most corrupt president in US history. Whereas President Nixon told the FBI that they didn’t need search warrants, President Obama thinks that obeying the Constitution is optional. Further, President Obama thinks he’s king of the United States, rewriting the law he signed over 30 times.

That isn’t a public servant. That’s the profile of a narcissist. If I had a $10 bill for every time President Obama said that he had a pen and he had a phone and that that’s all he needed to govern, I’d be wealthy. That’s what autocrats say, not presidents. At least, presidents prior to President Obama never said they’d ignore the legislative branch.

President Obama’s arrogance is displayed another way. RNC spokesman Michael Short issued this statement criticizing President Obama and Sen. Franken:

“While President Obama is out surveying the economy his policies have failed to rejuvenate, hopefully he will take the opportunity to consider a different approach. Instead of pushing for more policies that make it even harder to create jobs, the President ought to call on Harry Reid and Al Franken to take up the dozens of House-passed jobs bills languishing in the Democrat-controlled Senate. As we saw with yesterday’s news that the economy shrank more than originally thought during the first three months of 2014, it’s clear President Obama’s policies still aren’t working and the country needs a new direction.”

President Obama has made it clear that he thinks his failed policies will provide the solutions families need. He couldn’t be more wrong about that. The sooner his policies are repealed, the sooner the economy will start doing what it’s always done, which is grow at incredible rates.

I’ll borrow a Reagan line to illustrate my perspective. A recession is when your neighbor is unemployed. A depression is when you’re unemployed. The recovery will start when President Obama is unemployed and his policies are dismantled.

It isn’t surprising that Sen. Franken hid during President Obama’s visit. I’d hide from President Obama’s track record of lawlessness, corruption and incompetence, too. That’s the last thing I’d want to be associated with.

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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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A friend of mine sent me this table to illustrate how much environmentalists’ policies have hurt families in St. Louis County:

Terry used U.S. Census Bureau information to compare St. Louis County’s median household income with Minnesota’s median household income.

As you can see, Minnesota’s median household income for 2008-2012 was $59,126. The median household income for St. Louis County was $46,231 for the same time period. That doesn’t tell the entire story, though. Terry’s table does a better job of highlighting the differences.

Eveleth, which is part of the heart of the Iron Range, has a median household income of $35,500, which is $23,626 less than Minnesota’s median household income.

Not coincidentally, the Iron Range gets the most of the Metrocrat environmental activists’ attention. That’s because the activists’ highest priority is preventing mining. It isn’t coincidence that cities and counties that have the highest poverty rates and lowest incomes are the cities and counties that get most of the environmentalists’ attention.

There’s another worthwhile comparison to make, this time between Chisago County and International Falls. The median household income in Chisago County is $67,075. The median household income for International Falls is a paltry $30,094, a whopping difference of $36,981.

International Falls, where the MHI is $30,094, has been governed by Democrats since before I was born. FYI- I’ll turn 58 in July. Chisago County, where the MHI is $67,075, isn’t governed by liberals. Environmental activists haven’t paid much attention to Chisago County, either. Again, it isn’t coincidental that the income disparity is breathtaking between Chisago County and International Falls.

Chisago County has a diversified economy with relatively few environmental regulations. Environmental regulations heavily influence International Falls’ economy even though they aren’t technically part of the Iron Range. They’re affected by environmental regulations on the logging industry and because of their proximity to Superior National Forest, aka SNF, and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, aka the BWCAW.

Organizations like Friends of the Boundary Waters, Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness, the Sierra Club and Conservation Minnesota have worked overtime to keep the Range’s economy from flourishing. They’ve done everything, including lying, to stop PolyMet from becoming reality.

These organizations didn’t hesitate in trying their time-tested method of fear-mongering, which Harlan Christensen exposed in this article. Here’s how he started his article:

“Minnesota and mining: Our children, our waters and wild rice are political pawns,” published April 15 by Ely resident C.A. Arneson, paints a frightening picture of political intrigue and dangers to our children and communities. With this masterpiece of environmental fear-mongering, Arneson reveals a disturbing problem with the environmental lobby in Minnesota.

