(Photo credit: MPR)
From the king of the “fair share” community, came one of the most atrocious ideas in modern politics. Bernie Sanders and Ilhan Omar led a coalition of socialist legislators to push for eliminating student loan debt yesterday. Their plan would institute a “tax on Wall Street” to pay for the program that aims to retire college debt and publicly fund future college students.
There’s an initial attraction to the idea of paying down the massive $1.6 Trillion of student debt that has accumulated over the last couple decades. Young workers are entering the workforce with mountains of debt that makes a big impact on their personal budgets. It’s understandable why people with college debt would gravitate towards such a plan.
But if one peels back the layers of this rotten onion of a plan, it’s quite evident that fairness is not at the core of Bernie and Omar's belief systems. The plan is paid for by a tax on stock and bond transactions. People have this idea that only the wealthiest Americans would be affected by such a tax, but the vast majority of securities are actually owned by regular folks. We all invest using popular investment vehicles like 401ks, IRAs and insurance products like annuities.
How many of the small investors hit by Bernie and Omar’s new tax worked hard and paid off their student loan debt previously? They get hit twice as hard. Not only did they get no relief for their debt, but now they are the providers of the relief to the new generations of indebted college grads.
In the press conference, Bernie mentioned how the debt has accumulated to these college kids at “no fault” to themselves. But how does that resonate with the millions of blue-collar workers out earning a living for themselves who didn’t waste 5 years and tens of thousands of dollars chasing a college degree?
Bernie and Omar seem to think the solution to out-of-control education costs is to double down on government's involvement in that sector of our economy. But that is the precise cause of the mess we're in. Similar to the housing market bubble, government has steadily increased its role in the marketplace by financing college education grants, backing student loans, and encouraging more kids to attend universities. This government distortion of the marketplace has led to rising costs due to lack of price controls and has sent more kids to college who would have been better off entering the workforce earlier.
The Bernie/Omar plan is an awful idea and leads this country more towards the failed socialist states that our country must avoid. We here at Action 4 Liberty will fight tooth and nail to stop socialist ideas from being implemented in this country and Minnesota.
Minnesota's great embarrassment Ilhan Omar generally gets a pass by the overly sensitive Minnesota news media. However, it appears Omar has crossed the line when it comes to the editorial board of the Star Tribune.
The Campaign Finance Board's investigation of Ilhan Omar's state campaign committee was made public last week. They concluded that she committed many violations and is required to pay back over $3,400 to the committee and was fined $500. The evidence suggested that she used campaign funds for personal use.
Among the personal uses of funds was the development of a "crisis management" team led by Omar's divorce attorney. The Board looked into allegations that campaign cash was used to pay for her divorce. They could not find evidence of that, however, they did uncover that Omar filed joint tax returns with a man that was not her legal husband.
The Star Tribune writes: "It’s against the law in Minnesota to file jointly unless one filer is legally married to the other. Last year Omar told the Star Tribune that she had married her partner “in her faith,” and had earlier divorced her first husband “in her faith.” That’s fine for religious purposes. But for tax purposes, only civil marriages qualify. It’s not known whether she benefited materially by filing jointly. That is something that voters, who are obliged to follow tax laws no matter how painful, are entitled to know."
The sloppiness of Ilhan Omar's compliance of finance law and her apparent violation of tax law led the editorial board of Minnesota's largest paper to come out against her. The Strib concludes with: "As an elected representative for Minnesota and one of the first Muslim women and Somali refugees elected to Congress, Omar is helping to break new ground. But more is expected of her than the symbolism attached to her victory."
Read the Star Tribune editorial here
Minnesota's greatest political embarrassment is back in the news again. This time because the Campaign Finance Board found Ilhan Omar in violation of campaign finance laws. Omar used campaign funds illegally for personal travel and to use a divorce attorney. The CFB ordered her to deposit $3,469.23 into her state account and fined her $500. A mere slap on the wrist.
But the bigger news may have come from a tiny piece of information obtained in the CFB's investigation. According to her tax returns in 2014 & 2015, she filed a joint tax return with her current husband Ahmed Hirsi. At the time, she was legally married to a gentlemen by the name Ahmed Nur Said Elmi until petitioning for divorce in 2017. That means she would have filed fraudulent tax returns.
This is where it gets interesting. There's a lot of evidence that suggests Ahmed Nur Said Elmi is actually her brother and the marriage was done to allow him to obtain U.S. citizenship. Alpha News did the extensive researchon her questionable marriage last year, which was dismissed by the mainstream media in Minnesota. Apparently they aren't interested in potential immigration fraud of someone running for U.S. Congress. It's also against the law to marry a biological sibling.
Ilhan Omar has a sketchy past of skirting the laws and it is unfortunate that she is now in a powerful position in our country's capitol. Action 4 Liberty will keep you informed about developments in this story.
The 2019 Legislative Session is finally over and very little has been done about the rampant fraud in the Dept of Human Services regarding the Child Care Assistance Program. Republicans and Democrats passed a massive omnibus bill in the middle of the night last week that fully funds the fraudulent program for the next two years.
