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The DFL has a warped, misguided policy towards ‘transportation’. Notice that I didn’t say roads and bridges. When Republicans talk about this, we talk about roads and bridges. When the DFL talks about the issue, they talk about transportation because they lump in transit, especially light rail boondoggles.

This article whines about the Republicans’ proposed constitutional amendment that would permanently dedicate sales taxes on car leases, car rentals and vehicle repairs to building and maintaining roads and bridges. Here’s how AFSCME whines about it:

Senate File 3837 proposes a constitutional amendment to permanently dedicate certain general fund revenues toward the state’s transportation fund without replacing them with additional revenues. This reduces the amount available to fund other areas of the budget. Transportation is largely funded through dedicated sources, such as the gas tax. As a result, transportation has not traditionally competed with investments like schools, nursing homes, and broadband for the same funding.

As a public employee union, AFSCME is biased towards putting as much money into the general fund. That’s where their bread is buttered. It isn’t that they’re worried about fixing roads and bridges. They’re worried about keeping the general fund as fat as possible. Period.

Speaking of funding state transportation needs, this bill would do little to actually fill the need for better transportation funding. In 2012, the Transportation Finance Advisory Committee determined that Minnesota needs $21 billion over 20 years just to maintain the current status of the state’s transportation system. This proposal doesn’t do that, nor does it get us close to funding a world class transportation and transit system needed for a strong economic future.

Frankly, I don’t care about Minnesota’s transportation needs. I care about fixing and maintaining Minnesota’s roads and bridges. Further, if we’re going to spend money on transit, it should be spent on flexible modes of transportation. That means eliminating funding for light rail.

Notice how the unions insist that transit is needed to fund “a world class transportation and transit system”, which is “needed for a strong economic future.” What a pile of BS. There’s no proof that that’s true.

Senate File 3837 locks down today’s budget choices and limits our ability to address tomorrow’s needs. By putting this language into our state’s constitution, it will tie future policymakers’ hands when they need to adapt to new funding priorities and needs.

The entire idea behind locking down politicians’ choices is to guarantee funding that will fix and maintain Minnesota’s roads and bridges so politicians can’t strip money for frivolous things. Why wouldn’t I want to guarantee that our highest priorities get dedicated funding?

Rest assured that big government types will fight this constitutional amendment tooth and nail. They prefer government to be big, bloated and utterly inefficient. They also prefer targeted tax increases. If you don’t believe me, check out Sen. Steve Murphy from 2007:

The proposed 10-cent-a-gallon gasoline-tax increase moving through the Minnesota Legislature could end up being higher than that, maybe more than twice as high. Tucked away in a big transportation funding bill being fast-tracked to a Senate floor vote today are future increases in Minnesota’s gas tax that could push it from 20 cents a gallon to more than 40 cents over 10 years, higher than any state’s current bite at the pump.

“I’m not trying to fool anybody,” said Sen. Steve Murphy, DFL-Red Wing, sponsor of the measure that would increase funding for roads and transit by $1.5 billion a year once it was fully implemented in the next decade. “There’s a lot of taxes in this bill.”

Back then, the DFL promised that this tax increase would provide the funding we needed for transportation. They either lied or were wrong. Either way, it’s clear that the DFL shouldn’t be trusted.

The DFL’s condescension for people came gushing through this week thanks to Vice President Pence’s visit to Minnesota. In advance of Vice President Pence’s visit, DFL State Party Chair Ken Martin issue this statement. In part, it said “While corporations will see their taxes cut by 40 percent, the plan increases taxes on hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans. And thanks to the bill, more than 700,000 Minnesotans are now limited in their ability to use the state and local tax deductions. Minnesotans know a scam when they see one, and the Republican tax bill is a bad deal for our state.”

First, saying that the Trump/GOP tax cuts raises taxes “on hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans” is an extreme exaggeration. Everyone’s marginal tax rates dropped. The standard deduction increased dramatically. The per-child tax credit increased significantly.

It’s impossible for those things to be verifiably true at the same time Chairman Martin’s statement is true. Martin isn’t the only ‘extreme exaggerator’ in the DFL. This morning, Ember Reichgott-Junge said that Republicans were caught flat=footed with their messaging and that they’re now playing catch-up. Reichgott-Junge then said that all the chaos in the administration is getting in the way of people knowing that they got a tax cut.

This is typical DFL thinking. The DFL insists that people can’t recognize their bigger paychecks if the government doesn’t tell them that their checks are bigger. This is typical DFL condescension. What’s also typical of the DFL is voting against middle class tax cuts. DFL state legislators voted against state tax cuts before Tim Walz, Betty McCollum, Keith Ellison, Collin Peterson, Rick Nolan, Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken voted against the Trump/GOP tax cuts.

