Chanting Points Memo: Blowing Sunshine Up Minnesota’s Skirt

It’s the keystone of Mark Dayton’s entire plan, if he’s elected governor, for trying to close the DFL’s budget deficit.

It’s “Tax the Rich”.

On Esme Murphy’s WCCO TV show this morning (the program should be called “DFL Puff Piece”, but we’ll come back to that later), Dayton said “the rich” start at $150,000 a year – $173,000 if filing jointly.  (The exchange starts at 3:28 of the linked video, with the actual statement around 3:50 or so)

Courtesy of Gary Gross at Let Freedom Ring, here’s the transcript:

MURPHY: You do have a specific plan in which you have called for tax increases for the top 10 percent of Minnesotans. People have pointed out that the top 10 percent includes people that might be in that $136,000 income bracket for single people. You’ve changed that a little bit & said that it’s perhaps people making $150,000. Which is it?

SEN. DAYTON: I’ll send you the news reports going back months now that reference taxable income that has, I guess, confused some people so now I’m going to say total income. But that’s over $150,000 for an individual, over $173,000 for a couple filing jointly. Rep. Emmer says that that’s middle income…middle class. Those are people that work hard for a living but the fact is that that makes them wealthier than 90 percent of the rest of Minnesotans.

And it really obscures the issue. I’m really talking about the rich and the super-rich, the wealthiest 1 percent who make over $1,000,000 a year, over 25,000 households. According to the Minnesota Department of Revenue, pay only two-thirds of the percent of their incomes to state and local taxes as the rest of Minnesotans.

And Rep. Emmer & Mr. Horner don’t want to raise taxes on them by even one penny. And that’s the difference & that’s the issue here.

Here’s another amusing portion of the interview:

MURPHY: Going back to this issue of taxing people making $200,000. What percentage would a couple making $175,000. What percentage would their taxes go up under your plan? What percentage would people making $1,000,000..what percentage would their taxes go up?

DAYTON: Now that I’ve been endorsed, I can enlist the cooperation….the only 3 entities that have the computer capabilities are the Department of Revenue…and the Senate Tax Committee & the House Tax Committee. And now that I’ve won the DFL primary, I will enlist their support.

I don’t have a supercomputer or a large computer capability to do that simulation. What I’ve been saying is that people making $175,000 a year will pay a little bit more in income taxes and someone making $1,000,000 a year will pay more and somebody making $10,000,000 to $100,000,000 a year will pay significantly more. And again, my two opponents are saying that someone who’s making $10,000,000 or $100,000,000 a year should not pay one penny more in income taxes. And meanwhile, everyone else will pay more in higher property taxes or higher sales taxes under their proposals.

Now, that’s pretty ludicrous already; it’s two moderately successful middle managers; a computer programmer married to a contract nurse; a mid-level state administrator and a tenured college professor.

Pretty crazy definition of “the rich”.

But here’s the interesting part:  Dayton is lying.

Here’s his position paper on taxes, from his campaign website.

Click to view full-size

Check it out. “The Rich”, according to the website, start at $130K – $150 for a couple.

That’s a cop and a nurse.  A car mechanic and a project manager.  A couple of mid level teachers.

You feeling rich, Minnesota?

29 thoughts on “Chanting Points Memo: Blowing Sunshine Up Minnesota’s Skirt

  1. If Dayton is so concerned about the regressive nature of Minnesota’s tax code, he could propose reducing the sales tax. That will put more money, as a percentage of their income, into the pockets of poor people than of rich people.
    Or he could get rid of the lottery. Poor people, not rich people, waste their money chasing that golden dream.

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  4. “Now, that’s pretty ludicrous already; it’s two moderately successful middle managers; a computer programmer married to a contract nurse; a mid-level state administrator and a tenured college professor.”

    Now, now, as Dayton says, there is NO WAY he could figure any of this out without a supercomputer!

  5. “he could propose reducing the sales tax.”

    Terry, it’s even easier than that. If you read the Tax Incidence study that is the source of the regressive tax claim, it’s clear that the simplest way to make the MN tax code progressive is to eliminate the corporate tax. Republicans would be happy to go along with that proposal.

    Or, an even easier way to make the tax code progressive would be to include all of the tax burden on Minnesota taxpayers when calculating progressiveness/regressiveness. If you include federal income tax, then all that nasty regressiveness magically disappears.

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  7. The best part of his plan shown on that website is the last paragraph about closing tax loopholes on snowbirds.

    As it stands now, if you aren’t a resident of Minnesota, you don’t owe Minnesota income tax but instead pay taxes where you reside. What kind of crazy Republican Favor-The-Rich idea is that?

    We should immediately close that loophole and start taxing everybody who DOESN’T live here, especially the super-rich like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, the guy that owns IKEA and all those Columbian drug lords. We’d be rolling in dough! We could actually LOWER the taxes paid by of us who do live here and give even more generous welfare benefits to encourage immigrants from Gary, Indiana.

    What could go wrong? It’s the spend-like-mad-but-make-somebody-else-pay-your-bills mentality behind LGA, writ large. Dream Big, Mark!


