Two months in to the legislative session, some of the more moderate and independent conservatives were daring to suggest reasonable revenue options, such as eliminating tax breaks and deductions. But then somebody yanked the chain and gave the order to get back in line. And that helps explain the letter to Gov. Dayton late last week, signed by all 37 senators in the majority caucus, affirming that they are still op... Read More
Michael O'Keefe was one of the standouts in a highly respected state cabinet that came together to help neophyte Gov. Jesse Ventura in 1999, and O'Keefe served ably as commissioner of the Department of Human Services, one of the state's largest and most complex agencies. He's also had a distinguished career as a foundation CEO (McKnight) and a college president (Minneapolis College of Art and Design), and he ... Read More
Here's a round-up of some particularly good fodder for practical progressives in the news recently: Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus is continuing to develop as a thoughtful centrist heir to David Broder and she really hit the mark with her recent commentary (headlined in the Star Tribune, "If taxes never go up, we go down''). Marcus nailed Gov. Tim Pawlenty for his recent statement implying that the U.S. has highe... Read More
University of St. Thomas finance professor John Spry asks whether Minnesota should follow Rhode Island's "bold" tax reform.Perhaps the real question is whether a bill that unanimously passes both houses is as bold as it looks.The reforms include cutting the state's top marginal income tax rate from 9.9 percent to 5.99 percent, reducing the number of tax brackets from 5 to 3, and raising the personal income tax standard deduction while... Read More
The 66th anniversary of D-Day got me to ruminating on the tremendous sacrifice and the high tax rates that we imposed on ourselves during arguably our finest hours as a nation. It also got me to thinking about the funny numbers flying around these days about our governmental costs and obligations.The way Gov. Tim Pawlenty and other government-bashing politicos would do the math, our nation now has spent between two and three times more on our war... Read More
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