Chairman Martin said that “Mike Pence should return to Washington and join Democrats in fighting for a tax plan that puts everyday families first.” I’ve got a better idea. Chairman Martin should tell DFL legislators in DC and St. Paul to start voting for tax cuts rather than hoarding it for questionable DFL spending priorities and a multi-billion dollar rainy day fund. Chairman Martin should be honest for once and admit that the Trump/GOP tax cuts have triggered billions of dollars in bonuses, higher wages and better benefits for literally millions of people across the nation.

In this post, I asked this question:

How long will this list get?

Since I asked that question, the list has gotten significantly longer.

While DFL activists think they’ve got the upper hand in the tax fight, the truth is that they’re playing catch-up and don’t know it. That’s because they’re willing to believe their press clippings.

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According to the Cook Political Report, MN-3 is a toss-up race. People are free to believe what they want but I won’t join in with that opinion. I won’t buy that BS because Congressman Paulsen defeated State Sen. Terri Bonoff by almost 14 points. Congressman Paulsen garnered 57% of the vote while Ms. Bonoff only mustered 43%. At the time, the ‘experts’ were touting as fact what a top-tier candidate Bonoff was. I actually thought that she was a decent candidate, though I stopped short of calling her a top-tier candidate.

This time, Congressman Paulsen will likely be paired against Dean Phillips. Phillips’ grandmother through adoption was Abigail van Buren, aka Dear Abby. Other than that, Phillips is a nondescript cookie-cutter Democrat. For instance, one of his issues is Campaign Finance Reform. Phillips wrote “No matter what issue is most important to you, I believe the corrupting influence of money in politics is at the very core of congressional dysfunction. It is beyond time to reform our campaign finance system and take steps to repair our government. And while we ultimately may need a constitutional amendment to completely undo the damage done by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, there are steps we can take now that have broad support from the public and would make a meaningful difference.”

Isn’t it interesting that Phillips’ fix for political corruption is taking law-abiding citizens’ constitutional rights away? Would Phillips use the same approach to gun safety? Apparently:

I will do everything possible to reduce gun violence, ensure safe streets and address international threats? through a well-resourced State Department, which would? ensure that? diplomacy is our first line of defense.

In other words, being an international wimp is Phillips’ path to international peace and being a gun grabber is the Phillips path to domestic tranquility. Ask the 14 students and 3 teachers from Parkland how well that approach works.

Of course, the DFL regurgitated the same chanting points:

Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party Chairman Ken Martin called the GOP’s tax bill “Robin Hood in reverse. It takes from hardworking Minnesotans to give massive tax breaks to the wealthy,” he said in a statement. “Minnesotans know a scam when they see one, and the Republican tax bill is a bad deal for our state. Mike Pence should return to Washington and join Democrats in fighting for a tax plan that puts everyday families first.”

The DFL isn’t in touch with families. If they were, they’d admit that millions of employees have gotten billions of dollars in bonuses, higher wages, better benefits or all of the above since the Trump/GOP tax cuts were enacted.

The DFL would do well to actually start listening to the people, something they don’t do currently. The DFL should listen more to the blue collar workers. They’re the ones that delivered the White House to President Trump. The DFL should ignore environmental activists more, too. They’re part of the reason why the DFL lost the Minnesota State Senate.

I’ll state this emphatically. Erik Paulsen and Jason Lewis will win re-election. It’s likely, IMHO, that the MNGOP will flip MN-1, too. The MNGOP is competitive in MN-8, too. In fact, there’s a strong chance that Minnesota Republicans will have a strong night this November.

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It isn’t surprising that Hillary isn’t honest. She’s pandered most of her life, saying outrageous things. After losing to Donald Trump, though, she’s taken things to a higher level. Art Laffer and Stephen Moore wrote this op-ed to highlight how little she knows.

They wrote “Hillary Clinton is being universally panned by Republicans and Democrats for her rant last week in India against Trump voters. She boasted, ‘I won the places that represent two-thirds of America’s gross domestic product. So I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward.'” Then they showed her how wrong she is, saying “Here’s the evidence. Of the 12 blue states that Hillary Clinton won by the largest percentage margins, Hawaii, California, Vermont, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, Illinois, Washington, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Delaware, all but three of them lost residents through domestic migration (excluding immigration) over the last 10 years. In fact combined, all 12 Hillary Clinton states lost an average of 6 percent of their populations to net out-migration over the past decade. California and New York alone lost 3 million people in the past 10 years.”

