“The Twin Cities are victim of Greater Minnesota!”
It’s a weird approach to messaging.
But the DFL’s noise machine is apparently betting long on it.
A common refrain from Minnesota Republicans goes something like this: Rural communities are overtaxed, underfunded and ignored by legislators. Greater Minnesota sends their tax dollars to the Twin Cities, where metro residents benefit from government programs…It’s a sweeping argument that plays into the state’s often bitterly divided partisan and geographic politics, which have become deeply intertwined during the past decade, with Republicans dominating greater Minnesota while the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party has locked down the metro. It also simplifies a complicated web of tax and revenue distributions — and it’s factually untrue.
This is an extension of Paul Krugman’s ludicrious claim from 15-odd years ago that “blue” states “send more revenue” to “red” states than the other way around.
To the extent that its true, it’s because:
- Much federal spending is huge-ticket items – farm bills, interstate highwatys, military bases – dropped into sparsely-populated states. A Minuteman III squadron in a bunch of farmers fields in northwest North Dakota may consumer hundreds of millions of dollars a year, but almost none of it goes into local pockets.
- Costs of living and incomes are higher in urban, “blue” areas. Wait – don’t Democrats support “progressive taxation”?
But for whatever reason, DFLers are hammering on this “issue” this week. The DFL’s “taxation expert” Aisha Gomez:
We talked about this in 2010: big-ticket “public good infrastructure costs the same in Greater Minnesota (basically) as in the metro; a school or water treatment plant or road in a town of 4,000 doesn’t cost 1% as much as a school in MInneapolis (400,000). Those costs are spread across a smaller population – meaning higher per capita consumption.
Gomez could point that out.
Or she could demigogue the – for lack of a better term – “issue” and try to use it to wedge the Blue cities and Red state even further.
Why? No idea.
But if I were forced to bet on this, I’d spot a couple bucks that:
- The next financial forecast isn’t nearly as rosy as the last couple
- The DFL is pre-emptively trying to demigogue the issue to stoke their base’s sense of victimhood and tribal rage.
- That sense of rage is a good bit of “preparing the PR battlefield” for an election in a decaying economy where the SCOTUS can’t overturn Roe again.
Action on that bet?