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When Gov. Dayton vetoed the Republicans’ tax conformity bill, Gov. Dayton complained that Republicans didn’t “punish” corporations enough. Now, they’re spinning the veto by promising “software, forms and everything else Minnesotans need to get their state taxes done will be ready in time.” That’s not all. Cynthia Bauerly, the commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Revenue promises “there won’t be a bigger state tax bite.”

That’s easy for her to say. She’ll have another job by the time Minnesotans file their taxes next year. What’s important is that Commissioner Bauerly’s statement is verifiably false. People with higher incomes who itemize will pay more in taxes. That’s been proven in every state in the US.

What’s also proven is that the Dayton administration is filled with cronies who are political hacks. Why should I trust Commissioner Bauerly, especially when she says something that she can’t be held accountable for? What’s going to happen to her if she’s caught lying next April? By then, we’ll have a Republican governor and a new commissioner. She’ll likely have a lucrative job in the private sector.

In early April, Ms. Bauerly wrote this op-ed in which she said “In his March 25 commentary, John Spry asked if the governor’s tax plan would mean a tax cut for Minnesotans. Let me answer: It does. Over 2 million Minnesota families and many small businesses and farmers will see a tax cut under the Governor’s plan.”

First, it’s important to know that Professor Spry is the leading tax economist in Minnesota. In his op-ed, Dr. Spry wrote this:

Gov. Mark Dayton is proposing a $1.4 billion tax hike over the next four years, according to his official 2018 budget documents. But he is incorrectly telling the people of Minnesota that his tax hike provides “tax cuts for over 2 million Minnesotans.” This difference occurs because the official budget documents include all of his tax proposals. In his public statements, he brags about selected parts of his tax plan, while omitting some big tax increases from his calculations. He proposes increasing taxes on Minnesotans by reinstating the 2 percent tax on everybody’s medical bills that is scheduled to go away. This tax hike raises about $999 million per biennium in tax revenue beginning in 2020, according to his budget documents.

Gov. Dayton also proposes more than $30 million a year in additional business-to-business sales taxes on software used in data centers. There are also other assorted business tax hikes in his budget. Consumers would pay these business taxes through higher prices. Workers would pay through lower wages and reduced employment opportunities. Investors would pay through lower rates of return.

In other words, Commissioner Bauerly omitted some important things. She omitted some important things because Gov. Dayton tried playing games by putting together a bill that included tax increases. Then he put together a bill that cut taxes. When Commissioner Bauerly says that Minnesotans won pay more in taxes next April, why shouldn’t we think that she’s being dishonest? Why shouldn’t we think that she isn’t being fully truthful?

If Gov. Dayton is smart, something that’s still open to debate, he’ll quickly call a special session. Looking at these poll results might not convince Gov. Dayton but they’re scaring the daylights out of DFL legislative candidates.

According to the article, “Out of 354 total respondents, 221, more than 62 percent, did not agree with the governor’s decision to veto the tax bill last Wednesday. Another 133 voters supported Dayton’s veto.” If Gov. Dayton wants DFL candidates explaining why Gov. Dayton vetoed a pretty good bill the rest of the summer, Gov. Dayton doesn’t have to do a thing. If he wants to give the DFL a slim chance of flipping the Minnesota House, though, he’s got to agree to sign the Republicans’ tax conformity bill.

At this point, though, the DFL is already fighting an uphill fight. In 2016, House Republicans won by pretty significant margins. That’s during a cycle that typically favors the DFL. Good luck flipping the House during the midterms, when turnout typically favors Republicans.

Many commenters took issue with what they see as Dayton’s inability to compromise this session, while others thought it was unfair of Republicans to pass major legislation in the last days of session and expect Dayton to accept everything.

It’s impossible for Republicans to “strike a deal” when the governor doesn’t even show up for work. This year, if I was running the GOP campaigns, I’d highlight the DFL’s partisanship on big bills, then I’d highlight how Gov. Dayton wasn’t willing to compromise. This is something I’d definitely highlight:

Two weeks ago, Dayton’s office publicly released a list of 117 issues the governor didn’t want in the budget and tax bills. Republican lawmakers eliminated more than half of those measures, but Dayton told the Legislature he would veto any bill that contained any of those issues.

