Sturdevant: The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves, Part I

The fact that Lori Sturdevant is a relentless shill for the DFL is one of those things that Minnesota conservatives have come to accept as background noise.

Her column from this past weekend – it’s entitled “Mark Dayton — A Man With A Plan“, and it paints Governor Messinger’s Dayton’s toenails about as much as you’d suspect from the title – almost serves to give you context as to why she’s such a DFL up-sucker.  Sturdevant is apparently too innumerate and ignorant of basic economics to even pass as a moderate Republican.

Give Gov. Mark Dayton this much: He’s found a way to raise taxes that the business community appears to hate more than an income tax hike for the rich.

Dayton’s proposal to impose the state’s sales tax on the services businesses buy — legal, advertising, accounting, computing and the like — had by week’s end become Competitiveness Enemy No. 1. In volume and vitriol, business condemnation of that proposal was outstripping the reaction two years ago to Dayton’s unsuccessful bid for a new income tax bracket for top incomes.

(“Vitriol” has apparently become “any criticism of any Democrat”)

Sturdevant’s propaganda piece column faithfully passes on what have become the DFL’s big rhetorical bludgeons in this campaign:

  • Blame “the rich” who aren’t named Dayton, Messinger, Opperman, Mondale, Cramer…
  • Lie about the economy – those of Minnesota and other states
  • Give people a misleadingly incomplete picture of their own proposal
  • Promise wondrous things someday in exchange for metric poo-tons of your money now.

It’s Those Darned Indecisive Rich Businesspeople!: Sturdevant starts by trying to portray Minnesota’s small businesspeople as flighty petty tyrants who just can’t decide what it is they want.

What keeping up with the competition requires of a state, it seems, is a changeable, eye-of-the-corporate-beholder sort of thing.

Sturdevant would have you believe that the business community can’t make up its mind; while two years ago Governor Messinger Dayton’s entire message was a class-war-baiting tax assault on “the rich”, Dayton has broadened the attack to every business, everywhere.

Sturdevant writes:

Dayton’s new plan still raises the income tax by about $1 billion on the top-earning 2 percent of filers. But the marginal rate he proposes now, 9.85 percent, is down from 10.95 percent two years ago. Instead of tied for highest in the country, it would be fourth-highest, up from eighth-highest today.

Sturdevant misleadingly presents this as an either-or.  It’s not.  Both taxes were burdens on business, especially small businesses.

On the one hand, Dayton’s “fourth tier” tax would have had a huge impact on a massive swath of small businesspeople, especially successful small entrepreneurs running “Subchapter S” corporations who may have had incomes over $250,000 – dentists, consultants, salespeople, and a fair number of high-tech recruiters of my acquaintance (while not affecting liberal plutocrats like the Dayton family, most of whose income isn’t earned).

On the other?  This round of increases hits nearly every business at every level; it combines a piddly decrease in business tax rates…:

Dayton seemed to be responding to some of the business lobby’s old anticompetitiveness complaints. He offered to reduce the state’s corporate tax rate from 9.8 percent to 8.4 percent, taking it from fourth in the nation to 12th.

…with a 5.5% increase in many of the costs of doing business and, for many service-related businesses, a 5.5% decrease in business (which is what adding a 5.5% tax hike does to any good or service, all other things being equal).

“Be happy to pay for a Better Minnesota”, Sturdevant says, “and shut up about it”.

“The Dakotas Do It Too!”:  Liberal water-carriers have been painstakingly scouring Google for examples of taxes that the Dakotas have that Minnesota doesn’t yet, but that Governor Messinger Dayton is proposing.

And they’ve gotten the chanting points to Sturdevant, who throws on a little unearned contempt:

“It’s the most damaging thing we could do for competitiveness,” Minnesota Business Partnership exec Charlie Weaver said of taxing sales of business-to-business services. Minnesota would join just five other states — including South Dakota — in tacking the sales tax on so wide a range of business inputs…For 46 years, apparently, there’s been a Minnesota tax policy that this state’s businesses liked better than South Dakota’s version. Before Dayton flushed that out, who knew?

Sturdevant should leave the snark to Sally Jo Sorenson.  Not that it’d improve her point, but Sturdevant trying to go Jon Stewart is a little like Judi Dench donning a “Hollister” hoodie and a sideways baseball cap.

Oh, she’s wrong.  It’s one of many disconnected factoids that the left has been passing off this past week; “SoDak has business service taxes!”  “North Dakota taxes clothing!”.  Yes, both are true; but those taxes are parts of overall tax burdens that are much lower than in Minnesota.

