Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Still Juhnkeballing 

When pitchers lose the foot on their fastballs that make the difference between striking out batters and being battered themselves, the aging pitcher goes through an adjustment in which they learn to pitch with their fastball (rather than whizzing it past, you have to have pinpoint control) or they learn to throw off-speed pitches, sometimes called junkballs. In an update to an article that I discussed last night, Rep. Al Juhnke shows he can't throw his stuff past the voters any more and resorts to throwing junk.
Juhnke told the Independent the DFL spells out exactly what it's chief funding priorities are, and how they'd be funded � and they are not the things Seifert points to in his op-ed piece.
Health care, all-day, every-day kindergarten and property tax reform are among the DFL priorities. Juhnke said they'd be paid for through closing corporate tax loopholes (requiring companies that do business in Minnesota to pay taxes in Minnesota), forcing compliance on tax cheaters, and creating a fourth tier of income tax on those who make, after all deductions, $400,000 or more. That aspect would be revenue neutral, Juhnke said, and not really an increase in taxes.
Juhnke said Seifert ignored the concrete steps the DFL proposes, and chose just to attack.
"We are funding the basic items Minnesotans are asking for, and we've put out exactly how we're going to pay for them," Juhnke said. "It does Marty no good to be be misleading. That does nothing to foster debate down here. What he's doing is creating exactly the thing (the GOP) has been great at � the politics of division.
"You can lead in a good, positive way, or lead in a negative way. Apparently, he's chosen the latter at the present time."
First, it's not the job of the minority leader to highlight the good parts of the majority's tax-and-spend bill. That's your job, Rep. Juhnke.

Second, it's interesting that you rely on the old dodge of Russell Long and call the tax increases revenue-neutral. They might be to the median voter ... but you've divided out the people who make more than $400,000 in a year. What is that if not the politics of division? Taxing businesses means that you can do that without ever costing a job, without ever seeing tax incidence shifted forward to purchasers, and without ever leading that business owner to spend less on goods and services in her or his town. (Entrepreneurs operate households as well as firms, Rep. Juhnke.)

Third, and perhaps most galling, is the idea that somehow you can invent this money by closing loopholes and forcing compliance. These are not free goods. They mean further persecution of Minnesota businesses. They mean hiring more people to go over your tax return. They mean businesses spend more money on tax compliance and avoidance and less on research and development and jobs.

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