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Minnesota Moves to Make the Rich Pay More

Posted on Feb 26, 2011

Man with a plan: Minnesota’s Gov. Mark Dayton.

Like most states, Minnesota has a big budget problem. But unlike most states, it’s looking to the well-heeled to help fill the gap. Gov. Mark Dayton plans to attack the state’s $6.2 billion deficit by raising taxes on the rich. —JCL

Winona Daily News:

Gov. Mark Dayton looked to the wealthy to erase about half of a $6.2 billion budget deficit on Tuesday, proposing a new top tax bracket and an income surtax that together would give Minnesota the nation’s highest income tax rate. 

The Democratic governor’s plan would raise nearly $2.9 billion from the top 5 percent of taxpayers, including a new property tax on homes valued at more than $1 million.

It would also increase taxes on health care providers and corporations with foreign operations, while cutting almost $1 billion in spending for programs including MinnesotaCare health care and nursing homes.

The tax increases and spending cuts are contained in Dayton’s proposal for a two-year, $37 billion budget that guides more money into education but could also cost about 800 state workers their jobs.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, February 28, 2011 at 10:44 pm Link to this comment

In Minnesota rich people flocked to the State Capital and showed their unity by driving their cars around the capital building. It was reported there were 3 Lamborghini’s and one Rolls Royce which may have been commissioned by the Koch Brothers, it had a sign hanging out the window which said….. “What!... Me pay taxes?”

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, February 28, 2011 at 9:18 pm Link to this comment

I cant’t wait to see the mass exodus of rich people fleeing the state in their Winnebagos towing the Benzes.

A sad day indeed.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, February 28, 2011 at 3:06 pm Link to this comment

Geeze!.... I bet Botchman the congress person from Minnesota must be turning over in her grave right now!..... Maybe the tea bag hokey pokey will help her be happy, just like the song! I thought Minnesota was a state full of imbecilic morons like their in our face representative Botchman, but then I realized they voted for Al Frankin, who squeaked in, .... so much for stereotypes.

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RayLan's avatar

By RayLan, February 28, 2011 at 2:47 pm Link to this comment

Taxes should be proprotional to income.
There are too many loopholes in corporate taxation to begin with.
If giving the rich tax breaks stimulated the economy - the economy would be doing well, since they already get them - and some corporations get by with none.
So where are the jobs?

This self-centered economic theory is not only one-sided, it is backwards. Reducing the ‘government-as-consumer’ of public spending will reduce demand - and shrink the economy - just like the UK

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By SarcastiCanuck, February 28, 2011 at 1:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Scratch this poor bastards career.The rich won’t stand for it.Nice knowin ya guvna…You got guts though sir and I for one salute you.

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photoshock's avatar

By photoshock, February 28, 2011 at 9:04 am Link to this comment

How dare a person, think of taxing someone who
contributes to the employment of a state? Does Gov.
Dayton, think that taxing the top %1 of the
wealthiest individuals in his state will cause the
budget shortfall to stop being a problem?
Hooray for Gov. Dayton!!! His intestinal fortitude,
doing what is right for the first time, will cause
the uber-rich of Minnesota to stand up and take
notice that there are members of the political class
that are brave and they see the solution to this
overwhelming problem. Tax cuts for the wealthiest %1
are nothing more than welfare for the uber-rich. We
have for too long in America believed that these
people should be given a pass on helping their fellow
man. What ideals was America founded upon? One of
these ideals was that we would all share in the
burden of helping our fellow man. It is the Christian
thing to do. Yet the Far Right Wing Nuts conveniently
forget that part of their supposed ‘holy book.’
Why does this country above all the rest, allow the
extremely wealthy to shirk their responsibility to
the rest of the population and hoard their money with
impunity? This was not the intention of the founding
fathers. Theirs was an ideal of self sacrifice and
sacrifice for their fellow country man. We are living
in an age of avarice and self-fulfillment. Everything
that we desire is ours, nothing is to be held back if
we can afford it.

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By aacme88, February 28, 2011 at 9:03 am Link to this comment

Well, this is a novel approach. Taxing the class of people who can most afford it, are doing better than ever and paying the lowest taxes in its history, while the rest of society swirls around the drain. That could work.
All we need to do to fix our problems is restore tax sanity, similar to that we had when the country worked, had low unemployment, good education, world-leading business and leaders, and respect in the world. It won’t happen overnight, but it took 30 years to create this mess (or this right-wing paradise, depending on your point of view).
Maybe then we could begin actually addressing the problems of the 21st century, like Climate Change.

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, February 28, 2011 at 2:09 am Link to this comment


ITW: How f***in’ stupid does the American Public have to be to believe the Republican lies that tax cuts for the rich will stimulate the economy?

Good question, one I have been asking for years. I have learned to never underestimate the generalized apathy of John Q. Public.

We’d prefer to be fat, dumb and happy. Gorging on fast-food and Media Entertainment ... in a Pavlovian Experiment being run by our handlers.

There is not much one can do to awaken such a somnolent people. They must awaken themselves.

We have met the enemy and he is us. (Pogo, by Walt Kelly)


Fat: Obesity is a pandemic, not an epidemic, but a pandemic.

