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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 2/26/15

What happens when you tax the rich and raise the minimum wage? Meet one of USA's best economies

Author 87505
Message Daily Kos

Reprinted from www.dailykos.com by Walter Einenkel


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When Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton took office in 2011, Minnesota had more than a $6 billion dollar deficit and an unemployment rate of 7%. Today, Minnesota's unemployment rate is now below 4% and they have a budget surplus of over $1.2 billion dollars. How did Mark Dayton do this? Did he heed his Republican opponent Tom Emmer's advice?
Make no mistake, government cannot create the jobs we need to turn our economy around, but private business people can. State government can either help improve the necessary business climate -- as I will do if elected governor -- or it can hurt job development, as my opponents' proposals to maintain the status quo would do.
No.
No, he didn't.
During his first four years in office, Gov. Dayton raised the state income tax from 7.85 to 9.85 percent on individuals earning over $150,000, and on couples earning over $250,000 when filing jointly -- a tax increase of $2.1 billion. He's also agreed to raise Minnesota's minimum wage to $9.50 an hour by 2018, and passed a state law guaranteeing equal pay for women.
We all know that equal pay for women is a slippery slope that leads to voting rights and the loss of corsets and hoop skirts. Mark Dayton's approach of making people who can afford to pay, pay, helped eliminate the deficit. Raising the minimum wage gave more people money to spend. Businesses like money and they like people who have money to spend.
Between 2011 and 2015, Gov. Dayton added 172,000 new jobs to Minnesota's economy -- that's 165,800 more jobs in Dayton's first term than Pawlenty added in both of his terms combined. Even though Minnesota's top income tax rate is the 4th-highest in the country, it has the 5th-lowest unemployment rate in the country at 3.6 percent. According to 2012-2013 U.S. census figures, Minnesotans had a median income that was $10,000 larger than the U.S. average, and their median income is still $8,000 more than the U.S. average today.
Where does this slick commie-agitator come from?
Gov. Dayton didn't accomplish all of these reforms by shrewdly manipulating people -- this article describes Dayton's astonishing lack of charisma and articulateness. He isn't a class warrior driven by a desire to get back at the 1 percent -- Dayton is a billionaire heir to the Target fortune. It wasn't just a majority in the legislature that forced him to do it -- Dayton had to work with a Republican-controlled legislature for his first two years in office. And unlike his Republican neighbor to the east, Gov. Dayton didn't assert his will over an unwilling populace by creating obstacles between the people and the vote -- Dayton actually created an online voter registration system, making it easier than ever for people to register to vote.
I might have to move to Minnesota.

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