Tag Archives: Tax Cuts

Pat Garofalo and Jon Koznick squander an opportunity to invest in schools so they can give tax breaks to big business

Ed-Crop Rep BudMy state representative Pat Garofalo-(R) from Farmington and my bordering district’s state representative Jon Koznick-(R) from Lakeville have proposed a state budget that provide $15 in tax giveaways to special interests for every $1 spent on education. In districts that are cutting to solve deficits, prioritizing tax cuts and corporate giveaways over Farmington’s and Lakeville’s students’ education will lead to fewer teachers, bigger class sizes, and little for Minnesota’s youngest learners and future leaders.

Even with a $2 billion projected surplus, House Republicans passed an education funding bill that invests only $156 million in educating the next generation of Minnesotans.

As a community, we need to stop rewarding politicians who think about the current bottom line before they think about the future bottom line. If we are not using public policy to improve the future, our economy will continue to be a rollercoaster ride of unpredictable highs and lows. Right now it seems like the only possible solution is to replace short-sighted politicians like Garofalo and Koznick.

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Dayton: A responsible governor with a sensible budget. (Not sure the GOP has a plan.)

President Reagan famously said the nine most terrifying words in the English language are “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”  Boy that sure seems true today.  When Republicans are in charge, it is really scary for the average citizen.  In Wisconsin there are protests and shutdowns happening because Governor one-term, I mean Walker and his Republicans cronies think it is OK to take away worker’s rights.  (Political insight: Not sure that was the smartest or most sensible thing to do in a state with a history of being pro-labor.)

Thankfully, we have a smart and sensible governor here in Minnesota.  After 8 years (12 if you count Ventura’s term) of irresponsible leadership from the governor’s office under T-Paw, who was hell bent on proving government can’t work, only to be proven wrong by DFLers in the legislature, we finally have a leader more concerned about the future of our state than a personal political agenda.

His budget proposal proves that.  Dayton’s budget is responsible and balanced.  He is addressing the problems that have caused our reoccurring deficits, and doing it responsibly with difficult cuts that, yes, will affect vulnerable Minnesotans, but there are also tax increases for the very richest Minnesotans.  He even put responsible rules in place to end the highest taxes on the richest Minnesotans after a couple years when we are hopefully fully recovered from the mess previous governors let us get into. 

Governor Dayton is doing exactly what he said he would do by investing in education and protecting the middle class.  95% of Minnesotans will not pay an extra penny of tax, and he is not asking teachers to take a pay cut, unlike the Republicans who are not only proposing cuts to teacher’s income, but proposing to increase the profits of giant corporations by letting them pay less in taxes when we have a deficit.  You really can’t make that up…

Dayton realizes the importance of investment.  Investing in education will make our state stronger in the future.  Despite what Republican leaders are saying, investment is not a bad word, and if they plan to turn the word investment into a negative, our future is going to be even worse.  I invest in a retirement fund, a college fund for my boys, I invested in a car I thought would save me money in the long run, we invested in a home that is worth a lot more than we paid for it, I invest my time and energy into making my community a better place to grow up in.  Investments are a good thing.  Investments make the future better.   And I expect my tax dollars to go towards making the future better.  That means investing in infrastructure that will keep our state growing, investing in public education and public colleges so that Minnesota is a hotbed of innovation, invention and ideas, and I expect my tax dollars to be invested in ensuring the safety of our citizens.

Kurt Zellers and Amy Koch called Dayton’s use of “investment”  a “fancy word” for tax and spend.  Absurd!  Dayton’s budget is very reasonable.  I guess to Republicans the “worst” part about this bill is that people who make hundreds of thousands of dollars will pay more to enjoy the benefits of living in this state where they likely made hundreds of thousands.  Pat Kessler on WCCO said a family making $200,000 will pay an extra $139 in taxes under Mark Dayton’s plan.  That is $5 each bi-weekly paycheck!!!   Poor well-off Minnesotans!  How will they be able to retire?

And the smug Republicans in the legislature cry about that extra $139 like it will break our economic back.  Then at the same time the tears are pouring down they propose that a corporation’s tax be cut in half.  That makes sense.  (Read that again with extra sarcasm.)  Let’s balance the budget by taking in half the revenue!  Seriously!  Think about it, a family making $200,000 takes home roughly $150,000 after taxes to spend, INVEST, or do whatever they want.  So that family will pay an extra $139 under Mark Dayton’s plan.  A corporation with $150,000 in taxable profits would keep over $7,000 under the Republican plan.

