The Minnesota State Economist announced this morning that the state budget surplus, the amount of money the government overtaxed us by, has grown by a $181 Million. Governor Walz and the DFL House have a list of new spending projects lined up to spend the surplus on, while the Republican Senate wants to spend some and give back $1 Billion of the money.
What you aren't hearing about in the halls of the Capitol is that the state government is actually overtaxing us by a lot more than the $1.5 Billion figure stated in the MMB report. The state government is taking tax money from hardworking Minnesotans and putting it in a massive reserve account that tops $2.5 Billion. They're trying to trick us with money they stole from our pockets. This is money not being used for current spending.
Senate Republican Leader Paul Gazelka recently bragged about keeping the budget reserve account high. His caucus has not put forward a plan to give back that money to the private sector as of the date of this article. However, Rep Cal Bahr who is a member of the more conservative New House Republican Caucus, sent out an email to constituents claiming the amount in reserves is surplus funds and should be given back. His email was sent before the February Forecast was released today which is why his number is a little lower.
Action 4 Liberty calls for the entire $4 Billion to be returned to Minnesota taxpayers immediately. Senate Republicans need to lead on this issue and deliver something for the Republican base heading into an important election season.
One thing we noticed while analyzing the economic report today is that the "cash flow" account was added to the same line item as the "budget reserves". These are typically separate line items on the budget. Was this done purposely to mask how much money they are holding onto in a rainy day fund? The cash flow account is only $350 Million. Adding the two categories together gives the impression that a large amount of money is needed for current cash flow for government functions.
Yeah, yeah. We get it. Asking you to attend a precinct caucus on a Tuesday night in February might be the nerdiest thing we can ask of you. But politics is won by the people who show up. And I can guarantee that if you don't show up, the Swamp and their enablers will.
By Minnesota state law, all major parties have a precinct caucus tonight at 7pm. Anyone can attend and meet other like minded people in the area. Caucuses are meant to be the lowest form of organizing inside the political party structure. That's why they'll ask the people in the precinct who wants to be a precinct chair, secretary, etc.
But we're not focused on those do-nothing positions.
Instead, we're focused on you becoming a delegate. Delegates are the individuals who get to vote to endorse the candidates for the Minnesota House and Senate. It's an incredibly powerful position that must remain with grassroots conservatives, not the Swamp dwellers.
All you have to do to become a delegate is sign your name on the sheet tonight. Most likely there will not be enough people interested in running as a delegate, so you'll be successful.
Tired of legislators funding the child care scam? Want your surplus to be given back to taxpayers? Then show up to caucus tonight!
WHEN: Tonight, Feb 25th at 7 pm
Senate Republican Majority Leader Paul Gazelka and House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt are attacking pro-Trump group MAGASOTA, calling them scammers on a website created yesterday. The website alleges that MAGASOTA is "diverting valuable volunteer time" and stating that the group is not affiliated with the official Trump re-election organization.
FEC filings show that MAGASOTA is registered as a Super PAC, which means there is a legal requirement to be independent from the official campaign. According to MAGASOTA, the purpose of the group is to win Minnesota for Trump by identifying and activating independent voters and disenfranchised conservative voters. Their assumption is that the Republican Party of Minnesota, who has failed to win a statewide election since 2006, will not be equipped to do what it takes to get new voters.
MAGASOTA also focuses only on Trump's re-election. Whereas, the Republican Party effort will piggyback off the Trump campaign to get all Republicans on the ticket, conservative and RINOs, elected in November. MAGASOTA thinks that strategy will turn off independent voters.
Perhaps that's the reason Gazelka is attacking MAGASOTA. The Senate Republicans have a big fight ahead to keep their majority. Is Gazelka jealous that MAGASOTA is successful at organizing? Most of their meet-ups are packed with new people and they are making calls every day around the state identifying potential Trump voters. Meanwhile, Senate Republicans continue speaking to empty rooms at their town hall events and have a lackluster social media game.
Or is there something more sinister at play? Is this the reemergence of the Never-Trump community? Kurt Daudt made headlines in October 2016 when he called for Trump to end his campaign a month before the election. Had Daudt been successful, Hillary Clinton would be president. MAGASOTA aims to activate Trump people to become part of the Republican caucuses on Tuesday. Never-Trumpers view this as a threat to their power.
