ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The simmering debate at Minnesota’s Capitol over the balance between providing government services and encouraging economic growth flared in the Senate on Tuesday, as Republicans passed a tax bill they said would make the state a better place to do business.

Approved on a party-line vote of 37-26, the bill cuts spending by $580 million toward eliminating the state’s $5 billion budget shortfall and eliminates the statewide property tax on businesses entirely over the next dozen years. It also reduces aid to local governments and trims a property tax refund for renters.

“There are legislatures and governors around this country lowering taxes, making their states more competitive for their employers,” said Sen. Geoff Michel, R-Edina. “We need to engage in that competition.”

The debate grew heated as Democrats repeatedly tried — and failed — to attach to the bill income-tax hikes on the state’s wealthiest taxpayers that had been sought by Gov. Mark Dayton. They also tried to close a tax provision that shields Minnesota-based companies from paying taxes on foreign profits. Democrats suggested greater tax collections could block property tax increases and the higher taxes on renters, or be used to blunt cuts to social services that benefit the poor and disabled.

“This bill has a simple message,” said Sen. John Marty, DFL-Roseville. “We’re not going to raise taxes on the wealthiest Minnesotans, not even by a few pennies. We’re not going to close corporate loopholes. We’re not going to do that because we don’t want to raise taxes. But it’s very definitely raising taxes, just not for those who are most fortunate.”

The “no tax increase” mantra is misleading not just in terms of renters, Democrats said, but because scaling back aid programs for local governments — and cuts to various state programs that are part of other GOP budget bills — are going to put massive pressure on Minnesota cities and counties to turn to property taxpayers in order to pay bills.

Republicans said that’s a decision better made at the local level. County officials “should be reducing their budgets too,” said Sen. Julianne Ortman, R-Chanhassen, who wrote the tax bill. “I believe they should be supporting their local property taxpayers. I believe they should all make reductions, I believe they know we should all live within our means.”

Minnesota’s tax climate has been a burden on businesses for too long, Republicans said, and predicted that efforts to relieve it would result in growth, innovation and jobs.

“It is incredible to me that even one business stays in Minnesota,” said Sen. Gretchen Hoffman, R-Vergas. She called Democratic efforts “an assault on anyone with any sort of income … it is incredible to me they even want to stay here.”

Republicans voted down or declared out of order numerous DFL efforts to tinker with the bill’s tax provisions, but the Democrats have a likely ally in Dayton, who has said he wouldn’t support any state budget fix if it doesn’t include both spending cuts and some new revenue sources. In a letter to Ortman, several officials from the state Department of Revenue wrote that the Senate tax bill would result in about $600 million in local property tax increases in the next three years.

“The increases in taxes for lower-income Minnesotans would be significantly greater than for the wealthiest Minnesotans” under the bill, acting Revenue Commissioner Dan Salomone and Assistant Commissioner Matt Massman said in the letter.

The Senate bill differs from a House GOP tax bill, passed last week, that includes income-tax cuts, does not phase out the business property tax, and focuses its local government aid cuts on the cities of Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth rather than the broader cut included in the Senate bill.

Representatives from the House and Senate along with Dayton’s office are likely at some point to begin negotiations over a compromise on the state’s tax structure.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (88)
  1. Big Shock says:

    Wow!! The GOP wants to further degrade business’ civic responsibility, passing along the responsibility for public safety, city services, road construction and repair, sewer and water maintenance and everything else to individual taxpayers.

    Why doesn’t the GOP just declare Minnesota a feudal state and its citizens serfs and get it over with?

    1. j fee says:

      Idiot. Next time your job leaves the state because another state is cheaper, or worse another country is cheaper you’ll understand. Go buy some more junk from China because “it’s cheaper” while your at it.

  2. Another Bob says:

    They failed to mention the most important fact. Changing MN to a “right to work” state. I lived in a right to work state. It gives employers the right to fire anyone at anytime for any reason with no questions or recourse.

    I have started quoting the story. The last time I commented on a badly written story they rewrote it to cover themselves.


    The Minnesota Senate will debate a tax bill that Republicans say helps close a $5 billion budget shortfall without state tax increases but that Democrats say will end up forcing local property tax increases.

    The Senate is slated to continue a debate Tuesday on its omnibus tax bill. The bill cuts spending by $580 million, and extends property tax relief to businesses by eliminating the statewide property tax on businesses entirely over the next dozen years. Republicans say that will make Minnesota a better place to do business.

