For people looking for, or badly in need of, a good laugh, John van Hecke’s op-ed is a fine place to start, starting with his opening paragraph:

Minnesotans voted for compromise and common sense. They rejected divisive conservative policies and focused on Minnesota’s future.

Actually, what people did last Tuesday was they bought into ABM’s smear campaign and outright lies. They also voted for higher taxes, more wasteful government spending (think more LGA), more power for public employee unions and less prosperity for Main Street small businesses.

Rest assured of this: fewer jobs will be created over the next 2 years under the DFL’s leadership than were created while there was a GOP majority. There’s another thing that’s certain: billions more will be spent on the state budget, possibly as much as an additional $5,000,000,000 this biennium. That will necessitate a major tax increase, possibly the biggest in Minnesota’s history.

Conservatives lost their policymaking seats because they supported an extreme right-wing agenda that shut down state government, dumped bigger property tax burdens on local communities, forced severe cuts to critical Minnesota services, threatened to strip many worker protections and divided the state over a discriminatory social issue.

Conservatives lost their seats because of the marriage amendment increased DFL turnout and because Alida Messinger, ABM and the DFL lied about who shut the government down in 2011. If Mr. van Hecke can’t be honest about that, then the rest of his op-ed is questionable, if not outright BS.

We still need to pair progressive revenue increases with cuts to close the budget gap and pay back the education shifts. Restoring fiscal fairness and reversing more than a decade of property tax increases will require an honest and open dialogue with Minnesotans and among legislators.

The DFL insists on a progressive tax system in op-eds like this. What’s insulting is that the last DFL legislature voted for the biggest regressive tax increase in Minnesota’s history. What’s insulting is that Sen. Klobuchar and Sen. Franken voted for the biggest regressive tax increase in U.S. history when they voted for the ACA.

Tax fairness isn’t important to progressives. Raising taxes, whether they’re progressive or regressive, is what’s important with the DFL.

Notice, too, that nowhere in Mr. van Hecke’s op-ed does he talk about prosperity. As with Gov. Dayton and President Obama, van Hecke’s motivation, possibly inspiration, is fairness. Nowhere are prosperity and rising incomes mentioned.

Another thing that’s clearly troubling van Hecke is his view that conservatism equates with extremism, especially on social issues. That’s getting pretty far afield from this description:

John Van Hecke is Minnesota 2020’s Executive Director and MN2020 Fellow. He grew up on hog, cattle, corn and soybean farm south of Walnut Grove, Minnesota. He graduated from Macalester College, served as a Minnesota 4-H Foundation Fellow at the National 4-H Center, worked for the late Congressman Bruce F. Vento and presently serves on the Saint Paul Charter Commission. He and his family live in Saint Paul.

How is traditional marriage an extremist position? Fifty+ centuries of civilization defined marriage as between 1 man and 1 woman. Only in the last 30 years has anyone sought to expand that definition. Case closed.

Next, van Hecke thinks spending the taxpayers’ money responsibly is an extremist position. When a big city mayor terminates firefighters, then mentions that they had enough money to retain the city’s bike path coordinator. In R.T. Rybak’s statements, though, evil Republicans are the fault, not his foolish spending decisions.

There are other ways in which DFL legislators and mayors spend money foolishly. Why didn’t van Hecke specifically state where the spending cuts would come from? I suspect it’s because he didn’t want to be on record as opposing one of his special interest allies.

Rest assured that extending light rail far and wide will be part of the DFL’s spending package. They’ll argue that it’s part of the solution to our transportation problems. It isn’t. It’s insane to think that’s the future of transportation in Minnesota when it would cost hundreds of millions of dollars annually between rail maintenance and ridership subsidies?

I wrote frequently about the waste in MNSCU. Will the DFL spend money on trimming their administrative budget? Of course they won’t. I’m betting that they’ll increase the Higher Ed budget by $350,000,000 this biennium. Minimum. They won’t question whether the money’s being spent on a Social Responsibility Masters Degree program with a 2011 pricetag of $1,218,000 in teachers salaries, or a certificate in Ecotourism from Central Lakes Community College or whether it’s being spent on hard sciences.

That’s because they don’t care how the money is spent.

That isn’t the definition of extremism. That’s the definition of irresponsibility. That’s the definition of a mindless progressive.

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6 Responses to “A glimpse into Minnesota’s not-distant-enough future”

  • Excellent post and take on the recent election.