Republicans eliminated almost 70% of those issues, including all of Gov. Dayton’s most objectionable provisions. Gov. Dayton still vetoed it, saying he’s demanding that all of those provisions eliminated. He’s Minnesota’s governor. He isn’t Minnesota’s emperor.

If Gov. Dayton thought that he’d set the DFL up for a big electoral victory by vetoing these bills, then he’s foolish. This fired up the GOP base. It also pissed off a ton of entrepreneurs who are facing a tax increase and complicated tax forms. Those entrepreneurs aren’t likely to vote DFL. They aren’t likely to sit this election out, either.

That special session better happen fast and the DFL better pray that voters forget how Gov. Dayton and the DFL tried shafting them with higher taxes.

A month ago, the biggest stories coming out of California were the stories of cities and counties opting out of California’s ‘California Value Act’ restrictions. This month, it’s another example of Democrats’ overreach on tax increases.

The article opens by saying “As a new poll found a majority of California voters want to repeal increases to the state’s gas tax and vehicle fees, Gov. Jerry Brown has begun campaigning to preserve them, arguing the sacrifice is needed to fix long-neglected roads and bridges and improve mass transit. Repeal of the higher taxes and fees was supported by 51% of registered voters in the state, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times statewide poll.”

In a state that’s supposedly stridently liberal, it’s difficult to picture polling results that support repeal of tax increases. That sounds positively Republican. This says it all:

The results bode well for a measure that Republican members of Congress hope to place on the November statewide ballot that could boost turnout of GOP voters by offering the chance to repeal the gas tax increase, said Bob Shrum, director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at USC. “If it qualifies for the ballot it will be, I suspect, very hard to sustain it,” Shrum said of the tax. “It’s almost dead.”

The more liberal California gets, it seems, the bigger the eventual backlash will be. When this explodes, it won’t be pretty. Having Jerry Brown flapping his gums like this won’t help:

“The test of America’s strength is whether we defeat this stupid repeal measure, which is nothing more than a Republican stunt to get a few of their losers returned to Congress, and we’re not going to let that happen,” Brown told the transportation officials at Union Station in Los Angeles.

It’s obvious Gov. Brown hasn’t figured it out that his popularity is shrinking. If he keeps yapping, he’ll save several Republican seats by himself. This graphic speaks volumes:

While reading through this MPR article, I discovered a provocative insight into Gov. Dayton’s thinking. Specifically, I’m talking about when he said “Divided government has not worked well for Minnesota over the last eight years but it has worked better than it did this time.”

This puts the final piece of the puzzle in place to figuring out (to the best that’s possible) Gov. Dayton’s thinking and attitude. Consider these things:

  • In 3 of the 4 budget years, Gov. Dayton either shut government down or pushed things to a special session.
  • In 2015, Sen. Bakk and Speaker Daudt spent an entire week negotiating with Gov. Dayton on a budget agreement without success. After their Friday meeting with Gov. Dayton, they took it upon themselves to fashion a bipartisan budget agreement. An hour later, they’d reached agreement.
  • This year, Gov. Dayton vetoed a standalone bill because it wasn’t part of a bigger bill.
  • Gov. Dayton vetoed other bills because they were too big.
  • Gov. Dayton vetoed a spending bill, saying it didn’t have new money in it even though it had new money in it.

These aren’t the actions of a rational man. They’re either the actions of a man that’s falling apart or the actions of a man who’s playing political games with people’s lives.

It’s impossible to deal with irrational people like this. It’s like trying to predict the flight pattern of butterflies. It’s just simply impossible. These are the people who will get hurt thanks to Gov. Dayton’s irrational vetoes:

Gov. Dayton accused Republicans of putting together bad bills for their campaigns. Sen. Gazelka quickly shot that accusation down:

“Everywhere we turn, somebody is impacted, because in the end we are too stubborn to give in,” said Gazelka, R-Nisswa. It’s unfair, he added, to say Republicans are only interested in their campaigns for re-election, particularly in the Senate, where members are not on the ballot this year. “It feels impulsive, it feels vindictive and it didn’t help anybody in Minnesota,” he said of the vetoes. “I don’t know where we go from here.”

