This editorial in the Fairmont Sentinel proposes something that’s sure to upset DFL legislators:
The state should not be a greedy, grasping thing. It should seek low, broad, consistent, limited revenue that it uses to fund priorities. And only some things should be priorities.
The thought that government shouldn’t attempt to be all things to all people is a concept foreign to the DFL’s moneygrabbers. They couldn’t pay off all their special interest allies if we exercised fiscal restraint.
Fiscal restraint fits with paying off special interest allies about as well as the proverbial round peg fits into the proverbial square hole. Fiscal restraint is the enemy of special interests’ wish lists and agencies urging the legislature to make them whole again.
Democratic lawmakers in Minnesota believe they have found the goose that lays the golden eggs. Not only are they proposing a fourth-tier tax bracket that would raise rates on the highest-earners; this week they rolled out a proposed surcharge on incomes above $500,000. It must be nice to feel free to play with other people’s money without a pang of conscience.
The DFL doesn’t have a conscience when it comes to tax increases. Whether they’re proposing regressive tax increases like Gov. Dayton’s cigarette tax or whether they’re proposing progressive tax increases like Gov. Dayton’s income tax increase or Speaker Thissen’s income tax surcharge, the DFL feels right at home in hiking all Minnesotans’ taxes.
That’s before talking about Gov. Dayton’s ill-advised sales tax increases on everything from car repairs to haircuts to kids mowing lawns, shovelling sidewalks or babysitting.
Only after taking tons of heat from the business community did Gov. Dayton drop that ill-advised proposal.
Two things are becoming clear about Gov. Dayton and the DFL legislature. First, they’re anti-small business. Their cigarette tax increase will hurt retailers, depriving them of potential customers who buy their cigarettes through the internet, casinos or in other states. Those are customers who would’ve bought a pack of gum, some snacks and a soft drink when they bought their cigarettes.
Second, it’s clear the DFL legislature and Gov. Dayton don’t care whether they’re raising taxes on “the rich who aren’t paying their fair share” or whether they’re proposing taxes on the middle class and working poor. This isn’t opinion. It’s irrefutable fact. The DFL’s tax increase agenda speaks for itself.
This speaks for itself, too:
Here’s what House Speaker Paul Thissen had to say about the surcharge: “Our plan acknowledges that the bill we owe to our schools is past due. We owe our school kids over $800 million and the right thing to do is pay them back.”
It isn’t likely that Speaker Thissen is that worried about the school shift. If he was that worried about repaying the schools, he should’ve voted for the GOP bill last year that would’ve paid off the entire school shift. He didn’t, which says everything about Speaker Thissen’s insincerity.
With the DFL and Gov. Dayton, tax increases go hand-in-hand with paying off their special interest allies. The thought of funding only the state’s priorities doesn’t sit well with the DFL. That’s why we can’t afford their form of governance.