Another Blue State Outperforms A Typical Koch Fueled Red State Failure

Americans continue hearing that the Republican path to prosperity for all is enacting harsh austerity and trickle-down economics that work fabulously for the uber-rich, but produce mammoth deficits, kill jobs, and increase poverty for the masses. It is not, by any means, an unintended consequence that Republican economics are tailored for their donors, slash revenue, and transfer wealth to the rich; it is by design. As Americans have witnessed over the past three decades, every time Republicans are in power and trash the economy whether in states or nationally, it takes electing a Democrat to clean up the GOP trickle-down mess, pay off their debts, create jobs, and put the economy back on track.

It is likely that one of the best recent examples (Barack Obama is not recent) of a Democrat cleaning up an economic disaster and outperforming a red state is Minnesota’s Democratic Governor Mark Dayton. Now, what is unique about Dayton is that besides being a politician, he is a certified member of the one-percent and a billionaire; albeit one with conviction to serve the people.

When he took office, Dayton inherited a $6.2 billion budget deficit from Republican Tim Pawlenty who claimed and prided himself as being the “first truly fiscally-conservative governor in modern history;” a title economic failure Sam Brownback of Kansas now proudly claims as his own. Pawlenty’s claim to fame, like Brownback et al, and greatest source of pride, was that he never ever raised state taxes; he also never created more than 6,300 jobs in eight years, or ever displayed his fiscal conservative bona fides (see $6.2 billion deficit) when dealing with the state budget.

Enter billionaire Mark Dayton who raised the state’s income tax on the rich by 1%, guaranteed equal pay for women, and raised the minimum wage. The results speak for themselves. In less than four years, Governor Dayton added 172,000 new jobs to Minnesota’s economy; 165,800 more his first term than Pawlenty added in two terms combined. Republicans claim higher income taxes kill jobs, and Minnesota’s tax rates are the 4th highest in America, but the state’s unemployment rate is 5th-lowest in the nation at 3.6%. The state’s median income is also $8,000 higher than the national average that is a major contributor to economic growth and perpetuates down-stream job creation; something Republicans reject out of hand and claim is impossible.

As of last year, higher state taxes and higher government spending has Minnesota’s private sector job growth higher than pre-Republican Great Recession levels, and the state economy is the 5th fastest growing in the nation. It is the kind of a statistic that inspired Forbes to rank Minnesota in the top ten best states for business. Gallup says economic confidence in Minnesota is the highest in the nation, and it is a result of doing exactly the opposite of what Republicans and the Koch brothers convinced states like Kansas, Illinois, New Jersey, Louisiana, and Wisconsin to do; cut taxes for the rich, cut education, and impose harsh austerity measures.

For a comparison with a neighboring state with Republican governor, Koch employee Scott Walker’s famous “Wisconsin Open for Business” agenda has Wisconsin sitting at a distant 32nd on the Forbes top states for business list, Wisconsin’s job creation is 38th in the nation, and Wisconsin is tied with Iowa for last place in the Midwest for creating private sector jobs. Where Dayton’s tax hikes on the wealthy have Minnesotan’s income $8,000 higher than the national average, Walker drove his state’s median income down to $900 below than the national average; a result of imposing ‘right to work’ laws and abolishing workers’ collective bargaining rights. Remember that Walker equated eliminating worker rights with crushing violent extremists and murdering terrorists; all he crushed was economic prosperity for Wisconsin residents.

It was not an easy ride for Governor Dayton’s economic agenda, and except for typical Republican opposition, Dayton did not have to resort to heavy-handed pressure for support. In typical GOP style, state representative Mark Uglem did precisely what Republicans at the state and national level always do when Democrats propose raising taxes on the rich; fear monger that businesses would flee the state en masse, kill jobs, and wipeout the economy. The same economy Republicans and Pawlenty spent eight years destroying.

Uglem issued a stern warning to Governor Dayton saying prior to the 1% tax hike on the wealthy and guaranteed that “the job creators, the big corporations, the small corporations, they will leave. It’s all dollars and sense to them.” It is a tired, worn-out warning that Republicans parrot by rote regardless they are always wrong and the opposite is always true.

Despite the Republicans’ claim that an agenda that includes raising taxes and the minimum wage would eviscerate the state’s businesses, kill jobs, wipe out revenue, and deny workers the wealth Republicans promised tax cuts for the rich would produce, the results speak for themselves. Dayton’s results, like any Democrat’s results, were that within one year of his tax hikes an additional 6,230 Minnesotans filed in the top income tax bracket, and that higher revenue provided the state with a $1 billion budget surplus that Dayton pledged to reinvest over a third back into the public schools.

Where Dayton accomplished enacting his agenda was through gaining electoral support from the people the right way; actually making it easier to register to vote by creating an online voter registration system. The reason Gov. Dayton was able to radically transform Minnesota’s economy into one of the best in the nation was also not unique and utilized a very simple accounting scheme and basic arithmetic California Governor Jerry Brown used; not some magic theory or voodoo economics to enrich the wealthy. Dayton increased revenue by raising taxes on the wealthy that always turns a deficit into a surplus just like raising the minimum wage will increase the median income every time. It is a typically Democratic practice and the polar opposite of Republican governors such as Scott Walker, Sam Brownback, Chris Christie, Piyush Jindal, or any GOP governor piling on debt and deficits and cutting services to preserve tax cuts for the rich.

Republicans claim businesses love and demand the conservative economic agenda, but according to states like California and Minnesota that is a blatant lie.  In any state where education is a high budget priority coupled with economic growth leading the nation, no businesses wants to leave the state. What is curious indeed, is why voters continue electing Republicans to increase deficits, cut services, and kill jobs just to give the rich more wealth. What is even more curious, is why voters fail to see that every stinking time Republicans are in charge at the state or federal level, they squander surpluses, pile up crushing deficits, kill jobs, and retard economic growth; something a Democrat has to spend time repairing.

