Archive for April, 2015
A.B. Stoddard’s article needs lots of refinements. Here’s how it starts:
Four months into the 2016 presidential campaign, Jeb Bush has all the money and none of the mojo.
Despite the financial juggernaut the former Florida governor has built — Bush said this week he had raised more than anyone else has at this point in a presidential campaign in history — he is failing to excite crowds, dominate polls or scare away competitors.
Bush comes in second or third in most polls, and when he has ranked first it hasn’t been by much. There is considerable enthusiasm for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker as well as Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who many had believed would forgo the race if Bush were to make a White House bid. Bush has doubled down on his positions on education and immigration that are unpopular with conservatives, and as each young Republican contender labels Hillary Clinton “old news,” it only makes Bush seem more stale.
Here’s how it closes:
If Bush can attract unconventional support, he could defy the expectations for an establishment front-runner. And though many Republicans are swooning for Rubio, the widespread hesitation over electing another young, handsome, history-making first-term senator who listens to rap music and has a beautiful family still makes Bush the safer bet.
Bush can win the nomination just by surviving. Just ask Romney.
That’s pretty pathetic thinking. Romney survived because his competition wasn’t competitive. Jeb’s competition isn’t just competitive. There’s a question lingering about how competitive Jeb is. There’s no question about whether Jeb’s got the fundraising network. There’s tons of doubt whether he can win over conservative voters.
One of the rare things that Vice President Biden got right was when he said that “a leader without any followers is just a guy out for a walk.” I wouldn’t say that Jeb doesn’t have any followers. I won’t hesitate, though, is saying that his support is tepid considering how much money he’s raised and his name recognition advantage. He should be blowing his competition out of the water. The fact that he isn’t speaks volumes.
I wrote this article back at the start of February. It’s as pertinent today as it was then:
It wasn’t good news for Jeb Bush, though. Gov. Bush is the top choice of just 9% of caucus-goers in Iowa. He’s the second choice of just 6% of caucus-goers, giving Gov. Bush just 15% combined.
Then there’s this:
The best +/- rating in the GOP field is Scott Walker’s +48, followed by Rand Paul’s +39, followed by Rick Perry’s, Mike Huckabee’s and Ben Carson’s +38. By comparison, Jeb Bush’s +/- rating is +3 (46% favorable, 43% unfavorable.).
Bush can’t win the nomination by surviving because Walker and Rubio aren’t trendy flavor-of-the-month types. They have legitimate staying power because they’re appealing candidates.
When the DFL raised the gas tax in 2008, they promised Rod Hamilton that they’d fix Highway 14 if he voted to override Gov. Pawlenty’s veto. Rep. Hamilton voted to override Gov. Pawlenty’s veto. The DFL still hasn’t kept their promise:
It’s just so easy to say “if you want new roads, raise taxes.” Lawmakers raised the gas tax in 2008. We’re still waiting for a completed Highway 14. Democrats had complete control of state government for the past two years. They could have enacted the governor’s higher gas price plan at any time during their tenure and it would have sailed into law as Republicans would have been powerless to stop it.
This isn’t surprising. The DFL is famous for not keeping their promises. Unfortunately, that isn’t the only thing that the DFL is famous for. The DFL is altogether too famous for raising taxes rather than keeping their promises.
Gov. Dayton should’ve intervened in 2011 and ordered MnDOT to prioritize the Highway 14 project. Instead, they’ve delayed the Highway 14 project, then insisted that another tax increase is what’s needed. Republicans should utterly reject the DFL’s gas tax increase. They should tell Gov. Dayton and the DFL that they aren’t budging on the gas tax.
Rep. Torkelson is fighting the right fight:
Minnesota has not provided the funds necessary to maintain statewide roads and bridges. Doesn’t that alone suggest that what we’re doing, such as depending on tax revenues from gasoline sales, isn’t working? That maybe it’s time for a new approach?
The DFL keeps returning to the same things that failed because they don’t know how to solve problems. Doing the same thing again and again but expecting different results is foolish.
It’s time for Minnesotans to reject the DFL’s failed solutions. It’s time they started supporting policies that work.
Ron Fournier’s article is worthwhile reading even though it’s a bit soft at times.
“Clinton Foundation failed to disclose 1,100 foreign donations.” The co-founder of the Clinton Foundation’s Canadian affiliate revealed to Joshua Green of Bloomberg Politics that 1,100 donors to the foundation had never been disclosed. “The reason this is a politically explosive revelation is because the Clinton Foundation promised to disclose its donors as a condition of Hillary Clinton becoming secretary of state,” writes Green, a widely respected political reporter.
