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”)
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.
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.
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.
Comments welcome at Shot In The Dark.