Here’s how Mr. Christensen exposed the environmentalists’ fearmongering:

I will not argue Arneson’s contention of sulfide effects on wild rice and methyl mercury. What I will argue, however, are some key omissions.

Important MPCA evidence and other scientific studies offer evidence that rice beds and waters containing elevated levels of iron significantly reduce mercury methylation and make sulfide nontoxic to wild-rice seedlings. Iron makes the difference, and we are talking about the Iron Range, right?

Organizations like the Sierra Club, Conservation Minnesota and others know the mitigating effects iron has on wild rice seedlings. Mr. Christensen highlights things in this paragraph:

The March 2014 MPCA Wild Rice Sulfate Standard Study Preliminary Analysis revealed that iron presence in mud at levels greater than 1 milligram per liter causes sulfide to bond with the iron and renders it nontoxic to wild rice. Field testing revealed a whopping 8.0 to 84.6 mg/L of iron present in waters throughout the proposed future copper/nickel/PGM mining area in northeastern Minnesota.

This is proof that these environmental organizations are using any tactic to prevent PolyMet from happening. Gov. Dayton has said that he won’t take a position on the PolyMet project until all of the studies are done, which sounds reasonable…until people realize that a ton of verifiable, pertinent scientific information is already known.

Gov. Dayton’s position to not take a position isn’t based on a shortage of scientific information. Gov. Dayton’s position is based on his wanting to have it both ways politically.

This proves the age-old axiom that the DFL will always do the right thing…when it’s the only option left.

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Most recent college grads are too young to remember the last time government ran efficiently. Bill Clinton was president and John Kasich was chairman of the House Budget Committee. The reason I mention that is because Byron York’s column about the Obama administration got me thinking.

In 2016, we will have suffered through 8 years of utter incompetence. The Obama administration, apart from their misguided priorities, has repeatedly shown that they’re utterly incompetent of running government. First, I’ll start by saying that things weren’t all rosy during the Bush administration. President Bush’s mishandling of Katrina was embarassing.

That being said, President Bush’s handling of the war on terror, back when government admitted that terrorists were dangerous people, was pretty good. During Bush’s administration, the intel agencies actually talked with each other. Fast forward to the Obama administration, when the Secretary of State didn’t even talk with her ambassadors serving in dangerous parts of the world.

But I digress.

Prior to the Republican landslide of 1994, Bill Clinton was mostly unfocused, adrift on policies. Enter Chairman Kasich. Shortly after Kasich got the Budget Committee’s gavel, he floated a radical idea, namely balancing the federal budget. Suddenly, President Clinton got engaged.

The end result was that Clinton didn’t expand the federal government’s regulatory reach like the Obama administration did. They didn’t have any moments when people wondered if Clinton had the basic skillset to run the federal government.

Fast forward to 2014. John Kasich is now Ohio’s governor. He’s turned the state around. First, he defeated the incumbent governor, Ted Strickland, campaigning on a reform agenda. Once he was sworn in, he started implementing that reform agenda.

Not surprisingly, Ohio’s economic health has returned. At least, it’s returned as much as possible while President Obama’s policies are still in effect. Gov. Kasich’s ideas, unlike President Obama’s, actually make sense. Gov. Kasich’s ideas have actually been used before and worked.

Gov. Kasich’s Office of Workforce Training, aka OWT, is brilliant on multiple levels. Check it out here. Here are the key takeaways:

Marketing Ohio’s In-Demand Jobs
Update in-demand jobs data regularly
Market in-demand jobs to students, job seekers, business and local workforce

Align Training Programs to Ohio’s Workforce Needs (Implementation)
Increase career pathway opportunities in our education system, from K-J (Kindergarten to Job)
Increase experiential learning opportunities
Expand and enhance career tech opportunities

Unify and Align State’s Workforce Programs
Improve support of businesses struggling to find workers
Prioritize veterans as a ready workforce by providing support to transitioning veterans and marketing opportunities to veterans and businesses

In other words, the system is integrated. That eliminates the possibility of duplicative programs and excessive overhead, aka an overglut of bureaucrats. Best of all, it fits training with verified needs.

