Gov. Dayton has made it clear that creating a higher income tax bracket will happen, supposedly because “the rich aren’t paying their fair share.” Sen. Rest submitted a bill to charge sales tax on clothing, which I wrote about here.

Putting that information, it’s clear that the DFL’s first priority isn’t a balanced approach to budgeting. It isn’t about structural deficits. The DFL’s first priority is increasing spending on wasteful government.

It’s impossible to say that MnSCU and the U of M are they’re models of efficiency. It isn’t difficult to make the case that they’re institutions badly in need of revamping. Where in the private sector would you find a company stopping production of a great product that’s in high demand? That’s what they’re doing at SCSU.

The sad part is that that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The saddest part is that the DFL is the defender of outsized goverment.

Most departments, agencies, commissions, panels, institutions and boards either have directors of government affairs or legislative liaisons. That’s governmentspeak for lobbyists. In other words, the DFL is demanding that taxpayers pay for people whose job it is to spend more of the taxpayers’ money on things that might or might not be needed.

Recently, the Wall Street Journal wrote an article exposing the waste at the U of M. Here’s the IFO’s (the college professors’ union, aka the Inter-Faculty Organization) reaction to the article:

The focus on administrative bloat could not have come at a more unfortunate time. Over the last year we have made great progress in educating legislators about the underfunding of higher education. Last fall we helped elect some talented new legislators who are strong advocates for better funding for higher education, and several of these new legislators managed to get on the higher education funding committees. House Speaker Paul Thissen has frequently mentioned the need to fund early childhood and higher education as caucus priorities. The focus on administrative growth in higher education is likely to create ongoing negative press over the next several months, at a time when we are competing with the constituencies of other segments of the budget for limited state dollars. This looked like the session we would turn things around—but unfortunately, we are already on the defensive.

The faculty union’s first reaction wasn’t that it’s disgusting to have money being spent foolishly. The IFO’s first reaction was that the publicity might hurt their request for additional spending.

I strongly recommend that you read the IFO newsletter. It reads like an internal DFL communication. The reality is that this is typical DFL thinking. The only conclusion a thinking person can draw is that the DFL isn’t interested in efficient government that’s right-sized.

The DFL’s highest priority is spending money. If some of that money is spent foolishly, then they’re fine with that.

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5 Responses to “DFL’s first priority: Spending”

  • J. Ewing says:

    To some extent you are correct, however I’ve always found it troubling that the DFL usually passes tax increases first, and THEN goes to find those absolutely can’t-do-without things to spend the new money on. That isn’t budgeting, that’s making a list for Santa. They shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it. For that matter, we ought to try to hold them to zero-based budgeting, if we can find the right words to sell that idea to those paying only casual attention.

  • eric z says:

    Taxing should be first priority.

    Aside from that, reflecting back, changing LFR’s layout, look and feel – how long ago was it, and how many readers without going to Internet Archive recall it?

    Nothing special in today’s post caused the thought. It is something I noticed a week or so ago, how used to the new look I bacame. I do like it better, Gary.

  • Gary Gross says:

    Eric, We finally agree. Cutting taxes & attracting businesses should be Minnesota’s first priority. The states that raise taxes are struggling. States that either cut taxes or don’t have an income tax are doing significantly better.

    That’s why President Obama will be recorded by history as being a terrible economic president. It’s why Gov. Dayton will be recorded as one of the worst governors in Minnesota history, right with Jesse ‘the Conspiracy Theory Clown’ Ventura.

    As for the website’s new look, the credit goes to AJ Kern & Chris Kellett. They both said that a guy with a blog called Let Freedom Ring has to have red, white & blue on the page somewhere, especially when he’s a 4th of July baby. I totally agree with them about that.

  • walter hanson says:


    Did I read something that you wrote in the post correctly. In the box from the article you highlighted professors went out and got new members on the committee while educating members to get money they think they are on the defensive.

    WHY? You have a democrat governor ready to sign your bill. You have a democrat senate and democrat house to pass your bill. So why are they on the defensive? The only solution is every spending group that wants money is going to come up and ask for money. Preschool, health care, cities, etc. I guess where that is defensive comes from to fight off people taking money you want.

    Walter Hanson
    Minneapolis, MN

  • walter hanson says:


    Just what exactly do you mean that taxes should be the first priority?

    Do you mean cutting taxes?

    Do you mean making sure Minnesota doesn’t have a higher tax rate than Wisconsin?

    Do you mean making Minnesotas pay less sales taxes like pop?

    Do you mean lowering the cost of car tabs?

    Or do you mean raise taxes on the rich! The rich already pay their fair share. If you didn’t hear more than 96% of the federal income tax is paid by the top 50%. That sounds like they are paying their fair share.

    The easiest way to have a balance budget is to spend as little as possible. Oh I forgot Democrats don’t understand that concept.

    Walter Hanson
    Minneapolis, MN

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