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Gibson writes: "The next time your right-wing family member or former high school classmate posts a status update or tweet about how taxing the rich or increasing workers' wages kills jobs and makes businesses leave the state, I want you to send them this article."

Governor Mark Dayton of Minnesota. (photo: AP)
Governor Mark Dayton of Minnesota. (photo: AP)


This Billionaire Governor Taxed the Rich and Raised the Minimum Wage. Now, His State's Economy Is One of the Best in the Country

By Carl Gibson, Reader Supported News

23 February 15

 

he next time your right-wing family member or former high school classmate posts a status update or tweet about how taxing the rich or increasing workers' wages kills jobs and makes businesses leave the state, I want you to send them this article.

When he took office in January of 2011, Minnesota governor Mark Dayton inherited a $6.2 billion budget deficit and a 7 percent unemployment rate from his predecessor, Tim Pawlenty, the soon-forgotten Republican candidate for the presidency who called himself Minnesota’s first true fiscally-conservative governor in modern history. Pawlenty prided himself on never raising state taxes – the most he ever did to generate new revenue was increase the tax on cigarettes by 75 cents a pack. Between 2003 and late 2010, when Pawlenty was at the head of Minnesota’s state government, he managed to add only 6,200 more jobs.

During his first four years in office, Gov. Dayton raised the state income tax from 7.85 to 9.85 percent on individuals earning over $150,000, and on couples earning over $250,000 when filing jointly – a tax increase of $2.1 billion. He’s also agreed to raise Minnesota’s minimum wage to $9.50 an hour by 2018, and passed a state law guaranteeing equal pay for women. Republicans like state representative Mark Uglem warned against Gov. Dayton’s tax increases, saying, “The job creators, the big corporations, the small corporations, they will leave. It's all dollars and sense to them.” The conservative friend or family member you shared this article with would probably say the same if their governor tried something like this. But like Uglem, they would be proven wrong.

Between 2011 and 2015, Gov. Dayton added 172,000 new jobs to Minnesota’s economy – that’s 165,800 more jobs in Dayton’s first term than Pawlenty added in both of his terms combined. Even though Minnesota’s top income tax rate is the 4th-highest in the country, it has the 5th-lowest unemployment rate in the country at 3.6 percent. According to 2012-2013 U.S. census figures, Minnesotans had a median income that was $10,000 larger than the U.S. average, and their median income is still $8,000 more than the U.S. average today.

By late 2013, Minnesota’s private sector job growth exceeded pre-recession levels, and the state’s economy was the 5th fastest-growing in the United States. Forbes even ranked Minnesota the 9th-best state for business (Scott Walker’s “Open For Business” Wisconsin came in at a distant #32 on the same list). Despite the fearmongering over businesses fleeing from Dayton’s tax cuts, 6,230 more Minnesotans filed in the top income tax bracket in 2013, just one year after Dayton’s tax increases went through. As of January 2015, Minnesota has a $1 billion budget surplus, and Gov. Dayton has pledged to reinvest more than one third of that money into public schools. And according to Gallup, Minnesota’s economic confidence is higher than any other state

Gov. Dayton didn’t accomplish all of these reforms by shrewdly manipulating people – this article describes Dayton’s astonishing lack of charisma and articulateness. He isn’t a class warrior driven by a desire to get back at the 1 percent – Dayton is a billionaire heir to the Target fortune. It wasn’t just a majority in the legislature that forced him to do it – Dayton had to work with a Republican-controlled legislature for his first two years in office. And unlike his Republican neighbor to the east, Gov. Dayton didn’t assert his will over an unwilling populace by creating obstacles between the people and the vote – Dayton actually created an online voter registration system, making it easier than ever for people to register to vote.

The reason Gov. Dayton was able to radically transform Minnesota’s economy into one of the best in the nation is simple arithmetic. Raising taxes on those who can afford to pay more will turn a deficit into a surplus. Raising the minimum wage will increase the median income. And in a state where education is a budget priority and economic growth is one of the highest in the nation, it only makes sense that more businesses would stay.

It’s official – trickle-down economics is bullshit. Minnesota has proven it once and for all. If you believe otherwise, you are wrong.



