If the DFL is hanging their agenda on Poligraph’s study of whether Speaker Zellers’ statement is 100 percent accurate, then they’re foolish. Here’s what’s written:

They claim Dayton’s proposed $4 billion in new revenue will hurt small businesses, as House Speaker Kurt Zellers pointed out in a Feb. 18, 2011 email to constituents.

“These tax increases will fall disproportionately on job creators,” Zellers wrote. “Approximately 92 percent of small businesses pay their taxes through the individual income tax.”

Zellers is exaggerating the impact of Dayton’s proposal.

Zellers’ concern centers on Dayton’s proposal to impose a 10.95 percent income tax rate on single filers making more than $85,000 in after tax income and couples making more than $150,000 in after tax income. Those making more than $500,000 in taxable income annually would see an additional 3 percent surtax, making Minnesota’s top income tax rate 13.95 percent. GOP legislators, including Zellers, say these income tax hikes will hurt small businesses most.

There are several ways to measure the size of a small business. In some cases, the Small Business Administration (SBA) looks at a firm’s annual receipts; in others, it focuses on the number of employees. Regardless, Zellers is correct that about 92 percent pay taxes through the individual return.

But the SBA definitions don’t mean much when it comes to taxes because some large companies pay their taxes through the individual return, and some very small companies pay corporate taxes.

Whatever the final determination is is essentially irrelevant. What’s relevant is that the drastic tax increases included in the Dayton Disaster will further damage Minnesota’s economy.

Quibbling about the Poligraph’s study is interesting at most. It doesn’t change the fact that Dayton’s Disaster won’t jumpstart Minnesota’s economy. No credible person can argue that policies in Dayton’s Disaster will jumpstart Minnesota’s private economy.

If people want to quibble over whether Speaker Zellers’ statement is 100 percent factually accurate, that’s their right. If they’d prefer to work on a solution, however, they won’t waste time on this subject.

Anyone arguing that Dayton’s Disaster provides the blueprint to a stronger economy will be laughed at mercilessly. Dayton’s proposals aren’t just a little outside mainstream economic thinking. They’re dramatically outside mainstream economic thinking.

Semantics aren’t totally unimportant in all instances. They’re just unimportant in this instance.

The bigger point that Speaker Zellers successfully made is that Republicans are pursuing policies that will increase entrepreneurship by letting the private sector do what it does best.

Reducing tax and regulatory burdens will dramatically change Minnesota’s economy. That’s what the GOP legislature is pursuing.

That’s the main point to remember.

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