Imagine one of our state's larger high schools or smaller college campuses, with an enrollment of roughly 2,500 students. Now try to imagine every single student in that school or college as homeless, trying to function, learn and build a path toward a career, without a safe or certain place to sleep at night. The latest newsletter from Catholic Charities of Minneapolis and St. Paul cites a Wilder Foundation estimate that at any given time ... Read More
I've heard infinite versions of "don't tax me'' or "taxing me or my customers more will destroy my business AND the economy'' in my decades under the dome. And last week's opposition at a House hearing to ending sales tax exemptions on business services was typical in many respects. Just because these fears often turn out unfounded _ our economy was performing better, in the 1990s, w... Read More
Back in 2007 when Growth & Justice was presenting its Invest for Real Prosperity tax proposals to the legislature, I recall a member waxing nostalgically about his parents hauling the family across the North Dakota border to buy untaxed clothing in Minnesota. The point of his anecdote was that if Minnesota lowered its sales tax and broadened its tax base—as economists recommend—this lucrative cross-border school clothing traffic... Read More
We have this week a confluence of events that ought to lift our hopes and sharpen our resolve to reduce racial and economic inequality in our state and nation, and to build a more inclusive prosperity. The hope comes from the momentous coincidence today of Martin Luther King's official birthday observance and a re-inauguration, after a convincing re-election, of the first African-American president of the United States. Michelle... Read More
Just over a week ago, I did a post about the impact of earmarks on the availability of funds to fix roads and bridges. (Short version: Earmarks have an effect, but fixing them won't fix the investment problem.) For the piece, I relied on some 2004 numbers from the US Department of Transportation (USDoT). It turns out there are 2006 numbers available. As you might guess, the estimated costs are higher, so the new data doesn't affect my argument. I... Read More
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