Minnesota Democrats discover their party really likes taxes

posted at 11:21 am on February 15, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Via my former radio partner Mitch Berg, the Associated Press brings us an example of willful political blindness from right here in my home state.  Patrick Condon reports on prominent businessmen who have built and/or run successful organizations, and yet never realized that their support for the DFL (Minnesota’s name for the Democratic Party) and Mark Dayton would mean –gasp — higher taxes.  Now that Dayton and the DFL-controlled state legislature has pushed through its higher-spending agenda, they want to hike taxes on those same businesses. Suddenly, the scales have begun to fall from their eyes:

Dik Bolger is a lifelong Minnesota Democrat, a gray-bearded baby boomer with a braid down his back whose Minneapolis printing company’s plant displays work by local artists and sculptors. He backed Mark Dayton for governor, but his take on the Democratic chief executive’s plan for new business taxes could be the voice-over for a Republican campaign commercial.

“We’re screwed,” Bolger said, if the tax goes through.  His 79-year-old company competes nationwide and overseas for work with major brands like Chanel. “If you’re bidding for a $100,000 job on a national basis and tax expenses push you a couple of percent higher, then I’m not competitive.”

What about people whose business is to manage money and wealth?  Shouldn’t they have been able to do the math on the DFL’s big-spending agenda?

“I’m the kind of person willing to pay more in taxes because of all the attributes and benefits Minnesota offers,” said John Taft, CEO of Minneapolis-based RBC Wealth Management. “But you do reach a tipping point where the cost of government gets too high and this would push us past that tipping point.”

Excuse me, but one can always pay higher taxes voluntarily.  What Taft means in this case is more like this: I’m the kind of person willing to force everyone else to pay more in taxes, until it hammers my own bottom line.  That’s apparently the tipping point for Taft, Bolger, and the other businessmen who supported Dayton and the DFL without reconciling the need to actually pay for all of the “attributes and benefits” that they promised.

These taxes will hammer small businesses harder than large businesses, as do most tax and regulatory policies.  Larger businesses are more self-sufficient and can avoid more business-to-business transactions, but also their economies of scale mean that they can spread the costs out more efficiently, allowing them more flexibility on prices and profit pressures.  Small businesses don’t have those advantages, and this means that these tax hikes will impact their ability to compete against larger players in their fields.

Of course, people like Taft and Bolger have options, as neighboring states have already begun to remind Minnesota business owners:

To the east, Wisconsin is like a photo negative of Minnesota politically.  On the day Dayton unveiled his tax proposal, Republican Gov. Scott Walker said he might “put a little bit more of a push” into luring Minnesota companies.  He had already put Wisconsin “Open for Business” billboards along Minnesota borders; he’s now pushing for a $340 million income tax cut.

South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard‘s administration has sponsored print and radio ads and direct mail directed at unhappy executives.

“Tired of Taxes? Call Me,” read the postcards.

Bolger says he won’t move, but he won’t be able to keep his staffing at the current size, either:

But he said his Bolger Printing company had to shed more than 100 of his 320 jobs because of the recession, and “I never want to go through that again” if he starts losing jobs to lower cost competitors.

“I’m a 58-year-old Minnesota boy. Wisconsin is probably not in my future,” Bolger said. “But I would have to shrink employees, decent middle class jobs. I thought that’s what this is about.”

Not really, no, and many Minnesotans knew that before the election — obviously, not enough of them, though.  To the rest who are shocked, shocked by DFL tax hikes on businesses  and sales tax (including the clothing exemption that brings out-of-state shoppers to the Mall of America), this Captain Louis Renault award is for you.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Deserving people should be rewarded. It is nice to see this happen.

burt on February 15, 2013 at 5:41 PM

America ALWAYS getshe government it deserves so excuse me for NOT being shocked that the CLUELESS democrats in Minnesota discovered they just sat on a barbwired enema tube.

Actions have consequences just as does lethargy.

DannoJyd on February 15, 2013 at 5:46 PM

To quote a now decades old movie “Welcome to the party, pal!”

Fynxbell on February 15, 2013 at 5:51 PM

Bend Forward!

DavidM on February 15, 2013 at 6:25 PM

Wisconsin definitely doesn’t want these business people moving in, especially that Taft guy. They would just bring their big government mindset with them. They still haven’t really learned the lesson that stupid people like them should have learned, they just think that it’s not fair that their businesses were affected.

AZfederalist on February 15, 2013 at 8:02 PM

I’m a 58-year-old Minnesota boy. Wisconsin is probably not in my future,” Bolger said.

His 79-year-old company

Ah…of course. It’s Daddy’s business and this hippy dipstick inherited it and is in the process of running it into the ground. That’s pretty much the sissy/liberal model — born with money, happy to call for higher taxes…until.

Jaibones on February 15, 2013 at 8:25 PM

Bolger says he won’t move

I’d tell him he can’t move. You wanted Dayton, now you got him. Live with it.

TulsAmerican on February 15, 2013 at 9:15 PM

You reap what you sow.

