On Thursday, December 3, 2015, Minnesota government officials announced the state was facing a $1.9 billion surplus. Current Governor Mark Dayton faced a $6.2 billion deficit five years ago when he took office from Republican Trickle-downer Governor Tim Pawlenty. So what happened that such a massive change occurred? The state got the extra cash by raising taxes on the rich by 2 percent. The government also increased the minimum wage, and the jobs keep coming, which is why the state has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation at 3.7 percent. Demand for goods and services have increased, and so have the number of jobs, as more than 172,000 have been created in Dayton’s first term, compared to slightly more than 6,000 in the eight years when Pawlenty’s voo-doo economics ruled the state house.
The rich have gotten wealthier over the last thirty years by paying politicians to pass legislation and international income redistribution agreements (falsely marketed as free trade agreements), which have redistributed income from the 99 to the 1 percent. They’ve done this so much that the 1 percent currently steal 37 percent of the nation’s total income compared to 8 percent in 1980. That means the 99 percent earn only 63 percent of the income produced in the USA compared to 92 percent back in 1980. In 1980, the 99 percent were able to demand more goods and services, which created more jobs and rising real wages, which is the reverse of what’s going on today, except in Minnesota.
The West Central Tribune says Minnesota’s extra cash appears headed toward early childhood education and high-speed internet for Minnesota residents. “Governor Mark Dayton, of Minnesota’s Democrat-Farm Labor Party, ran for office on a call to implement broadband internet “border-to-border” and has called for a $100 million infusion of funds, in conjunction with private investment, to build the initial infrastructure. While the total estimated cost to complete the job is $3.2 billion, Gov. Dayton has plenty of money to work with — the surplus is more than double what the state legislature had on hand by the end of this year’s legislative session in June.”
Governor Dayton decided to discontinue the failed policies of tossing “subsidies at corporations and offering them more tax breaks that would further stifle growth.” Instead, the governor implemented policies to stimulate real financial growth, including raising income taxes on top earners by 2 percent. That, combined with a scaled increase to the state minimum wage, created an instant injection of money into his state’s stagnant economy that kept local businesses from shutting their doors.”
Once the economy was stabilized, Dayton doubled down on his plan to stimulate growth from the bottom up by paying down the state’s debt and investing in Minnesota’s schools. This created an environment where people actually wanted to live and raise a family, essentially creating demand where before, people were leaving Minnesota to escape the lower quality of life that continues to plague states still clinging to trickle down policies,” which have stifled demand by redistributing income from the 99 percent to the 1 percent. Trickle down policies also gave the rich more money with which to corrupt governments across the nation, as well as both political parties.
“Minnesota’s dramatic comeback provides a sharp contrast to Wisconsin, their neighbor to the east, where Governor Scott Walker has literally driven the state into the ground. Under Walker, Wisconsin broke up labor unions, driving down the average income of working class families that are the lifeblood of any economy. That, combined with his economic strategy of subsidizing industries to set up shop in his state while offering them huge tax-breaks, has bankrupted their once thriving economy.”
Now, even though the national economy is facing uncertainty due to the continuing burden of student debt and flagging exports, Minnesota has almost $2 billion in state budget reserves and is forced to choose between increasing working family tax credits or lowering property taxes.
It is a problem most states would love to have.