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The TEA Party Nation’s endorsement of Julianne Ortman just shrinks TPN’s credibility. Here’s why:

She is running and has racked up an impressive series of endorsements. She has been endorsed by our friends at Tea Party Express, the Conservative Campaign Committee, Citizens United and most recently she was endorsed by Sarah Palin.

She is pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, pro-low taxes and perhaps most importantly in favor of a complete repeal of Obamacare.

Julianne “I’m in my comfort zone” Ortman isn’t pro-low taxes:
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The TPN is entitled to their opinion. They aren’t entitled to their own facts. Saying that Ms. Ortman is pro-low tax is making up their own facts. Here’s the transcript to the video:

Sen. Tom Bakk: “Senator Ortman.”
Sen. Ortman: “Good morning Mr. Chair and members. Thank you for hearing this bill. This bill proposes a new tax. It’s the first time I’ve ever proposed a new tax, and so-“
Sen. Bakk: “How’s it feel?”
[LAUGHTER]
Sen. Ortman: “I definitely feel like I’m in the hot seat, but that’s alright. I’ve been a lightening rod before and I probably will be again. I’m back in a zone of comfort.”

What’s more important is that Ms. Ortman doesn’t believe in the free market:

But let’s be honest, 15% should be more than enough interest in an economy when banks can borrow at the federal funds rate (0.25%), and the prime lending rate hovers at 3%.

Who made Ms. Ortman the arbiter of free markets? The TEA Party activists I know and agree with would recoil if they heard Ms. Ortman’s statement.

Andy Parrish can brag about the endorsements but what he can’t do is honestly say that his candidate is a principled conservative. That’s because she isn’t a conservative. She’s a career politician with a moderate bent.

UPDATE: Just minutes ago, TEA Party Nation attacked me because I correctly stated that they aren’t intellectually honest. Here’s the text of their tweet:

@LFRGary If I had a nickel for every time a liberal told us we were losing credibility, we’d be rich.

If I had $1,000,000 for each time someone called me a liberal, I’d be worth $1,000,000.

Apparently, TPN isn’t interested in doing their homework. Calling me a liberal, which is what they just did, just isn’t credible. If TEA Party Nation had done their homework, they’d know I’m a rock solid conservative. Then again, if they’d done their homework and if they were intellectually honest, they’d know that Julianne Ortman selectively believes in free markets and low taxes.

TEA Party Nation is a high profile organization. In this instance, however, they aren’t intellectually honest.

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Sen. Julianne Ortman’s own words are frightening. Here’s what I’m talking about:

We can and should raise some revenues to make targeted tax reductions that will help to stimulate the state’s economy.

For that reason, I proposed a tax increase this year; we should change our tax code to charge a tax on all lending institutions and other businesses that extend credit to Minnesotans and charge an APR interest rate in excess of 15%. Lenders and others may still charge whatever interest rate they would like. Those that charge less than 15% interest will be unaffected. On those transactions where they charge more than 15% they should pay a tax of 30% on that portion of the interest that exceeds15%. If, as a by-product, lenders reduce rates or reform lending practices, then so much the better.

But let’s be honest, 15% should be more than enough interest in an economy when banks can borrow at the federal
funds rate (0.25%), and the prime lending rate hovers at 3%.

My first question to Sen. Ortman is simple: who made Sen. Ortman the arbiter of what’s enough and what’s too much? My next question is equally simple: does Sen. Ortman realize the effect this proposed surtax would’ve had had it been signed into law? I suspect she didn’t. John Spry is one of the best tax economists in Minnesota. He wrote a study about what this legislation would have. Here’s the conclusion to Professor Spry’s report:

4. Conclusion
Minnesota’s proposed thirty percent surtax on consumer interest in excess of fifteen percent would create a highly regressive tax. Since the surtax is imposed only when consumers carry balances over fifteen percent, only the 11.8% of households with these loans would directly feel the burden of this surtax.

Sen. Ortman’s proposed tax is highly regressive because lower income people are more likely to have a high interest rate on their credit cards and because they’re most likely to carry a balance on their credit cards.

The effect that this proposed surtax would’ve had would’ve hurt low income people who would’ve been hit with lower minimum monthly payments. These low income people would’ve also gotten hit with a higher interest rate as a direct result of Sen. Ortman’s proposed tax increase, meaning low income people would’ve paid more to pay off their credit card debts.