Strangely the website also calls a pro-Trump Facebook group a scam. Facebook groups are nothing more than a forum for like-minded activists to share information. There are dozens of pro-Trump groups in Minnesota and all of them are free to join.
On the bottom of the website, the logos of the Republican Party of Minnesota, the Senate Republican Caucus and the Old House Republican Caucus are displayed. Both the Senate and House caucus are taxpayer funded entities. Resources from those caucuses were used to make the website and promote it.
Updated 2/21/20 at 3:30 pm
The Republican Party of Minnesota sent out a statewide email joining Gazelka and Daudt in calling them scammers. Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan writes that MAGASOTA preys "on low information activists that love our President - and manipulate[s] those activists to get involved in efforts that cause harm to our President's ability to win Minnesota." She goes onto say "any outside group or entity that tries to use our activists and leaders to work against our President and fellow Republicans will not be accepted by our party."
Action 4 Liberty condemns the Republican Party and Republican Senate & House Caucuses for this action. For a group who hasn't won a statewide election in over 14 years, they're not in a position to stop outside groups from organizing to help Trump get re-elected.
A debate has emerged inside the ranks of Republicans across the state as a new group called MN Right to Life started in Minnesota alleging that Republicans in St Paul have been funding planned parenthood with taxpayer dollars. Meanwhile, the Republicans targeted by them tout their pro-life credentials and their endorsements from MCCL.
Is it true that Republicans are funding Planned Parenthood?
Action 4 Liberty has long protested the use of unconstitutional, multi-subject Omnibus bills which generally get passed in the final hours of the legislative session, are negotiated behind closed doors and no one reads before voting for their passage. The largest of the omnibus bills is the Health & Human Services Omnibus bill (HHS).
The HHS Omnibus bills that pass every two years that fund things like the fraudulent child care program, welfare programs, and government health care programs contain a program called Medical Assistance. Women use the Medical Assistance program, funded by taxpayers, to pay for services they receive at Planned Parenthood - a hyper-leftist organization and largest abortion provider in Minnesota.
When confronted with voting for this line of funding, Republican legislators proclaim that the courts won't allow them to strip the funding. But courts have no power when it comes to appropriating money. That power is solely reserved for the legislature. On a website created by the Minnesota Senate Republicans, they admit that funding for Planned Parenthood did come from passing a bill they vote for.
Regardless, each individual legislator is responsible for his or her vote. They are accomplices in this broken process where all sorts of terrible things are funded in one giant omnibus bill.
Last May, the HHS Omnibus bill was passed at 5 am in the morning during a marathon special session on Memorial Day weekend (because they didn't get their work done on time). While most Minnesotans were starting their big weekend at the lake, legislators were passing awful bills that provide abortion funding. All 35 Republican Senators and 32 DFL Senators voted for the bill.
In the case of the Minnesota House, Republicans stood in large opposition to the HHS Omnibus bill. Were they acting as courageous defenders of life and exercising fiscal restraint? Not likely, considering many of the same Republicans vote for the HHS Omnibus bill (SF2) and abortion funding two years before when they were in the majority.
Action 4 Liberty believes that the practice of passing multi-subject Omnibus bills that violate the Minnesota Constitution should be stopped by Republicans. The HHS Omnibus bill should be split into several smaller bills and the Medical Assistance program should carry a provision that makes it illegal for taxpayer money to go to the hyper-leftist, abortion provider Planned Parenthood. If that vote gets challenged in courts, Republicans should stand firm because the Legislature, not the courts, has the power of the purse. What more important battle is there for the pro-life community than this?
A bill proposed by Rep Jeremy Munson (R - Crystal Lake) would allow carry permit holders to sue establishments that ban guns if they are harmed on their premises. There's a long debate on whether or not someone has a right to restrict an individual's ability to protect his or her self. Munson's bill would allow punitive damages in these cases.
Current state law requires permit holders to leave an establishment that posts a sign prohibiting guns. A permit holder is only held legally liable if he or she is asked to leave by the owner of the establishment or an employee, but refuses. HF3051 now places liability on the establishment.
Subd. 2. Property owner responsibility. (a) A property owner or entity who prohibits the carrying of firearms by a person who is otherwise authorized to carry a firearm or who is not otherwise prohibited from carrying a firearm shall assume absolute custodial responsibility for the safety and defense of the unarmed person while the person is located on the owner's or entity's property that is posted with a sign prohibiting firearms.