    Interesting isn’t it how Minnesotans (actually let me revise that to read “Twin Citiesans”) willing submit to the Progressive overlords and are okay with becoming California, Illinois or New York.

    When every Minnesotan is saddled with taxes so steep they can’t make ends meet, when they couldn’t find a job with a compass…well, let’s hope they have a clear image of Tom Dooher of Education Minnesota cuz he’s going to be laughing his ass off at each and every one of us as he docks his cabin cruiser out on Lake Minnetonka.

  • Patrick-M says:

    Prosperity is a dirty word to progressives and liberals because it is synonymous with personal liberty. I would like to remind Minnesota residents and politicians that Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota are all open for business.

  • Nick says:

    Patrick-M, if you haven’t already heard, North Carolina voters voted the pro-business Pat McCrory (GOP) into office, so North Carolina is also open for business (with a GOP-controlled House and Senate). The one thing that I like about Pat McCrory is that he wants bipartisan solutions as a governor, just like he wanted and received bipartisan support when he was Charlotte, NC’s mayor!

  • Nick says:

    My prediction for what’s going to happen in MN: First, the DFL raise taxes on the top 1 or 2%(to 10.95%? If that’s the case, yikes. MN will suffer big time) . Then they will realize that won’t cut the deficit enough, so they’ll raise the other groups’ income taxes(bad)+increase and expand the sales tax(bad)+allow sunday alcohol sales (this is the only good thing though)+increase alcohol and cigarette taxes+hospital provider tax+increase the already very high corporate taxt rate, which is currently at 9.8% for all businesses+etc. Second, they will likely increase spending(yikes) and probably ignore reforms. Third, same-sex marriage will most likely become legal in MN+possibly medical cannabis+every state worker will receive a pay raise at the taxpayers’ expense.

    In California, the voters decided approve an increase in sales and income taxes, and end a tax break for multistate businesses. California’s top tax rate will be at 13.3% (Ouch!). Here’s the information for Proposition 30:
    -Raises California’s sales tax to 7.5% from 7.25%, a 3.45% percentage increase over current law. (Under the Brown Tax Hike, the sales tax would have increased to 7.75%)[3][4]
    -Creates four high-income tax brackets for taxpayers with taxable incomes exceeding $250,000, $300,000, $500,000 and $1,000,000. This increased tax will be in effect for 7 years.[3][5][6]
    -Imposes a 10.3% tax rate on taxable income over $250,000 but less than $300,000–a percentage increase of 10.6% over current policy of 9.3%. The 10.3% income tax rate is currently only paid by taxpayers with over $1,000,000 in taxable income.[7].
    -Imposes an 11.3% tax rate on taxable income over $300,000 but less than $500,000–a percentage increase of 21.5% over current policy of 9.3%.
    Imposes a 12.3% tax rate on taxable income over $500,000 up to $1,000,000–a percentage increase of 32.26% over current policy of 9.3%.
    -Imposes a 13.3% tax rate on taxable income over $1,000,000–a percentage increase of 29.13% over current “millionaires tax” policy of 10.3%.
    If this proposition is passed in November, 2012, the income tax will apply retroactively to all income earned or received since the first of the year (1 January, 2012).
    -Based on California Franchise Tax Board data for 2009[8], the additional income tax is imposed on the top 3% of California taxpayers.

    Estimated revenue from Proposition 30 vary from Jerry Brown’s $9 billion estimate to the $6.8 billion estimated by the non-partisan Legislative Analysts Office (LAO).[9]. The difference stem for the volatility caused by capital gains income from high-income earners, an issue in California’s tax system previously identified by the Legislative Analysts Office (LAO).[10]

    And Proposition 39:
    -Requires out-of-state businesses to calculate their California income tax liability based on the percentage of their sales in California.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9]
    -Repeals an existing law that gives out-of-state businesses an option to choose a tax liability formula that provides favorable tax treatment for businesses with property and payroll outside California.
    -Dedicates $550 million annually for five years from the initiative’s anticipated increase in revenue in order to fund projects that “create energy efficiency and clean energy jobs” in California.[10][3][4][11] Initially, this extra revenue will go to fund “green” energy projects.[7][5]

    For more information on these Propositions, go to

  • Gary,
    The “V” in “Van Hecke” is capitalized.
    Your pal,

  • Gary Gross says:

    I’ll make a note of that. Thanks for that correction.

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