Then they wrote this:

Now let’s contrast the Hillary Clinton states with the 12 states that had the largest percentage margin vote for Donald Trump. Every one of them, save Wyoming, was a net population gainer — West Virginia, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Idaho, South Dakota, Kentucky, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Nebraska and Kansas.

It isn’t just that the states gained population, either:

IRS tax return data confirm that from 2006-2016 Hillary Clinton’s states lost $113.6 billion in combined wealth, whereas Donald Trump’s states gained $116.0 billion. The Hillary Clinton states are in a slow bleed. That is in no small part because the deep blue states that she carried have adopted the entire progressive playbook: High taxes rates. High welfare benefits. Heavy hand of regulation. Excessive minimum wages. War on fossil fuels. These states dutifully check all the progressive boxes.

And the U-Haul company can barely keep up with the demand for trucks and moving vans to get out of these worker paradises. A recent Gallup Poll asked Americans if they would want to move out of their current state of residency. Five states had more than 40 percent of its respondents answer yes: They were: Connecticut, New Jersey, Illinois, Rhode Island and Maryland. Hillary Clinton country.

Maryland is the only state with an economy that isn’t tanking. That’s because it’s supported by the federal government.

Connecticut has raised income and other taxes three times in the last four years and still has one of the most debilitating budget deficits in the nation. The pension systems are so many billions of dollars in the red, they are technically bankrupt.

Even when it comes to income inequality, the left’s favorite measure of progressive success, blue states carried by Mrs. Clinton fare worse than red states. According to a 2016 report by the Economic Policy institute, three of the states with the largest gaps between rich and poor are those progressive icons New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Sure, Boston, Manhattan and Silicon Valley are booming as the rich prosper. But outside these areas are deep pockets of poverty and wage stagnation.

Socialism and crony capitalism don’t work. They should be scrapped immediately.

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Nancy Pelosi should be served a plate of crumbs after bad-mouthing the Trump-GOP tax cuts. This morning’s jobs report shows that the Trump-GOP economic plan is working.

The good news is that the “economy added 313,000 jobs in February, crushing expectations, while the unemployment rate remained at 4.1 percent, according to a Labor Department report Friday that could help quell inflation fears.” Further, economists “surveyed by Reuters had been expecting nonfarm payroll growth of 200,000 and the unemployment rate to decline one-tenth of a percent to 4 percent.”

Also noteworthy is Greg Peters’, senior investment officer at PGIM Fixed Income, statement that “the underlying economic growth is quite strong, but there’s no real pressures from a wages and inflation standpoint. It’s very good for risk assets.” It’s also encouraging to hear that construction “jobs led the way, with 61,000 new positions, followed by retail and professional and business services (50,000 apiece), manufacturing (31,000) and financial activities (28,000). Health care added 19,000 while mining saw 9,000 new jobs.”

The workforce participation rate improved to 63% while the unemployment rate held steady at 4.1%. Wages improved by 2.6%, though that didn’t meet expectations. Black unemployment dropped .8% to 6.9%.

By pretty much every metric, the Trump/GOP economy is performing at a high level. Most importantly, families are feeling the improvement.

IBD’s editorial highlights the changing political dynamics surrounding the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, aka the Trump/GOP tax cuts.

Initially, IBD highlights the Democrats’ intention to run on the unpopularity of the tax cuts, saying “Writing in the Atlantic in December, longtime political reporter Ron Brownstein argued that ‘President Trump and congressional Republicans have just taken the same leap of faith that Democrats did when they passed the Affordable Care Act.’ He went on to note that after Democrats passed ObamaCare in early 2010, despite strong public opposition, the backlash from voters ‘helped propel Republicans to the biggest midterm gain in the House for either party since 1938 and gave them a majority in the chamber they still haven’t relinquished.'”

A funny thing happened on the Democrats’ path to the 2018 bloodbath. Much to the Democrats’ dismay, “the more people know about the GOP tax cuts, the more they like them. In fact, the latest poll from The New York Times finds 51% supporting it. That’s up from 37% in December and 46% in January. Other polls, including the IBD/TIPP poll, have found similar shifts.”

The Democrats’ biggest problem is that they unanimously voted against the tax cuts. That means they voted against a bill that’s increased wages, increased take-home pay, triggered $1,000 bonuses, bigger corporate contributions to 401(k)s and greater job security.

Candidates like Phil Bredesen will have to fight that stigma. The Democrats will be a weight around his neck now that he’s jumped into the race. Good luck fighting those headwinds. The argument will be something like this: if Joe Manchin wouldn’t vote for the Trump/GOP tax cuts, why should Tennesseans believe that Bredesen would’ve voted for them?

