Archive for the ‘Taxes’ Category

Margaret Anderson-Kelliher is trying to con Minnesotans into a massive gas tax increase. Sorta. This is where we’ll get into the weeds a little. Normally, I wouldn’t waste my time but this isn’t normally.

Minnesota Department of Transportation Commissioner Margaret Anderson-Kelliher is pushing a combined gas-tax increase along with what she’s calling a “debt-service fee” that would raise fuel prices by up to 15 cents per gallon, according to interviews with local news outlets.

Anderson-Kelliher did back-to-back interviews with the Rochester Post-Bulletin and the Mankato Free Press in September to promote the idea. Minnesota’s DFL Party began “actively exploring” the debt-service fee in July, which would increase gas prices to help cover the costs of borrowing money for highway improvements.

Next comes the razzle-dazzle:

In her interview with the Rochester Post Bulletin, Anderson-Kelliher said the state “should start anew and look at ways we can build from there. There is a real need in this community to address not only the transportation movement of cars and transit, but people want to bike safely and they want to walk safely. And to be able to do that, you actually need more resources,” she said.

The Center of the American Experiment’s Tom Steward thinks this means Anderson-Kelliher plans to use “the increased bonding capacity as a backdoor way of building bike paths and diverting billions of tax dollars to green alternatives to the automobile.”

Gov. Walz tried pushing through a massive tax increase during the budget session. It failed miserably. IF Gov. Walz tries pushing that agenda again, he’ll have to work with an all-GOP legislature in 2021. The other possibility is watching DFL legislators abandon him in large numbers. If Speaker Hortman pushes this agenda in the House, it will be her only term as Speaker. Tax increases aren’t popular. Gas tax increases are the least popular of the tax increases. Having the DFL push a gas tax increase right before an election is a gift — to Republicans. Having the DFL push a gas tax increase and ‘debt service fee’ increase to pay for bike paths and walking trails in an election year is political suicide for the DFL.

This won’t happen unless we have another Override Six fiasco. If something like that happens, which I don’t think will happen, those senators will be primaried and their political careers will be over.

During President Reagan’s administration, Dutch coined a phrase that Democrats should consider adopting. Dutch’s phrase was (pretty close, though not verbatim) ‘It’s amazing how much you can accomplish when you don’t care who gets credit for doing what.’ President Reagan’s battles with Speaker Tip O’Neil were epic. Still, they figured out ways to accomplish big things despite their oft-heated relationship. They passed the Kemp-Roth tax cuts that energized the US economy after 4 years of malaise under Jimmy Carter. They worked together to rebuild the US military after Carter’s budgets hollowed out the military, both in terms of personnel and in terms of parts for military hardware.

The point was that Tip O’Neil and Ronald Reagan figured out a way to work together. They worked together because Tip O’Neil put a higher priority on improving Americans’ lives than he put on resisting. They worked together because President Reagan put a higher priority on fixing the US than he put on winning the next election.

That doesn’t fit into the Democrats’ strategy. Today’s Democrats don’t put a high priority of giving a little and getting a little. Today’s Democrats don’t give. Instead, they insist on getting everything they want without giving Republicans anything that they want.

It’s time to coin this new phrase: ‘It’s amazing how a handful of nutjobs can demolish a pro-American agenda’. Does anyone seriously think that we’ve only got 12 years left on this planet? Does anyone seriously think that opening our borders, then giving illegal immigrants free health care and virtual citizenship is wise?

Americans face a choice. The best thing for Americans would be for Democrats to cooperate with Republicans where both sides get things that they want. If Democrats don’t cooperate with President Trump and House and Senate Republicans, that puts the blame for substandard public safety, out-of-control human trafficking, aka sex trafficking, and not participating in building a robust economy. If that’s the option Democrats choose, which increasingly looks like their choice, then the American people face a choice of whether they’ll re-elect a bunch of Do-Nothing Democrats next November that’ve done nothing to make Americans’ lives better and who haven’t kept any of their 2018 campaign promises on health care or the economy or whether they’ll elect GOP majorities in the House and Senate to work with President Trump in building a prosperous, safe United States.