“Clinton charity never provided foreign data.” A spokeswoman for the Clinton Health Access Initiative, which makes up nearly 60 percent of the Clinton charitable network, told the Boston Globe that CHAI never submitted information on foreign donations to State Department lawyers for review during her tenure as Secretary of State. The reviews were required as a condition of her joining President Obama’s cabinet, the Globe reported.
In March, Reuters reported that CHAI didn’t disclose any donors to the public, as required. The Washington Post reported that a donation from Switzerland to the group was not reviewed. While digging deeper into the review process, the Globe was told by a Clinton spokeswoman “the charity deemed it unnecessary.”
Just like that, the Clintons deemed an ethics rule unnecessary.
I’d word that last sentence differently. Here’s what I would’ve written:
Just like that, the Clintons deemed an ethics rule inconvenient.
Another option would be to say that they found the ethics rule annoying. Here’s where Fournier went soft:
Clinton should rather be totally honest and transparent, true to her word and a credible force for restoring trust in our politics.
Hillary won’t restore trust in politics. She’s consistently proven that she isn’t trustworthy. She’s a known quantity because she’s done the same things again and again. If a person does something twice, you might convincingly argue that it’s a coincidence. When a person does something repeatedly, it’s a pattern.
You know nanny statism has spun off the rails when you see notes like this:
I hope Leeza Pearson tells this moron to stick that note where the sun doesn’t shine. Here’s what happened:
Leeza Pearson was out of fruit and vegetables one day last week, so she tucked a pack of Oreos in her daughter Natalee’s lunch and sent her off to school at the Children’s Academy in Aurora, Colorado. Pearson said she was stunned when her 4-year-old came home later in the day with the cookies untouched and a sternly worded note from the school.
Here’s the text of the note:
Dear Parents, it is very important that all students have a nutritious lunch. This is a public school setting and all children are required to have a fruit, a vegetable and a healthy snack from home, along with a milk. If they have potatoes, the child will also need bread to go along with it. Lunchables, chips, fruit snacks, and peanut butter are not considered to be a healthy snack. This is a very important part of our program and we need everyone’s participation.
That’s chilling words:
We need everyone’s participation.
Schools aren’t the final arbiter of what children eat. If health departments want to address childhood obesity, that’s one thing. It’s another when the government tells parents what to do.
Pearson said she is baffled by how the school handled the situation. “I think it is definitely over the top, especially because they told her she can’t eat what is in her lunch,” Pearson told ABC News. “They should have at least allowed to eat her food and contacted me to explain the policy and tell me not to pack them again.”
Officials at the Children’s Academy said they have no comment when contacted by ABC News. However, Patty Moon, a spokeswoman for the Aurora Public Schools, which provides funding for some of the children to attend the private pre-school, said a note in the lunchbox is not supposed to be standard practice. “From our end we want to inform parents but never want it to be anything punitive,” Moon said.
Moon’s statement is BS. The note sent home wasn’t hand-written. It was pre-printed. The school’s intentions are exceptionally clear. It’s clear that the school wants to dictate policy to parents. It’s time to pull the plug on this school.
Parents should decide what their children eat. Nanny staters shouldn’t have a say in the matter. Period.
When news broke that Freddie Gray had died in a police van, lots of people assumed it was proof of police brutality. While that’s still a possibility, it’s also possible that something else happened. This Washington Post article suggests that it’s best to wait for what the forensic reports say.
BALTIMORE — A prisoner sharing a police transport van with Freddie Gray told investigators that he could hear Gray “banging against the walls” of the vehicle and believed that he “was intentionally trying to injure himself,” according to a police document obtained by The Washington Post.
The prisoner, who is currently in jail, was separated from Gray by a metal partition and could not see him. His statement is contained in an application for a search warrant, which is sealed by the court. The Post was given the document under the condition that the prisoner not be named because the person who provided it feared for the inmate’s safety.
The document, written by a Baltimore police investigator, offers the first glimpse of what might have happened inside the van. It is not clear whether any additional evidence backs up the prisoner’s version, which is just one piece of a much larger probe.
While this information is dramatic, it still isn’t indisputable proof of anything. Still, it’s a cautionary reminder that it’s best not to jump to conclusions. It’s a reminder that what isn’t known immediately might have a significant impact on finding out what actually happened.