That’s the approach we need to make government work again. Please understand this. I don’t want government reaching into places that it doesn’t belong. Higher education is something that state governments are involved with. Here’s part of Gov. Kasich’s plan for implementing his OWT initiative:

Create a dashboard to highlight aligned workforce success measures:

  1. Expand business resources center currently housed at Ohio Department of Job and Family Services
  2. Create virtual online access and single point of entry for business and job seeker
  3. Enhance online tools and access to the tools for career pathway exploration for Ohio students

In other words, it’s an integrated system that’s user friendly and focused on Ohio’s workforce needs. That’s what government looks like when it works.

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If there’s a place that illustrates how much DFL policies cost families, that place is the Iron Range. No part of the state is more subjected to the DFL’s overregulation and Twin Cities DFL activism. This chart shows how much the DFL’s anti-mining policies and environmental activists’ campaigns cost families:

Think about what that chart says. Minnesota had a median household income, aka MHI, of $59,126 from 2008-2012. By comparison, St. Louis County’s median household income was $46,231 for the same time period. That’s a $12,895 annual disparity between St. Louis County and the statewide average.

The frightening thing about that is that that’s the good news for the Iron Range. After that, things go downhill quickly. Duluth, which isn’t technically part of the Range, had an MHI of $41,311, followed by Hibbing at $37,500, Virginia at $36,397, with Eveleth bringing up the rear at $35,500. That means Virginia is 40% beneath the statewide MHI.

That’s immoral, not to mention inhumane.

The DFL’s anti-mining policies hurt Iron Range families in a verifiable way. The metro DFL has shown repeatedly that they hate mining. That means they put a higher priority on their ideology than they put on helping families. That’s a sick situation but it’s something that can be verified by results.

One of the gimmicks that the DFL uses to get votes on the Iron Range is telling Iron Rangers that they support unions. That’s a gimmick because they don’t really support miners. Though they support them in the abstract, they don’t support them in practical ways.

If the DFL supported these unions in a substantive way, Eveleth’s MHI wouldn’t be 40% less than Minnesota’s MHI. If the DFL supported the Iron Range, St. Louis County’s poverty rate wouldn’t be 45% higher than the statewide average. If that’s the DFL’s way of supporting unions, they’d be better off if they supported Republicans.

It isn’t that they’d agree 100% of the time with Republicans. That said, Republicans wouldn’t have to get permission from the Metrocrat anti-mining crowd before siding with the miners.

Most importantly, Republicans would support miners because Republicans support private sector economic growth because that’s the only place real economic growth comes from.

It’s time for the miners to reject the DFL’s failed policies. The proof of the DFL’s failures are seen in that simple chart. No thoughtful person could look at those income statistics, then say they’re proof of success.

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Based on Sen. Klobuchar’s and Sen. Franken’s statements in this MinnPost article, it’s safe to say that Minnesota’s DFL US senators just flipped the Iron Range’s DFL legislative delegation the proverbial finger. When pushed about mining, here’s Sen. Klobuchar’s statement:

“While every project must undergo a thorough environmental evaluation, I am concerned about adding this additional impact statement when there is already a process in place,” she said. “I will continue to work with the Forest Service on this issue.”

It sounds like Sen. Klobuchar’s statement was written in coordination with Sen. Franken’s statement:

“Mining is a great Minnesota tradition, and so is protection of our environment and natural resources,” he said. “There’s no question that we need to take into account the environmental impact of any proposed project, but Minnesota and the federal government already have rigorous processes in place to make sure that happens. There’s no reason to have an overly burdensome process. I’ve been talking with the Forest Service about this issue and I will continue to engage them.”

Apparently, these DFL senators don’t give a rip about miners or their families. If they did, they’d raise holy hell with the EPA and the Wildlife Service.