Democrats need to ask themselves if they want to be Americans first or Democrats first. If Democrats opt for the latter, then they’ll deserve a butt-kicking. Unfortunately, I’m betting that the Democrats opt for the latter. There’s certainly more proof that they put a higher allegiance to their party than to this nation.

When Republicans cut taxes in Trump’s first year in office, all House Democrats and all Senate Democrats voted against the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Couple the Trump/GOP tax cuts with the regulations that Republicans removed and you’ve explained why the economy is so strong. Every Democrat voted against prosperity as part of the Resist Movement.

That’s why Democrats must be defeated next November. They literally don’t have any accomplishments since President Trump took office. It’s impossible to point to any problems that the Democrats have solved. Why keep people in office if they don’t solve problems? A little less than 4 minutes into this interview, Kevin McCarthy went through the Republicans’ priorities if they their House majority back. I think it’s quite the appealing agenda:

Doesn’t that sound much better than just resisting? Isn’t that better than what the Do-Nothing Democrats have done lately?

This article makes it emphatically clear that Democrats, especially those in the media, have a recession obsession. The Q2 GDP was 2.1, down from 3.1 in Q1. For historical perspective, the average GDP during the Obama administration was about half that of Q2.

Back then, when economic growth was pathetic, the MSM didn’t talk about the possibility of a recession. The MSM talked about things like consecutive months of job growth as though that was a miraculous accomplishment. Here’s a hint for the MSM: The default of the US economy is to create jobs. That isn’t a miracle, except if you compare it to European countries. By their standards, the US default is miraculous.

By comparison between administrations, economic growth during the Trump administration is significantly better than economic growth during the Obama administration but the Trump economy is getting the negative press.

What’s upsetting to me is that we’re talking about a slowdown at this point, which is a distant cry from a recession. The fact that we’re in a full-fledged trade war with China, the next biggest economy in the world, and our economy keeps growing should be a point of confidence. If we’re going through all this and the economy is still growing at twice the rate it did during the Obama administration, shouldn’t we take note of the Trump economy’s durability?

During the Clinton administration, economists worried about tough economic times in Asia. Back then, economists rightly worried about what was then called “the Asian Flu.” They worried that the Asian Flu would trigger a recession in the US. All that happened was that the US economy slowed down. Years afterward, the economists concluded that the Clinton economy was fundamentally strong, which helped it weather the storm.

Maria Bartiromo nailed when she said that the media that’s predicting a recession is the same media that predicted President Trump’s impending impeachment from the Russia collusion illusion:

I think the broader picture is that the media continues to have an incredible amount of influence in terms of explaining to the world what is going on. When you go back to the fact that we just came off of the 2 years of collusion delusion where the media was all about President Trump colluded with the Russians, et cetera, et cetera. You know, “Sunday Morning Futures,” my program right before this program was every week poking holes into that narrative for 2 years and I got slammed in the media as a result of the fact that Congressman John Ratcliffe and Devin Nunes, the congressmen who actually saw the redacted document, the people who were there interviewing the FBI officials and they knew the story better than anybody…

Then she finishes that flourish with this:

The media’s responsibility is to report the truth and seek the truth, but Howie, how many programs do you hear the media saying the unemployment rate is at 51-year low, how many media outlets are you hearing saying we had 4 plus percent growth for one quarter last year, 3.1% in the first quarter and 2.1% in the second. A recession is two quarters of negative performance, meaning negative, not positive. We are only seeing positive readings, so the fact that we are talking about a recession being on the horizon and not even talking about the facts reminds me of editorial meeting that took place at New York Times two weeks ago where the editor there said, well, for two years we were putting all of our resources into Russia collusion, the story changed on us. The story didn’t change, Howie, the story is the same story, but they put all resources in collusion and now they decided that they will put all resources on racism.

