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Why can’t we all have nice things?

Like good schools, affordable housing, low unemployment.. you know, all those nice things we had back when we had a functioning government. Like.. Minnesota has!
At only 3% unemployment, it’s the healthiest state in the Union now, and it’s all because of… *gasp*.. socialism!

In the 1960s, local districts and towns in the Twin Cities region offered competing tax breaks to lure in new businesses, diminishing their revenues and depleting their social services in an effort to steal jobs from elsewhere within the area. In 1971, the region came up with an ingenious plan that would help halt this race to the bottom, and also address widening inequality. The Minnesota state legislature passed a law requiring all of the region’s local governments—in Minneapolis and St. Paul and throughout their ring of suburbs—to contribute almost half of the growth in their commercial tax revenues to a regional pool, from which the money would be distributed to tax-poor areas. Today, business taxes are used to enrich some of the region’s poorest communities.

And even worse, Governor Dayton has his priorities *all* screwed up!

Priority No. 1 was raising taxes on the rich. The final tax plan—which bumped up income taxes 2 percent for couples earning $250,000 per year—made Minnesota the fifth-highest tax state in the nation. But the hike paid for an arsenal of new programs. The same day Dayton signed the tax bill, he also approved a $429 million jobs bill. “He was unswayed by the consultants in the Democratic Party who were counseling Democrats to go to the middle to avoid the tax and spend label that is put on Democrats,” says Jacobs, the University of Minnesota political scientist.

Political Suicide! Economic Catastrophe! Capital Flight!!!

But strangely enough:

Minneapolis–St. Paul is the headquarters for 19 Fortune 500 companies—more than any other metro its size—spanning retail (Target), health care (UnitedHealth), and food (General Mills). In the past 60 years, 40 Minneapolis-based businesses have made it onto Fortune’s list. “We’re not like Atlanta, where half of its Fortune 500s moved there,” Myles Shaver, a professor at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota, told me. “There is something about Minneapolis that makes us unusually good at building and keeping large companies.”

Shaver’s theory, which he’s developing into a book, is that Minneapolis is so successful at turning medium-size companies into giants because its most important resource never leaves the city: educated managers of every level, who can work at just about any company.

Is Scott Walker paying attention? Why aren’t these huge corporations flooding across into his low-tax paradise? How on earth can all that “socialism” give results like these?

Real GDP Minnesota vs. Wisconsin

Employment Minnesota vs. Wisconsin

It’s enough to make you think this guy is a complete deadbeat:
Scott Walker cut $541 million in taxes last year. Now his state will miss a $108 million debt payment.

To help close the state’s $283 million budget shortfall this year, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R) plans to skip a $108 million debt payment scheduled for May.

Anyone that’s ever lived poor knows you can’t get outta debt by racking up late charges:

By missing the May payment, Walker will incur about $1.1 million in additional interest fees between 2015 and 2017. The $108 million debt will continue to live on the books; Walker’s budget proposal for 2015-2017 will pay down no more than about $18 million of the principal.

In March last year, Walker signed a $541 million tax cut for both families and businesses. At that point, Wisconsin was facing a $1 billion budget surplus through June 2015, the Journal Sentinel reported.

That’s like blowing your 401k on a trip to Vegas!

Of course, everyone knows that cutting taxes leads to increased revenue, right? Art Laffer said so, and the Koch brothers say so, and St. Ronnie Reagan said so..

Per Capita Tax Reciepts Minnesota vs. Wisconsin
Hmmm. That just doesn’t seem right somehow.

So did those tax cuts make it easier for Wisconsin households to get by?

According to Wisconsin Council on Children and Families last census, Wisconsin’s poverty rate has increased from 10.4 percent in 2008 to 13.5 percent in 2013. The median household income, adjusted for inflation, fell from $54,210 in 2009 to $51,467 in 2013. For African Americans, their median income was $26,900. Obviously for Wisconsin’s middle class, all the important statistics are down.

Apparently not. And really, why on earth would *anybody* want to live with chronic, grinding poverty all around, when you can just bop next door and and make an extra $5k a year?
Real Median Household Income Minnesota vs. Wisconsin

But wait, how can that be? Low wages, low taxes, fewer regulations, fewer worker’s rights and protections, fewer evil environmental policies… what’s going on here? Shouldn’t businesses be flocking to take advantage of the GOP’s corporate free for all? Doesn’t every business owner dream of operating in the kind of environment that allows for the outright exploitation of everything, from people to public property?

Apparently not.

The myth that low wages create jobs was decimated in July, when economic data showed that the 13 states that raised minimum wage are creating jobs at a considerably faster pace than the 37 states that refused to raise minimum wage. Average job growth in states that raised the minimum wage was 0.85 percent between January 2014 and June 2014. Average job growth in states that didn’t raise minimum wage was just 0.61 percent.

So much for the lie that higher wages leads to job loss…

Republicans have changed the name of their failed policies more times than we can count. Whether you call it trickle down economics, supply side economics, Reaganomics, “pro-business” or “business friendly” economics, the results of the policies are always the same. A few get richer, most get poorer. Businesses suffer from lack of customers, job growth becomes job loss and everyone loses.

Click on original for more links. Anyway, maybe that’s why all the good businesses, and good jobs, are avoiding Wisconsin like the plague, taxes or no taxes.

Seriously, Scott. That looks bad. Really, really bad. It started out bad *and got worse*.  Are you really sure you should be listening to the Kochs? It seems to me that it takes a special kind of bullheadedness to screw things up this badly. But then, we’ve always known Republicans never could manage money worth a damn. Look at all the welfare-queen red states. You’d think their voters would catch on eventually, and maybe decide they would like nice things too.

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