The other thing that Bredesen will have to fight is the fact that he’s 74 years old:

It just fits into the larger GOP narrative that the Democrats’ bench is mostly old farts. It’s difficult picturing a bunch of old farts as being change agents.

I’m predicting that the Democrats’ campaign that focuses on criticizing the Trump/GOP tax cuts is on its last legs. This article doesn’t do anything to change my opinion of that. Tuesday night on Shannon Bream’s show, Guy Benson debated Jehmu Greene about the Trump/GOP tax cuts. It wasn’t a fair fight.

Ms. Greene argued that Democrats had lost ground in the generic ballot polling because they didn’t stay on offense. That’s a foolish argument. Benson picked up on that immediately, saying that “Democrats don’t have a messaging problem. They’ve got a reality problem.” That’s what I’ve been saying on LFR since the tax cuts passed. I’ll question whether this is entirely a Nancy Pelosi problem, though. At this point, that’s true. This fall, though, Nancy Pelosi will just be the icing on a very right, tasty chocolate cake. The ‘cake’ itself is that the Democrats voted unanimously against the Trump/GOP tax cuts.

When Pelosi infamously referred to the bonuses as “crumbs”, didn’t everyone notice that Democrats immediately distanced themselves from Pelosi? Here’s the perfect illustration of the difference between crumbs and $1000 bonuses:

During the Benson-Greene debate, moderator Shannon Bream said that there’s sure to be lots of ebbs and flows left in this race. That’s true. What’s equally true is that the last month of the campaign is utterly predictable. Republicans will run ads nonstop highlighting the fact that every Democrat voted against the tax cuts. Imagine the narrator stating “Democrats voted against pay raises, big bonuses and better benefits” before switching to a middle class couple thanking Republicans for voting for the tax cuts before explaining how his bonus let them start saving for their daughter’s college education and how her raise is helping pay for a summer vacation. The ad would be finished by the GOP candidate saying “My opponent voted against you keeping more of your hard-earned money. I will fight for you, not the special interests.”


The reality is that Democrats are facing a difficult endgame situation. Like Benson said, the Democrats made their bed. Now they can sleep in it.

It’s truly amazing what good policy will do for a political party’s fortunes. Put differently, good policy makes for great politics. It always has. It always will. The Democrats’ lead on the generic ballot question has officially disappeared.

That’s the verdict of “a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll that, for the first time since April, also shows President Donald Trump’s approval rating equaling the percentage of voters who disapprove of his job performance. Fully 39 percent of registered voters say they would support the GOP candidate for Congress in their district, while 38 percent would back the Democratic candidate. Nearly a quarter of voters, 23 percent, are undecided.” With almost 9 months left until the midterm election, there’s time for several dozen more swings.

Still, there’s no disputing that Democrats lost ground after voting unanimously against the Trump/GOP tax cuts. What’s worse is that they’re caught in a difficult situation on DACA/immigration reform. If Democrats don’t make a deal on immigration, a major part of their base will be upset with them. What’s worse is that another significant part of their base will be upset if they do cut a deal with President Trump on immigration.

That’s what a damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t situation looks like.

I never took the ‘building blue wave’ talk seriously for multiple reasons. First, Democrats haven’t done enough to win back blue collar voters to expand their bi-coastal base. Until Democrats start taking blue collar workers seriously, they’ll be the minority party. It’s that simple.

Next, Democrats made huge strategic mistakes by unanimously voting against the Trump/GOP tax cuts. I can’t emphasize enough how that’s killing Democrats. What’s making that worse is Nancy Pelosi’s bone-headed “crumbs” statement:

That’s what being tone deaf sounds like. It’s this cycle’s “basket of deplorables” moment:

Later, Democrats made the mistake of unanimously voting for shutting down the government. Then Democrats compounded that by voting to re-open government by voting yes for the exact same bill that they voted against on Friday night. Talk about Keystone cops. This can’t make Tom Perez happy:

The new year has also produced a Trump polling bump. In the new poll, 47 percent of voters approve of the job Trump is doing as president, while the same percentage disapprove.

Just 6 short weeks ago, President Trump was in the upper 30’s. Now, he’s in the upper 40’s in terms of approval rating. These statistics can’t leave the DCCC smiling:

“Not only have Republicans increased support on the generic congressional ballot, they are now trusted more to handle the most important issue when voters head to the polls: the economy,” said Kyle Dropp, Morning Consult’s co-founder and chief research officer. “In mid-December, 39 percent of voters said they trusted Democrats more to handle the economy, compared to 38 percent who said Republicans. Today, 43 percent say Republicans and 32 percent say Democrats.”

