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
In a forum for gubernatorial candidates early this week, I heard GOP candidate Tom Emmer extol tax reform efforts in Rhode Island as a possible model for encouraging economic development under an Emmer administration. In June, I wrote about the Rhode Island measure, pointing out its tax reforms were positive but any economic impact claims were unproven.To hear such praise for the Rhode Island reforms, you'd think the nation's tiniest stat... Read More
In Minnesota's public policy circles, the late Nancy Latimer is widely considered a pioneering statewide leader, one of the most respected influences on the conscience and direction of our state. Latimer, who died in 2006, worked hard and effectively and quietly over three decades, at the McKnight Foundation and in other roles, building a case and a network for more and better investment in early childhood develop... 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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