The New York Times: Lying For The DFL

The New York Times opts to toss facts under the bus in yesterday’s editorial about the Minnesota Shutdown:

How far will Republican lawmakers go to protect millionaires? Those who think a default on the federal government’s credit seems implausible should take a sobering look at the “closed” signs dotting Minnesota. The Republican Party there readily shut down the state’s government on Friday by refusing to raise taxes on the 7,700 Minnesotans who make more than $1 million a year.

Well, no.

The GOP refused to raise taxes.  Period.  Dayton chose to make it about “millionaires”, and before that “the rich”.  Had Dayton chosen to raise, say, the gas tax (like the DFL majority in 2009 did), a terribly regressive tax that squats all over working-class prosperity, the GOP would have opposed that, as well.

For the Times to turn the GOP’s opposition to a tax intoprotecting millionaires” is a craven bit of rhetorical dishonesty.

Gov. Mark Dayton, a Democrat, campaigned for office last year promising to raise taxes on high earners, so it was no surprise when he proposed a tax increase on families making more than $150,000 a year to help close a $5 billion budget gap. In negotiations with the Republican majority in the Legislature, he compromised and reduced the increase to those making $1 million or more, but Republicans are refusing to consider any income tax increase.

Note the rhetoric: Dayton keeping a campaign promise?  Good.  The GOP? Can’t be good, can it?

Like Republicans in Washington, they have the delusion that they can balance the budget entirely from cuts.

The Times’ “editorial” was apparently written by the MNDFL’s chair, Ken Martin.  The GOP budget is the biggest spending increase in Minnesota history.

The governor proposed more than $2 billion in cuts but refused to slash billions more from education, health care and public safety programs.

All of which the GOP compromised on, meeting Dayton much more than halfway.

The Legislature also wanted new abortion restrictions and a voter ID law that Mr. Dayton had already vetoed. When he said no, lawmakers allowed the fiscal year to end without a budget, and state government officially shut on July 1.

The Times apparently believes the GOP should “negotiate” like a Saturn dealer; start with their “final offer” and work backward from there.

Also unmentioned by “the Times” editorial writer: Dayton walked out of the negotiations every time.  The GOP Legislature was waiting in the Capitol, ready to negotiate and/or pass a “lights on” bill, to keep govermment running

More than 40 state agencies have closed, including the state parks over the July Fourth holiday. Courts and public safety agencies are operating, but essential services for the poor, like food pantries and child care subsidies, have evaporated. Many parents say they may have to quit their jobs if state-subsidized child care does not resume quickly. The shutdown will cost the state money, since many of the 22,000 laid-off workers will receive unemployment benefits and health insurance, while the treasury is unable to collect on tax audits, lottery tickets and park fees.

Unmentioned by the Times (or any of the Twin Cities media); the evidence is overwhelming that Governor Dayton rigged the shutdown to cause as much pain as possible, specifically to drive those dependent on state employment or services to try to push moderate Republicans into wobbling.

As painful as the closure may become, the governor is right not to yield to the extremist ideology the Republicans are pursuing in St. Paul, Washington and across the country.

“Extremist ideology”.

The GOP ran very openly on a platform of holding the line on taxes and spending.  Perhaps you remember the Tea Party – it was in all the papers, including the Times.

Extremist?  Governor Dayton won with 43% of the vote; the GOP majorities had, by definition, over 50% of the state’s voters pick them (since the third-party challenges were virtually nonexistant in legislative races in 2010).  Can a policy chosen by over half the voters be “extemist?”

19 thoughts on “The New York Times: Lying For The DFL

  1. The saddest part is all those things were paid for in the GOP budget.

    If Dayton would have signed the GOP’s balanced budget, daycare assistance would have been provided and parks would have been open. But weeping makes for great media stories, so he shut them down.

    If a third-world dictator intentionally tortured the poor to squeeze more money out of the rest of his subjects, the NYT would justly demand his ouster. Perhaps it’s time to consider impeachment?

  2. Save the trees for toilet paper, the NYT, Strib, and they’re ilk are no more than expensive TP.

  3. $1,800,000,000 new taxes demanded -:- 7,700 millionaires to pay them = $233,766.23 new taxes per millionaire, forever.

    That’s an EXTRA 25% of your annual income, gone.

    For that kind of tax hit, I’d be willing to spend a chunk on tax lawyers and CPAs to find a loophole. Worst case, I’d move.

    The rich are rich, they’re not stupid.

    If the rich won’t pay and the poor can’t pay, guess who’s going to pay?


  4. $1,800,000,000 new taxes demanded -:- 7,700 millionaires to pay them = $233,766.23 new taxes per millionaire, forever.

    That’s an EXTRA 25% of your annual income, gone.

    Or, put another way, if the nominal rate on these 7,700 ripe suck millionaires were really only going up the 2% or so that Dayton has mentioned (top rate around 11%), the average we could expect out of each is about $50K. That works out to a net of $385 million, optimistically. If Dayton needs to raise $2 billion, that still leaves $1.6 billion that needs to come from someone. Wonder which someones he has in mind?