Here’s another astonishing thing from Sen. Ortman’s website:

So let’s have the conversation at the capitol….who should pay for the State’s budget deficit?

Apparently, Sen. Ortman didn’t realize that imposing this surtax would force the poorest people to pay for Minnesota’s deficit. This graphic shows who gets hurt most by Sen. Ortman’s proposed tax increase:

This graphic shows that the lowest income people are hurt most by the tax on lenders. This graphic shows what happens to interest rates when this tax is implemented:

The graphic shows that interest rates would increase significantly if Sen. Ortman’s tax was implemented. If Minnesota implemented this surtax and the interest before implementation was 22%, the post-implementation interest rate would jump to 25%. As a direct result of that, the size of the minimum payment would jump. That would make it more difficult for low income people to a) make that minimum payment and b) pay off their credit card debt.

It’s better to think things through than blindly proposing a populist-sounding policy.

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A loyal reader of LFR sent me the text of an article in the Legal Ledger about what happened after Sen. Julianne Ortman proposed raising taxes in 2011. Here’s the key part of the article:

The letter comes after a few days’ worth of news reports and speculation about some willingness to raise taxes within the GOP Senate caucus, whether it be by broadening sales taxes, eliminating tax breaks, or other means. Taxes Chair Julianne Ortman was at the center of the speculation after she made comments calling tax expenditures government spending. Ortman has told us in the past that she fully intends to review and eliminate some tax breaks, although she disavowed any express wish to raise total revenues. She also mused favorably about how some states have been able to broaden sales taxes and lower rates.

In turn, it seems GOP communications staff kept Ortman under wraps most all day Thursday. After her Taxes hearing Thursday morning, the head of communications for the caucus, Michael Brodkorb, was seen waiting in the wings with another communications staffer to lead Ortman away. In response to a question directed at Ortman, Brodkorb simply replied: “No comment today.”

At the time, the House and Senate GOP caucuses were saying that they were committed to balancing the budget without raising taxes, which they accomplished after Gov. Dayton shut down the state government for 2 weeks.

First, Sen. Ortman’s proposal was terrible policy because it didn’t do anything to fix out-of-control DFL spending increases. Giving the DFL additional revenue is like putting out a fire with a little extra gas on the fire. Secondly, when Sen. Ortman went rogue, she did so without telling her colleagues. That’s the fastest way of stabbing her colleagues in the back.

It was her way of saying that her priorities were more important than her colleagues’ priorities, that her priorities mattered and that their policies didn’t. When Sen. Ortman went rogue, House and Senate GOP leadership were in the process of negotiating with Gov. Dayton, Sen. Bakk and then-Minority Leader Thissen. Her proposal cut the legs out from under the GOP leadership.

The lesson to be learned from this is that Sen. Ortman a) isn’t a team player, b) isn’t “a conservative champion” and c) can’t be relied on to do the right thing in holding down taxes.

Minnesotans don’t need someone who will fit right in with the DC Surrender Caucus right alongside John McCain and Lindsey Graham. We need someone principled who will fight for smart policies that grow the economy, create jobs and make Minnesotans’ lives better.

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It was quite a downer when Zach Dorholt defeated King Banaian, especially from a policy standpoint. We traded a respected economist for a politician with no particular policy skills. Apparently, though, Dorholt is a skilled spinmeister:

Tax Cuts for Minnesotans

The House got an early start this year by passing a repeal bill to end unnecessary warehousing and business-to-business sales taxes during the first week of session. As part-owner and a small business, I worked with members of both parties to make sure that warehousing taxes, telecommunications equipment taxes, and machinery repair sales taxes were repealed this session. I was a co-author of many of these business tax repeal bills in the House.

We also passed federal conformity as part of that tax repeal bill. Conforming Minnesota’s tax code to federal tax law makes tax filing easier for Minnesotans and qualified over 1 million residents of our state for $230 million in increased tax relief. Last Friday, we were finally able to act on the complete amended tax cut package that was sent to us by the Senate. We passed the bill the same day with bipartisan support to cut taxes by $430 million and sent it to Governor Dayton for signing.

