Posted: 07/07/14 22:36
by Dave Mindeman
MPR has an article that tells us the GOP candidates for Governor want to make the economy an issue for the 2014 campaign.
The title of the article says that the GOP has said that Dayton has "bungled" the state economy. I have a hard time believing that any of the GOP candidates would use that term in regards to this particular state economy, but then I don't put anything past a GOP talking point.
If that is the case they want to try and make, then by all means. go for it. That will be a tall order right now.
Minnesota has recovered all of the jobs it lost during the recession and then some. It has better economic numbers than the national average and ranks high on many conservative business lists - that actually rank economic factors and not just taxation. (Which are NOT the same thing if you are looking at economics honestly). And Minnesota is putting our neighbor to the east (Wisconsin) to shame-- although Republicans still bring up Scott Walker as some kind of economic example to emulate. (Heaven forbid!)
Dayton, of course, can't take all the credit. But, if you recall, when the legislature finally passed his tax programs, the GOP rhetoric said with "certainty" that Minnesota would be on a path to ruin.
Ahhh, if this is ruin, may it please continue.
Seifert, Honour, Zellers, and Johnson have done a pretty good imitation of the Four Horseman of the Apocolypse of late. They talk about the doom and gloom that is most certainly coming. Each negative number is elevated to press release status - while the 10 positive numbers that precede and follow it are ignored.
They have recently latched onto figures that show Minnesota receipts that are not quite keeping up with projections.....look, look, look at that, they say. We are going to have a deficit, sure as I am a tax cutter....is loudly proclaimed. And yet, Minnesota now has a record budget reserve. And most economists are saying it is much too early to be concerned about a budget deficit.
And still fishing for any kind of bad news, they have latched onto businesses that are making changes that will move some jobs out of Minnesota. Medtronic comes up a lot, but as I have tried to point out frequently, the idea of this being a "tax" issue is oversimplified bunk. In fact, Medtronic officials say that although the corporate headquarters will move to Ireland, additional hiring is on tap for Minnesota's Medtronic employment.
As the MPR article points out, the statistics are, well, let's quote it.....
The statistics, though, are compelling. The state's unemployment rate is the lowest it's been in seven years. The Twin Cities has the lowest unemployment rate of any major metropolitan area in the country and in many respects the state's economy is doing better than the nation.
And as for Fortune 500 companies.....
Minnesota has lost six Fortune 500 headquarters over the past 10 years -- three under Dayton, including Medtronic, and three under Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Other firms have joined Minnesota's list of Fortune 500 companies through growth or other factors, and the state's tally is down by two compared to 2004.
If the Four Horseman want to make an economic argument, against Dayton, in 2014, by all means, take it on and go with it.
Maybe the GOP will think this is fantastic, but more realistically it is just apocalyptic fantasy.