  5. We could make huge tax increases on those who have government jobs, I’m sure they’de be happy to pay for a better MN……..oh wait…..we’re already paying for them to “participate” in the tax ponzi scheme.

  6. nate, I reposted your math on FB. But I ran out of room to attribute it to you. So I’m attributing you here.

  7. One would have hoped that the NYT would have mentioned Dayton’s narrow win in a three-way race vs. the historical mandate of the MN GOP legislature. This would help intelligent readers make up their minds about the MN shutdown in an informed way.
    It’s an op-ed, written by the people who gave Krugman a job as an economics editorialist.

  8. Still think the GOP negotiation should be ala pawn stars:

    We originally offered a 10% increase, today it is 9%, tomorrow it goes to 8%, next week we start going negative.

  9. I like Loren’s idea. Quite frankly, the idea that state spending needs to proceed more quickly than GDP growth is abhorrent, and needs a serious justification that Governor Daytion has not given.

  10. NYT = Pravda. It’s even worse that the Star Tribune and WDFL channel 4.
    Eff them.

  11. Krugman so irritating because the left seems to think he’s one of the “smart guys”
    From last Sunday’s Krugman :

    . . . the lessons of the 2008 financial crisis have been forgotten, and the very ideas that got us into the crisis — regulation is always bad, what’s good for the bankers is good for America, tax cuts are the universal elixir — have regained their hold.

    Who believes this garbage? If you put a gun to his head Krugman couldn’t find anyone on the Right who believes that “regulation is always bad, what’s good for the bankers is good for America, tax cuts are the universal elixir”.

    In fact, that idle cash has become a major conservative talking point, with right-wingers claiming that businesses are failing to invest because of political uncertainty. That’s almost surely false: the evidence strongly says that the real reason businesses are sitting on cash is lack of consumer demand. In any case, if corporations already have plenty of cash they’re not using, why would giving them a tax break that adds to this pile of cash do anything to accelerate recovery?

    It wouldn’t, of course; claims that a corporate tax holiday would create jobs, or that ending the tax break for corporate jets would destroy jobs, are nonsense.

    Note the typically Krugman use-of-poor-grammar as a rhetorical tool:
    “That’s almost surely false”. It’s called modifying an absolute. He doesn’t know if it true or false, but he uses the absolutes “surely” and “false” and that adds a little wiggle room with the modifier “almost”. What krep. He knows the lefties that read the NYT will forget about the modifier and believe that Pulitzer prize winning economist Paul Krugman said that political uncertainty isn’t keeping companies from investing.
    The next line — that consumer demand is keeping businesses from hiring — is akin to saying that people are hungry because they need to eat. Krugman is a “demand sider”. He believes in the universal elixir of increasing demand by inflating the money supply. He has no idea how inflation will crush investment and destroy the lives of the poor and the wealth of the middle classes, because he has never been poor and he has never tried to start a business or run one profitably. His fortune has been made by writing overpriced econ textbooks that poor college students have to buy to take economics classes. Krugman is a prime example of an individual who has become wealthy by occupying a niche and protecting it against competition by means fair or foul.
    And then there is the bit about tax breaks for corporate jets — a part of the Obama stimulus plan designed to increase employment in the small aircraft industry. So much for Krugman’s disparaging remarks about “trickle down economics”.

  12. Mitch, your defense of the party pretending about spending is indefensible. Republican politicians have never given a damn about spending*. They still don’t. Karl Rove famously argued “deficits do not matter.”

    They ONLY care about spending on programs that are not subsidies for military contractors, nuclear power plants, fossil fuel extraction, and Republican campaign donors.

    2002-2003 with a Republican President, Republican Congress, Republican Senate, Republican Governor, and Republican State House was GREATEST percent increase in Minnesota state government spending in the last fifteen years.

    Even under Dayton’s plan, Republican spending increases would still hold the crown in the state of Minnesota.

    * Note: I did not say Republican voters.

  13. 2002 -2003 the Governor was Jesse Ventura, IIRC. Jesse was not a Republican. Not even Republican-light.

    And the Legislature had one, if not two houses with a Democratic majority.

  14. scoobrs said:

    “Republican President, Republican Congress, Republican Senate”

    This has what exactly to do with “Minnesota state government spending”?

    And, as we have seen recently, the spending get’s so much “better” under Democrats.

  15. It’s a sad day for Minnesota when we low-sloping foreheads in fly-over land have lost the respect and admiration of David Brooks and the New York Times.

  16. Pawlenty took office in January ’03 during the second half of the fiscal year. My point still stands. Those years set a federal record increase as well, except that was under Bush and both Republican houses. Republican politicians are only concerned about categories of spending that aren’t related to Republican party donors.

    Seriously, how can Pawlenty claim he was “playing defense” and that unallotment was his only option to cut spending when he had a line item veto for all eight years?! It defies reason that any of you can even believe his statements about spending.

  17. The fiscal year to fiscal year increase in Pawlenty’s first year in office was 12.2%, the highest since 1984.

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