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On Taxes, Schafer Gets It Half Right

Business columnist Lee Schafer wrote in Saturday's Star Tribune that Minnesota "needs to take a look at its income tax." Schafer began with the fact that Minnesota's personal income tax revenues, like those of other high-tax states, are falling short of projections: [Management and Budget Commissioner Myron] Frans was reporting that January general-fund revenue was $2.28 billion, about 10.7 percent less than the most recent forecast. Most of the lines were close to the forecast but not individual income taxes, coming in about $280 million less than the $1.73 billion forecast. *** [T]he last state budget update before this one showed that individual...

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Tapping Into Greater Minnesota’s Can-Do Attitude

This column by American Experiment Chairman Ron Eibensteiner appeared in the Grand Rapids Herald Review. All the political talk about “Two Minnesotas” in this past campaign season inspired me to think long and hard about what exactly that means—and what we at the Center can do about it. To me, the first Minnesota consists of a political aristocracy, mostly urban, totally liberal, a political nobility composed of unionists, academics, social engineers and media whose attitude about governance can be summed up in three words: “We know better. Forget the real-world costs of coping with our lofty policies.” The other Minnesota is, well,...

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The “Great” and “Entrusted” American Experiment (No, Not the Think Tank)

As you might expect, I’m quick to note when someone uses the term “American Experiment” in referring to the Center.  But I’m equally alert when the term has nothing to do with where I work, as when a newspaper used it, as I just discovered, in a remarkable editorial in 1860.  Or when the locution was used a week ago in a nationally broadcast speech.  It’s fair to say I’ve resonated to the term “American Experiment,” and variations on the theme, for a long time. So, I was pleased a week ago Tuesday when Stacy Abrams, who lost her race for...

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“How College Debt Ate My Parents’ 401k”

The Wall Street Journal ran a particularly sobering story recently (February 2-3) about how “Older Americans are being crushed by a mountain of student loans—their children’s and their own.”  How badly crushed, exactly?  Some numbers from the article, “Student Debt at 65,” by AnnaMaria Andriotis: “One generation of Americans owed $86 billion in student loans at last count. Its members are all 60 years old or more.” “On average, student loan borrowers in their 60s owed $33,800 in 2017, up 44% from 2010.” “The federal government disbursed $12.7 billion in new ‘Parent Plus’ loans during the 2017-18 academic year, up...

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