Gov. Dayton made that accusation to put the blame anywhere except on him. Like Gov. Dayton, the accusation is the product of Gov. Dayton’s impulses and his dishonesty.

The budget bill would have used money from the state surplus to help boost school security, take steps to attack the opioid epidemic, begin addressing problems with the elder care system and more. The tax bill authorized $225 million in spending for schools meant to avert layoffs and program cuts in some districts, but Dayton had called it “fake,” because only $50 million of it was new money.

What a blithering idiot. I’m betting those parents and students don’t care whether the money is new or tapped from reserves. They care whether they’ll be safe next fall.

This is another situation where Gov. Dayton insisted on something, then vetoed the legislation whether it took care of the people’s needs. If it met the people’s needs but not his demandments, it got vetoed. Wasn’t the biggest requirement of the job to make the people’s lives better? I don’t recall it being that important to make the politicians happy.

By vetoing the GOP tax conformity bill, Gov. Dayton has just given corporations a major tax increase. Gov. Dayton didn’t like the bill because, in his words, “the bill didn’t penalize companies who move foreign profits back to Minnesota harshly enough.”

This shows just how incompetent Gov. Dayton is and how little he understands economics. If you punish corporations for bringing their profits back to the USA, they’ll keep their profits in other countries. These corporations don’t have an incentive to repatriate their funds if Gov. Dayton’s policy is to punish them. Gov. Dayton’s shortsighted and ideology-driven policies have led him to veto the legislature’s tax conformity bill.

That’s foolish both economically and politically. Thanks to Gov. Dayton’s veto of the bill, lots of businesses will get hit with significant tax increases. Further, those businesses getting hit with significant tax increases now have a motive to vote for Republicans this fall. Thanks to Gov. Dayton’s veto of the tax conformity bill, entrepreneurs have additional incentives to vote against DFL legislators and the DFL gubernatorial candidate. Of course, Gov. Dayton had to make a foolish statement after vetoing the bill:

“They wanted a bill that was going to fail,” Dayton said at a morning news conference. He accused House Republicans of cozying up to “special interests.”

Take that statement with a block of salt. Forget about a grain of salt. You’d need one of these:

About 2:30 into this video, Speaker Daudt said something profound. When asked by Pat Kessler why they didn’t separate out the bills, Speaker Daudt said “You know, even when we did separate things out — I’ll bring your attention to the deputy registrar money — we sent that by itself. The Governor vetoed that and then put in his veto letter that he vetoed it because it wasn’t part of a bigger bill. I’m just — I don’t even have anything to say. I can’t answer for how illogical this governor has been the last 2 weeks — and beyond that.”

There’s no question that Gov. Dayton has been erratic the last 2+ weeks. There’s little question that he’s no longer mentally fit to serve as governor anymore. Just look at the things that’ve happened recently. MNLARS is a major administration failure that’s hurting deputy registrars. It’s putting some of them out of business. Others are losing their homes. Fox9 reported about massive amounts of fraud in the child care welfare system. Gov. Dayton’s response was that he found out about it via the station that broke the story. Earlier, it was reported that seniors living in elder care facilities had died because the people abused them or neglected them altogether.

Sen. Karin Housley put a bill together to insist on accountability. Naturally, Gov. Dayton vetoed that, too. Gov. Dayton accused Republicans of cozying up to “the special interests.” What does Gov. Dayton have to say about his protecting SEIU with his veto of the senior care accountability bill? Did he do that because it was the right thing? Did he do it because he’s protected his political allies all the while he’s been in office? (I suspect it’s the latter.)

Perhaps Speaker Daudt’s most stinging shot came when he said “I’ve worked with this governor as the leader of my caucus the last 6 years, the last 4 years as Speaker and every opportunity, this governor will choose politics over people every time.” In fact, throughout the 24+ minute video, Speaker Daudt cited example after example of Gov. Dayton not being engaged in negotiating bills.

In fact, it wasn’t just Speaker Daudt that criticized Gov. Dayton. Check out Roger Chamberlain’s statement on Gov. Dayton’s behavior:

The governor behaved like a toddler – emotional, impulsive, and unreasonable. Vetoing everything and bringing the session to a crashing halt because he couldn’t get exactly what he wanted is just another temper tantrum. It has become a recurring theme with this governor; it is a legacy of chaos and failure.