    The bill also reduces aid to local governments and trims the size of a property tax refund for renters. Gov. Mark Dayton’s Department of Revenue says those and other provisions will result in higher property taxes for homeowners.

    1. Max says:

      All states if you do not have a union they can fire you on a whim. Business usually will come up with an excuse or two. Gets a little trickier if you fall into a protected class.

      1. Hannah says:

        Max, why would an employer fire you if you are a good and conscientious employee and do your job the way you are suppose to do it?

        1. shwiehl says:

          Because as a teacher who has put in 20 years, you make more money than a brand new teacher, and in tight budgets, why wouldn’t they???

          1. jilo says:

            Because of stupid union loop holes teachers are not laid off because of MERIT they are layed off on the basis of; last hired first to go. If you WERE a teacher you would know that

            1. Max says:

              @ jilo maybe shwiehl worked for a private or charter school. Maybe if you paid attention to the education system you might realize there are charter and private schools. It doesn’t matter school or not, to get cheaper help is another reason.

        2. Max says:

          Because you might know more than they do, so when they break the law, you will call them on it. The other reason is simple haven’t you ever worked for a bad boss. They don’t like you at all. Maybe they have a friend they want to give your job to. All sorts of reasons. Thankful for you that you have never seen that BS>

  3. Citizen says:

    Yet another bill for Governor Dayton to veto. Why don’t businesses and the wealthy want to pay their fair share of taxes to Minnesota and the U.S.? The state and country that made them wealthy and successful. Don’t the businesses and wealthy also need the roads, utilities, etc. that all citizens enjoy? For shame. If taxpayers could call this whining about paying taxes for what it is, it would be “treason.”

    1. Tom says:


      That is a good question: “Don’t the businesses and wealthy also need roads, etc”? Well apparently the GOP is saying no they don’t.

      But on the other hand the GOP would answer yes they do, but we don’t want them too help pay for it, that is what the “middle class” and “lower income” pions are for.

      The only ones who buy into this non-sense are the “middle class conservatives”

    2. Shelli says:

      They get taxed to extremes. We are now number one in the world in regard to unfriendliest to businesses in taxation. If I owned a business I would want to go to another country too. It’s not the cost of the employee but the government wants to tax the hell out of businesses just because they have money. Another way to try to redistribute the wealth. What gives you the right to be able to take someone else’s money that they earned? Another entitled American.

      1. Ryan says:

        Because businesses squeeze the low paying jobs, the state has to kick in.

        I say we increase minimum wage again (especially those with over 40-50 employees). The wealthiest 5% of Americans are sucking more and more money their way, leaving less and less for the other 95%.

        If minimum wage increases, that means more of society has more money to spend, more people who can afford eating out, more people buying clothes.

        Gas prices continue to rise and it’s many of the wealthiest who are the only ones who are benefitting. We need to shake that money tree.

        1. jilo says:

          You people are idiots perhaps if you ran a business you would know how it works. A small busiess owner not a walmart but a small business owner making MAYBE 250k a year before his expenses, You stop and realize how much is left over in net profit after expenses, could be less then half. You idiot democrats think its so simple to tax the rich, well you are all sucking on the government tit why dont you have the government pay you to take a business course. A retard like Ryan thinks we should raise minimum wage so Ryan, between employee pay roll tax unemployment tax and the wage increase you still think that small business with as you say 40-50 employess is going to draw much of a profit? Not to ention the fact that they eliminate property tax you think that small business’s dont pay for roads, bridges etc. ARE YOU KIDDING ME. I know we have a socialist in the white house but are you people really that brain dead to think that? Just because you here of GE (our presidents best buddy) not paying a dime in taxes far from means that small business’s dont. Talk to a small business owner. Instead of getting thousands of dollars in tax refunds like you government titty suckers get, they pay in thousands of dollars. Socialism does not create jobs, taxation does not create jobs, small business owners create jobs and they deserve every tax break they can get. Oh and one last thing for the snively little moron that wants to see a minimum wage increase, if flipping burgers for $7.25 an hour isnt good enough for you grow a spine and take a shot at a business of your own and stop looking for the next hand out.

