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World’s Best-Ever Receipt and a Serious Lesson about Tax Visibility

I don’t often use the literary tactic of referring to something as the “best-ever.” Indeed, the only time that phrase appeared in the title of a column was back in 2014 when I smugly wrote about the collapse of government-run single-payer healthcare in Vermont. Recalling what Justice Brandeis wrote about states being the “laboratories of […]

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Dahle-Jensen transportation op-ed

This op-ed, co-authored by DFL Sen. Kevin Dahle and DFL Rep. Vicki Jensen, is mostly fiction. It’s totally in keeping with the DFL’s transportation chanting points. Mostly, though, it’s a thinly-veiled attempt at a major middle class tax increase that isn’t needed. Dahle and Jensen start with a false premise, stating it “is well reported […]

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Uppity peasant vs. Rep. Thissen

A little over a week ago, the St. Cloud Times published my LTE in which I talked about how Speaker Daudt challenged Rep. Thissen. Specifically, I wrote that Thissen accused Republicans of throwing “controversial provisions into big bills right at the end” of session. Unwilling to let Rep. Thissen’s spin go unchallenged, Speaker Daudt asked […]

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Learning from New Jersey’s Bad Tax Policy

Federalism is a great idea, and not just because America’s Founders wanted a small and limited central government. It’s also a good idea because states are laboratories that teach us about the benefits of good policy and the costs of bad policy. And when we specifically look at New Jersey, we can learn a lot […]

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Dayton’s transportation flip-flop

It isn’t shocking to find out that Gov. Dayton supports another middle class tax increase. When Gov. Dayton first ran for governor, he campaigned on making Minnesota’s’ tax system more progressive. It’s a promise he kept for the first half of his first term, thanks mostly to Republican majorities in the House and Senate. In […]

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Some Good News on Tax Reform (if You Prefer the Flat Tax over the National Sales Tax)

I’m ecumenical on tax reform. I’ll support any plan that rips up the internal revenue code and instead lowers tax rates, reduces double taxation, and cuts out distorting loopholes. And as I explain in this interview, both the flat tax and national sales tax have a low tax rate. They also get rid of double […]

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Sweden, Spending Restraint, and the Benefits of Obeying Fiscal Policy’s Golden Rule

When I first started working on fiscal policy in the 1980s, I never thought I would consider Sweden any sort of role model. It was the quintessential cradle-to-grave welfare state, much loved on the left as an example for America to follow. But Sweden suffered a severe economic shock in the early 1990s and policy … … Continue reading

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Underwhelmed: Grading the New Tax Reform Plan from the Chairman of the Ways & Means Committee

To make fun of big efforts that produce small results, the famous Roman poet, Horace, wrote “The mountains will be in labor, and a ridiculous mouse will be brought forth.” That line sums up my view of the new tax reform plan introduced by Congressman Dave Camp, Chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee. […]

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Great Moments in Tax Enforcement

I’ll be first in line if there’s a contest over who thinks most strongly that politicians are corrupt, or whether they can waste money in creative ways. But if somebody asserts that politicians are stupid, I’m going to argue on the other side. This isn’t because I’m a fan of elected officials. Far from it. […]

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Another DFL lie exposed

This Pioneer Press editorial exposes the DFL’s lie that property taxes would go down this year: In July, Gov. Mark Dayton said that, for the first time in a decade, property taxes would drop by $121 million statewide in the year to come. But now, Minnesotans are staring at a potential $153 million increase in […] . . . → Read More: Another DFL lie exposed . . . → Read More: Another DFL lie exposed

Daytonomics off to terrible start

Yesterday, the office of Minnesota Management and Budget, aka MMB, reported that revenues fell short of expectations for the first quarter under the Democrat-passed budget for Fiscal Year 2014-15. Here’s Rep. Jennifer Loon’s response to the news: “Governor Mark Dayton and Democrat majorities’ budget, effective July 1st, forces hardworking taxpayers to pay more when they […] . . . → Read More: Daytonomics off to terrible start . . . → Read More: Daytonomics off to terrible start

Time to total up the DFL’s damage

With Minnesota’s 2013 legislative session in the books, it’s time to total up the DFL’s damage to Minnesota’s economy. The tax increases will hurt Minnesota’s economy the most are the business-to-business sales taxes on warehousing and telecommunications. The warehouse tax has been tried in several states, including Massachusetts. It’s been quickly repealed because it does […] . . . → Read More: Time to total up the DFL’s damage . . . → Read More: Time to total up the DFL’s damage

Gas tax increase dead in the water

This article is fantastic news for Minnesotans: DFL legislative leaders say plans to raise the gas tax for road projects and a metrowide sales tax for transit projects are dead for the year. “I would say they’re probably both dead,” said DFL Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk. Senate leaders have been pushing to increase the […] . . . → Read More: Gas tax increase dead in the water . . . → Read More: Gas tax increase dead in the water

Why the So-Called Marketplace Fairness Act Is a Misguided Expansion of Power for State Governments

I’m either a total optimist or a glutton for punishment. I recently explained the benefits of “tax havens” for the unfriendly readers of the New York Times. Now I’m defending a different form of tax competition for CNN, another news outlet that leans left. In this case, the topic is whether states can reach beyond […] . . . → Read More: Why the So-Called Marketplace Fairness Act Is a Misguided Expansion of Power for State Governments . . . → Read More: Why the So-Called Marketplace Fairness Act Is a Misguided Expansion of Power for State Governments