Ferguson erupted in violence because race hustlers like Al Sharpton jumped to conclusions. While Sharpton didn’t make any incendiary public accusations, Sharpton’s Ferguson accusations set the stage for Baltimore. They essentially said that it’s ok to jump to conclusions. Sharpton’s accusations said that we didn’t need to find out the whole truth.
The best thing to do is to wait for the forensic findings. Forensic reports don’t have a political agenda. They’ll either confirm or dispute the testimony given once this goes to a grand jury. Forensic evidence, not political agendas, should rule the day.
During the riots, stores were looted and people were injured. Worse, black business owners lost their businesses. These despicable things happened because thugs vented rather than find out what actually happened.
That’s the definition of a tragedy.
Tonight, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will make Jameis Winston the first pick in the NFL’s annual Entry Draft. Ten minutes after that pick is officially announced by Commissioner Roger Goodell, Marcus Mariota will become the second pick. The only mystery left about that pick is who will make that pick.
It’s time to dispense with some of the stupidity that’s been masquerading as draft reporting. Gossip columnists like Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio have been talking up the possibility of Philadelphia Head Coach Chip Reid trading up to obtain the Titans’ first round pick. I suspect Florio’s done this hoping that those stories will drive extra views on his blog. If he actually thinks this has a chance of happening, then Mr. Florio needs to be ignored like he just signed a contract with National Enquirer.
Here’s my prediction. Marcus Mariota will be drafted by either the Titans, Jets or Chargers. The Titans won’t trade the second pick in the draft to Cleveland or Philadelphia because the players available at the twelfth, nineteenth or twentieth picks aren’t elite talents. They’re the types of players that likely will be available in the second or third round.
Another rumor that will finally get squashed is whether the Vikings will trade Adrian Peterson to Arizona or the Dallas Cowboys. There’s no question that those teams would love handing the ball off to Adrian. Similarly, there’s no question that it doesn’t make sense to trade a handful of high draft picks to the Vikings when this year’s class of running backs is deep and talented. The Vikings haven’t said no to trading Adrian because they’re still open to letting a team blow them away with an offer. Anything short of that, though, and they’ll politely refuse.
Here’s my prediction for the first half of tonight’s first round:
1. Tampa — Jameis Winston, QB, FSU
2. Tennessee Titans — Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
3. Jacksonville — Dante Fowler, OLB, Florida
4. Oakland — Leonard Williams, DT/DE, USC
5. Washington — Vic Beasley DE, Clemson
6. NY Jets — Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
7. Chicago — Kevin White, WR, West Virginia
8. Atlanta — Bud Dupree, DE, Kentucky
9. NY Giants — Brandon Scherff, OG, Iowa
10. St. Louis — Davante Parker, WR, Louisville
11. Vikings — Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State
12. Cleveland — Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
13. New Orleans — Breshad Perriman, WR, Central Florida
14. Miami — Ereck Flowers, LT, Miami
15. San Francisco — La’el Collins, LSU
16. Houston — Malcom Brown, NT, Texas
UPDATE: Scott Wright’s final mock draft is up. I like Scott’s picks for the Vikings: Trae Waynes with the 11th overall pick, Shaq Thompson in the 2nd round & TCU Linebacker Paul Dawson in the third round.UPDATE: Scott Wright’s final mock draft is up. I like Scott’s picks for the Vikings: Trae Waynes with the 11th overall pick, Shaq Thompson in the 2nd round & TCU Linebacker Paul Dawson in the third round.
UPDATE II: La’el Collins’ stock is dropping faster than Shane Ray’s is. He might not bet picked until the late third or early fourth round. At this point, Ray might get picked as early as 15th overall.
What Difference Does A Million Here And A Million There Make When You Don’t Have That Million?
by Silence Dogood
Last October, heads turned when it was publically revealed that SCSU had a projected $9,542,000 deficit for FY15. This was especially disconcerting when the previous March, a budget projection said that the FY14 budget was balanced. A question that has never been answered by the administration is how you can go from a balanced budget in FY14 to a deficit of $9,542,000 the following year—without, of course, there being a cataclysmic event? I am just wondering if I missed something?