That’s a huge swing in 2 months. With the economy growing and showing no signs of slowing down, it isn’t foolish to think that the generic ballot question might cast the Republicans in a more positive light by Memorial Day.

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No matter whether people have lots more money in their paychecks, Democrats still insist that the Trump/GOP tax cuts are hurting the middle class. Rep. Brian Higgins, (D-NY), said “The American people are being bamboozled by rhetoric that doesn’t match the reality. The reality is that this tax cut disproportionately, clearly, unequivocally, benefits the very, very, wealthy. And this is a continuing ploy, scheme, scam on the part of House Republican leadership to deliberately mislead people into believing that these tax cuts will go toward middle America.”

Try telling that to the people who’ve received bonuses of $1,000, $2,000 and sometimes $3,000. Try telling that to the people who’ve just gotten their first pay increase since the 2006 midterms. Try telling that to the people whose companies just improved their benefit packages as a direct result of the Trump/GOP tax cuts.

Democrats hint that the Trump administration is fudging the tax tables. What’s worse is that they’re making the accusation without a hint of proof. It’s increasingly obvious that Democrats will say anything to win control of the House of Representatives. This is an example of the Democrats’ dishonesty:

Senate Finance Committee ranking member Ron Wyden (D-OR) and House Ways and Means Committee ranking member Richard Neal (D-MA) have asked the Government Accountability Office to take a look at the new withholding tables. “The real question with respect to withholding is being straight with the American people, and if you play games with this in order to advance a political agenda, [then] Americans get hurt,” Wyden said.

Sen. Wyden doesn’t have anything to go on that suggests the Trump administration is fudging the withholding tables but he’s stopping just short of accusing the Trump administration of dishonesty. It’s worth remembering that Sen. Wyden is the idiot that said this:

Sen. Wyden foolishly said that “There is no magical growth fairy.” Apparently, Sen. Wyden hasn’t heard about this thing called capitalism. Whenever it’s been tried, it’s produced growth that’s pulled people out of poverty. This isn’t to be confused with crony capitalism. When crony capitalism is tried, government gets involved. When profitable markets are identified, there’s no need to provide a government incentive to get entrepreneurs to invest in those products.

Sen. Wyden is a socialist so he isn’t familiar with the wealth-creating principles of capitalism. Don’t forget that Democrats insulted everyone’s intelligence, first by telling people that they weren’t getting a tax cut, then by insisting that the big increases they were seeing in their paychecks were “crumbs.” Let this be a reminder of the difference:

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This Reuters article reports that “Senate Democrats said they had identified more than two dozen buyback programs announced since Jan. 5 by banking, energy, manufacturing, retailing and other companies.” It continues, saying “The buybacks show that the first priority of corporations is to use their windfall from the tax overhaul to ‘line the pockets of powerful senior executives and shareholders,’ said Senator Ron Wyden, the senior Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee.”

My question to Sen. Wyden is simple: so what? After all, the money put into buyback programs doesn’t negate the benefits that employees have received through bonuses, pay raises and improved benefits. That’s what makes this statement so interesting:

The new tax law and its impact on workers and the wealthy are likely to play a major role in this year’s congressional mid-term election campaign, which will determine whether Republicans maintain their control of the Senate and House of Representatives.

That ship has sailed. Before the tax cuts were passed, Democrats held a 15 point lead in the generic ballot question in Monmouth’s monthly poll. In their first poll after the tax cuts passed, Democrats held a 2 point advantage.

The new tax law and its impact on workers and the wealthy are likely to play a major role in this year’s congressional mid-term election campaign, which will determine whether Republicans maintain their control of the Senate and House of Representatives. “The American people deserve an honest accounting of how this tax law is working,” he told reporters.

Knock yourself out, Sen. Wyden. Millions of people have benefitted from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Millions of people got bonuses. Tens of millions receive more money in their paychecks as a result of lower marginal rates.

The other thing Democrats haven’t admitted is that the economy is much stronger than it was during the Obama years. They don’t care whether that’s the result of the tax cuts or if it’s the result of other policy changes. They’re just thankful the economy is stronger and wages are increasing.

It’s worth noting that Sen. Wyden is the idiot that criticized the tax cuts, saying that “There is no magical growth fairy”:

Apparently, the growth fairy union didn’t get Sen. Wyden’s memo. The economy is strong and strengthening. Sen. Wyden’s hatred of the Trump/GOP tax cuts have blinded him to the benefits people are experiencing.