If ever there was a fit made in heaven, Gov. Dayton and the business community isn’t it. Gov. Dayton hasn’t hidden his dislike of the business community. That feeling is mutual. It’s with that context that this article should be viewed:
“I realize that most of you are unhappy with my raising some taxes to balance the state’s budget last spring. I was just as unhappy about the need to do so,” Dayton told the sold-out crowd at the Minneapolis Convention Center. “But there’s good news ahead. Under current trends, our state’s economic future looks even better. The most recent state budget forecast predicts we will start the next biennium beginning July 1, 2015 with a $728 million surplus… If I’m in office, I want to devote much of that surplus to serious tax reductions.”
“I don’t expect you to believe this,” Dayton added. “Just remember it.”
Gov. Dayton is right. I don’t believe him. That’s especially true since Sen. Bakk, the Senate Majority Leader, insisted that repealing the business-to-business tax increases would be difficult. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, though it’s a big iceberg.
Cargill is moving their warehousing operation to Iowa. Red Wing Shoes is thinking about moving their warehousing operation to Wisconsin. Polaris is thinking about moving their warehousing operation to another state. DigiKey, easily the biggest employer north of Brainerd, is thinking about moving to North Dakota.
Gov. Dayton didn’t improve his standing with the business community when he told the AFL-CIO he wants the minimum wage increased to at least $9.50/hr.:
On the same day California’s governor signed a bill upping the state’s minimum wage to $10 within three years, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton made clear that he would be disappointed if the Legislature doesn’t push up his state’s wage floor next session.
Addressing a retiree council of the AFL-CIO, Dayton said Wednesday that it’s wrong that Minnesota has a lower minimum wage than all of its Midwest neighbors and one of the lowest in the country. It hasn’t gone up since 2005. While the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour often applies, some workers in Minnesota earn as little as $5.25 from small employers or $6.15 from larger companies.
One minute, Gov. Dayton is pandering to the business community. The next, he’s telling people he wants to dramatically raise Minnesota’s minimum wage. Gov. Dayton’s behavior is baffling. Didn’t he figure it out that the business community won’t support him if he supports a significant increase in the minimum wage? Apparently, Gov. Dayton is about as bright with pandering with entrepreneurs as he is with farmers.
Gov. Dayton didn’t make friends in St. Cloud when he visited St. Cloud this April. This is how one businessman responded to Gov. Dayton’s rhetoric:
After Teresa Bohnen pointed out concern by the business community on the impact of Governor Dayton’s 4th tier income tax on S-Corps I felt his response was disrespectful. He implied that businesses are “OK” with disparities in tax rates of businesses compared to middle income earners. He called the Minnesota Chamber destructive. Then he implied that Teresa and other businesses were unrealistic about the facts.
Telling businesses that they’re ok with hurting the middle class, then telling the AFL-CIO that he wants a significant increase in the minimum wage, isn’t the way to win support for his (anti-entrepreneurial) agenda.
It’s pretty clear that math and economics aren’t Gov. Dayton’s strong suits.
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