Even Republicans and Libertarians agree that a flat rate income tax would be fair. Because we want out-of-state contributions (3.4%) and other goals, there will be a diversity of taxes. So Minnesota has added up all the local and state taxes and calculated the equivalent income tax for different income ranges. This study has been done for years. When Republicans were in power, the equivalent income tax went down for the richest and up for the poorest. Now the Democrats are bringing the the rate closer to a fair income tax rate. Click here for a larger image.
From the Governors Office:
The budget passed by the Governor and the majorities in the legislature creates a new 4 tier income tax bracket at 9.85% that will be paid only by the wealthiest 2% of Minnesotans. This new tax bracket will apply only to taxable income over $250,000 for married joint filers and taxable income over $150,000 for single filers.
$1.1 billion in New Revenue. This new tax bracket will help solve our budget deficit and invest in property tax relief for all Minnesotans,a better education system, and crucial economic development, measures to strengthen Minnesota’s middle class.
98% of Minnesotans Will See No Income Tax Increase.
“This failure is only a setback.” — Sen. Scott Dibble
Republicans in the Minnesota State Senate hit another low in their quest for even lower and lower depths to plumb. They promised a 10 hour filibuster against a anti-bullying bill. The State House passed the bill already.
The bottom line is they are bigots (except for the few who voted for marriage equality). Their main objection, though they hide it as best they can, is that the bill would protect gay and lesbian kids from bullying in schools. In their twisted minds they don’t see a problem with bullies enforcing their belief that being gay or lesbian is wrong. Most importantly, they will never ever recognize the suffering of the LGBT kids.
That headline sums up a couple articles from Governing, one about how Democrats have fared in elections since 2004, and another taking the same look at Republicans. The author of both articles, Louis Jacobson, looked at the least competitive states for each party, and concludes that rather than making up ground, each part has gotten weaker in its weakest states. The absence of Republicans in California and Democrats in Tennessee might be extreme examples, but they’re not outliers. They’re the trend.
What’s particularly disheartening for supporters of Howard Dean’s “50-State Strategy”, which includes me, is Democrats bucked this trend for a while. The gains in red states and districts weren’t huge, apparently not enough to convince the skeptics who took over the DNC after Dean stepped down as national chair, but the abandonment of the strategy coincided with massive losses for the Democrats. Yes, there were other factors, but some factors, like a general political polarization, were already around was Dean was chair. The strategy wasn’t based on any assumption of a favorable trend, but on competing where competing was hard. In other words, a strategy for exactly these circumstances.
I have been thinking about taxes in here in America and how some people don’t want to pay them. They seem to think they should not have to. This confuses me. I have a couple honest questions about this idea, and I really want to understand why people think this way. I’m hoping I can get people to tell me why they feel that way. Here is one…
Most of the conservatives I know, I think, genuinely love our country. So why will you not sacrifice a little extra of your own wealth for the greater good of our society?
People claim that they hate the entitlement programs; I like to think of them a little differently. Most people who are on these programs don’t want to be, period. Those that are milking the system are such a small percentage that we should not consider them a problem to the system as a whole. Maybe if they thought about these safety nets like they do their assault weapons. Why should they not have them because a few people shoot up a school or 50? Maybe we should get the people that are on these programs jobs. What jobs? How about fixing our infrastructure? It is a win, win situation. You get people off of the safety net, those people who get out are working to stand on their own two feet again they again feel like a contributing member of society.
If you do love our country as much as you claim you should be lining up to pay taxes for our greater good. And yes, I have put my money where my mouth is, before my wife and I had kids we were making very good money and not much we really needed. One of the more prosperous years we went to get our taxes done. When they were done with the numbers we gave them, the tax lady said if we tweaked a number here and there we would have to pay in a lot less. Like over a thousand dollars less. We looked at each other and said nope, we can afford to pay a little more. This was under Bush so it might not have gone to where we wanted it too, but some of it might have. We will be doing this again when we can afford to do it again.
So, please stop bitching about taxes and pay a little more for the sake of the great nation we live in.
The Rothenberg Political Report plays a critical role inside the Washington, DC bubble. Stuart Rothenberg fuels narratives. He ranks and rates races for the DC insiders.
The growing narrative with embattled Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) is that she’s in trouble.
She faces a police investigation, lawsuit, State Senate Ethics panel and an independent special counsel investigation in Iowa. She faces a Federal Elections Commission complaint and a Office of Congressional Ethics investigation in DC.
She barely beat DFLer Jim Graves in 2012 in a new, more conservative district.
Rothenberg rates her the fifth most likely district to flip:
5. Minnesota’s 6th: Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann vs. Democrat Jim Graves
Bachmann won a squeaker in November (50.5 percent to 49.3 percent), and Democrat Graves has announced that he wants a rematch. There are rumors that the controversial congresswoman may retire rather than seek another term, but that probably would make Graves’ job harder in this reliably Republican district.
Mother Jones wrote a great piece, “A Political history of the Cicadas” on the pending cycle of Cicadas, the annoying, noisy but harmless little bugs that have an unusual 17 year life cycle. Some people mistakenly confuse them with the destructive plagues of locusts, which can do devastating damage; they’re nothing like that, except for also occurring in large numbers.
What caught my attention mid-way through the piece were these two paragraphs:
…”The government experts assure us that the cicada is not as dangerous or as devastating as he sounds,” a Gazette Times story from July 1923—titled “The Periodical Cicada, Naturalists Alarmed”—read. In the 1930s, government experts also reassured concerned citizens regarding cicada “locusts.” Even in the Reagan era, the government issued an official public pamphlet on the subject of cicadas. The government’s care-free attitude persists today: “The Obama administration currently has no plan to suppress the ‘cicada invasion,’” an administration official tells me. (Partly because, as off-putting as they sound and appear, cicadas are good for plants and the affected environment.)
In 2004, the harmlessness and notoriety of the cicada prompted Brandon Breeden, head writer of the website Cicadaville.com, to spread satirical rumors about how cicadas are “vicious killers seething with deadly venom,” and how “children are [cicadas'] primary source of nutrition.” As a result, Breeden received emails thanking him “for the truth about cicadas the government’s been keeping secret.”
(Cicadaville.com has since been converted into a Japanese website about STDs.)
It is both tragic and hysterically funny that there are conspiracy theorists, then and now, that believe the government is hiding from the public necessary information about great swarms of insects coming to take away your children. (Presumably this would be a variation on the scarab beetles in the turn of the century Brendan Fraser Mummy movie sci-fi fantasies.) The only thing lacking is a companion conspiracy that either 1. you need guns to defend yourself and your family against the swarms of locusts; 2. the locusts are an Obama administration conspiracy to come take your guns/ render your guns useless; or 3. the locusts will turn your children into mindless zombies, who will be turned over to New World Order FEMA camps, (with the smarter ones being shipped off to the bug-proof frozen fortresses of the Illuminati).
I’m just going to sit back and laugh at the crazy conspiracy nuts on the right, and maybe cruise by the food channel to see if anyone is showing off how to cook the little buggers, er, bugs, in some exotic healthy snack they’re good for you kind of way. I don’t want to eat cicadas myself, no matter how they might be batter deep fried or covered in chocolate on a stick. But it’s fun to watch other people besides conservatives running around with their hair on fire – but secretly enjoying their own emotions while they do it.