The truly sad thing is the governor’s selfishness will have a devastating impact on Minnesotans. His vetoes tell us he doesn’t care about protecting students from the next school shooting. That he doesn’t care about saving the next victims of opioid abuse. That he doesn’t care about people struggling with mental health emergencies. That he doesn’t care about victims of elder abuse. The list goes on and on and on. These people don’t care about the governor’s political games. They just want to live their lives and the governor turned his back on them today.

Senate Republicans cited specific reasons why Gov. Dayton shouldn’t have vetoed these bill. Here’s part of Sen. Karin Housley’s statement:

The governor’s veto of the supplemental budget is disappointing and irresponsible. The bill included new, needed protections for elderly and vulnerable Minnesotans, and his veto puts thousands at risk. Instead of standing with the people of our state, the governor chose to cement his legacy as a chief executive whose administration has been marred by scandal and obstruction.

The elder care provisions included in the bill represented a bipartisan compromise that would have allowed the use of electronic monitoring, strengthened resident protections, better prevented retaliation, prohibited deceptive marketing, and enhanced provider accountability.

Sen. Chamberlain is right. Gov. Dayton acted like a spoiled brat. I wrote about Gov. Dayton’s behavior many times during this session and the budget session. This isn’t something that wasn’t totally visible. It was there in plain sight the entire time. That being said, the Twin Cities media did their best to not cover it. Even in today’s press conference with Speaker Daudt, the questions were veiled attempts to defend Gov. Dayton. It didn’t work. Speaker Daudt was prepared and loaded with specifics.

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Perhaps the people who wrote this LTE didn’t realize it but it frames an important question satisfactorily. Todd Holthaus and Dave Smiglewski state “A proposal making its way through the Minnesota House and Senate would ask voters to change the State Constitution to permanently dedicate the revenue attributable to the sales tax on auto parts to roads and bridges. These funds, almost $300 million per year, currently go to the state’s general fund, the same pool of money that supports things like schools and Local Government Aid (LGA).”

Actually, the truth is that the money from those sales taxes are used to pay for K-12 education, LGA, nursing homes, veterans care and a lengthy list of other things. It pays for things like Community Action Minneapolis, which used the money to fund Caribbean vacations for corrupt Twin Cities politicians. It also pays for child care fraud to help the ‘folks back home’. Back home in the Middle East and the Horn of Africa, that is. Unfortunately, Messrs. Holthaus and Smiglewski didn’t think that information was important.

Make no mistake about it, Minnesota’s roads and bridges need help. However, diverting money away from the general fund will either cause pain to other important state programs or require the state to raise taxes to make up the shortfall. That is why we urge legislators and the public to reject this proposed constitutional amendment.

Messrs. Holthaus and Smiglewski didn’t admit that economies built on pro-growth policies matter. Holthaus and Smiglewski base their opinion on policies that aren’t pro-growth, that don’t unleash the private sector. The best way to consistently have enough money for government’s core functions is a strong economy. The DFL’s policies hurt too many people in rural Minnesota. The DFL’s buffer strip legislation hurts farmers. The DFL’s wild rice rule hurts miners. The DFL’s anti-fossil fuel policies hurt all Minnesotans.

Budgets are about setting priorities. For decades, the DFL has pushed the myth that funding equals great educational outcomes. The DFL hasn’t had a new idea on education since Wendy Anderson was governor. That’s because the DFL is owned by Education Minnesota.

We haven’t gotten to the campaign yet and I’m already tired of his whining. In this LTE, Wolgamott essentially whines about the tough job of governing, saying “But unfortunately, our current elected officials aren’t making our kids a priority. We’ve seen the same story play out too many times in our schools: budget deficits that lead to increased class sizes, fewer opportunities for our kids than we had, and when budget deficits get too large, a referendum for a higher local levy. Lily and all of her classmates deserve an outstanding education and a chance to succeed! If we want Minnesota to continue to be a leader, we have to do better, and the Republican-led Legislature needs to step up and adequately fund our schools.”

