ST. PAUL LEGAL LEDGER CAPITOL REPORT Legendary playwright and poet Oscar Wilde famously scoffed at cynics who seemed to know “the price of everything, and the value of nothing.” And that critique might apply to those who focus too much on the net revenue increases in Gov. Mark Dayton’s tax-and-budget plan unveiled this week, and not enough on the enormous value of the public investments for which those taxes pay. Long-term a... Read More
ST PAUL LEGAL LEDGER CAPITOL REPORT Whether to strive for a monumentally historic session or simply a politically safe product — whether to reach for brass rings or get down to a few brass tacks — is the big strategic choice facing Gov. Dayton and the 2013 Legislature. In my last Capitol Report column, I offered some cheap advice, based on 40 years of Legislature-watching, urging that long-term goals (brass rings) be establishe... Read More
ST. PAUL LEGAL LEDGER CAPITOL REPORT A history lesson about the possibilities of productive legislative achievement — drawing from the landmark session of 1973 under brand new DFL legislative majorities and a DFL governor at mid-term — was offered in an article by veteran St. Paul Pioneer Press reporter Bill Salisbury this week. That 1973 session, Salisbury wrote, ”provided consumer and environmental protections, boosted wom... Read More
ST. PAUL LEGAL LEDGER CAPITOL REPORT This month the Duluth News Tribune published an editorial-page spread with pro-and-con on a most delightful post-election trend: Elected officials are reneging on the no-new-taxes pledge foisted on them for more than 20 years by anti-government taxophobe Grover Norquist, powerful president of Americans for Tax Reform. (“Deform” would be more accurate.) A key element in the op-ed layout was an e... Read More
ST. PAUL LEGAL LEDGER CAPITOL REPORT We may just be reaching a consensus on what most Minnesotans and most Americans really believe about taxes and the size and role of their governments in an increasingly diverse state and nation. First, amid all the exultation over a “New America,” let’s just make it clear that conservatism’s death has been greatly exaggerated. That durable philosophy is very much alive, if not all t... Read More
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