Between the Tea Party and the general distaste for more taxation and government spending, it might be bad year to be proposing…taxing and spending.
As I noted on Labor Day, Mark Dayton’s tax-hike-based budget plan is very likely dead on arrival at the legislature. My rationale at the time was that Dayton’s tax hike was ten times the size of the increase that the DFL managed to pass by a single vote (Tarryl Clark’s, as luck would have it), when they had overwhelming control of both chambers of the legislature, at the height of Obama mania in one of the most ostensibly liberal states in the nation. Will they get ten times the money out of a legislature that is much more conservative, maybe with a flipped chamber, and an electorate that is just not buying more spending?
According to MPR, even some DFLers aren’t buying it:
DFL candidate former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton wants to raise income taxes on upper earners, but you won’t hear about it from some DFL legislative candidates.
You also don’t hear “Democrat” or “DFL” from some of them. But I digress.
Some are also promising to vote against the proposed income tax increase if Dayton is elected governor.
“I don’t talk about that,” said DFL state Sen. Terri Bonoff of Minnetonka, who spent a recent afternoon knocking on doors in in Plymouth, a mostly Republican area of her suburban district.
Bonoff is a moderate Democrat, and she said her re-election bid depends on the support of independents and some Republicans.
It’s not that Bonoff is against tax hikes, of course:
“I have a lot of respect for Mark Dayton. But I have my views about what we ought to do with regard to taxes, and it’s not about protecting the rich,” she said. “It’s about right now we have too much reliance on the income tax, and as the demographics change in our state and our folks are getting out of the workplace, more and more seniors, they don’t have that kind of income stream.
“If we’re too reliant on the income tax, I think we’re going to find ourselves in this same mess three years from now.”
The DFL opposition seems to be largely coming from districts that should be GOP, but went DFL during the ’06 and ’08 elections, which were terrible for Republicans. One of those is Kathy Saltzman, who won her seat in largely-Republican Woodbury in 2006:
The concern is similar in the east metro suburbs. Sen. Kathy Saltzman, DFL-Woodbury, who’s locked in a tough re-election fight, also stresses her independence on tax issues. She’s voted against previous attempts to raise income taxes on upper earners.
Saltzman hasn’t endorsed a candidate for governor, but she’s met with Dayton and Horner. Saltzman said she asked Dayton to be open to other tax ideas, not just taxing the rich.
“I believe that it’s not about targeting one group or one group of services,” she said. “We really should be looking at an overall tax reform policy. That would be the most responsible way to approach this.”
It’s not that they’re deserting the DFL, naturally…:
Saltzman said Republican Tom Emmer’s cuts-alone approach to the budget is unrealistic. She favors a balanced approach that includes some revenue, and is open to a sales tax expansion as part of a broader reform of the tax code.
But Saltzman said she will not support the Dayton tax plan. “It will be very difficult to get it by me. I would say he won’t get it by me. He will note get my vote,” she said.
The Dayton Tax “Plan” will never see the light of day, if Dayton is elected.
Electing Dayton would be a complete waste of time.