KA-BOOM! That’s delivering the boom like a true economist should. First, consumer spending represents two-thirds of the GDP. That’s up 0.7% over last month. The Trump-GOP tax cuts have put hundreds of billions of additional dollars. Unemployment is at a historic low. What part of that sounds like a recession is right around the corner?

Thad McCotter was right when he wrote about “The Left’s ‘3 Rs’: Russia, Racism, & Recession.” He was exceptionally right when he said that “the Democrats were missing the 4th R: Reality.”

Amen, Thad. Democrats are indeed missing that. I don’t anticipate Democrats finding that missing ingredient anytime before the election, especially if Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren is the nominee. It’s obvious that Democrats, especially the Media Wing of the Democratic Party, is hoping for a recession. They’re practically begging for that recession. Bill Maher didn’t hide it. He explicitly called for a recession to get rid of President Trump.

Democrats have a recession obsession. Unfortunately, they don’t have an obsession for reporting the facts. To paraphrase Al Gore from the 1992 campaign, when he said “Everything that’s up should be down and everything that’s down should be up”, everything that Democrats should be for, they’re against and everything that they’re supposed to be against, they’re for. Democrats should be for a booming economy but they’re praying for a recession. Democrats should be for sealing off the border but they’re for decriminalizing illegal immigration.

Tina Smith couldn’t be clearer about her position on taxes. If Tina Smith was queen for a day on taxes, Minnesota and the entire nation’s economy would screech to a standstill in a New York minute.

In an interview, Smith said “Jason Lewis supported the Republican tax bill that gave giant tax cuts to big corporations and the richest among us, and I wouldn’t have supported that.” Those “giant tax cuts to big corporations” have led to companies moving back from overseas. Had Democrats been in charge, they would’ve kept the corporate tax rates at 35%, which was making the United States uncompetitive with other countries.

This isn’t a fairness issue. It’s a competitiveness issue. President Obama’s policy focused on fairness. As a direct result of that, the Obama economy grew at a sluggish pace. If Tina Smith wants to defend anemic economic growth while the US economy is booming, that’s her option. It isn’t a particularly attractive option but it’s the Democrat’s option. Further, Minnesota Republicans defeated Gov. Walz on the tax issue because money was pouring at a stronger-than-expected clip.

Lewis didn’t waste time before going after Smith’s record on the environment, highlighting Smith’s opposition to the Line 3 Pipeline project. Lewis pointed out that over 80% of the jet fuel for Minneapolis International Airport airplanes. While Smith insists that she’s fighting against special interests, she’s in bed with Twin Cities-based special interests opposed to mining on the Range.

“Senator Smith has a record of working hard for the people of Minnesota, taking on powerful special interests and working across the aisle to get things done, whether it’s fighting to protect health coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, standing up to the big drug companies to lower prescription drug prices or making sure young people have the skills they need to fill high-demand jobs,” Furlong said.

Right now, there are more job openings than there are people to fill those jobs. That means 3 things. The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act that Jason Lewis voted for is working. The deregulation that happened through the use of the Congressional Review Act has revived entire communities, especially in the Rust Belt states of Ohio and Pennsylvania. Lewis voted for most, if not all, of the deregulation. Third, it means that Democrats were wrong to unanimously vote against the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act.

No Democrats in the House or Senate voted for the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act. That means that Democrats were terribly wrong on economic policy. The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act took a barely-growing economy and kicked it into a higher gear virtually immediately. When Smith says that she wouldn’t have voted for the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, she’s telling Minnesotans that she would’ve voted against the policies that jump-started the economy.

Do we really want to vote for a senator that wouldn’t vote for prosperity-inducing policies? Do we really want to vote for a senator who is totally controlled by special interests that’ve stopped Iron Range prosperity, that have killed blue collar jobs and that would’ve stopped the US from becoming energy independent?

If killing jobs, undermining national security and preventing Iron Range prosperity are your highest priorities, then Tina Smith is your candidate. If you want prosperity, then voting for Jason Lewis is imperative.