        2. steve says:

          Why do you think the people earning minimum wage are making minumum wage?? Because for the most part that is all the money that employee is worth. Its simple economics. If that employees is making the business more money becuase of his skill set than the company will be forced to pay that worker more money if he asks for a raise or threatens to leave. If you have educated yourself as a worker and put in the effort to better yourself you will not have to worry about making minimum wage, your skills will far out reach those wages. Simply giving people more money they have not earned does not make sense and it only creates more problems. Americans have to get back to making things for themselves. If you are not happy with your current wage go out and get a different job that pays better or better yet start your own company and create good paying jobs for others. I am sick and tired of people standing with their hand out wanting something for nothing.

      2. Jim Marusak says:

        actually, what is killing business bottom lines is not taxes. the 2 biggest non-governmental portions of the economy right now are financial and medical sectors. yep, it’s health care that we’re paying a lot more for than we should be compared to the rest of the world (whether that’s insurance or the actual administrative costs) and the banks gouging everyone from you and me to the small business person with all type of fees that were never dreamed of in the 80’s.
        you pare those two sectors back to more historically normal levels profit-wise and otherwise, and the economy will recover, which will bring back most of the revenues due to people currently not working that would be. if you don’t, then no matter where the states or the feds cut it won’t matter.

    3. j fee says:

      The top 10% of earners already pay over 50% of the taxes. FACT. our 6Billionplus deficit spread among the top 5% or approximately 100,000 people equals a $60,000 tax burden or about 30k per year. the size of our government is expanding, as is spending. FACT. Read your history. Rome fell over taxes. Russia collapsed due to size of govt. too. Read Atlas shrugged. Or, just read!!!

      1. Ovid says:

        Rome did not fall over taxes. It fell because the wealthiest of Rome looted the empire for their own benefit. The Roman legions fell into a mere shell of itself because the elite refused to tax themselves. Mercenaries were hired to replace the legions to protect Rome, but since they had no allegiance to Rome other than money, they often left the battlefield.
        Rome could no longer protect itself and became easy pickings for invaders from the north and the east.

        If you are going to cite historical precedent, it would be nice if you knew what you were talking about.

  4. Mark says:

    Can I point out that the MN Democratic party website has a tab “Health and Human Services;” the GOP does not. Nuff said.

    The GOP has a clear and selfish agenda to protect the money of the wealthy and disregard the quality of life impacts on those who need our community’s help. It is a truly tragic position and one that certainly does not promote the “family values” of the common good.

    These overt legislative suggestions are short sighted and I predict this lack of concern will be their downfall.

    1. Peters says:

      That’s exactly what the liberal press wants you to believe. You people just eat up what they tell you about how the Repubicans just want the wealthy to get wealthier. That is not the case. Most Democrats tend to believe these things without taking a critical look at the situation. So what if they don’t have a health and human services tab! It doesn’t mean they don’t care for other humans. The “right” tend to be the most generous with their personal money, you don’t see that from liberal toting Dems as much. They say they want equality for all and are the compassionate ones, but who in our history gives the most? Republicans who are conservative and usually religious.

      1. Blizno says:

        First off, you say that conservatives are usually religious as if that means anything.
        Religion is not related to morality. Atheists are usually just as moral as theists, often more moral than theists.
        Second, you talk about the wealthy and charitable giving. Look at the distribution of wealth in USA over the last several decades. The super-wealthy have gotten much, much, much wealthier while the rest of us are barely treading water.
        I don’t care about the “charitable giving” of super-wealthy Republicans. Tossing a few pennies to the crowds while raking in vast wealth that was generated by the middle class and the laboring class is not honorable.
        It is disgraceful. The GOP and the super-wealthy who own the GOP are disgraceful.

        1. Blizno says:

          To be clear, I meant my rant to respond to Peters.

          1. Peters says:

            Another bitter liberal. And where are your facts about the super wealthy coming from? CNN? MSNBC? That’s what I thought. I bet you’ve not given any more than 10 dollars in your lifetime. You also likely think pretty highly of yourself, that you are godlike in your intellectual ability ( or as others see, lack thereof). Be thankful for the “few pennies” tossed your way – you could be out on the street. I am not wealthy in the least bit but appreciate the fact that we do have entrepeneurs that get off their butt and produce jobs and things to make your life easier.

            1. Scott Moore says:

              Are you spying on my charitable giving records?
              Are you reading my school records to see how I scored on standardized tests?

              Why have you decided that I would be “out on the street” if your Masters didn’t bother to let a few pennies slip from their jewel-encrusted fingers while you carry them through my slum?
              Is it because I am not filthy rich that you have decided that I’m barely worthy of clasping for a few pennies negligently cast aside by your Masters?