The bill was co-authored by Reps Drazkowski, Bahr and Miller who are the other three members of the New House Republican Caucus. Last year four Republican legislators broke off the Old House Republican Caucus led by lobbyist legislator Kurt Daudt and formed a new, more conservative caucus.
Before we even talk about the massive fraud in the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP), we must ask the simple question: why is government funding people's child care in the first place? When did this become a role for the state government? Where did they get this authority to tax one part of the population to give to others?
A video surfaced recently showing a disgruntled father who sacrificed and paid for his daughter's college, only to find out from Elizabeth Warren's own mouth that he would not be reimbursed under her plan. Instead, all the people who took out debt would be forgiven and his sacrifices and savings were dismissed by the political elites.
All of us who pay for our own child care make sacrifices as well. But according to the DFL controlled Minnesota House, we need to pony up more money to pay for other people's child care.
Yesterday the DFL House held a press conference promoting their agenda to take our surplus dollars and redistribute it to pay for other people's child care. They want to use $500 Million of the money we've been overtaxed to pay for it.
Meanwhile, in the Republican controlled Senate, Sen Jim Abeler (R-Anoka) who chairs the Human Services committee is also looking for ways to increase child care funding. According to an interview with MinnPost Abeler has "opened the door for possible new funding, signaling a different strategy for a Republican-led Senate."
Both Parties appear to believe the fraud has been solved and taxpayer dollars are now being used appropriately? But if that's the case, why would there need to be more funding? If the fraud is gone, there should be an influx of resources now available to families.
Action 4 Liberty believes a program with this much fraud should be ended, not funded. Sign our petition and tell legislators to End the Fraudulent Child Care Program now!
In a strange response to, of all things, his Facebook followers, the author of the Facebook User Tax appears to be backtracking from pushing forward on taxing social media companies in Minnesota. Sen Roger Chamberlain (R-White Bear Lake) posted a bizarre video yesterday explaining that he's received a lot of negative feedback from voters over his confrontational tax.
"A lot of you were a little upset the other day when Senator Benson and I had a proposal" state Chamberlain. "Well...got you. Now we have your attention. Now you know the power of social media." Watch the video yourself.
Was Chamberlain and Benson not serious about this bill? Was this just a gimmick? If they have time to play games like this, why doesn't Sen Chamberlain who chairs the Senate Tax Committee spend that time writing the bill to give back the surplus? Or how about Sen Benson, chair of the Health & Human Services Finance Committee, advance the bill to end the child care fraud?
One thing is certain, the Swamp is well aware that we all are watching what they are doing. Contacting legislators and voicing your disproval of their gimmicks works. If you haven't signed our petition to Stop the Facebook User Tax, please do below.
It's the first day of the 2020 legislative session and instead of the Chairman of the Tax Committee introducing a bill to give back every penny of the surplus, he and another Republican Senator introduced legislation that would create a social media fee. Sen Roger Chamberlain (R - White Bear Lake) and Sen Michelle Benson (R - Ham Lake) introduced SF 2996 which establishes a fee (tax) on social media companies with over 100,000 Minnesota users and creates a government fund.
What's the purpose of this bizarre legislation? According to a tweet by Chamberlain, it's purpose is to "provide education, info about mental health impact, addiction problem, etc re soc media use". Why this is a role of government; that's for the two Republican Senators to explain.
Legislation like this is usually done as a favor to special interests. Perhaps the big social media companies want to create a barrier-to-entry for start up social media platforms. It's pretty easy for Facebook to pay a fee to operate with its millions of Minnesota users. But new competition might struggle to pay a fee. At the time of this article's publication, the amount is not stated in the bill.
Here's the problem. Republicans are the ones who are supposed to be for smaller government and free markets. So why are two Republicans behind legislation that increases taxes and makes it harder to do business in this state?
Democratic frontrunner and devout socialist Bernie Sanders often mentions on the campaign trail that the wealthy and the country's 1% need to pay their "fair share". But Bernie's private tax returns tell a different story than his public message.
According to his released tax returns, Bernie had a good year in 2018. His income of $566,421 puts him solidly in the 1% of the country. 67% of that income comes from his business venture "Book Royalties Macmillian"; revenues generated from his book sales. Of the remaining income, $44k are social security benefits and $133k come from his income as a Senator.