President Potter, at a town hall meeting on the budget in the fall, stated that the deficit for FY14 was $708,000 and that $700,000 of the deficit was due to increased costs for heating during the previous winter. At Meet and Confer in March, the administration released their latest budget projections showing the FY16 budget being cut by just over $9,000,000. A portion of the budget document is reproduced below:
The document also showed for FY16 the loss of 76 FYE faculty positions and 50 staff positions. Additionally, the document showed that the deficit for FY15 is projected to be $10,284,000, which is $742,000 or 7.8% larger than the deficit projected last October. Another surprise showed up in the document; the FY14 deficit was $11,840,000, which is quite a bit larger than the $708,000 cited by President Potter last fall.
A portion of the Meeting Notes of the Portfolio Management & Resource Allocation Steering Group meeting of April 8, 2015 is reproduced below:
According to this document, the expenses for FY16 are going to be reduced by $12 million. There are many things that I have been happily ignorant of at SCSU. However, I think that I have closely followed SCSU’s budget/enrollment situation. This is the first time that I have heard that the cuts for the FY16 budget have been increased from $9,000,0000 to $12,000,000. When you are dealing with such large numbers, what’s another $3,000,000? Unfortunately, an increase of $3,000,000 is an increase in the planned reduction by an additional 33%!
When the narrative for the SCSU’s Financial Recovery Plan was submitted, the FY16 deficit was reported as between $10,000,000 and $12,000,000. The precise size of the projected FY16 deficit will change over time as new information becomes available. When the Financial Recovery Plan was presented, it was understood that the administration wasn’t going to try to eliminate all of the deficit in one year because it would be attempting to cut too much at one time.
Five years ago, the administration cut $14,500,000 from the budget and enrollment declined 6.9%, 5.3%, 5.1%, and 5.0% in the four years following the cuts. It was not surprising that the administration was only planning on cutting $9,000,000 when the deficit was between $10,000,000 and $12,000,000. Now it appears that the ‘decision makers’ have decided to increase the amount of cuts from $9,000,000 to $12,000,000.
Why is this important? The original budget cut of $9,075,000 projected the loss of 76 FYE faculty positions and 50 staff positions. Now with the budget cut increasing to $12,000,000, this may translate into the loss of an additional 25 FYE faculty positions and an additional 16 staff positions. This will affect lots of people. It’s a big deal!
The administration’s budget information, which was released as part of SCSU’s Financial Recovery Plan that was submitted to MnSCU (reproduced above), shows that even with a cut of $9,075,000 in expenses, there is still a projected deficit of $679,000 in FY16. The latest budget document that has been circulated projects a deficit of $12,378,000 for FY16. Apparently, the FY16 deficit has increased from $9,754,000 ($9,075,000 + $679,000) to $12,378,000, which represents an increase of $2,624,000 and corresponds to an increase of 26.9%. Concomitantly, the cuts have increased from $9,000,000 to $12,000,000. Unfortunately, the lack of communication and lack of transparency continues, on the part of the administration, as it appears that this increase in the deficit and the increase of the amounts of cuts have not been widely disseminated across the campus. (Budget cuts corresponding to $12,268,000 were revealed by Vice President of Finance and Administration Tammy McGee at the Budget Advisory Group meeting on April 24, 2015).
It has often been heard around the campus that the cuts will amount to a reduction of only 5%. The problem is the budget documents show that SCSU’s General Fund projects a deficit of $12,268,000 on a General Fund Revenue Total of $144,421,000. As a percentage, the deficit is 8.5%, which is considerably larger than the 5%. Additionally, since there are a number of fixed costs that cannot be cut and must be paid. Bond payments must be made, buildings need to be heated and lighted, water needs to come out of the faucets and contracts must be honored. Deciding to not pay the electric bill is probably not a successful long-term strategy. Because fixed costs and contractual costs can’t be cut easily, the cuts in other places will necessarily be larger and more in the range of 10%.
Almost everyone on campus knows that the budget axe is going to fall and it’s not going to be pretty when it hits. A review of the unit plans for budget reduction uniformly predict dire consequences if 10% reductions occur. It is also known by almost everyone that you can’t cut $12,000,000 (or $9,000,000 for that matter) and not at the same time cut programs and services that are generating revenue, which is clearly in conflict with the fourth bullet point of the Principles/Assumptions. However, the assumptions document, as written, appears to prevent cutting money loosing revenue generators (i.e., some activities generate $0.27 of revenue for every dollar expended). What needs to occur is an increase in the margin between revenue and expense for the campus as a whole. A focus only on revenue leaves a false impression that revenue needs to be preserved, however, increasing revenue production that costs more to produce than the revenue generated results in larger deficits not smaller deficits.