  8. I don’t have a supercomputer or a large computer capability to do that simulation. – Congenital Idiot Dayton
    He left out “I wouldn’t have a frigging clue what to do with one if I did have it”. But he’d tax the crap out of anyone stupid enough to program it for him.
    Hypocritical creep.

  9. The scariest part of all this is that despite the fact that Dayton looks dazed and confused, there are people that believe him and consequently will vote for him, on that position alone. They are too stupid to look beyond that position and realize that the people in that upper bracket may be their bosses. The sweet justice would be that their boss, facing an increased tax burden on his business, has to lay them off.

  10. Mad Mark needs supercomputer capability to keep track of his required daily dosage of psychotropic medications.

  11. You should check acutal data like

    “That’s a cop and a nurse” Not really
    For Mpls/St. Paul cops and RNs the combined 90 percentile pay is $156,785. With the standard deduction of $11,400 they are below $150k. Notice I am spoting you metro area salaries, the 90 percentile, and full RNs, not LPNs or NAs.

    “car mechanic and a project manager” Close but no cigar
    Auto mechanic III (the higher) 90th percentile makes $69,135 plus Project Manager I (the lower) 90 percentile makes $93,757 = $162,892. With the standard dedection of $11,400 and the 2 exemptions of $3,650, they are in the clear.

    “couple of mid level teachers”Not even close.

    Even at the 90 perecntile they each get $71,769 and come nowhere near $150,00k

    So even in the Metro area and up to the 90th percentile of the jobs you cite, none of them have over $150k in taxable income.

  12. You should check acutal data like…

    Like people I know in the field?

    Like actual positions at actual companies I work at? provides averages. My post didn’t say “every” project manager or cop or teacher; merely two.

    Stick with Wikipedia.

  13. Mitch:
    “Dayton is talking Gross Pay”
    Unlikely. He is talking about creating a new tax bracket and tax brackets are for your taxable income.

  14. Mitch:

    “My post didn’t say “every” project manager or cop or teacher; merely two.”

    Talk about walking it back. If they are that infrequent how do they show Dayton’s deffinition of ‘rich’ is off-the-mark?
    Somehow ‘there is this one really high paid cop and his really high paid RN wife’ does not have the same rhetorical force as “that’s a cop and a nurse”.

  15. “ provides averages.”

    Not exactly. It gives you a distribution chart. I gave figures not for the 50th percentile, but for the 90%.

  16. RickDFL, you are pushing the same tax lies that the American Left has pushed for decades. “We’ll only raise taxes on the rich!”. Then they get in office and sales tax goes up, alcohol taxes go up, and it turns out that the rich are anyone above average.
    You guys simply have no credibility when it comes to taxes, period. You will take every penny you can get from anyone you can, rich or poor.

  17. RickDFL

    from real life I know half a dozen RNs – they all work overtime, sometimes because they want to and sometimes because they have to, of the 6 one of them works “part-time” she made just a little over $91k last year, the others all fell in the $108k – $122k range.

    second point with the expiration next year of the 2001 & 2003 tax cuts the standard deduction and the tax brackets change so your numbers fall apart there.

  18. As my Dad, who by no means is a hard-core right-winder says, “Whenever Democrats say they are going to tax the rich and only the rich, my taxes end up going up. Every damn time.”

  19. I take with a block of salt; I checked out a few known salaries at known companies, and their stanines are kinda off, I think. Hard to say; it doesn’t even include my field. I suspect using it as a definitive resource on salaries is a little like using Wikipedia as a primary source on, well, anything.

    But you know what? I can concede every single point (hypothetically – I don’t!) and still be right, because I, and I suspect everyone on this list who’s not willling to suspend rationality for a Dayton governorship, knows households with a hard-working systems analyst or a couple of mid-level management or technical or skilled workers who top out over $150-175K, not because they’re “average”, or fit into some convenient category on “”, but because they work hard and earn it.

    By the way, what Kel said. I dated an RN for a while. She worked as a contract nurse – making “freelance” rates. Working “part-time”, she made over $75,000 a year. Had we gotten married (it was never in the cards, but work with me), we’d have been “rich”, at least under the plan on Dayton’s website.

    I’m just not seeing it, Rick.

  20. Also beside the point because he will move the “magic number of richness” to where ever he cares to, using “the supercomputer said so” as a rationale. Remember Obama and Biden in the 2008 campaign and the magical $250K?

  21. Unlikely

    He said so in as many words during his interview with Murphy!

    Should we believe the candidate, or does perhaps Wikipedia disagree?

  22. “….. “couple of mid level teachers” Not even close.

    Even at the 90 perecntile they each get $71,769 and come nowhere near $150,00k”

    DickyDFL, are you that bad at math?

    $72 x $72 = $144K

    That is very close to $150K.

    Now add in an extra-curricular or a summer job…

    Bam! Tax the rich school teachers!!!!

    Mark Dayton, taxing working Minnesotans into poverty.

  23. Dayton is talking Gross Pay

    Gross pay and taxable income are two different things, Mitch. But you already knew that.

    Where does Dayton say he wants to remove deductions from Minnesota tax code?

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