Here’s the truth of what happened:

As part-owner and a small business, I worked with members of both parties to make sure that warehousing taxes, telecommunications equipment taxes, and machinery repair sales taxes that I voted for were repealed this session. I was a co-author of many of these business tax repeal bills in the House. I co-authored many of these tax repeal bills because not repealing them would’ve been political suicide. I supported terrible tax increase policies because that’s what loyal Democrats reflexively do.

Seriously, Dorholt voted for the biggest tax increases in Minnesota history last year. Then he saw the political firestorm erupt the minute Gov. Dayton signed the bill that Dorholt and the DFL voted for.

Now Dorholt wants to pretend that those tax increases just appeared out of thin air, that he didn’t have a thing to do with them. Dorholt wants people to think that giving some of the Democrats’ tax increase back should count as a tax cut. That’s the same logic as saying that the burglar who stole a flat screen TV, several brand new iPads and some kitchen appliances last week, then returned the kitchen appliances this week is a man of charity.

Restoring part of the things that the DFL legislature stole last year isn’t the same as cutting taxes. Outside of a Democratic politicians’ world, that’s considered as righting a wrong.

Finally, talking about tax conformity as tax relief is a joke. It isn’t tax relief. I don’t recall the DFL legislature passing tax conformity last year but if they did, they certainly didn’t talk about it as tax relief. When tax conformity was passed in previous sessions, the legislature just treated it like the right thing to do, a ho-hum type of thing.

I’m betting that the reason the DFL is trumpeting tax conformity as tax relief is because the DFL wants some political cover from the charges that a) the DFL passed the biggest tax increase in Minnesota history and b) the DFL’s tax increase hit plenty of middle class families.

The DFL and their allies like ABM and TakeAction Minnesota aren’t tethered to the truth. They’re more closely affiliated with spin that says reducing the size of last year’s tax increase is a tax cut. There’s a simple thing to remember. The next time that the DFL cuts taxes…will be the first time the DFL cuts taxes.

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It’s often a big deal when Sarah Palin endorses a candidate. Much pomp and circumstance accompanies Ms. Palin’s endorsements. It’s perfectly within Ms. Palin’s First Amendment rights to endorse the candidates she chooses. I’d just respect Ms. Palin’s endorsements if she’d do her homework, which she didn’t do with her latest endorsement:

A 12-year state senator, Ortman is challenging Democrat Al Franken in Minnesota. Palin contrasted her qualifications with those of the incumbent, whom she labeled a “clown.” (Franken had a successful career as a comedian before entering politics.)

Ortman “is a conservative champion. … She is running a grassroots campaign against a well-funded favorite of the Washington GOP establishment whose policy record is a blank slate,” Palin said in her endorsement.

Is a politician who won’t repeal Obamacare, who’s proposed raising taxes and who’s voted for Cap and Trade “a conservative champion” just because Sarah Palin says so?

By contrast, the candidate that Ms. Palin criticized as being a “favorite of the Washington GOP establishment”, Mike McFadden, favors repealing Obamacare, reducing regulations, simplifying our tax code and limiting government spending.

The reality is that Mike McFadden has laid out a legislative agenda that’s conservative. Altogether too often, Julianne Ortman has voted against common sense conservative principles because she’s been a go-along-to-get-along legislator for nearly 12 years.

The proof is clear. Contrary to Ms. Palin’s endorsing statement, Julianne Ortman isn’t “a conservative champion.” She’s the type of politician that Ms. Palin has railed against in the past.

That’s why Ms. Palin’s endorsement rings hollow. That’s why I’m questioning Ms. Palin’s endorsement. If she doesn’t want her credibility questioned, she needs to prove that she consistently stands for conservative principles.

This time, Ms. Palin didn’t stand for conservative principles.

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This news article could’ve been written by Denise Cardinal or Carrie Lucking:

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton signed a $616 million tax cut plan for the state on Friday, and this is one measure that can truly be described as “bi-partisan.”

Lawmakers tell us that the bill was in the works for a short while as everyone knew this was something the state desperately needed.

Minnesota State Rep. Kim Norton, (D) Rochester, says she’s thrilled to have this bill passed and signed by the governor and having it pass quickly as some of the cuts apply to tax returns being filed right now.

“The Senate took the bill on the House floor this last week,” she said, “it was sent over to the house, we concurred with their bill very quickly, there was a little bit of discussion but there were no amendments on the house side. We were able to vote it into law and send it to the governor for his signature very quickly.”

