Mild mannered, bespectacled Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has shut down his state’s government. Why? Because he clearly understands that the true problem with Minnesota’s state budget (just like so many state budgets across the land and the Federal budget as well) is primarily not a spending problem, but a revenue problem.
His solution: raise taxes on those in the state that make a million dollars or more.
In California, chicken-shit Governor Brown wanted to extend the sales tax and the car registration fees that were increased a few years ago. And who does that hurt the most? The lower-middle class, the working poor, the unemployed, and families living below or at the poverty level. And who does it not affect? The wealthy. At least Brown wanted to take the proposal to the voters, but the Republicans shut that down – fast. Brown didn’t even bring up the idea of raising taxes on those who could most afford it. We now have a budget that cuts social services and funding for education. Because lord knows, you can’t close the loopholes on corporate taxes here in California and you can’t raise taxes on the privileged few who control the vast majority of wealth and whose lives just keep on getting better and better while the lives of the majority of us keep on getting worse and worse.
But back to Minnesota. The Minnesota legislature shares the burden for the government shut down – the Republican-controlled legislature would rather cut services on Minnesota’s most vulnerable populations than require millionaires to pay a bit more. And why not? We are, after all, living in a very Dickensian time. Please sir, may I have just a bit more of that day-old porridge sitting at the bottom of the pot? Hell no – and besides, we’re putting that pot away on the back shelf – and charging you for the storage fees too!
Dayton’s family is rich. And his values are rooted in the Bible – that old idea that those who are blessed have a responsibility to help those who have far less. His early adulthood experience of teaching in an impoverished inner-city school also informs his thinking. “Through no choice of our own, I was born into great wealth and they were born into this abject poverty. The injustice really seared my conscience,” Dayton told the Associated Press.
Besides, as Dayton puts it: “I grew up in that [wealthy] environment. I know people can afford it.”
Put a superman cape on that man!