Dumb: The complex issues of national politics do not interest Americans. They are informed by media “sound-bites” (mostly from the Boob-tube) that are specious, meaning that take a supposed fact which is twisted in a fashion to deprecate or defame a political individual or their tribe. And, gullibly, general public swallow the abuse however ridiculous it may be. Digging deeply for the truth is onerous and therefore excluded - we wait to have them served on a platter.

Happy: We content ourselves with the political class that is presented to us and, if angry, will bitch-in-a-blog. But rarely get our asses out from behind the boob-tube or the PC to demonstrate in the streets publicly. Which is what finally gets the attention necessary to prompt others to do the same. (The human being is an animal that mimics.)

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, February 27, 2011 at 9:54 am Link to this comment

While it is expected that Republicans whose sole agenda is to
destroy the economical American middle and poor class, the
Minnesota, “Democratic legislative leaders praised Dayton’s
approach but wouldn’t commit to voting for the tax increases.” 
It is this kind of Democratic Party cowardice that is selling this
nation down the tube that is glistening greased by the corporate
world.  The Republican Party and their efforts must be stopped. 
That is the number one priority that will go to solve most of the
political disease and financial agony in this country.

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By Inherit The Wind, February 27, 2011 at 9:43 am Link to this comment

It seems that each time taxes were lowered, especially for the very wealthiest Americans, our economy went into a downturn, unemployment rose, and things sucked.

Ronald Reagan cut taxes, and had to raise them again when the economy tanked.

George H.W. Bush didn’t raise taxes when he needed to (“Read my lips”) and was forced with the economy refused to respond.

Bill Clinton raised taxes (retroactively, no less) and our economy thrived during his term, with spectacular job growth.

George W. Bush cut taxes, and our economy went into the sewer, unemployment ballooned, and our nation STILL hasn’t dug its way out of the mess.

Now Barack Obama signed into law the extension of the Bush tax cuts and guess what?  The pundits are all scratching their heads about why the economy is “sluggish” to respond.

Now notice that in each case, when the taxes were cut, the deficit ballooned, and when taxes were raised, the deficit was reined in, or even ELIMINATED!

How f***in’ stupid does the American Public have to be to believe the Republican lies that tax cuts for the rich will stimulate the economy?  30 years of history shows the opposite to be true.

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By JJW, February 27, 2011 at 9:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Taxing foreign corporations… wow, who could ever have imagined that might work?

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By NZDoug, February 27, 2011 at 3:47 am Link to this comment

AS IF…..
You can never go home again,
you can never go home.
You can never go home again,
you can never go home.

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, February 27, 2011 at 12:58 am Link to this comment


Finally, someone in charge of a state that has a functional brain.

There is no such thing as a deficit, national or state, when tax revenues are sufficient to meet expenditures.

The question of Public Services thus devolves to “which do we want and which not?” That question is not so easily answered. Moreover, it is rarely asked.

We assume, often, that the status quo must be maintained, often. (After all, how can we not do without police work, a fire-brigade, a justice system, an educational system.

But there are other programs that perhaps are not so evident.


I recall Jimmy Carter, whilst governor of Georgia, once instituted the Sunset Rule. Meaning that each and every public service needed to justify its existence - or go out of existence. (He also consolidated three hundred state agencies into 30 in order to gain efficiency.)

Not such a bad idea, the Sunset Rule, especially if done publicly - who should be aware of the process and even participate in it.

But, then, who ever asks the body politic? We jolt from from party in office to another until there is, finally, a crisis that exacts action. And then we fumble around in the dark for a solution.

That is not the way to either run a nation or a state. We, the people, deserve better from our civil service functions.

First, these are not jobs for life. The functions have no infinite mandate. The Comp & Ben should not be any lower or any higher than that observed generally in the economy.

Working for the government, state or Federal, is neither a sinecure nor an entitlement.

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By marcus medler, February 26, 2011 at 11:05 pm Link to this comment

wow sanity- ill. also raised taxes but not just on the rich poor wisc.  thank you -
—SANITY- is still breathing in parts of U.S.

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By Rodney, February 26, 2011 at 8:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

After Reagan and Bush gave billions to the top one
percent who didn’t need it anyway, about time we got
some of it back. The rich have become greedy and
unpatriotic. They don’t serve in the military but are
eager to send other people’s children to war. They
hire illegal immigrants for that slave labor. They
send jobs overseas again to avoid paying an American
wage. They hide their money in foreign banks to avoid
paying American taxes. They form monopolies to
manipulate the market and avoid competition. And they
control the media through hate fear and division. All
done with the help of the bought and payed for
Presidents and congress. They got it all and plan to
get even more. America is becoming the nation of have
more or have nothing. In twenty years 80 percent of
us will be the have nothings.

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By purplewolf, February 26, 2011 at 6:16 pm Link to this comment

This makes to much sense for it to ever happen. The rich and the GOP will not stand for their bosses to have to pay something back into the system.

Remember, taxes are for the poor to pay, not the rich even though they will never miss it.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, February 26, 2011 at 4:48 pm Link to this comment

Sounds like its going to be unpopular with the rich so it will probably work.

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