According to the Tax Foundation, as of 2010, Minnesota had the seventh-highest overall state and local tax burden in the US.  South Dakota was #49.  My native North Dakota was #35 – more on that later – and is, as of the 2013 session, working on slashing state  taxes.

Sturdevant niggles and nit-picks and snarks with all the grace of a German jazz band about individual taxes to dodge the real point; both the Dakotas have lower overall taxes than Minnesota.  And better economies.

Focus On The Luxuries, And The Necessities Will Take Care Of Themselves!:  One of the left’s most damning and damnable conceits is that all economic economic activity, the “fruits of all our labors” – both of them fancy-schmantzy ways of saying “the money all of us work for” – are first and foremost government property, for government to use, and use as much, as it sees fit and then leave what’s left to the rest of us.

No, really:

The governor has come around to the realization that compared with other states, Minnesota underutilizes its sales tax.

Or, put another way, the Governor Messinger Dayton sees that there is productivity in the state that could be further sapped.

 He endorsed extending it to services when he saw that doing so would permit a drop in the overall sales tax rate from 6.875percent to 5.5 percent. That would move the rate from seventh-highest to 27th among the states, to the benefit of businesses and consumers who buy already-taxed goods.

Yay, a tax cut.  It amounts to about a 20% cut to the sales tax rate.  That’s a good thing, right?

Sure – but only if if you’re not getting…

An Incomplete Picture: Just as Governor Messinger Dayton sold the state bills of goods with electronic pull tabs, the “repayment of the school funding shift” and the cigarette tax, he’s doing it again.

So what does that mean?

It means Sturdevant is abetting Governor Messinger Dayton in yet another lie.

 More tomorrow – including slides from that noted conservative tool, the State of Minnesota.

10 thoughts on “Sturdevant: The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves, Part I

  1. The one thing I really wish Democrats would do is define “enough” as in: “You can afford to pay more taxes because even after paying them, you’ll still have enough.” That’s the justification for all their proposals, as explained by “At some point, you’ve made enough” and “Nobody really needs X, that’s more than enough.”

    Okay, in dollars and cents, give me a specific number: How much is “enough?” Because even Democrats agree that up to that amount, it’s all mine, but everything over and above that amount belongs to Democrats. I just want to know what’s mine.

  2. My attorney friends in Western WI are salivating at the prospect of a service tax. For larger transactional cases, it will be more cost effective to hire a WI attorney licensed in WI. Look for more twin city law firms to set up offices (even virtual offices) so they can do work from a WI address.

  3. How can one compare itself to other states in this regard? SD does not have an income tax and ND income tax is much lower than MN. I didn’t see Dayton’s plan to lower my income tax. His tax plan is just like Obama’s – increase taxes for everyone who works at every level.

  4. Yea, the reaction from liberat tools like Mike Ceresi and the rest of the left wing lawyas that supported Governor Moonbat, once they start losing corporate clients to WI, SD and ND firms, should be priceless! I can’t wait!

  5. Nate: “Enough” is never enough. It’s like minimum-wage debates. The answer, of course, is “enough” occurs only when the patient stops breathing. Then tax the survivors for the cost of burial.

  6. I wish I could be in the boardrooms of some of these law firms when the argument is presented why they SHOULDN’T relocate to Wisc. Priceless!

  7. If I were in charge of my company’s choice for a law firm, knowing that the majority of them voted for this crap, I would make them reap what they have sown by not allowing any MN based company that opens an office in a surrounding state to continue as our counsel. But, then, if I were calling the shots at Target, I would fire Melissa Franzen on the grounds that her personal actions in the legislature were anti business.

  8. Liberals think that money spent by government is money spent on behalf of ‘all of us’, while money spent by individuals only benefits that person and their interests.
    Liberals want all the money. No one has any legitimate self interest when weighed against the interest of ‘all of us’.
    Above rule does not apply when they consider their own interests, of course. By hook or by claw, they grab all they can and spend it on whatever they want. So your kid needs to attend a crappy public school because it’s best for ‘all of us’, while their kid needs to attend a private school because ‘conservatives would rather spend money on tax cuts and a bloated military than building the school my kid and your kid deserve’.

  9. Curious…

    If and when Creepy Gleason ever comes through with the last bit of libel needed to establish the pattern I’m told I need to sue his withered, insane ass can my law talkin’ dude just tack the sales tax on to the garnishment of his wages?

    ‘Cause if that can happen…I think this tax is the best thing since screenshots!


  10. Pingback: Sturdevant: The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves, Part II | Shot in the Dark

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