The DFL ran in 2012 on a series of issues that – you heard in on the blogs first – were entirely buncombe.
So let’s take stock of the things the
DFL Alliance for a Better Minnesota said for which they need to be held accountable over the next 17 months or so:
“Property Taxes Will Drop”: For the past six years, the DFL has been yapping that cuts in Local Government Aid forced property taxes to rise. It’s a lie, of course; the “cuts” forced city and county governments to make tough choices about their spending, and made them justify their spending to their own taxpayers, rather than passing the bill off to the rest of the state with few if any questions asked. And as I showed back in 2010, cities and counties jacked up property taxes by vastly more than the amount cut from LGA. In the meantime, many cities learned to live without LGA entirely; it is they that are subsidizing everyone else’s spending.
Prediction: the “extra” money from the state will almost entirely be consumed with extra spending (in fact, every single penny of “new” LGA sent to Minneapolis and Saint Paul will go to new spending). Cities and counties will almost universally raise their property taxes, or at best hold steady. Any exceptions? They’ll prove the rule.
That Economic Outlook: The Minnesota left has been jumping up and down and beaming like toddlers that made good pantses about a “study” put out by the Philadelphia Fed a few weeks ago that showed Minnesota was clobbering Wisconsin in economic growth.
The “study” also showed that Minnesota was clobbering North Dakota. Indeed, the “study” showed North Dakota in the bottom 10%, along with Wisconsin. You’ve heard what a wasteland North Dakota is, right?
Oh, yeah – along with Minnesota in the “yay” column were fiscal and employment basket cases Illinois and California. Economic powerhouses like North Dakota, Texas and Florida? In the “Meh” column.
Do with that information what you will.
But beyond that? It was a short term analysis of growth, based on exceedingly transient indicators. And to the extent that it had any value, remember: Wisconsin is still digging out from under decades of wastrel Democrat regimes. And except for smokers, Minnesota is in the last couple of weeks of the result of over a decade of policy largely controlled by responsible GOP governors and legislatures. The GOP never got everything they wanted – the shared the legislature from 2002-2008, had only the governorship in ’09-10, and both sides of the legislature but no governor in ’11 and ’12 – but at worst, Governor Pawlenty ran his veto pen red-hot and staved off the worst DFL-predations; at best, they were able to impose some restraint on things.
But on August 1 – less than three weeks from now – that all changes. Warehouse taxes, business taxes,
wealth achievement taxes (make no mistake, income taxes don’t tax the “wealthy”, they merely penalize people who work for high incomes, leaving trust fund babies like Mark Dayton and Alida Messinger blissfully alone) and a raft of new regulations go into effect, penalizing businesses and – slowly – making Minnesota a lousy place to do business.
It’s already having an effect; Minnesota has sunk to the lowest ranking for new business creation in the nation. More will surely follow. And the raft of new regulations is going to brutalize the already somnolent mining industry; it’s literally cheaper and easier to build a tailing-recycling smelting plant in North Dakota and ship the ore – rock! – there than it is to build it where the actual ore is, here in Minnesota.
Feeling good about that DFL vote, all you Iron Rangers? This is your livelihood, being exported to a state that already has more jobs than it can fill.
So over the next year, people have to ask themselves; outside of state government union jobs, who’s really benefited?
Prediction: Other than “liberal plutocrats”, the answer will be “nobody”.
The Deficit: The DFL and its toadies in the mainstream media did their by-the-numbers prancing last week over the news that the state’s economy generated $400M more revenue than expected.
That, of course, was the last quarter of GOP-driven rules.
In fact, as House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt noted on Twitter, we raised more money with the budget the Democrats called “the All Cuts budget” than Governor Messinger Dayton did with his All-Tax budget.
What’ll happen this time next year?
Place your bets.
“We Did It For The Children”: After a couple of years of efforts to pay off the “Education Funding Shift” – a DFL-spawned accounting gimmick that the GOP adopted to compromise with rapacious DFL minorities and governors in years past – the GOP had most of the “shift” paid down. The growth in the economy – not the Democrat tax hikes – paid that “shift” down. The DFL will want to claim credit – and the media won’t challenge him on it in the least.
Over the next two years, education will get more expensive, and the achievement gap…
…will go unmeasured, since the DFL worked overtime to remove accounability from its biggest, most influential bloc of government-union supporters.
But we’ll know.
Who’s Watching The Kids?: The DFL promised that unionization of daycares would improve childcare.
Easy prediction: the price of childcare will rise, as its availability drops. More poor Minnesotans will be squeezed out of the market. The Democrats will need to add a new subsidy program to try to lower the prices whose hikes were their fault to begin with.
There’ll be more.