Anything that reduces revenue simply ‘kicks the can down the road’ because it will increase the deficit and will lead to additional cuts in subsequent years. Unfortunately, class sizes can’t simply be increased enough to overcome SCSU’s structural deficit.
Several weeks ago, Wisconsin’s Governor Scott Walker announced that the University of Wisconsin system would have to absorb a budget cut of $300,000,000. That very day, the President of the University of Wisconsin system, in response Walker’s announcement, stated that all out of state travel would be suspended. Recently, the Faculty Association distributed a document listing the administrative travel at SCSU, which is reproduced below:
The information shows that the administration paid $1,600,718 for travel in FY12, increasing to 1,902,706 in FY13 and increasing again to 2,089,731 in FY14. It is important to know that this data does not include faculty travel because it is not paid for from the general fund budget. The data for FY15 is not complete but it would be a safe bet that the total is going to be in the same range or higher than in FY14. The Faculty Association had asked for the travel expenses broken down by individual to see who is travelling at university expense, along with the reason for the travel, and just how much it is actually costing. The document received from the administration gives the travel expenses in such a way that it is not possible to see how much President Potter and others have spent on frequent trips out of the country. Clearly, some out of state travel has the potential to increase enrollment and revenue. However, not all travel has an equal potential for revenue enhancement. In fact, it is entirely possible that enrollment may go up but still lead to a negative return on investment.
It does not need a banner hung over University Avenue to know that enrollment at SCSU has been declining. Enrollment for FY12, FY13, and FY14 correspond to enrollment declines of 6.9%, 6.4%, and 5.1%, respectively. From the data from the administration, it is clear that the enrollment decline is decreasing as the administration spends more money on travel. Let’s look at the data in a more quantitative way.
The enrollment decline at SCSU is plotted in the following figure:
The linear regression line is shown. Using the equation for the linear regression line, it is possible to calculate when the percent enrollment decline will eventually reduce to 0%, which means that the enrollment is no longer declining. The calculation yields that the enrollment decline will reach 0% during fiscal year 2020 (2019.8).
The following figure shows the amount spent on travel by the administration that came from the operational budget:
The linear regression line is shown. Using the equation for the linear regression line, it is possible to calculate what the administrative spending on travel will be for each year through fiscal year 2020. The results are shown in the following table:
The data shows that if the administration expends $15,433,000 on travel during the next five years, the enrollment decline will be reduced to 0%. If even more money is spent on travel, presumably the enrollment will turn around sooner!
I hope that anyone with even any knowledge of university finances will recognize that this argument about travel expenses and enrollment decline is not really serious. However, what is serious is that SCSU has to cut the budget for FY16 by over $12,000,000.
Genius idea. Let’s stop all administrative travel unless it is directly related to increasing enrollment that will result in a net gain in revenue. In this way, essentially all travel will literally fund itself. This strategy may save SCSU over $2,000,000 per year and it will probably result in increased enrollment. At a time when the budget is being cut by $12,000,000, a ‘painless’ $2,000,000 savings would almost seem like a ‘Christmas miracle.’ At this time, SCSU needs one.
Enrollment Good News (Except For The Data Analytics Workgroup)!
by Silence Dogood
On February 16, 2015, Associate Vice President and Associate Provost Lisa H. Foss sent an email entitled: “FYE enrollment projections information.” A table from the email is reproduced below.
Clearly, the data shows a projected decline for FY16 of 3.3%. As part of the 3.3% decline, the summer enrollment was projected to be down 59 FYE corresponding to a decline of 6.4%.
As of today, the Day-to-Day FYE Enrollment Comparison shows the following:
From this data, the first table shows that summer enrollment is currently ahead of last year’s enrollment by 33 FYE. The second table shows that the projection for summer enrollment is 957 FYE. From the summary table of the enrollment projections, the summer enrollment projection was 859 FYE. Now, at 957 FYE, the projection is 98 FYE or 11.4% higher. The third table also shows that the current projection of 957 is 39 FYE or 4.3% ahead of the final number for summer 2015. This is all good news!
February 15, 2015 the projection for summer was for being down 6.4%. Now, on April 15, 2015, after summer enrollment has occurred, the projection for summer shows an increase of 4.3%. From being down 6.4% to being up 4.3% corresponds to a differential of 10.7%. Anyone now want to talk about the accuracy of the enrollment projections of the Data Analytics Workgroup? Of course, IT IS a lot easier to make projections after registration has occurred.
