This is all going according to script
The latest Democratic victories are actually part of the Republican’s long-term strategic plan.
Republicans got power by vowing to reduce taxes by eliminating the government waste. Taxes did go down, but they used accounting shifts and gimmicks to do it, and property taxes and tuition skyrocketed as a result. The only people who benefited overall were the wealthy. Eventually most voters realized the party of “personal responsibility” did not believe in running the state responsibly and that they were getting the raw end of the deal.
Strangely enough, having the Democrats gain control and balance the budget in a nonfictional manner by increasing taxes helps the Republican cause. It allows them to characterize Democrats as the tax-and-spend party. Their sound bites may not be convincing today, but they know eventually people will forget and vote them back into power. The balanced budget they will inherit will allow them to reduce taxes by running up the state’s credit card again.
It would be nice if this cycle created a proper balance between government and free enterprise that benefited everyone. Unfortunately, all the income gains resulting from huge increases in productivity over the past 30 years have all gone to the top 2 percent. We are all working harder in general, but only the rich are getting richer.
Stop the cycle. Remember that Republican policies that benefit only the wealthy led us into a recession. Democratic policies that benefit all of us led us out. Keep voting Democratic.
William Bloomberg, Eden Prairie
• • •
David C. Olson, president of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, questions the results of the recent legislative session (“The enduring question left by the 2013 Legislature: Why?” May 22). As a small-business owner, I must state that the chamber does not speak for me or the majority of Minnesota business owners. On its website, it claims to represents 2,400 Minnesota businesses. That is less than one-half of 1 percent of all Minnesota businesses.
It appears that the priorities and interests of the chamber are not the same as those of Minnesota voters. Olson does understand very well that elections have consequences. Perhaps this is the reason that the chamber’s political action committee has spent more than $1 million in the last two elections on negative advertising trying exclusively to defeat DFL candidates.
If the chamber does not like the results of the session, it can blame the voters or perhaps reevaluate its priorities. The needs of the people (voters) in our democracy should always trump the interests of any business group and businesses in general.
Ben Kyriagis, Plymouth
* * *
A better focus would be pay disparities
Since corporations are simply a conduit for taxes, passing them along in their products and services, taxing corporations is not the answer some believe it to be. (It is simply a high-overhead, hidden, back-door tax on you and me.)
The real solution is so much simpler.
We need linkage in publicly held companies between the core worker’s income (that is, the worker who represents the DNA or essence of that company’s product or service) and privileged members of upper management and their friends on the board of directors and compensation board.
Anything above that industry-specific guideline ratio for public companies would need stockholders’ approval. We need to control excessive CEO pay and bonuses to limit core-worker demoralization and employee-vs.-management adversarial relationships, and to create simple fairness.
When even a bad CEO makes more money in a few minutes or even for being fired than I make in a lifetime, the system is broken. This does not apply to private companies or individuals who make a profit based on the product and service customers support in a truly free marketplace.
Nick Mavrogenis, Fridley
* * *
Obama administration should adjust priorities
I am a loyal DFLer, an enthusiastic Obama fan, and I frequently curse at Fox “News.” But …
Harassing a reporter for disclosing sensitive information is rather like blaming the fire alarm for the fire. Freedom of the press (even the less-than-ideally responsible press) is an absolutely essential element of democracy. The administration’s energy would be better spent on teaching its employees the importance of keeping classified information classified.
Jeff Moses, Minneapolis
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.