Carl Gibson, 27, is co-founder of US Uncut, a nonviolent grassroots movement that mobilized thousands to protest corporate tax dodging and budget cuts in the months leading up to Occupy Wall Street. Carl and other US Uncut activists are featured in the documentary We're Not Broke, which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Carl is also the author of How to Oust a Congressman, an instructional manual on getting rid of corrupt members of Congress and state legislatures based on his experience in the 2012 elections in New Hampshire. He lives in Sacramento, California.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

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+190 # REDPILLED 2015-02-23 10:31
Polls show that a majority of Americans support higher taxes on the rich, lower taxes on the working class, and a higher minimum wage.

But Regressives in both chambers of Congress do not care what most people prefer. They are wedded to their neoliberal, trickle-down ideology and are loyal servants of the ruling Plundering Class. As long as the current corrupt, anti-democracy system of "pay to play" campaign funding and lobbying exists, Congress and state legislators will ignore popular preferences.
 
 
+175 # Tigre1 2015-02-23 10:45
Enough governors like him and I will stop calling for "Guillotines!"

What a guy...a guy with a huge fortune and also FAIR to the rest of us citizens...how unusual! how great!

May his TRIBE increase...
 
 
+118 # kando@ltidewater.net 2015-02-23 10:51
It is refreshing when someone applies Aristotle's commonsense definition of a functioning economy (management of the household): "the art of living well". This means serving everyone's needs rather the insatiable wants of the few. Governor Dayton evidently gets it.
 
 
+104 # conniejo 2015-02-23 11:33
Here's I guy I could support for president!!!!!
 
 
+35 # Luckyenough 2015-02-23 16:54
Quoting conniejo:
Here's I guy I could support for president!!!!!

Why isn't he running ? I could get behind him too !
 
 
+14 # randrjwr 2015-02-24 10:28
Quoting Luckyenough:
Quoting conniejo:
Here's I guy I could support for president!!!!!

Why isn't he running ? I could get behind him too !


I'll second (maybe I should say "third") that. Can we start a "movement" here?
 
 
+60 # Scrubjay 2015-02-23 12:13
Something similar has happened in California, when the people here passed an initiative repealing a 30-year-old law that had made it nearly impossible for the Legislature to raise taxes, and raised income taxes on the richest state residents. Of course, the right predicted disaster, but the economy has rebounded. (Ironically, the right used to point at California's formerly struggling economy as a consequence of free-spending Democrats when Republicans controlled the governor's office and the state legislature; the problem was not spending, but lack of revenue as the result of their refusal to do anything to raise any.)
 
 
+44 # margpark 2015-02-23 12:33
And should the Repubs elect the next President and both houses are Repubs they will soon bring the U.S. to a total standstill and everything will go bad in the country. It is bad enough all ready. Because apparently they all believe in the same myth.
 
 
+7 # Corvette-Bob 2015-02-23 14:11
I believe that the odds are against a Republican be elected the next President of the United States. The nominees most likely will be Hillary Clinton for Democrats and John "Jeb" Bush for the Republicans. Both have a huge cash advantage over any opposing candidates. If any candidate for Republican Jeb Bush should upset him, their chances of winning would be even less than Jeb's chances. The betting odds as of today are as follows: Hillary winning at 13 to 10, meaning if you bet $10 you would win $13. Not exactly long odds. Regarding Jeb Bush the odds are 5 to 1. If you bet $1 on him and he won, you would receive $5. Much longer odds than Hillary.
 
 
+41 # Shades of gray matter 2015-02-23 12:52
Instead of "RAISE TAXES on the rich," where people hear "RAISE TAXES," why not "FAIR AND REASONABLE taxes for those who can EASILY AFFORD to pay," and who benefit the most.
 
 
0 # Justice Lady 2015-02-26 15:25
Why not give the community what is created by the community ,the rental value of the land (& all natural resources included in the term "land", & let the idividual keep the rewards from his or her own labor? It all goes back to monopoly & the natural monopolys should be owned by the government as writtten in "Social Problems" By H. Gearge
 
 
+87 # JSRaleigh 2015-02-23 12:56
It's a good article, but I won't be sending it out to my wing-nut, tea-bagger relatives. They don't care for reality when it intrudes upon their prejudices.
 
 
-31 # lnason@umassd.edu 2015-02-23 13:28
The US Census Bureau reports that Minnesota taxes as a percentage of state GDP decreased from 18.58% in Dayton's first year in office, 2011, to 17.60% last year. Both state and local taxes showed a small reduction over this time frame.