First, the only thing that Minnesota is a leader in is having people leave the state for other destinations. The state demographer verifies that. So does the IRS. Next, liberal-infested school boards are to blame for this manufactured crisis. We’re told that 59 school districts are running deficits. Then we’re told that 10 percent per biennium spending increases aren’t enough. When’s the last time you got a 10% increase in your wage over 2 years and it wasn’t enough? Third, Mr. Wolgamott, what’s your definition of ‘adequately funding our schools’? Is there a definition? I suspect there isn’t.

But even with a budget surplus, Republicans in the legislature, including Rep. Jim Knoblach, are refusing to support the Emergency School Aid proposal. Some even questioned whether there is an emergency or need for the funding. Politicians are continuing to shortchange our schools just to put corporations and the wealthy first. That’s just not right, and it’s not fair to our children.

I’m tired of the DFL’s lying about Republicans shortchanging kids so they can “put corporations and the wealthy first.” It’s an outright lie. First, Republicans are willing to work with Gov. Dayton on addressing the needs of the 59 districts. They just aren’t willing to add 2% to the K-12 spending formula, which helps schools running surpluses and those running deficits. Instead, Gov. Dayton is insisting on his way only. That isn’t negotiating. That’s what autocrats do.

Next, it’s worth noting that Mr. Wolgamott intentionally omitted the part about a GOP counteroffer. Why? It’s impossible to climb inside a mind like Wolgamott’s but I suspect it’s because he wants to create the impression that Republicans simply don’t care about education. Anyone that works that hard at creating the impression that Republicans don’t care isn’t the type of guy that’d bring people together. I don’t have to question whether Jim Knoblach can bring people together. I’ve seen him do it. I must question Wolgamott on bringing people together because all I’ve got to go on is his claim that he’ll bring people together. That isn’t much to go on with someone as deceptive as he is.

Ensuring all of our children have access to a great education is critical for the future of our state. It’s the key to good jobs and a great economy, and making sure our kids can live a better life than their parents. It’s time for leaders from both parties to work together and pass this Emergency School Aid. And if they won’t, let’s replace them with people who will put our kids first.

What Mr. Wolgamott didn’t say in that paragraph is that Minnesota also needs competitive tax rates and fewer regulations to create jobs and a bright future. Apparently, Wolgamott hasn’t figured it out that people from each age group and each income group are leaving Minnesota because Minnesota just isn’t the desirable state to live in anymore thanks to the DFL’s policies.

We’ve had divided government, in which case the DFL won the budget fight. We’ve had unified DFL government, which resulted in the DFL winning the budget fight. What we haven’t had is unified Republican government. What we know is that Gov. Dayton and the Metrocrats have spent tons of money on Twin Cities things while ignoring rural Minnesota. That’s why voters threw out DFL legislators and gave the legislative keys to Republicans.

That’s pretty astonishing considering the fact that Gov. Dayton repeatedly told voters that he wanted DFL majorities in the House and Senate in 2017. Instead, voters gave him Republican majorities in the House and Senate in 2017. They know the Dayton plan isn’t working. What’s most needed is competence, something that’s been lacking in the governor’s mansion the past 8 years. Think MNLARS, MNsure, the nursing home crisis and the child care fraud scandal.

After vetoing the GOP tax conformity bill, Gov. Dayton sent this veto letter to Speaker Kurt Daudt in which he theoretically explained why he vetoed the tax conformity bill. It isn’t as much a governing document as it is a political document.

For instance, early in the veto letter, Gov. Dayton wrote “Late last year, President Trump and Republicans in Congress enacted a federal tax law that overwhelmingly favored large corporations and the richest Americans. The federal tax law cut taxes by 40 percent for corporations, totaling 92 percent of the net total, or $1.35 trillion. Because of these federal tax changes, 300,000 Minnesotans will see a $59 million tax increase next year, if the Minnesota Legislature does nothing to respond.”

What Gov. Dayton didn’t include in his letter is why the federal tax cut was heavy on cutting corporate tax rates. Gov. Dayton didn’t mention that Obama-era tax increases in corporate tax rates had made U.S. companies uncompetitive with other nations’ companies. The likely reason why Gov. Dayton didn’t mention that is because his tax policies have made Minnesota companies uncompetitive.

Here’s Speaker Daudt’s response to Gov. Dayton’s veto:

This is an outright lie:

Unfortunately, this tax bill, like the Federal Tax Law passed last year, prioritizes tax cuts for corporations over real people. Rather than investing in our children’s educations, the GOP has decided that the foreign profits of large, multinational corporations are more important.