If Sens. Franken and Klobuchar cared about miners, they would’ve introduced legislation to push the approval process. They would’ve made the fight public. Instead, they’re keeping the issue on the back burner. Frankly, they sound like annoyed politicians who’d rather ignore the issue.

That’s important because this is isn’t just any issue. The prosperity of the Iron Range for the next 30 years hinges on whether precious metal mining is approved. If it isn’t, Iron Range families will drop further behind the rest of the state in terms of median household income and percentage of people living in poverty.

The time for urgency on precious metals mining is now. All public signs, though, indicate that the DFL isn’t treating this issue with the urgency it deserves. In the past, if an issue was important to the DFL leadership, they’d start a high-profile media campaign to highlight their cause du jour. Within a week, everyone would know about the DFL’s cause du jour because they’d fire up their media operations.

During the push for higher taxes in 2009, the DFL pushed their misery tour. Within a month, the DFL held high profile meetings in every part of the state. Each meeting was held in the city with that region’s biggest newspaper and biggest city.

When Friends of the Boundary Waters and Conservation first opposed the PolyMet and Twin Metals projects, they launched a high profile website to trash precious metal mining. By comparison, Sen. Franken and Sen. Klobuchar responded to the Iron Range legislative delegation with a document that essentially said ‘Whatever.’

That certainly doesn’t tell Iron Rangers that this is a priority with Sens. Franken and Klobuchar. Apparently, Sens. Franken and Klobuchar only believe in the “fierce urgency of now” when it pertains to Obamacare. Apparently, that isn’t their mindset on trivial things like Iron Rangers making a good living for their families.

It’s time for the Iron Range to flip the DFL the bird. The DFL, especially the Metrocrats, have been flipping the blue collar workers of the Iron Range the bird for 10 years on precious metal mining. It’s time the hardworking people of the Iron Range got their mines, not the shaft from the Metrocrat DFL.

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I wrote this post to highlight part of Sen. Bakk’s end-of-session spin. I wouldn’t be telling the entire story if I didn’t write about something Sen. Bakk said at the end of his interview. Here’s what he said on the subject of medical marijuana:

SEN. BAKK: I think when this session started, there were probably few lawmakers that thought medical marijuana would likely be the marquee issue of this session. Not many of us, myself included, were thinking about it rising to such a level of that intensity and emotion in the legislature. And it happened because a group of families with their largely disabled children came to the Capitol and they visited legislators and they put the breath under that issue and made legislators ‘look at the plight of my kids and want them to have a better quality of life’.

It was a remarkable example of how a small group of people can come to their state capitol and advocate for a change and, even though nobody was thinking about it, it ends up happening.

It’s true that these parents succeeded in getting this legislation passed but it comes with an asterisk.

The asterisk is that these parents got this legislation passed because the DFL’s special interests didn’t oppose it. We needn’t look any further than last year, when hundreds of parents and in-home child care providers visited their state capitol to tell legislators that they opposed the unionization of in-home child care providers.

They told DFL legislators how unionization would drive up the cost of child care. They told DFL legislators how that legislation would force in-home child care providers to reject children from families getting government assistance because these child care providers didn’t want to be part of a union.

How did the DFL react in that situation? They repeatedly recited AFSCME’s and SEIU’s talking points, ignoring the parents and the children’s care providers.

In that instance, the DFL didn’t care about the children’s quality of life. The DFL didn’t care that their legislation made life miserable for parents receiving government assistance. For all the DFL’s talk about standing with ‘the little guy’, last year, the DFL ignored the little guy while siding with their well-funded special interest allies.

Sen. Bakk might fool some people with his spin but the reality is that the DFL routinely ignores parents and families when the DFL’s special interest allies oppose the parents’ initiatives. In the DFL’s world, special interest activists outrank parents and the average Joe.

This November, people of all political stripes have the opportunity to reject the DFL’s politics of, by and for their special interest organizations.