Since the state and local governments were taking less money from the private sector, no one should be surprised that the economy is doing fairly well.

Presenting Dayton's actions as increasing taxes is disingenuous at best.

Lee Nason
New Bedford, Massachusetts
 
 
+41 # Ray Kondrasuk 2015-02-23 13:52
Lee, might that be read as hiking the taxes on upper incomes stimulates the economy enough to lower taxes overall?
 
 
+16 # reiverpacific 2015-02-23 18:01
Quoting Ray Kondrasuk:
Lee, might that be read as hiking the taxes on upper incomes stimulates the economy enough to lower taxes overall?


Oh save y'r weary digits; this character is another'n who speculates rather than illuminates.
Their favorite cliché is, from recent posts "disingenuous at best".
 
 
+7 # Ken Halt 2015-02-23 22:16
Don't confuse her by citing facts!
 
 
0 # Buddha 2015-03-09 11:56
Probably more that she stat Lee posts is from 2011, Dayton's first year in office. The tax increase occurred two years later.
 
 
+24 # Malcolm 2015-02-23 16:37
Lee, certainly it's easy to lie with statistics, and equally easy to misinterpret them. But Gibson was not being disingenuous, because he did NOT say that Dayton INCREASED TAXES. He simply reported the fact that Dayton raised taxes-vey modestly, in my humble opinion-on "the rich" (in this case, those making so much money that they won't be seriously impacted by the change.

IF your census bureau data are correct, that's great! But it doesn't mean Gibson wasn't reporting the facts accurately.
 
 
+7 # economagic 2015-02-23 21:50
The most widely recognized measure of tax burden is as percent of personal income, NOT percent of GDP. The latter figure is essentially meaningless, as rapid "growth" (usually meaning growth in GDP--usually GSP at the state level) would offset that decline, as Ray K tentatively points out.
 
 
-2 # Merlin 2015-02-24 02:34
Hey Lee,
I know I can’t call you John Gault, he was a guy. So what do they call lady Gaults, in your neck of the woods? Lee Gault? L. Nason Gault? You know, all you believers in Ayn Rand and trickle down economics? That “voodoo economics” as Bush 41 called the Great St. Ronny’s economic scam.

Just between you and me, (you can trust me Lee, it’l just be our secret,) do you and that guy P. Ryan Gault get together and talk over lunch? What do you talk about? Investments, economics? Or do you plot where you will be disappearing to.

Anyway, I gotta run. Fun talking with ya!

Later
 
 
-16 # MidwestTom 2015-02-23 14:58
During the 1950's and 60's when the Federal government spent money it received over $2.00 in benefits; by the 1990's the return had dropped to $0.53 per dollar spent; in 2012 the return was only $0.03 for every dollar spent. Today the number is surely negative. Government investment minus interest cost must be larger than tax income minus spending, or the country is sinking financially. We have covered our deficits by selling bonds. Our bond debt is so high that the Fed just keep interest rates at or near zero. Both Russia and China have stopped buying our bonds, but Belgium (probably buying for the Fed secretly) is now buying most of our bonds.

In the near future we will be forced to drastically raise taxes, and cut spending in order to survive as a nation.
 
 
+11 # reiverpacific 2015-02-23 17:58
Quoting MidwestTom:
During the 1950's and 60's when the Federal government spent money it received over $2.00 in benefits; by the 1990's the return had dropped to $0.53 per dollar spent; in 2012 the return was only $0.03 for every dollar spent. Today the number is surely negative. Government investment minus interest cost must be larger than tax income minus spending, or the country is sinking financially. We have covered our deficits by selling bonds. Our bond debt is so high that the Fed just keep interest rates at or near zero. Both Russia and China have stopped buying our bonds, but Belgium (probably buying for the Fed secretly) is now buying most of our bonds.

In the near future we will be forced to drastically raise taxes, and cut spending in order to survive as a nation.


Could you -just for once- provide us with some credible source for y'r contentions instead of wild contentions, especially about Belgium.
I'm a self-confessed economic nutter but at least I try to learn something from these articles and don't just stick my big neb in to seem knowledgeable, as an outlet for "Sound and fury, signifying nothing".
So -let's 'ave it mate!
 
