Showing posts with label Mark Dayton. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mark Dayton. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Crocodile Tears

Boy oh boy, have we heard a lot of mouth foaming and "See? I told you sos" from Republicans these days regarding the Affordable Care Act. They've even pointed to Mark Dayton's recent comments about rising insurance rates as evidence that Obamacare has failed and stuff.

Today, my esteemed governor has penned an op-ed which offers a more insightful analysis.

As disturbing as the falsehoods is the hypocrisy of some Republican politicians, who are crying crocodile tears over problems with the Affordable Care Act, which they have prevented solving. Time after time, Republicans in Congress blocked changes to the ACA because they want to destroy the law, not improve it — and because they believe that the worse the ACA’s current problems, the better their chances of re-election.


The real challenge with the ACA is that we need more young people to get insurance. They'd rather take the hit on taxes than pay a premium every month. Better marketing, more incentives and perhaps stricter punishment for being uninsured should all be pursued. The rate increases were going to happen anyway and likely be worse without the ACA.

And in that world millions would have been uninsured and thousands would probably be dead. I think I'll take the whining...:)

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Monday, January 12, 2015

All Economic Signs Good!

Yesterday's paper had a great piece on how well the economy is doing here in Minnesota and in the rest of the country. Check out this interactive graphic that illustrates the five key indicators (jobs, unemployment, consumer sentiment, gas prices, and GDP) clearly showing just how much our economy has improved during the Obama years.

Any retractions out there yet?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Cheese or Lutefisk?

There seems to be an awful lot of comparing and contrasting going on between Wisconsin and Minnesota these days. I've talked about it recently and they are both excellent, real time cases as to which ideology, conservative or liberal, is most effective. This recent piece in the Times is the most in depth that I have seen as it addresses the fundamental differences in ideology with how each state is governed. There is also a video that goes along with it.

It's a pretty even handed report with criticism spread around evenly as one can see.

I'm wondering if the problems with Wisconsin's economy mean that Scott Walker won't really be a serious candidate for president in 2016.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Minnesota Wins!

If you want a good barometer on how what sort of government policies work the best, compare the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin. That's what this recent piece in the New York Times did and the results speak for themselves. In 2010, voters in each state chose a specific path to improve their economic conditions. Minnesotans chose Democrats to run their state and Wisconsin chose Republicans. Minnesota's unemployment rate was at 6.7 percent and Wisconsin's was at 7.1 percent.

As the article notes, a month after Mr. Walker’s inauguration in January 2011, he catapulted himself to the front ranks of national conservative leaders with attacks on the collective bargaining rights of Civil Service unions and sharp reductions in taxes and spending. Once Mr. Dayton teamed up with a Democratic Legislature in 2012, Minnesota adopted some of the most progressive policies in the country.Minnesota raised taxes by $2.1 billion, the largest increase in recent state history. Democrats introduced the fourth highest income tax bracket in the country and targeted the top 1 percent of earners to pay 62 percent of the new taxes, according to the Department of Revenue.

The result?

Today, Minnesota is essentially at full employment at 4.8 percent while Wisconsin's unemployment rate stands at 6.5 percent. Wisconsin lags behind Minnesota in job creation and economic growth. Wisconsin ranks 34th for job growth. According to Forbes’s annual list of best states for business, Wisconsin continues to rank in the bottom half. Along with California, Minnesota is the fifth fastest growing state economy, with private-sector job growth exceeding pre-recession levels. Forbes rates Minnesota as the eighth best state for business.

So, why is it working in Minnesota?

Higher taxes and economic growth in Minnesota have attracted a surprisingly broad coalition. Businesses complain about taxes, but many cheered Mr. Dayton’s investments in the Mayo Clinic, the new Vikings stadium, the Mall of America and 3M headquarters. The lion’s share of Minnesota’s new tax revenue was sunk into human capital. While the state’s Constitution required that half of the new revenue balance the budget in 2013, Mr. Dayton invested 71 percent of the remaining funds in K-12 schools and higher education as well as a pair of firsts: all-day kindergarten and wider access to early childhood education. Minnesota was one of the few states that raised education spending under the cloud of the Great Recession.

Why is not working in Wisconsin?

Mr. Walker’s strategy limited Wisconsin’s ability to invest in infrastructure that would have catalyzed private-sector expansion, and he cut state funding of K-12 schools by more than 15 percent. Per student, this was the seventh sharpest decline in the country.

I'm pretty optimistic about the state in which I grew up, however. The numbers speak for themselves and, if the Democrats put up a good candidate, Walker will be gone and left to pursue his dreams of 2016.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

In A Nutshell

If an alien were to land on our planet and wonder what the difference between a Democrat and a Republican was in how they governed, Andy at summed it up perfectly the other day.

The Democratic Party wants government to help the sick, the weak, the poor, and the middle class in their perpetual struggle for a better life against powerful forces that want to exploit them. The Republicans oppose this and believe it is "every man for himself." They want a smaller government that intrudes less in people's lives (except when it comes to anything touching sex, like abortion and homosexuality, in which case the government should dictate acceptable behavior).

I suppose I get why people are against abortion because they see it as murder. That's fine. But why all the anti-contraception stuff then? More importantly, why do they care so much about gay marriage? It makes no sense to me whatsoever coming from the same crowd who is pathologically against government intrusion into people's lives.

In our state we are currently going through yet another recount. Should the battle drag on past January, Tim Pawlenty has vowed to stay on as governor with the Republicans having won back both houses in the state legislature. Their first priority?

A state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.