It might have been a speedy process, but it was thorough.

That’s the definition of spin. First, the bill that Gov. Dayton just signed isn’t a tax cut. It’s mostly the repeal of a tiny portion of last year’s tax increase, which was the biggest tax increase in Minnesota history. Next, the amount of taxes repealed didn’t come close to $616,000,000. It’s been reported that the repeal saved Minnesota taxpayers $440,000,000. Repealing taxes that haven’t gone into effect isn’t a tax cut.

Third, this bill wasn’t in the works just “a short while.” The repeal of the warehouse services sales tax, the farm equipment repair sales tax and the telecommunications sales tax were initially proposed prior to last summer’s special session. That’s 7 months ago. That’s longer than a legislative session by a couple months.

Fourth, the tax repair bill that Gov. Dayton signed wasn’t signed because he and the DFL legislature love cutting taxes. Gov. Dayton didn’t sign this bill because he hates raising taxes. Gov. Dayton signed this bill because not repealing these taxes would’ve been political suicide.

Fifth, the process wasn’t thorough. I wrote here about how little the DFL thought their tax increases through. Here’s the transcript between Rep. Kurt Zellers and Commissioner Myron Frans:

REP. ZELLERS: But if I pay him every month $20 or $100, is that going to be or is he going to have to start collecting sales tax and remitting it to the State of Minnesota?
COMMISSIONER FRANS: …He probably would. If it was a monthly charge, then there likely would be a sales tax charge.
REP. ZELLERS: So then someone mowing my lawn, someone shovelling snow for me during the winter time or a babysitter?
COMMISSIONER FRANS: Those services would generally all be covered by the sales tax.

The DFL’s leadership didn’t even think basic things through. Commissioner Frans couldn’t even answer basic questions about what would and wouldn’t be taxed.

Republicans shouldn’t kid themselves. The DFL’s praetorian guard, aka the Agenda Media, is already running interference for the DFL. Think of what it’ll be like when the campaign gets into full swing. Republicans should get out ahead of this issue now and return to it repeatedly. This isn’t the time to take things for granted. It’s time to demolish the Agenda Media’s premise before it’s considered the truth.

Repealing a tiny portion of the biggest tax increase in Minnesota history is just that: the repealing of a tiny portion of the biggest tax increase in Minnesota history.

A thief who steals some jewelry, a hi-definition big screen TV and some kitchen appliances is still a thief if the thief returns the kitchen appliances.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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According to this article, Sen. Bakk rebutted Sen. Hann’s reason for not suspending the rules so the Senate could pass the DFL’s Tax Repeal Bill:

Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk rebutted Hann’s argument, saying the bill had gone through only minor, technical changes during Thursday’s committee hearing, and pointing out that, by law, the Senate needed to act on a bill that had first passed through the House.

“Members, we might not get another tax bill — this might be it,” Bakk warned. He added: “If you want to wait until tomorrow to process it, that’s certainly within your control here today.”

Trusting Sen. Bakk isn’t wise. After all, Sen. Bakk is the tyrant who held the bill hostage so he could use it as leverage against the House. Sen. Bakk wanted to use that bill to extract a promise from Speaker Thissen that the House would approve Sen. Bakk’s Legislative Office Building project.

Why would we trust Sen. Bakk after that fiasco?

Which of Sen. Bakk’s recent actions indicate that he’s trustworthy? At the start of the week, Sen. Bakk insisted that the Senate was just doing their due diligence on the House’s bill. Then Gov. Dayton criticized the DFL Senatea for dragging their feet. Within an hour of Gov. Dayton’s criticism, Sen. Bakk announced that the Senate Taxes Committee would hear the bill the next day.

FYI- I don’t believe in coincidences, which means I don’t believe that Sen. Bakk’s newfound urgency was triggered by anything other than political pressure.

While Democrats haven’t hesitated in voting for something they hadn’t read, Republicans are more cautious. Republicans insisted on reading the bill before voting on it. That’s the sensible thing to do. This is the perfect illustration that the DFL’s votes are calculated by political expediency.

“There is no good reason for Senate Republicans block the bill’s passage today,” Dayton said. “If Republican legislators force any further delays in either the Senate or the House, they will be solely responsible for denying income tax cuts to thousands of Minnesotans.”