              Because I am not super-wealthy, I am not an American? I don’t deserve to share in the bounty of America, which I have worked hard all my life to support?

              What gives you the right to act as if you and your Owners are better than I, an American?
              You and your Owners are not better than I.

              I am an American.

            2. Citizen says:

              @Peters. I believe the facts about the super wealthy come from the IRS. As to businesses creating jobs, that has certainly been a success in the last 30 years hasn’t it. (That’s sarcasm, by the way.) That conservative trickle-down theory of the wealthy getting wealthier and producing jobs and investment has been a big BUST! The river of wealth has been upward. When the real cost of living for a family of 4 is around $50,000, the IRS reports that the average income is around $35,000. The middle class is disappearing and with that will go the remaining semblance of Democracy.

    2. j fee says:

      I thought it was the fact that the Denmocrats own all the unions, including the public unions that protest and call us education killersif we don’t pony up moreand more money every year. Another year, another tax increase. America has had it.

  5. Sue says:

    This bill extends property tax relief for businesses by eliminating the statewide property tax on businesses entirely over the next dozen years, well I would like my property tax eliminated too over the next dozen years but instead my property tax will go up and up and up over the next dozen years. The GOP just doesn’t get it and would rather crush the middle class then raise a few taxes on the rich who can afford it. I really hope people realize what the GOP stands for and vote them out of office in the next election.

  6. Jon says:

    Businesses aren’t and haven’t been hiring for years. Why continue to give tax breaks on the premise that it creates new jobs when it doesn’t?

    1. shwiehl says:

      Thanks Jon–well said!!

      1. Jack says:

        If you only had a brain.

        1. j fee says:

          Tonka Toys packed up and moved because????? When the former Governor of Wisconsin passed a huge tax on businesses who do the majority of business outside Wisconsin, Anderson Windows and Harley Davidson made plans to move. The tax was quickly killed.

          1. Citizen says:

            Tonka Toys packed up and moved because this country continues to give tax breaks to corporations that move their finances to tax havens like the Cayman Island and Bermuda, and tax breaks for moving business production to China–which has incredibly cheap labor, in case you haven’t noticed. Want to work for their wages and have a job. Move there, j fee.

        2. Citizen says:

          If Republicans only had a heart! It is easier to teach accounting to a Democrat than compassion to a Republican.

    2. Ryan says:

      Exactly. A business won’t create a job unless there’s a need for it. Give them a tax break and then what… the business owner hires a few more elves for the hell of it?

      Business can’t survive without consumers. Consumers need money to buy stuff. Tax breaks should be given their way. Then consumers create demand for goods and businesses have to expand to meet that demand. More workers mean more consumers means more demand… it’s like a business cycle.

      If someone can explain the business cycle of giving an owner more money and that motivating them to hire, well… please explain!

      1. Citizen says:

        Well, said, Ryan. Henry Ford knew that you have to pay your workers enough to buy your product and support your business.

  7. helper says:

    This is another indication of how out of touch the republicans and their little voting minions are…

    1. j fee says:

      Then why do we control both houses?

      1. Citizen says:

        @j fee. Because the Republicans were better con artists than the Democrats in this last election. And the voters more gullible and desperate. It will be interesting what happens in 2012.

  8. Dave Campbell says:

    Perhaps we should require them to create jobs and then we reward them by giving them tax breaks. Why do we just assume that they will take this money and create job with it? This clearly does not work and only leads to a healthier bottom line and better bonuses for executives!

  9. soooo can u say.... says:

    vveto…..then alotment tax increase…why not thats what timmy did,,,,u rem. him timmy p

  10. Ya says:

    Why do you tax them to the point that they close the doors and nobody has a job!

    1. Tired of getting hit with the carrot says:

      “General Electric has made $26 billion in profits in the United States over the past five years. It has also received a $4.1 billion tax refund from the IRS. GE has cut a fifth of it’s American jobs in the past nine years, and is boosting jobs overseas where tax rates are lower and where it can continue evading U.S. taxes.”

      “Bank of America made $4.4 billion in profits last year. This was after it received a $1 trillion bailout from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department, and a $1.9 billion tax refund from the IRS”

      “Exxon Mobil’s 2009 profits totaled $19 billion, yet according to its SEC filings, the company received a $156 Million rebate from the IRS. Plus, it didnt’ pay any federal taxes.”

