Peculiar politics in Minnesota

Reeling from deficits and future shortfalls, Gov. Mark Dayton of Minnesota has proposed a bold (or downright stupid) plan that would tax his state’s wealthiest denizens more punitively than many others across the country, and certainly more than his neighbors'.

The Democrat governor’s plan would impose nearly an 11 percent income tax rate, along with a 3 percent income surtax, on those with incomes over $500,000, followed by even higher property taxes on their homes. In his infinite wisdom, the governor is taking a page out of Obamanomics where he believes the wealthy contain all the solutions to what ails the Democrats’ spending problems — or at least their money does.

Apparently, Gov. Dayton believes in the old saw, “Give till it hurts.” To hear his office respond, the governor is simply trying to balance the budget. So does he succeed with such a confiscatory scheme? Uh, no. You heard right, folks. Even with the punitive taxes, and the near-certain reality that many of these folks will simply slip across the borders should such a plan go through, Gov. Dayton’s plan would only trim his state’s deficit by half. Half. Jacking taxes to the levels only seen in France and Germany, and this so-called budget can’t even eliminate his own state’s deficit? C’mon.

But think about it: Even then, this shortfall gap he’s trying to close is only for one year! There may be spending cuts, but the tax hikes will remain. What does the governor propose for future years?

The point here is, once again, Democrats only want to treat the symptoms, never the problems of their spending disease. More taxes aren’t the answer; not at those levels, and not singling out specific elements of society. It only stokes the flames of class warfare that will take years to douse. It’s no wonder the House Republican Speaker called the plan “pathetic.” One would think the governor would approach such a serious problem with more serious ideas and workable solutions.

His plan is naive and counterproductive. Most wealthy people create their wealth not through jobs located at a particular location, but by creating value added to the economy. This is in the form of entrepreneurial activity, creativity, hard work, and constant motivation. These attributes are easily transportable out of state, to the detriment of the remaining state citizens who are deficient in these skills. Consequently, with the movement of these wealthy people, they take not only the income, but also the jobs they create and the support of the civic activities. I am certain the governors of Florida, Texas and Tennessee, which have no income taxes, would welcome the wealthy tax refugees from Minnesota.


Armstrong Williams is on Sirius/XM Power 169, 7-8 p.m. and 4-5 a.m., Monday through Friday. Become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/arightside, and follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/arightside.