Gov. Dayton’s statement was driven by either total dishonesty or by taking too much pain medication. First, Sen. Bakk whined that if he didn’t get his office building, the Senate would be kicked out to the street. This time, Gov. Dayton whined that Republicans were irresponsible for insisting on reading a major bill before voting on it. I’d argue that that’s a totally legitimate reason for their actions.

When the drama fades and the dust settles, several things will be apparent. It’ll be apparent that the DFL voted for the biggest tax increase in Minnesota history. It’ll be apparent that the DFL repealed the B2B sales taxes because they saw the political backlash it’d created. It’ll be apparent that Gov. Dayton signed the tax increases into law. It’ll become apparent that Sen. Bakk wanted to play political hardball with the Tax Repair Bill. It’ll become apparent that the DFL’s mentality is to raise taxes first, then determine whether raising taxes was the right thing to do.

Additionally, it’ll become apparent that the DFL, including their media apologists, is shifting into spin mode in their attempt to hide the DFL’s disaster.

I’ll be here to counter the DFL’s spin. If that’s important to you, feel free to drop a few coins in my tip jar so I can continue fighting the good fight.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UPDATE: This video is sickening:

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

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

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

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I wrote this post to highlight the Agenda Media’s willingness to parrot the DFL’s ‘tax cut’ rhetoric. Frankly, it’s insulting intellectually to hear them say that the DFL is cutting taxes. A little history lesson will illustrate the intellectual emptiness of the DFL’s claims.

Let’s start with 2010, when voters swept in a class of reformers, giving Republicans majorities in the House and Senate. That group of legislators started with a $6,200,000,000 deficit. Gov. Dayton immediately proposed the biggest tax increases in Minnesota history.

When the February budget forecast came out, the projected deficit had ‘dropped’ to $5,030,000,000. Immediately, Gov. Dayton took several proposed tax increases off the table. Here’s a list of Gov. Dayton’s tax increases:

Taxes: Largest Increase in History; Highest Rate in Nation -

New fifth tier of 13.95% for anyone earning over $500,000.
New fourth tier of 10.95% for single earning $85,000 or married filing jointly earning $150,000.
State property tax on Home Values over $1 million.
Closing Corporate and other Loopholes
Health Care Surcharges including the Granny Tax.
Other Tax Revenues including a car rental tax to help fund Minnesota tourism.
No complete payback of K-12 shift until 2023.

Spending: A 22% Increase

When the dust settled after the Dayton Shutdown, taxes weren’t raised. As a result, Minnesota’s economy rebounded. When the DFL took over the legislature, Gov. Dayton again proposed huge tax increases. He did this despite the fact that the projected deficit had dropped to $600,000,000. That’s quite the difference from the $6,200,000,000 deficit Republicans inherited.

Despite the tiny deficit, Gov. Dayton and the DFL proposed $2,400,000,000 in tax and fee increases. Gov. Dayton and the DFL included new business-to-business sales taxes in its ‘tax reform’ package. They also included increased LGA, allegedly to provide property tax relief.

Immediately, the business community criticized the B2B sales taxes and the income tax increases. Quickly, Gov. Dayton and the House DFL dropped those tax increases. The Senate DFL refused to play along with that. The Tax Bill that House and Senate Democrats voted for and that Gov. Dayton signed included those B2B tax increases along with money for Sen. Bakk’s Legislative Office Building.

Fast forward to this week. Gov. Dayton criticized Sen. Bakk for playing games with what I’m calling the DFL’s Tax Repair Bill. As a result, Sen. Bakk caved and eventually passed the Tax Repair Bill.

When a thief plunders a home, taking jewelry, high tech electronics and kitchen appliances, that’s a theft. If the thief returns the kitchen appliances, it’s still a theft. Similarly, raising taxes, then repealing a tiny portion of those taxes still means that the DFL raised taxes.

The reality is that Minnesota families will have a greater percentage of their paychecks confiscated because of the Dayton-DFL tax increases than they paid when this legislature was sworn in. That’s the verifiable reality.

Whether Heather Carlson, Mary Lahammer and Tom Scheck parrot the DFL’s chanting points, the plain truth is that Gov. Dayton and the DFL have raised taxes on every Minnesotan since taking office in 2013. No amount of tap-dancing by the DFL and the Agenda Media will change that.

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