People need to reject the MSM’s attempt to talk the US economy into a recession. The Democrats’ media wing is doing its level best to convince people that their rising wages haven’t happened. The Democrats’ media wing is also trying to families’ strong confidence isn’t warranted.

Democrats are doing this in their attempt to win an election. They aren’t talking about the strong fundamentals. Democrats won’t admit that the Trump/GOP tax cuts work. Democrats won’t admit that the Trump/GOP regulation reductions have turned the US energy industry into one of the strongest growth industries in the world. Admitting that would be disastrous for Democrats.

It’d be disastrous for Democrats because it would tell people that voting for President Trump’s re-election would keep the US economy strong and growing. As Liz Peek writes “it’s hard to call for a revolution if the people are happy.” That’s exactly right, Liz. And right now, people are happy:

That’s why Democrats and their media enablers were beyond giddy to see markets nosedive. This was it, pundits proclaimed: Trump’s trade war has brought us to the brink of a downturn. Maybe. But maybe not. The very next day, the Commerce Department reported that U.S. retail sales surged 0.7 percent in July, up from a 0.3 percent gain in June, beating expectations.

The U.S. consumer continues to defy prognosticators; despite Democrats campaigning on the miseries of the middle class, by gosh the middle class insists on streaming into Walmart and pumping up the economy. Walmart just reported that its “U.S. comp sales increased on a two-year stacked basis by 7.3%, which is the strongest growth in more than 10 years.”

Also, the Labor Department reported that productivity rose 2.3 percent in the second quarter, down from 3.5 percent in the first quarter, but a solid gain nonetheless, and one that bodes well for future wage hikes.

Those damned uppity peasants just won’t listen to their Democrat betters. Those uppity peasants have maintained a strong confidence in the US economy’s trajectory. That might be irrational but it’s nonetheless real. Consumer confidence is currently at 135.7, which is exceptionally high.

Again, it’s impossible to get the peasants to grab their pitchforks and run the President out of office when they’d rather thank him for starting the rebuilding of their communities, the tax cuts and the pay raises. Speaker Pelosi hasn’t admitted that the economy is humming, especially in this statement:

“The July jobs report shows some encouraging news, but for the families across the nation working multiple jobs and struggling to make ends meet, the cost of living has surged, wages have stagnated and the GOP’s disastrous special interest agenda has left them behind.

“Republicans continue to push a radical agenda that enriches the wealthy and well-connected while failing hard-working Americans. Farmers are struggling, economic uncertainty is growing, and the Trump Administration is making it harder for hungry families to make ends meet. But while Republicans explore handing even bigger tax breaks to billionaires, the Democratic Majority has taken bold action to deliver bigger paychecks for up to 33 million hard-working Americans, passing the Raise the Wage Act to gradually increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.

I’d love watching Speaker Pelosi, or any Democrat for that matter, debate Eric Trump. Eric’s appearance here was impressive:

Eventually, there will be a recession. Will that happen soon? I’m betting it’s a ways off.

Back in the late 1970s, it was fashionable for supposed intellectuals to talk about how the presidency was just too big for one man. The political science professoriate talked about the need for a co-presidency. That professoriate even talked about changing the Constitution so that the president would serve a single 6-year term. That was during Jimmy Carter’s single 4-year term in office.

That fashionable talk disappeared the minute President Reagan took over and got the economy hitting on all cylinders. In October, 1983, the US economy created 1,100,000 jobs. I’ve got to think that’s the single-month record and that it’ll never be eclipsed. It wasn’t that the presidency was too big for one man. It’s that it was too big for that man, aka Jimmy Carter.

During his final months in office, President Obama ridiculed then-candidate Trump, saying that you’d need a magic wand to bring back manufacturing jobs during this townhall:

Twitchy has noticed Republicans, especially Donald Trump Jr., ridiculing President Obama and his “magic wand” statement:


Just like with Reagan replacing Carter, we’re seeing the same robust economic growth increase from the turnover from Obama to President Trump. The comparison is striking. President Reagan cut taxes dramatically, especially capital gains, while pursuing deregulation, especially in the energy sector. President Trump is following the same path to success, virtually to a T.