Another thing that just popped into my head is how people lobbied against the B2B sales taxes. Initially, they were removed from the DFL’s tax bill, only to be put back in by Sen. Bakk during the conference committee.

Then things hit the fan politically.

Gov. Dayton told FarmFest he didn’t know that Sen. Bakk had included the Farm Equipment Repair Sales tax in the tax bill. Then talk started about repealing them during last summer’s special session. When that fell through, pressure built until the B2B taxes were repealed this session.

Now, Sen. Bakk, Gov. Dayton and the DFL are bragging about cutting taxes this session. That’s Clinton-worthy spin on steroids. Raising taxes by $2.4 billion, then reducing the size of the tax increase by $400,000,000 still equals a tax increase, albeit a smaller tax increase.

Here’s the question the DFL won’t want to answer: If cutting taxes was a priority to them, why weren’t they in the 2013 tax bill? Let’s remember, too, that Sen. Bakk insisted prior to the special session that he didn’t think the B2B taxes should be repealed. That’s why they weren’t part of the special session agenda.

In 2013, the DFL showed its true colors by raising taxes. That isn’t surprising. What’s stunning, though, is the fact that they didn’t even know how their tax increases would impact people.

Finally, any party that presides over a 33% spending increase over 4 years isn’t fiscally responsible. The DFL can spin all they want but raising taxes and fees by $2 billion and increasing spending by $5 billion are the net results of total DFL control.

That’s a ton of money to take out of the private sector, which, unlike the DFL, actually uses the money efficiently on the things people need most.

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If Minnesota voters need proof that the DFL is either delusional or exceptionally skilled liars, this video provides that proof:

Starting at the 2:30 mark, Sen. Bakk made this incredible statement:

BAKK: It’s been a remarkable 2 year run in this biennium and I think what we showed, as Democrats in control of the governor’s office and both branches of the legislature, first time since 1990, that we could be responsible, not overreach, invest in the things that Minnesotans support and get it done, not only on time but ahead of schedule.

That’s breathtakingly dishonest. First, increasing spending by $5,000,000,000 isn’t and act of responsibility, especially in light of the fact that the budget from the previous biennium was the biggest in Minnesota history.

During Gov. Dayton’s time in office, the budget soared from $30,171,000,000 to $39,500,000,000. That’s a spending increase of almost 33%. That isn’t acting responsibly. That’s the picture of irresponsibility.

During Gov. Dayton’s time in office, the DFL legislature raised taxes and fees by $2,400,000,000 initially before repealing $400,000,000 of those tax increases because the political heat was too hot.

Raising spending by 33% over 4 years while raising taxes by $2,000,000,000 is the definition of overreach. That’s before talking about the DFL’s broken promises of property tax relief and only raising taxes on the richest 2%. That’s before taking into consideration the fact that the DFL’s priorities were misplaced. Time was spent talking about medical marijuana instead of appropriating the money needed to fix Minnesota’s roads and bridges.

This was billed as the unsession. Unfortunately, what happened was that legislation was passed that took away the ability to test teachers’ capabilities. That’s the ultimate in irresponsibility.

This is the best the DFL can offer. They can’t talk about Minnesota’s booming economy because Minnesota’s economy isn’t booming. We know that because Minnesota’s economy doesn’t look anything like North Dakota’s, which is booming. North Dakota has explosive economic growth and a microscopic unemployment rate. Minnesota’s unemployment rate is better than many states but it isn’t great. Economic growth isn’t strong, evidenced by 3 straight months of lower than expected tax revenues.

Booming economies don’t have 3 straight months of lower than expected revenue growth.

Parts of Minnesota’s economy are doing so-so, though no part of Minnesota’s economy is doing well. Nobody’s tax situation is better than it was 4 years ago, whether we’re talking about property taxes, sales taxes, cigarette taxes or income taxes.

Businesses are already making plans to leave the state if Gov. Dayton is re-elected. That isn’t a state heading in the right direction. That’s a state that took a wrong turn in giving Democrats total control of government.

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