      “Citigroup profits last year totaled more than $4 billion. It paid $0 in federal income tax and received a $2.5 trillion bailout from the Fedral Reserve and U.S. Treasury.”

      “Chevron’s IRS refund last year totaled $19 million but it’s 2009 profits came to a whopping $10 billion.”

      yep, taxing them right out of business

      1. j fee says:

        Thank Obama. Didn’t the Dems control both houses and the Presidency?

    2. Ryan says:

      Ya… what part of “record corporate profits” don’t you understand? Profits mean they won’t be closing their doors. Ya, you really need to stop supporting people who couldn’t care less about you!

  11. TiredOfHandoutstoWealthy says:

    More handouts to businesses!! If businesses would pay decent wages and provide health benefits, we would not have the current deficit. Not only would the state get more income taxes – because of the higher wages, the fastest growing sector of government – health care would not be so large because there would not be all of the low income residents qualifying for health benefits. We middle class taxpayers are supporting these businesses as they get bigger profits and pay their upper management big wages. I think their high income employees can afford to pay higher income taxes. I believe Dayton’s proposal ranges from $200 – $3000 extra tax on these high income people – not enough to create a single job!

  12. shwiehl says:

    Can I please start calling this business welfare? Pretty sure that’s what it is, and when you attach the word welfare to it, then maybe republicans will start to get mad then too!

  13. Don Johnsrud says:

    Make business show us the jobs first and then they will get thier tax refund.

    1. Ryan says:

      Right. Wasn’t that something Obama was for? Tax credits for new hiring?

  14. Blizno says:

    Restore reasonable taxes on businesses and on the wealthy.

    STOP the relentless GOP pandering to the super-wealthy. Stop giving the super-wealthy the life’s blood of USA.

    Return USA to the citizens. Of the people, by the people, for the people!

  15. Shelli says:

    You’re jealous. That’s what it comes down to. If you had a business and were doing extremely well you’d be doing the same thing – looking after your business’ interest. Why are you entitled to their money? If you’re so bitter, start your own company so you don’t have to rely on them for a job. You can do it if you work hard whether you were born with a silver spoon or not. It all comes down to coveting what you don’t have.

    1. Blizno says:

      Shelli, it does not come down to coveting what one does not have.

      The people who have gained the most from USA owe the most back to support the infrastructure that made it possible for them to gain so much in the first place.

      The richest owe the most to the nation that made them the richest. We are demanding that the richest few pay their fair share in taxes.

      1. Mike says:

        According to IRS statistics, the top 1% of income earners pay more than the bottom 95% COMBINED! The top 5% pay over 60% of the total burden… So who is not paying their “fair share” ?

        PS It liberals hate corporate tax breaks so much, why were the biggest supporters of Obamacare the insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies? Why is GE’s CEO Immelt at the White House constantly? Oh Yeah, GREEN JOBS!!!

        Blizno, Yes, it is coveting, the tax increases don’t hit big corporations, they screw small business owners.

      2. Shelli says:

        Thanks for enlightening me. You really made a difference in my opinion now. I think you may be the most intelligent being I know.

        1. Scott Moore says:

          Why…thank you Shelli.

          I am honored.

  16. FreddieBaby says:

    Hey, Teabaggers and the rest of you current Republicans! You complained about President Obama’s “socialist agenda” when he was forced to give taxpayer money to bail out Wall Street and US auto makers just to keep them afloat after the debacle of George W. and passed legislation to make health care more affordable. What do you call this action by Minnesota’s Senate Republicans? Do they have a socialist agenda too? Heck, they’re handing out taxpayer money just like those nasty Democratic Socialists did. Why do you feel you can give taxpayer money to businesses that are in the black and making money but you cannot devote any taxpayer money to individuals who are struggling to make ends meet, may be in need of health or mental care, are elderly and need assistance paying their bills or others who are just temporarily down on their luck and the organizations and governmental agencies that have been put in place to assist said individuals? You feel you even have to cut funding off from them so you have enough to hand over to businesses and the richest Minnesotans who own them. And what about your constant whining about how Democrats and Obama push big government down your throats and the growth of the “Nanny State” under their leadership? Up to now, all I have seen the Republicans do is try to pass all kinds of bills that infringe on personal rights (gay marriage, abortion rights, human embryonic stem cell research to name a few). Can anyone say hypocrites?