At this week’s Democrat presidential debates, Democrat presidential candidates criticized President Obama for not being sufficiently socialist enough. By the time Democrats pick their nominee, which might not be determined until their convention, President Trump will join in the criticism of President Obama. It’s just that President Trump will criticize President Obama for not being sufficiently capitalist enough.

It’s entirely possible that President Trump will win a decisive victory, though I can’t predict him winning the 525 electoral votes that President Reagan achieved in 1984. Talk about deja vu all over again.

In the past, I’ve been pretty disgusted with the (lack of) quality displayed in the St. Cloud Times’ Our View editorials. Unfortunately for its readers, this Our View editorial is the worst Our View editorial I’ve ever read.

As is often the case, the Times’ Editorial Board couldn’t resist preaching from its moral high horse instead of doing its research. The editorial started by saying “St. Cloud, we have a problem. And it’s costing us dearly in respect, dignity and treasure. Our problem is not refugees. It’s not even an image problem, although we most certainly have one of those. If you don’t think so, Google ‘St. Cloud’ and click on the first New York Times article at the top.

Our real problem is that there are too many cowards in our midst. Yes, we said it: Cowards. Cowards who blanch at the idea of Somalis “just walking around” on a public trail. Cowards who cost local businesses thousands of dollars by overreacting to a mismarked security vehicle out of fear of Sharia law — which isn’t coming for us. It just isn’t, and only cowards believe it is.”

It continues:

Corporate America is not, by and large, interested in associating itself with hate of any kind. The cowardly among us keep perpetuating a local brand that makes it less likely we will be in the running for the next tech outpost or national call center. Convention schedulers are also keenly aware that attendees will look for details about our city and find our darkest side. Already this newspaper has been reached out to by travelers who planned to come to St. Cloud and changed their plans after the latest “branding effort.”

The smartest young people, the ones we need to attract to our companies, will be less likely to move here. Doubt it? Ask your kids if they’d Google a city before considering a job offer there. Our own young people, many raised with classmates and teammates and friends in a rainbow of colors, will think harder than they should have to about where they want to make a life.

Electrolux didn’t leave for South Carolina because of hate. It left because of Minnesota’s terrible tax and regulation system. It also left Minnesota for a right-to-work state. Why didn’t the Times mention that?

As for “the next tech outpost or national call center”, those companies don’t consider Minnesota because our taxes, transportation systems and regulations make us totally uncompetitive with the rest of the nation and the rest of the world. This isn’t mentioned by the DFL because their policies have hurt Minnesota. To admit this failure would be admitting that the DFL is a failure.

Listening to the Times is like listening to Dave Kleis and the Chamber of Commerce. In their world, everything’s just fine. In the real world, St. Cloud has been slipping for 10 years. This isn’t entirely St. Cloud’s fault. DFL state government needs to share in the blame by thinking it can tax the daylights out of everyone without consequence. That’s insanity.

This is why the Times isn’t trusted. Their opinions are insanity personified.

Joe Biden’s frontrunner status in the Democrats’ nominating process just got significantly shakier. The subject of that article is why Biden has earned the title of “1% Joe.”

At a fancy fundraiser Tuesday night, Biden is quoted as saying “Remember, I got in trouble with some of the people on my team, on the Democratic side, because I said, you know, what I’ve found is rich people are just as patriotic as poor people. Not a joke. I mean, we may not want to demonize anybody who’s made money” Biden told about 100 well-dressed donors at the Carlyle Hotel on New York’s Upper East Side, where the hors d’oeuvres included lobster, chicken satay and crudites.”

