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Friday, June 23, 2006

Happy to pay more taxes

A lot has been said in the last 24 hours about this story, some of it serious and some of it more"reactionary".

"More than 200 wealthy Minnesotans signed a full-page ad that appears in the Star Tribune today asking the state to raise $2 billion for various initiatives by increasing the state's tax burden for high-salary earners. "

One thing that is assumed in all the commentary on this is that the signatories are more "left" leaning than the average Joe that would also be affected (only those who make less than $45,000 a year fall don't fall into their "high-salary" category). So I thought I would take a quick peek over at Open Secrets to see if this assumption is accurate.

Joel Kramer, former publisher of the Star Tribune and founder of think tank Growth and Justice contributed to the DSCC, Paul Wellstone, Mark Dayton, John Kerry, Walter Mondale, the MN DFL and the Democracy for America PAC.
Mike Ciresi and Ann Ciresi - Former DFL endorsed candidate for US Senate Mike Ciresi donated to Maria Cantwell in 2001. Ann has contributed to the DFL Party and to the campaigns of the following Democratic candidates - Tom Daschle, Patty Wetterling, Maria Cantwell, Paul Wellstone, Janet Roberts (owner of the MN Air America affiliate), Teresa Daley, John Kerry, Joe Biden, Betty McCollum and Walter Mondale (when he was made the Senatorial nominee after Paul Wellstone died).
Teresa Daly - Former DFL candidate for 2nd Congressional District 2004 has only contributed to Emily's List and to Betty McCollum's (D-CD4) campaign.
Bruce Dayton, David Dayton and Judy Dayton - Bruce Dayton contributed $20,000 to the DSCC in 2001, $5,000 in 2002 and $25,000 in 2004. Judy Dayton contributed Mark Dayton's Senatorial Campaign, Teresa Daly's Congressional Campaign, to Betty McCollum's Congressional campaigns and Paul Wellstone's campaign in 2001.
Ruth Stricker Dayton - Ruth Ann Dayton has a bi-partisan approach - she has given to Republican Jim Ramstad and DFLers Bill Luther and Paul Wellstone.
Mrs. Orville L. Freeman - Mr. Orville Freeman has donated to Paul Wellstone, Bill Luther and Walter Mondale.
David Lillehaug - Mr. Lillehaug has donated to Joe Lieberman, Patty Wetterling, John Edwards, Stephanie Herseth (D-SD) and John Barrow (D-Ga).
Joan Mondale, Ted Mondale and Walter Mondale - The Mondales are known DFLers. It does not take open secrets to tell you that!
Lois Quam - Wife of DFL endorsed candidate for MN Attorney General Matt Entenza, Ms. Quam has donated to the DNC Services, the MN DFL, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Mark Dayton, Dick Gephardt, Patty, Wetterling, Teresa Daly, Byron Dorgan, Walter Mondale, Paul Wellstone, Emily's List and many, many others.
Rebecca Yanisch - DFL candidate for Congress and Senate has contributed to Teresa Daly, Paul Wellstone, Betty McCollum, Howard Dean, Patty Wetterling and Stephanie Herseth.

I think it is safe to say that this assumption was an accurate one...

Having said all of that, the collective response (from those of us who are also in that "highest earning" category - those making over $45,000 a year) has been "speak for yourself!" The best response, I think, came from Governor Pawlenty who said:

"Minnesota is not undertaxed, he added, but he invited the ad signatories to send voluntary contributions payable to the State of Minnesota to the Finance Department, 400 Centennial Office Building, 658 Cedar St., St. Paul, 55155."

I would offer that advise up to all those who say that they would be "Happy" to pay more in taxes. Get out the checkbook and write a check in the amount that makes you feel happiest and send it to the state. No one is stopping you! Show us all just how much more you would be happy to pay, for a better Minnesota!

Cross posted at Ladies Logic


Anonymous said...

oh whatever, there's a huge difference between someone making $45K a year and someone making hundreds of thousands, mostly of the millions they already have.

Don't get me wrong, acquiring and keeping your money is fine by me. I agree that the tax law change isn't required, if these folks want to donate and pay more taxes they are welcome to (I believe the option is there, right before you sign). But please don't make obvious attempts to enrage middle-class workers by lowballing what "highest earners" means.

7:36 AM  
The Lady Logician said...

So you admit that there is a huge gulf between someone who earns $45k a year and someone worth millions....that is great. But let me ask you this Anonymous...why should someone who only earns $50k a year be forced to pay more taxes because some rich DFLer wants to pay more? If these folks want to pay more to the state, fine! But don't sit there and say that someone who is just barely making ends meet needs to pay more taxes because some millionaire thinks they can pay more!

As the Governor said, if you want to pay more - then send the check. Otherwise, don't call for tax hikes on everyone else.

7:38 AM  

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