Perhaps with so many Republican failures at the state level, one would think red state voters can look to their blue state neighbors, come to their senses, reject stupidity, and get a clue. In the case of imbeciles in Wisconsin, they should be capable of seeing that yet another blue state, one on their Eastern border, is outperforming their typically Republican governor’s red state failure.

image: usuncut

23 Replies to “Another Blue State Outperforms A Typical Koch Fueled Red State Failure”

  1. These changes may be possible in the Midwest, but here in the Deep South the stupid and the inherent racism is too strongly entrenched.

  2. Forget Disney World…I’m a southerner who will be vacationing in MN this summer to show my support for this truly progressive state!

  3. Yep. Slaves to their own bigotry and ignorance. They’d rather live in poverty under their rich overlords, governed by Republicans beholden to them, than admit Democrats policies would be better for them. Especially with the black guy occupying the White House.

  4. “In the case of imbeciles in Wisconsin, they should be capable of seeing that yet another blue state, one on their Eastern border, is outperforming their typically Republican governor’s red state failure.”

    I’m not so sure. They reelected Walker when it was obvious what direction their economy was going. Sometimes you just can’t fix stupid.

  5. Another intelligent piece written by RMuse; thank-you!

    It’s amazing how quickly a state can repair it’s economy when it just raises 1% on the 1%.

    We once had to bail out the banks, will we have to now have to bail out the states too? That is, those states bankrupt by the GOP, Koch-fueled ideology?

  6. Not only did we get online registration in Minnesota, we got online voting.

    After the surplus was announced, the Republican party sent a plea, via our Facebook news feeds,for people to write and demand it be returned to the voters in the form of rebates. It did my heart good to read the comments beneath, for they were overwhelmingly tilted, by what must have been about 20 to 1, by people saying basically that they want the state to keep it, to invest in education, infrastructure, the future, more jobs, to take care of those who need help, and to save for a rainy day. They wanted to continue to build and progress.

    A few days later, that plea disappeared from my feed, and a new plea showed up. This time they wanted us to demand our tax money back because the state had supposedly taxed us too much. But the comments underneath were still the same.

    I added to them both times.

    They want to get rid of the surplus quickly so they can call for austerity. And we are saying n…

  7. The 2015-16 CA $4.2 billion state budget surplus
    (Brown inherited a $25 billion deficit in 2011)

    California’s debt was caused by years of republican borrow and spend beginning with governor Reagan’s trickle-down scheme.
    With Surplus in Hand, California Eyes Debt

    We paid Texas Enron’s ransome and we never got it back

    Enron defrauded California out of billions during energy crisis
    Roughly $30 BILLION

  8. Us “imbeciles” here in Wisconsin did not offer our state up to be hacked apart and sold off. It’s being stolen.

    By the way, Walker’s latest victory netted him 52% of a 55% turnout in 2014. For whatever reason, about 3/4 of Wisconsin’s imbeciles did not vote for the fascist.

    Go figure.

  9. I agree that Minnesota is kicking Wisconsin’s butt, both economically and in supporting higher education, but R. Muse should have said “Wisconsin’s Western border” if he was referring to MN. Walker is nothing more than a Koch stooge, who is totally bought and paid for by the far right wing Koch brothers and their like-minded plutocrat cronies. Minnesota rocks!!

  10. As a person born and raised in MN. who has had much exposure to people from the south coming here, please leave the thinking process of the south, in the south. Other wise, you are welcome.

  11. Mn is surrounded by right to work States and the right to work for less people are eyeing Mn with green eyes of envy, hoping to infiltrate this State. We in Mn had better be at every election and vote or these people could run over and win..We should not be so smug, these people wait in the wings for such an attitude and then they pounce, and win. Look to Wis and see what happened there. They lost their Unions, lost good Governship, lost good paying jobs all because the people did not come out to vote and run the Koch funded creep out.

  12. The GOP is a party for business; therefore, it seeks policies that generate more revenues and less expenses for businesses. Example, less wages for people means lower expenses for businesses and more profits; needs for bank loans and pawn store businesses assuring repetitive flows of sales and profits in business operations. Keeping incomes low assures needs for credit cards and debt for people. Dismantling consumer protections laws reduces controls over business operations and creates opportunities to dupe, fool & rob people without any governmental regulation. Government services dismantled such as US Postal Services creates business opportunities and reduces competition for private commercial services such as FEDX and UPS that lobbied to dismantle them. Dismantled governmental programs of social security and medicare generates huge business opportunities for insurance and investment brokerages which accounts plainly state, CAN LOSE VALUE. GOP serves business while exploiting people.

  13. Wisconsin’s middle class is shrinking faster than in any other state

    Inequality is rising and the American middle class is shrinking. But nowhere is it shrinking faster than in Wisconsin:

    In 2000, 54.6 percent of Wisconsin families fell into the middle class category but that has fallen to 48.9 percent in 2013, according to U.S. Census figures compiled by Pew.
    All other states showed some decline but none as great as Wisconsin’s 5.7 percent figure.

  14. …by your inane comment, I doubt any spending or thinking I do while in MN will have any direct affect on a clearly, no generation removed person such as yourself!

  15. You really want to talk generations? How about being the 12th generation in this country? And a few generations before that like back to the 1300’s. I know where I came from, do you??

  16. How do you gerrymander a state-wide election like Governor? House districts are one thing, Senate, Governor, President elections are something else.

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