Now remember, Bernie's message to voters is that the 1% don't pay their "fair share". He argues that the wealthy should pay more in taxes because the current top tax rate of 37% isn't high enough. According to Bernie's tax return, his effective tax rate is 28% on total taxable income of $519,529.
Mr. Fairshare himself decided to shield $41,746 of his income from taxes using deductions. That equates to almost $15k less to Uncle Sam to pay for other people's healthcare. If he really believes the wealthy should pay more, than why is he taking deductions?
Income for a U.S. Senator is $174k. As stated above, Sanders' W2 shows $40k less than that amount. This means he took advantage of a tax shielding program like "contributions to the Thrift Savings Plan" (federal employees' version of a 401k) to pay even less in taxes. That $40k would amount to another $14k less taxes for Uncle Sam to subsidize renewable energy programs. If Bernie really wanted to pay his fair share, he wouldn't seek tax shelter investment accounts.
Now we, of course, aren't opposed to people using these tax deductions. We'd prefer people keep more of their income for themselves and their family. But that is not what Socialist Bernie professes to believe for people of his income class. In fact, if Bernie just accepted that someone making $566k should pay a flat 37%, his tax bill would be $209k. That's $64k more he could donate to the U.S. Treasury. And in case you aren't aware, they allow people to do this on their website.
Bernie has attracted a big following from the youth because there's a perception that he's a straight shooter and ideologically consistent socialist. But when you look at the numbers, Bernie is just another typical politician who says one thing, and does the complete opposite.
The problem with the socialist vision from people like Bernie is that what really lies behind their vision is a powerful government that uses force to take income away from productive people. Instead of using voluntary vehicles like private charity to help the less fortunate in our society, socialists divide us into classes of identities and use the force of government to extract money from one class to redistribute to others. This is the antithesis of freedom and not quite the virtuous endeavor that college academics make it out to be.
Socialists like Bernie are either missing a very important detail in their analysis of capitalism or purposely suppressing it for their own benefit. It's indisputable that capitalism produces more wealth than any other system of economics; thus raising the standard of living of all individuals in the society. The Bernies of the world come along and point out that there is an unequal distribution of wealth in a capitalist system while dismissing how this sort of distribution has absolutely nothing to do with capitalism in particular. In fact, it predates western societies by thousands, if not millions of years.
Archeological digs show an unequal distribution of treasures buried with people in ancient cultures. Some were buried with gold, some were buried with nothing. In today's world, we see this same concept play out in sports and art. LeBron James scores more points and provides more value than 99% of the other players in the world who play basketball. J.K. Rowling sells more books than 99% of other authors (most don't make anything writing books). And only a small amount of musical artists, get the majority of the downloads online.
The Bernie socialist vision is a bad one for our country. Instead of looking how politicians can be more intrusive in our lives and own a larger portion of our productivity, we should be moving towards less government and more freedom. We can look at the actions of the socialists like Bernie to realize that they don't practice what they preach. Even at their core, the Bernie's of the world prefer economic freedom for themselves. It shows up every time they release their tax returns.
Why is it so difficult for Republicans in the Majority to boldly state that a taxpayer surplus should all be given back to the taxpayers? But this simple concept, an idea that will likely be said to delegates when they seek endorsement, will never be promoted in the halls of the state Capitol as long as Paul Gazelka is leading the Senate.
In a recent video interview with Alpha News, Sen Paul Gazelka proudly bragged that Senate Republicans prioritize extracting taxpayer money in our economy to boost up the government's rainy day funds. "The one area I like is making sure our reserves are full" stated Gazelka. "That's for the rainy day."
What Gazelka believes is that when there is an economic downturn and family budgets and business budgets are making sacrifices, the government should be able to operate at the same level. Rainy day funds in the government hands just insure that the bloated, wasteful spending in St Paul continues while the rest of the population is suffering financially.
More importantly, the reserve account is at historically high levels. $2.5 Billion of our money is being held stagnant in a government account for future spending. When added to the current budget surplus, the state government is holding onto $1,250 of every taxpayer's money so they can use it for future spending. And Gazelka thinks that good?
Action 4 Liberty believes the government should never hold onto our money in reserve accounts and surpluses should be immediately returned to the people who paid it. Sign our petition to GIVE IT BACK and tell Gazelka we want our $1,250 back!