If you look at the third table, the overall projection for FY16 now calls for only a drop of 1.0%. If the projections for fall and spring are off by as much as the projections were off for the summer, does SCSU really still have a budget problem?
This article in the Federalist is proof that the Clinton Foundation isn’t a charity but a money-making machine for the Clintons. This pie chart is especially troubling for the Clintons”
This tweet stinks:
More than 88% of our expenditures go directly to our life-changing work: http://wjcf.co/1b1BjMR
Sean Davis’ impertinence will hurt the Clintons’ credibility:
In order for the 88 percent claim to be even remotely close to the truth, the words “directly” and “life-changing” have to mean something other than “directly” and “life-changing.” For example, the Clinton Foundation spent nearly $8.5 million–10 percent of all 2013 expenditures–on travel. Do plane tickets and hotel accommodations directly change lives? Nearly $4.8 million–5.6 percent of all expenditures–was spent on office supplies. Are ink cartridges and staplers “life-changing” commodities?
That’s just part of the Clinton Foundation iceberg. This article won’t help the Clintons, either:
Ten of the 13 firms that both lobbied the State Department and paid Bill Clinton speaking fees did so within the very same three-month reporting period. This group includes five technology firms — Oracle, Dell, Microsoft, SalesForce and VeriSign — that collectively paid Bill Clinton a total of $1.05 million.
Federal records show that Microsoft and Oracle were lobbying Clinton’s State Department on, among other issues, immigrant work visas. Oracle was also lobbying in pursuit of legislation dealing with penalties for aiding espionage. Dell was concerned with tariffs imposed by European countries on its computer products. VeriSign was lobbying on cybersecurity and Internet taxation. SalesForce was lobbying on cloud computing, security controls and electronic privacy issues.
Three of the technology firms that paid Bill Clinton while lobbying Hillary Clinton’s agency also received lucrative State Department contracts. Microsoft received almost $4 million in such contracts after receiving none the year before Clinton joined President Barack Obama’s Cabinet. Oracle received $6.5 million in State Department contracts, a large increase from prior years. Dell secured contracts worth more than $28 million, up from just $2.5 million in the year before Clinton became secretary of state.
There’s a better chance that I’ll win the lottery twice this week than there is a chance that these tidbits of information are purely coincidental. Why should I think that it’s coincidental that Bill Clinton gave speeches to companies that were seeking favors from Hillary’s State Department at the time these major multi-national corporations were intensifying their lobbying efforts?
I don’t believe that the Clintons’ string of lucrative coincidences is coincidental. At some point, it’s reasonable to think that it’s a pattern, not a coincidence.
The DFL’s rationalization for their proposed gas tax increase is consistent if nothing else:
State Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis, said the increased transportation funding is needed to pay for ongoing maintenance and new projects. “More than half of Minnesota’s roads are more than 50 years old,” Dibble said. “Forty percent of the state’s bridges are more than 40 years old. And in just the next three years alone, one in five Minnesota roads will pass their useful life.”
For the sake of this discussion, let’s stipulate that these statements are accurate. The first question, then, is exceptionally straightforward. With that many roads and bridges falling apart, why didn’t the DFL fix that situation in 2013-14 when they had a DFL governor and DFL majorities in the House and Senate?
The DFL passed a transportation bill that Gov. Dayton signed. It wouldn’t have been difficult to throw some tax increase language into the Transportation Bill. The bill would’ve sailed through the legislature. Gov. Dayton wouldn’t have vetoed the bill. The transportation problem would’ve been solved for the next 20 years.
The DFL hasn’t admitted that their last gas tax increase failed miserably so I’ll admit it for them. The latest DFL gas tax increase passed in 2008. It’s failed miserably. It hasn’t come close to meeting the DFL’s predictions.
Something’s happened since 2008, though. Since then, the DFL admitted that motorists are driving more fuel efficient cars. Further, I’ll highlight the fact that more people are working more hours from home. Those dynamics mean that gas tax increases won’t come close to fixing Minnesota’s roads and bridges.
That’s why the Republican solution doesn’t rely on raising the gas tax. Unlike the DFL, they learned their lesson. That’s why the Republicans’ plan relies on a stable funding mechanism.
Minnesotans need their potholes filled and their bridges fixed. They don’t need major new investments in transit. That’s why Minnesotans need to reject the DFL’s tax increase and push for the Republicans’ transportation plan.