So which is the plan that will responsibly fix our deficit?  In reality, I guess we don’t know yet because the Republicans keep proposing incremental fixes.  Only Governor Dayton was responsible enough to layout an entire plan.  Come on Republicans!  You wanted this job and have gloated over getting it.  Step up and show us your plan to fix the entire deficit.  Then listen to the people.  Do you really think they will choose more potholes, worse school, more crime and more corporate profits over the wealthiest Minnesotans paying a little more in taxes?  I think I know the answer, and 2012 is looking better and better.

Jottings and Questions V – Tax Cuts, Frivolous Challenges and the Middle Class

Why is there such a push by Republicans to save the tax cuts that obviously didn’t help the economy?  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for middle-class tax cuts, and it isn’t because it helps me, I don’t make enough to really benefit from them.  But the only thing a tax-giveaway for the rich (let’s call it what it is) helps the economy is to allow them to invest more in crooked politicians who support corporations, not individuals.  The goal for them seems to be an oligarchy where the rich can either buy or steal elections, to the detriment of the other 90% of the population.

Steal election?  What a perfect segue.  I read the first reports from the Governor’s recount.  A challenge by the Emmer camp to a ballot that had an oval mostly filled in for Dayton, but not completely, and a challenge to a ballot that had no mark for governor that the Emmer camp said should be counted for Emmer.  The judges called both those frivolous, but I think there needs to penalties for “frivolous” challenges in the recount.  Kind of like in NFL football when a coach throws the red flag.  In the NFL the coach loses a timeout if the challenge is “frivolous.”  I think for every “frivolous challenge” in this recount, the team making the “frivolous challenge” should lose a vote.  It seems fair to me.  It seems that way only real questionable ballots get challenged and the recount finishes much sooner. 

Speaking of that blank ballot that Emmer “challenged” as an Emmer vote, it is interesting to me that Republicans are so keen to get voter ID verification to prevent election “cheating.”  Counting a blank vote for your own team sounds a little like cheating to me.  I’m convinced that any voter ID programs would just reduce the number of Republicans cheating.  The problem is that it will disenfranchise plenty of poor, elderly and handicapped people from voting too, so I am willing to let a few Republicans cheat to ensure the others can vote.

Is there any excitement that the Twins won the bidding war to attempt to sign Tsuyoshi Nishioka.  I have not heard much, but I have heard he seems to be hurt every year.  Great, he’ll fit in with the Twins’ other stars…

Finally, I just want to add that half of the families in Minnesota (not individuals, families!) make under $57,000 per year.   The Chamber of Commerce and their political arm, the Republican Party, keep pushing for tax cuts.  What will a tax cut provide to much more than half the state’s population?  Very little, but the cut in education, good roads and public safety have the potential to hurt those families in ways many of us cannot comprehend.  Tax cuts for the rich do nothing but line their pockets with money, and they in turn will line the pockets of the politicians supporting that greed.  Let’s work on turning this back around in 2012 and electing people who are more concerned about individuals than corporations.

"Tax Cuts Again Tried-and-not-so-true remedy is offered again"

From the StarTribune’s “Letters to the editor for Wednesday, Jan. 28”

“Tax Cuts Again Tried-and-not-so-true remedy is offered again”

For 30 years, Republicans have been offering the same answer to many issues. Budget surplus? Tax cuts. Budget deficit? Tax cuts. High gas prices? Tax cuts. Health insurance crisis? Tax cuts or tax credits. New jobs? Tax cuts and tax credits.

If I went to a doctor five times for issues from headache to cancer and all he gave me was aspirin, I’d think he was crazy or incompetent. Or to be very charitable, that he had one good idea and stuck with it way too long.
RALPH WYMAN, MINNEAPOLIS”

Way to go Norm Coleman, who needs renewable energy?

This is one of three blog headline Featured on the front page of Norm Coleman’s website

“Norm Coleman: Fighting To End Our Addiction To Foreign Oil”

Of course yesterday, he voted to block the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act of 2008 in order to protect a tax loophole for hedge fund managers and a tax break for multi-national corporations. That doesn’t sound like he wants to end our addiction to oil.

That bill would have encouraged investment in renewable energy technology, extended the research and development tax credit, and provided middle-class families with some much-needed tax relief.

Way to go Norm!