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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Minnesota Business Climate? Depends on Who You Ask

Category: Minnesota Politics
Posted: 07/20/07 16:30, Edited: 07/20/07 16:43

by Dave Mindeman

The Red Wing Republican Eagle newspaper had a story with this headline:

Murphy, Wollschlager face heat over tax plan

The "heat" these Democrats had to endure didn't come from random constituents. No, this "heat" came from the Red Wing Area Chamber of Commerce. The tax plan referred to was the vetoed property tax reform bill that shifted some of the tax burden to the wealthier citizens of the state, while giving property tax relief to homeowners. A bill that had a net tax increase of zero.

The reason for the heat was quoted in this way:

Meeting attendees warned the legislators the state?s highest earners would migrate to less costly states if such measures became law.

This isn't the first time a Minnesota Chamber chapter has brought up this "threat". In fact, they use it ad nauseum. Wealthy Minnesotans and businesses must be so "tax conscious" that they would be willing to pull up stakes and leave their homes and family at the audacity of being asked to contribute more for our states obligations.

It is noteworthy that most chamber chapters are on record as being in favor of a gas tax increase.... so I guess some tax increases are in order as long as we keep our hands off the people who can most afford it.

It would be a little difficult to satisfy this group on tax policy. After all, if wealthier citizens are looking for greener pastures, there are plenty of them. New Hampshire, Florida, Nevada, and Wyoming have no income tax at all... Alaska gives its citizens rebates on oil revenues. Oregon, Montana, and Delaware have no sales tax. But, with the exception of Stanley Hubbard who left for warmer climes in Florida, most of Minnesota's "elite" have stayed.

Why? Because the overall business climate is good here. Although Minnesota ranks high in tax revenue raised, Forbes magazine (not exactly a liberal source) decided to study all aspects of business climate...setting up a ranking of The Best States for Business (September, 2006). The result? Minnesota ranks 14th in the nation overall. That's ahead of Iowa (25th), Wisconsin (39th), South Dakota (17th) and just behind North Dakota (13th). Minnesota was ranked 14th for our labor force, 20th for regulatory environment, and most importantly, Forbes ranked Minnesota #3 for quality of life.

Before the chamber starts counting the number of wealthy Minnesotans who would bail out on Minnesota because of taxes, they might want to look at the Forbes picture....life is not measured by taxes alone.
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Take On Impeachment

Posted: 07/18/07 17:48

By Tom Hammond

Dear Lou Dobbs,

When I was a small boy during WW II, I would climb out of bed and stand at attention when I heard the Star Spangled Banner played on the radio. I have always loved this country.

I never thought I would witness America torturing prisoners, illegally spying on our citizens, suspending the writ of habeas corpus, lying us into war,and all the other incredible events that have taken place under George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

Lou, you have done such a wonderful job of championing issues like illegal immigration, I beg you to take on the challenge of impeachment. Rally Americans to impeach Bush and Cheney before they destroy our beloved country. I realize that impeachment is a drastic measure meant only for drastic times. But these are the drastic times our founding fathers were talking about.

You have the courage and the platform. Sound the call for IMPEACHMENT! Help restore our country to where young children will be proud to stand at attention when the National Anthem is played.

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Norm Coleman Vindicated? For What He Didn't Do?

Category: Minnesota Politics
Posted: 07/18/07 16:40

by Dave Mindeman

Norm Coleman feels vindicated. The Pioneer Press talks about it.. Coleman says paper validates his probe.

Vindication is his word. Norm says the British examination of George Galloway justifies his probe of the alleged oil for food scandal that occurred before the Iraq War. Norm initiated this probe as Chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

But does it vindicate Norm for the investigations he didn't pursue?

During his tenure, he could have investigated:

-- the Intel reports on WMD's
-- Halliburton's excess millions in overcharges
-- the Jessica Lynch coverup
-- the Pat Tillman coverup
-- the production problems for MRAP vehicles
-- the Valerie Plame leak
-- the secret wiretapping program
-- Abu Ghraib
-- Guantanomo
-- loss of Habeas Corpus
-- anything about Dick Cheney

Vindication may be too strong a word here, Norm. You may want to think twice about examining your obligations as chair of that committee.

Vindication isn't the word I would choose.
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