    1. Jack says:

      Hey Freddie – You obviously didn’t learn the lesson that life isn’t fair. Lots of people get down on their luck but don’t have the advantage of taking from their fellow countrymen via taxes. They find a way through private organizations like churches, etc. When you allow government to take over a large amount of taxpayers money to redistribute how they see fit – whether it’s a worthy cause or not – you give up more control to the government and you allow them to have a say in more of your life. You’re obviously a flaming liberal, Freddie, so there’s little chance in reasoning with you. I’m not going to even touch on gay marriage or abortion “rights” with you because you have already made up your mind and won’t listen to anyone’s reason except your own.

      1. Citizen says:

        @Jack. What kind of country will you get when you leave people on the street because they don’t have a job or income or support? A country is judged by how it treats its elderly, innocent, helpless, disabled. The law of the wild jungle is eat or be eaten, so I guess that’s your philosophy, too.

  17. Don Johnsrud says:

    The best way to balance the budget for MN would be to quit paying the wages and benifits to all our politicians. The companies that payed for thier campains and pay for thier vote should be the ones to pay thier wages. It would sure be easier to follow the money if we knew the senator from 3M sponcered the bill.

  18. Jack says:

    We are so spoiled in this country that our districts are paying out millions of dollars for high schools that are gorgeous so they can attract people to their community. What’s wrong with an okay looking school and spending the money on students and their education instead? We have this expectation that everything needs to be perfect and if it isn’t we snub our noses and expect something more. Our poor are wealthy compared to other countries! We have got to stop expecting everything to be handed to us and stop suing if we don’t get what we expected. Everyone wants a cut of the wealthy – Just axe Gary!

    1. Sarah says:

      We are a nation of freeloaders.

      1. Scott Moore says:

        Sarah, we are not a nation of freeloaders.
        We are a nation of strong people who work hard for our wages.

        There are a handful of parasites sucking vast wealth from all of us; the GOP. Vote anti-GOP at every opportunity. That is our only chance to take USA back from the parasites, the GOP.

        1. Citizen says:

          @Sarah. The freeloaders in this nation are the large corporations that receive “corporate welfare” from the government. Those low-paying WalMart jobs are directly subsidized by YOUR taxes. Those people qualify for rent assistance, food stamps, and Medicaid. If corporations were REQUIRED by law to pay wages that kept people off those benefits, it would really make a difference to the taxpayer. But, because people don’t directly see those government handouts, they seem to be invisible. In the meantime, Sam Walton’s heirs laugh at you all the way to the bank!

  19. Kate says:

    I am confused…I make $30K a year and pay roughly 27% of my income in taxes/medicare/social security. My boss makes $50K a year and pays roughly 30% in taxes etc. Her boss makes $100K and pays nearly 40%. So how are the rich NOT already paying their “fair share?”

    The only FAIR tax system would be a flat tax. 10% for everyone. You make $10K, you pay $1000. You make $1 mil you pay $100K. That’s “fair” right?!?!

    Is it fair that my loser sister can sit on her lazy butt & collect a welfare check – not have to get a job – doesn’t pay taxes…but got a tax refund? And it was bigger than mine?? You know she’s not the only one. How ’bout you close that loophole & see how much $ it brings in?

    Life isn’t always fair. But rather than bi**h about it and get stuck there – I work to pay my rent (can’t afford to buy a house), feed my kids, pay my insurance and try to have a little fun every now & again. That’s all we can hope for, really.

    If you must know – I am a Democrat.

    1. Jack says:

      Finally, a reasonable Democrat. Thank you, Kate, I knew there were those of you out there that did look beyond your own personal interests.

    2. Citizen says:

      Kate, you should read David Kay Johnston’s book entitled “Perfectly Legal” about paying taxes. Then rewrite your post.

  20. ohoh says:

    if business is not given an opprotunity to work in this country they can move to another country, thank you “global citizenship”. This is how unions and collective bargaining hurts the low income. We simply cannnot support the collective bargaining groups, so the business take their work elsewhere,and if a city or state wants to give a company a tax break to stay in the area, with tax breaks, the unions cry welfare for big companies. i worked for a Co. couldn’t even get a days work done without the union shutting them done. They went to south korea.

    1. Citizen says:

      @ohoh. Did you read the one post above that included this information? Maybe you will, if I repost it here.