 
-3 # Justice Lady 2015-02-25 15:59
I agree with your basic premise that this government is in a very bad state. And the main reason is that we fail to look right under our feet for the only really legitimate revenue.Land values (imcluiding all oHenry George said it all in "Progress & Poverty"(the most widely read book of the 19th cebtury prased highly by Einstein , Tolstoy & many others, (& his other works, "Social Problems" "Protection or Free Trade " etc.)
 
 
+11 # Merlin 2015-02-23 20:40
Hey Tom!
Ever heard of the Triune Brain? There are three parts to the human brain. Tri=3 get it? Good. Now we know that the lizard brain came first. Fight and flight, and all that, OK? But then humans developed what they call the Limbic system. That is the part that actually sees other people and cares about them. It allowed humans to become social. Lastly came the Neocortex. The thinking, reasoning part. You know the part we judge intelligence by.

In reading your many posts over a long period of time, it has become apparent what is wrong with you, and why you keep writing all these totally off base posts!

You are missing your Limbic system! You know, the part that actually sees people and cares about them. Look at your posts man! Never a word about people, their needs, feelings or their humanity. This post is typical. Nothing but a lot of numbers, percentages and non human conclusions. Are you a real human? Or are you a robotic figure that looks like a human?

Continued below
 
 
+7 # Merlin 2015-02-23 20:41
I would compare you with “Mr. Spock,” but although similar in that you both are emotionless, Spock applied his Neocortex to helping people, even though he did it with no emotion. All you see is money, investments, return on investments, fear of your investments failing, fear of soulless corporations failing which will affect your bottom line, the government taxing you, the government taxing corporations that will mean less money in your pocket.

No, “you are no Mr. Spock!”

You are the living effigy of John Gault. And I suspect a deep admirer of Ayn Rand and her devoted deciples; Alan Greenspan and Paul Ryan.

If I ever find your Limbic system, I will take a page from your book, and sell it to you for everything you’ve got.
 
 
+7 # economagic 2015-02-23 21:51
Tom, it just doesn't work that way. The US economy is in trouble, but by no means for that reason.
 
 
-5 # MidwestTom 2015-02-23 15:16
Companies do not move quickly, usually they take several years to relocate. As an example, last year Toyota announced that they will be moving their development and engineering to Texas from California to save money. The move, announced in 2014, is expected to be complete by 2017, moving over 5000 highly paid jobs. The time to review the effects of state policies is several years after a change.
 
 
+9 # Ken Halt 2015-02-23 22:05
Now that the conservative ascendancy has rendered the US a third world country, there are still divisions within divisions. If the citizens of CA won't bend over for corporate reaming the corporations will take their nasty biz to a populace that will. Texas is the perfect place, and they deserve it! And 5,000 highly paid jobs? I don't believe it, corporations don't pay anymore than they have to and with the suppression of unions they have the upper hand. If they're going to Texas it's not to reward Texans with high paying jobs.
 
 
+3 # suzyskier 2015-02-23 20:23
Just determined to be negative Midwest Tom?
 
 
+1 # joe_me 2015-02-24 15:51
His Target fortune deserves support & increase daily for his position taken congrats Gov Dayton you got some big cojones.
 
 
-1 # pagrad 2015-02-26 07:32
The Republican political party philosophy has been a failure for the last 100 years!
Google it. Any high school student with a credible education knows that it wouldn’t work. Unfortunately, many American voters haven’t had a good education, either, so they can’t distinguish it.
 
 
+2 # Justice Lady 2015-02-26 15:32
Yes the Republican ecocnomic philosophy has been a failure & so has the Democrats, which is why the voters just keep shufling back & forth. The truth is that neither of themn address the real problem. There is a lack of oportunity because the natural resources are monopolised & speculation keeps those who would use it productively from doing so. Our tax laws which reward speculation & penalize industry are to blame.
 
 
-1 # Rolande_Morger 2015-02-28 13:36
"He’s also agreed to raise Minnesota’s minimum wage to $9.50 an hour by 2018"
Why are progressives cheering about this?? NOBODY can support a family on $18,ooo/year! Why do we repeatedly applaud empty gestures like this as if they were real victories? By 2018?! How about DAY 1 of being in office? How about TODAY? Wake up, people. Demand a LIVING WAGE for EVERYBODY and make labels like "low income" and "working class" HISTORY. Not "someday" or "2018" (when will he be up for re-election? co-incidence, I'm sure)... TODAY!
 

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