As we reported months ago, Carolyn Ham, the person overseeing the Inspector General's office at DHS, was placed on administrative leave back in March. The child care fraud issue which occurred under her watch, was never brought to the public's attention by DHS. Instead, we had to learn about the fraud by an investigative report on Fox 9.
Now we've learned from Fox 9 that Carolyn Ham is still employed and earning a salary at the taxpayers' expense. In fact, she's getting paid to not work!
When asked about moving the investigative work outside of DHS, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka conceded defeat on getting that implemented in his secret deals with the Governor. Yet another area that Republican Senators completely let down taxpayers on ensuring the fraud no longer continues in this state.
Watch the Fox 9 story here.
Got $100 Million in cash from ripping off the taxpayers in the Child Care Assistance Program? Want to send it to Somalia? Then come aboard Scam Am Airlines and we'll ensure your cash gets to East Africa and safely in the hands of terrorists.
That was our message at the MNGOP State Convention this past weekend. Our team was on the ground getting signatures for our petitions and going up to politicians to get them to pledge to end the fraudulent CCAP program.
Here's the good news. Four legislators signed the pledge to include two of the candidates we helped get elected: Jeremy Munson (23B) and Shane Mekeland (15B).
Here's the bad news. No Senator would sign our pledge. Especially Republican Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (Nisswa).
Sen Gazelka already refused to sign the pledge earlier in the week, so we had a couple of our teams do a lit drop in Nisswa, the Gull Lake area and Little Falls this weekend.
Senate Republicans are punting on this issue until after the next election. They don't want to take the hard, and correct stance, to end the fraudulent program. $100 Million of money is being fraudulently taken from taxpayers and shipped overseas.
That's why we demand action immediately. End the fraudulent child care program NOW!
We need to spread the message far and wide. Every Republican Senator needs to hear from us about ending the program and you can help make that possible.
Tell the voters in Paul Gazelka and your Senate District what these politicians are up to. Donate now:
We must spread the message immediately. There's only 3 weeks left of the legislative session remaining. After May 20th, if Republicans don't act, more of our money will be ripped off and sent overseas.
There's an old saying: nothing good happens in the middle of the night. Well, that phrase couldn't be more true when talking about the swamp in St Paul. Last night, your Republican Senate voted to increase your taxes and fund the fraudulent child care program in the dark of night.
Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka has been a massive let down for the conservative movement in Minnesota. And the remainder of his Republican caucus appear to be lemmings, blindly following his swampy agenda to grow government.
We knew as soon as a Special Taxing Session was announced so quickly after the Legislature adjourned that we were in trouble as taxpayers. $100 Million of fraudin the Child Care Assistance Program means nothing to our elected officials who care only about their re-election.
Action 4 Liberty watched as all 67 Senatorsvoted for the massive HHS Omnibus bill that clearly violates the single subject rule of our Constitution. Gazelka and allies have no interest in following the rules in that old piece of paper I guess.
How could a bill on health care and welfare unite ALL Republicans and Democrats in the Senate? If a bill like that had one ounce of cuts, we'd see Democrats abandon it in drones.
The HHS Omnibus bill was a monstrosity of government interference in our lives. It's the bill that funds Planned Parenthood with taxpayer money though the Medical Assistance program appropriations. It's also the bill that re-upped the Health Insurance bailout program (called Reinsurance at the Capitol) which uses taxpayer money to cover health care claims.
The deal that swampy Gazelka made with liberal Governor Walz also included reinstating the tax on the sick known as the provider tax. That awful tax was scheduled to sunset on June 30th, but Gazelka agreed to reinstate it INDEFINITELY!
In other words, Republicans just increased YOUR taxes.
Here's the vote:
Things have deteriorated so bad in the ranks of Republican legislators that the Senate Republican Caucus actually went on social media late last night to brag about historic funding increases in education. Perhaps they think this will get the teacher's union on their side in the next election. Cough cough yeah right!
Action 4 Liberty believes you deserve a better government. You deserve a legislature that is transparent, gets their work done on time, follows the rule of law and doesn't make deals with three people behind closed doors. You also deserve a smaller government so that money stays in your hands through massive tax cuts that make Minnesota no longer the worst tax statein the country!
We will take our message to the 2020 election and start getting rid of some of these big government, swamp dwelling RINOs. Some of the senators who voted to fund the fraudulent child care program and increasing your taxes will face primary challengers.
Action 4 Liberty recruits and equips candidates for political office. The legislators we've helped get elected in the Minnesota House are the best voting legislators. Now we shift our focus to making the Minnesota Senate better by building a freedom team.
If you would like to help us, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let's find out how you can help Minnesota taxpayers with the 2020 Freedom Team Plan.
Do you remember the old School House Rock "I'm Just a Bill" song? That tune laid out the process of how a bill becomes law under our Constitutional Republic. Unfortunately the lyrics are all wrong when it comes to our state government. Apparently a bill becomes law when Governor Walz, Speaker Hortman and Senator Gazelka agree to $48 Billion of spending behind closed doors.