COgirl on February 15, 2013 at 11:03 PM

Better to move to the Dakotas. They have oil and gas and lower taxes. Also, if there is the “divorce”, they will be on the right side.

Mirimichi on February 16, 2013 at 1:22 AM

Higher taxes!

Oh wait, I thought that meant higher taxes for everyone else?

It’s very simple to understand. When you are frivolously spending, you very quickly run out of other people’s money.

Democrats can simply not deliver the utopia they’ve promised. It’s collapsing the economy and that destruction will continue until people realize it’s the big lie.

Look no further than states like Wisconsin and Texas for models that work.

Demonizing people doesn’t work when folks can look across the border and see how much better their neighbor is doing.

Marcus Traianus on February 16, 2013 at 6:41 AM

What’s best for the corporate sector isn’t always good for Americans. Many of those profits have come from laying people off, cutting wages, eliminating pensions and other cost-cutting measures that are the direct result of greed not anything the Obama Administration has done or not done.
 
libfreeordie on September 2, 2012 at 11:50 AM

 
http://hotair.com/archives/2012/09/02/video-axelrod-dodges-the-better-off-four-years-ago-question/comment-page-1/#comments

rogerb on February 16, 2013 at 6:45 AM

I support Obama!–No wait!!!

You screwed yourselves and the rest of us along with you.

I don’t like you very much.

Sherman1864 on February 16, 2013 at 9:44 AM

What’s best for the corporate sector isn’t always good for Americans. Many of those profits have come from laying people off, cutting wages, eliminating pensions and other cost-cutting measures that are the direct result of greed not anything the Obama Administration has done or not done.

libfreeordie on September 2, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Don’t worry libfree Governor Moonshine and the DFL plan on expanding our Sales tax as well. When corporations pay more in taxes they pass that expense on to their customers. Eventually the end user pays all of those expenses + profit or the business goes under. Voting DFL always means trickle down taxation.

jpmn on February 16, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Ah Minnesota Schadenfreude, brewed in the state, kept in secret dark liberal think tanks, only served at the start of a term in office and denied that they wanted it. Best served ice cold with a hint of hypocrisy to give that burst of irony. You wanted it Minnesota, now drink rhe Witches brew you voted for, as we laugh at the ” elections have consequences” reactions. Sweet for me but not for thee. BWHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

stormridercx4 on February 16, 2013 at 12:31 PM

Great comment thread but I have to say this: I live in a 3rd ring suburb of the Mpls/St.Paul geography. I’ve watched the Dems leave Mpls and St. Paul b/c of crime and taxes. But they move out and continue to vote Democrat.

Either they’re too stupid to figure out it’s the Democrat policies that cause the problems or ?????? can’t think of anything else. But the worst is, those of us who “get it” get stuck with them and their fantasy world of a better city through OPP (other people’s money) in their new city.

Lefties will never get it – they won’t listen. During gun hearings this past week, the Dems left when challenged by people who understood what’s at stake with taking away our guns.

Then there’s our questionable elections but not for today.

MN J on February 16, 2013 at 10:35 PM

Great comment thread but I have to say this: I live in a 3rd ring suburb of the Mpls/St.Paul geography. I’ve watched the Dems leave Mpls and St. Paul b/c of crime and taxes. But they move out and continue to vote Democrat.

MN J on February 16, 2013 at 10:35 PM

If things are that bad, MOVE! I did when I discovered there was no way I could have an actual life in Illinois, and my family thinks it was the best idea I’ve ever had, while my friends still in ChiTcago think I was nuts to do so.

Today they remain cowering in their overpriced shacks scared that today will be THE DAY they are attacked by the criminal element there. The mere thought of a firearm scars them as well.

DannoJyd on February 17, 2013 at 1:09 AM

‘Ones Demise is always one’s own making’

Hello Voters… You’re screwed! Guess who’s to blame!?

I’ll give you a hint: there’s a bullet sized hole in your shoe and there’s a smoking gun in your hand.

Chaz706 on February 17, 2013 at 1:31 AM

It is great to see another Blue State going down the same crapper as my own native state of California. Just keep voting Democrat, people. That will equal high taxes, a terrible business climate, and a bankrupt state. That must be the “attributes” that this hippie whack-job wants.

Rogervzv on February 17, 2013 at 12:56 PM

Unfortunately, because Obama is just as reliant upon large corporate donations as the GOP he can never talk about the growth in anti-employee initiatives within the private sector, thats the verboten topic in American politics.

libfreeordie on September 2, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Yet, after the 2008 campaign of Hope and Change, and four years of destroying the republic, topped with 2012 campaign of Forward, ole JugEars earns fore more years to complete his destruction of the US.

Way to go, Libs.

socalcon on February 17, 2013 at 9:45 PM

The Captain Louis Renault award is off base.

Captain Louis Renault was handed his winnings at the end. The productive people of Minnesota are being handed the bill.

krome on February 19, 2013 at 10:54 AM

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