Later, Biden said this:

“Truth of the matter is, you all know, you all know in your gut what has to be done. “We can disagree in the margins. But the truth of the matter is, it’s all within our wheelhouse and nobody has to be punished. No one’s standard of living would change. Nothing would fundamentally change.

From a policy standpoint, this isn’t a major problem in a general election. In a Democrat primary, it’s like lighting a short fuse on a big stick of dynamite. Nothing good will come of it. I can’t picture Bernie Sanders not bringing this up at next week’s debate. Further, I can’t picture Biden not attempting to explain why this is much ado about nothing. Good luck with that, Joe, especially in light of his Hyde Amendment fiasco.

Think that this fundraiser will be accepted by progressive activists? Think again:

This will go over as well on the left as cockroaches and ants invading a picnic. Biden won’t drop 20 points by the end of July but he’s about to experience a major correction in his polling.

Thus far, Vice President Biden has hidden his gaffes fairly well, with the Hyde Amendment fiasco being the biggest exception. This statement returns the spotlight to Biden’s gaffes. The worst gaffes are the ones that reinforce an image that’s already well-earned. This isn’t going away because Vice President Biden is a certifiable gaffe machine.

The truth is that Joe Biden is almost as terrible of a candidate as Hillary was. This field of Democrat presidential candidates isn’t that impressive. Still, another of these gaffes and Biden will be wondering how he’ll stop Amy Klobuchar’s momentum.

This article highlights how Dan Wolgamott, Tama Theis and Jerry Relph are totally owned by Theresa Bohnen and the St. Cloud Chamber of Commerce. They should be ashamed of themselves.

Last Friday, Wolgamott insisted on this funding, saying that it would create jobs. (That’s what the DFL always says about pork-barrel projects. It’s always hogwash.)

Rep. Nick Zerwas, who represents Big Lake, told the legislature that the average ticket gets subsidized $54. That’s an average subsidy of $14,000 per year per ticket. That’s money that’s wasted that could’ve been used to lower taxes and prevent foolish spending. Any person voting for this foolishness should be primaried and run out of politics.

Further, getting the Chamber’s endorsement should be seen as a negative. They’re moderates at best. They’re also crony capitalists. I can’t remember the last time they fought for pro-growth capitalist policies.

This should frighten people:

Wolgamott says he will be enthusiastically voting for the transportation budget, and will continue to be a tireless advocate to bring Northstar to St. Cloud. Other things included in the transportation bill include an additional $275 million over the current budget for statewide road construction, delivery, and maintenance.

How could this be? Gov. Walz didn’t get his outrageous gas tax increase. We were told that we needed that tax increase to fix roads and bridges. St. Cloud voters better remember that Rep. Wolgamott voted for all of Gov. Walz’s and the DFL’s tax increases.

This article highlights just how out-of-touch the DFL is with voters. Frankly, it’s stunning to hear the DFL’s spin on the DFL’s disastrous session. As I said here, the DFL got smoked this session.

House Speaker Melissa Hortman said Democrats “fought until the very last minute” to include some of their top priorities in the final bills but ran out of time before Monday’s mandatory adjournment for the regular session. She cited driver’s licenses for immigrants living in the country illegally, making it easier for workplace sexual harassment victims to sue and making emergency insulin supplies more affordable.

House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler said they could raise their issues again next year, and use them against Republicans in the 2020 campaign when they hope to hold the House and retake the Senate. He cited gun control, paid family and medical leave and some education measures. “We feel like we’ve made some progress this year and we have marked out where we want to go in the future,” Winkler said.

As a Republican, I have one thing to say to the DFL — Thank you for pushing drivers licenses for illegal immigrants and gun control. Those are issues that poll extremely poorly in the outer ring suburbs, the exurbs and rural Minnesota. In this video, Speaker Hortman says that they tried laying out the DFL’s vision going forward:

According to the DFL Speaker’s own words, the DFL’s vision for Minnesota going forward is higher taxes and less accountability to the taxpayers. If that’s what they’re selling, and it is, then I’m betting that Minnesotans aren’t buying.