Walz called a one-day Special Session that starts at 10 am this morning and adjourns by 7 am on Saturday. The agenda is to pass thousands of pages of bills that spend $48 Billionof our money and increase taxes on us. Oh, and by the way...none of the legislators will have time to read what they are voting on.
Here's the agenda:
In order to make this all happen in the constrained timeline, an agreement will be made by legislators to suspend the rules to avoid long, contentious floor debates. Your legislator will not allow the actual legislative process to work. Instead, they will fast track a tax increase on the sick that was part of the budget deal.
We've been following the legislature closely this whole time because you have told us how much you care about rampant fraud in the Child Care Assistance Program. We delivered 12,000 of your petitions to the Capitol, flew a plane banner around the Twin Cities, lit dropped legislative districts, sent out mailers, emails and made phone calls. Yet, we are completely in the dark right now on the status of funding the fraudulent child care program.
As you can imagine, that most likely means Governor Walz and Senator Gazelka have no intention to actually stop using our tax money to fund a program full of fraud.
Don't settle for this type of corrupt governance. Call your legislators today and tell them to not agree to suspend the rules and vote no on all the omnibus bills today. The deal that was struck by Walz-Hortman-Gazelka is only powerful if your legislator blindly follows their lead. But each legislator has a vote and they answer to you, their boss, not someone with a title at the Capitol.
The Minnesota Legislature adjourned last night sine die (latin for without another day) for the 2019 Legislative Session. At this point, they aren't scheduled to meet again until February of next year. So far, only one budget bill has passed: the Higher Education Omnibus bill.
To avoid a government shutdown in every government area outside of higher education, the Governor needs to call a Special Session before July 1st. The Legislative leaders came to a budget agreementwith the Governor on Sunday night, so it appears a special session will occur within the next couple weeks.
In the final half hour of the session last night, before the Constitutionally mandated midnight adjournment, the Republican Senate rammed through the Agriculture, Rural Development and Housing Finance Omnibus bill that no legislator had a chance to read. The bill passed with only 17 votes against it. However, that bill was killed on the House floor by Republicans who argued no one had a chance to go through the 110 page bill.
Stay tuned to Action 4 Liberty for up-to-date news about the 2019 Special Session.
Minnesotans were left in the dark for the last week as the legislative process in the state boiled down to three key players meeting behind closed doors: Governor Walz, Senator Paul Gazelka and Speaker Melissa Hortman. The goal of the secret meetings was to come to a compromise deal then push those items into conference committee bills in less than a day for a quick vote on the Senate and House floors.
As one can imagine, taxpayers in Minnesota did not fare well in these secretive talks. The infamous provider tax, which is assessed when sick people receive care, was re-upped at 1.8%. It would represent a tax increase of over $1.2 Billion in the upcoming biennium. Senate Republicans spent the last year talking about how awful the tax is, only to cave on their no new tax pledge.
In exchange for the tax on the sick, Republicans got a relatively minuscule tax rate reduction for the middle income tax bracket. Tax filers currently paying 7.05% on income will see that reduced to 6.75%. Of course, any tax reduction is good in our book. But this new tax change does not go into effect until 2022.
The deal also apparently includes $500 Million of bonding debt that will go towards housing projects. Future Minnesota taxpayers will be left with the bill on this one.
Education spending will receive 2% annual increases in the next two years which appears to be a complete win for the Walz Administration. Add that to the current price tag of government for the next biennium which is being reported to be over $48 Billion. With revenues projected at $47.9 Billion, the whole surplus was spent and not given back to taxpayers.
In order to pay for the increase, the state government is going to tap into the massive budget reserves. Over $2 Billion of our tax money has been held in a reserve account for the last couple of years. Now Republicans and Democrats are tapping into that account to spend on their bloated government projects.
Another horrible part about the deal is that the health insurance bailout program (Reinsurance) has been renewed for another two years. This was one of the biggest items Republicans fought for which is also something Angie Craig and Amy Klobuchar support at the federal level. It uses taxpayer money to bailout insurance companies on medical claims over $50,000.
Thanks to thousands of angry voters and activists, the awful gas tax increase was killed in its entirety. Walz wanted to increase that tax by 70%, but the tax was widely unpopular and Republicans were forced to side with taxpayers and voters on that issue despite Senators like Jason Rarick saying he would support a modest increase.
What we don't know: Fraudulent child care program funding. We assume that the Child Care Assistance Program received full funding in the budget deal, but we won't know until the HHS Conference Committee later in the day. We'll keep you informed.
The final deal will manifest into law by being added to the Omnibus bills in the conference committees. Those bills will be fast-tracked and sent to the two chambers for a final vote where legislators will have an agreement not to hold up the process with amendments. There won't be enough time today to make it all work, so we're likely to see a one to two day special session later in the week.
Action 4 Liberty thinks Minnesotans got a bad deal on this one. Instead of shrinking government, giving back the surplus and reducing taxes, Senate Republicans did the exact opposite. The only way to stop this monstrosity at this point is to tell your Senator to vote against the spending bills and tax increases. In particular, bonding debt bills require 60% of the legislature for passage.