I can’t wait until Gov. Dayton is just a bad memory. He’s raised taxes, including on middle income families and the working poor. Now he’s about to raise taxes on the middle class again unless he gets exactly what he wants. He’s turned a blind eye towards vulnerable seniors in nursing homes. He’s dumped millions of dollars into a broken MNLARS system and that still doesn’t work. He’s protected his union allies while imposing harsh regulations on those that oppose the unions. (Think child care workers who voted against unionization.)

It’s accurate to say that he’s been the worst governor in recent Minnesota history. He’s supposedly forgotten important provisions in major bills that he’s negotiated. (Think sales tax on farm equipment repairs in the Tax bill of 2013 and the PSL provision in the Vikings stadium bill.) Now he’s insisting that he didn’t hear about the whistleblower report about the Somali child care fraud. This despite the fact that the whistleblower has repeatedly told reporters that he told people in Gov. Dayton’s inner circle about the fraud.

When he was in the Senate, Dayton was named the worst senator in DC. It isn’t a stretch to think that he’s now added worst governor in Minnesota to his ‘trophy case’.

In this post, I said “Here’s a fearless prediction: the DFL will criticize the House-Senate GOP tax cuts as tax breaks for big corporations. What the legislation says is irrelevant to the DFL. What’s important to the DFL is that they’ve rehearsed their lines properly.”

This morning, I received an email from the Alliance for Telling Filthy Lies, aka ABM. In their email was a sentence that said “if state Republicans get their way, corporations and the wealthiest Minnesotans will get millions in tax breaks as our schools face teacher layoffs and program cuts from lack of funding.”

Talk about a total filthy lie. Here’s the truth:

The House and Senate deal lowers the state’s first tax bracket from 5.35 percent to 5.25 percent. The change affects a single filer’s earnings below $25,890 and a couple’s below $37,850. The second tax bracket rate drops from 7.05 percent to 6.85 percent. This decrease affects a single filer’s income between $25,891 and $85,060 and a couple’s between $37,851 and $150,380. The rate reductions would take place over two fiscal years, so the lower rates would be in place by 2020. The changes would cost $137 million this year and $341 million by 2020.

It’s disgusting to hear the DFL lie like that. Only people in the lowest 2 income tax brackets will have their rates cut. There’s nothing in the bill that remotely relates to corporations or upper income tax brackets.

Here’s the edited email that I received:

Apparently, it’s asking the DFL too much to actually tell the truth. The only legitimate conclusion that can be drawn is that they’re disgusting people who haven’t hesitated to lie to get their way. I expect better than that. I can’t vote for people I can’t trust.

On a related matter, Gov. Dayton vetoed the tax conformity bill in front of a room filled with students. This November, it’s time to throw these liars out. It’s time to reject their dishonesty. It’s time to demand people that tell the truth and who do their utmost to keep their promises.

Finally, it’s time to elect pro-growth politicians. It’s time to reject the DFL socialists.

Now that the GOP majorities in the Minnesota House and Senate have gotten together and ironed out their difference, their tax cut bill is heading to Gov. Dayton’s desk. That’s the good news. The bad news is that Gov. Dayton intends to veto it unless he gets additional funding for K-12 education.

The article states “The Minnesota House has passed a tax bill compromise with the Senate that promises to reduce tax rates and bring the state code in closer alignment with recent federal changes. That compromise, which has yet to be voted on in the state Senate, still doesn’t have the approval of DFL Governor Mark Dayton. The agreement that House and Senate negotiators finalized just prior to Tuesday’s vote would reduce taxes for an estimated 2.2 million Minnesotans. It would reduce state income tax rates for the first time in 18 years.”

Gov. Dayton’s job is to put in place policies that make Minnesotans’ lives better. Thankfully, it won’t be his job much longer. Frankly, he’s been mediocre (at best) at it. Instead, Gov. Dayton has threatened to raise taxes if he doesn’t get $138,000,000 in additional K-12 appropriations.

Rep. Greg Davids issued this statement after the House passed the bill:

If Gov. Dayton vetoes this bill, Republicans should campaign on this from now until Election Day.