      “General Electric has made $26 billion in profits in the United States over the past five years. It has also received a $4.1 billion tax refund from the IRS. GE has cut a fifth of it’s American jobs in the past nine years, and is boosting jobs overseas where tax rates are lower and where it can continue evading U.S. taxes.”

      “Bank of America made $4.4 billion in profits last year. This was after it received a $1 trillion bailout from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department, and a $1.9 billion tax refund from the IRS”

      “Exxon Mobil’s 2009 profits totaled $19 billion, yet according to its SEC filings, the company received a $156 Million rebate from the IRS. Plus, it didnt’ pay any federal taxes.”

      “Citigroup profits last year totaled more than $4 billion. It paid $0 in federal income tax and received a $2.5 trillion bailout from the Fedral Reserve and U.S. Treasury.”

      “Chevron’s IRS refund last year totaled $19 million but it’s 2009 profits came to a whopping $10 billion.”

      yep, taxing them right out of business

  21. lib says:

    OMG I have never been to TX and I was in tears to see what NAFTA has done to that state, it gives me the shivvers to think that is coming our way. flat broke cities, literal ghost towns. We need to get rid of speciial interst groups i.e. unions and govt. workers so we have a “level playing field” and keep business in this country. We are at a Crisis point.

  22. Scott Moore says:

    “…Our poor are wealthy compared to other countries! We have got to stop expecting everything to be handed to us and stop suing if we don’t get what we expected. Everyone wants a cut of the wealthy – Just axe Gary!”

    Handed to us?
    Do you refer to our struggle to get scraps of the vast wealth of USA that is created by the middle and laboring classes and is being devoured by the richest of the rich?
    Handed to us?

    Are you sneering at us because we want at least a little bit of the vast wealth that WE created?

    Wealth is never created by the wealthy. Wealth is always created by the workers, the farmer, laborers, engineers (me!), designers, planners, architects, etc. etc. etc. The super-wealthy are parasites.

    They’re welcome to their vast wealth as long as they pay their fair share in taxes. Getting rich is fine. Getting rich and then stiffing the nation that made you rich is theft.

    Oh, and compare us to other countries, will you?
    Which country on Earth DWARFS the economic output of all other countries? Which country? USA!

    US workers VASTLY outproduce ALL other nations on the entire planet.
    That means that US workers are paid huge salaries to compensate us for making USA such a titanic economic force, right?



    1. Citizen says:

      Awesome post, Scott. I also think that these corporations that stiff the U.S. and take work overseas are traitors. Traitors to the country that made them successful and wealthy. If you really want to be disgusted read David Cay Johnston’s book, “Perfectly Legal” about how the tax system works against the workers and aids the wealthy. Johnston received a Pulitizer for investigative journalism.

  23. Fred says:

    I’m just tired of hearing lower taxes means to attract business.
    Or Media repeatedly labeling lower taxes means business friendly.
    I know one country without Tax, that Is Saudi Arabia.
    Let’s deport all those businesses want to do business at no taxes areas, to Saudi Arabia.
    Cancel their American Citizenship and deport them to Saudi Arabia.
    They should be in heaven since there are no taxes there.

  24. Peter says:

    Have the IDIOT REPUBLICAN LEGISLATORS in this state driven the roads of our cities and state lately. After my trip by car last week to San Antonio Texas, I can safely say the worst roads I encountered were I35 in Minnesota and the pothole ridden streets of Mpls. & St. Paul. Our cities, counties and state agencies have already cut their budgets beyond levels I feel are sustainable. The way republicans have failed to invest in the future of this state and put money into the pockets of the rich over the last decade is unconscionable.
    Those who fail to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. I fear the labor riots of my grandfather’s generation will revisit this country in my lifetime. Get ready the governor walkers and tea partiers’ of the US. You are putting into place the economic situations that have led to the current unrest in North Africa and the Middle East. Are you right wing politicians that stupid, or do you just not care?

  25. Citizen says:

    @Peter. They don’t care. The wealthy are busy lining their pockets, and when the civil unrest finally hits this country, they will just take their money and leave. Banks are multi-national now, anyway. These wealthy and these corporations have no loyalty to the country that made them wealthy and successful. I believe there is a word for this behavior during a time of war (and this is economic war) and that is “treason.” One simple fix is to level the playing field for companies that keep their financial and corporate business in America. Tax to the hilt those corporations that have moved their business and finances to offshore tax havens and countries like Saudi Arabia. Right now the tax laws benefit these traitors to America.

  26. Mary says:

    Settle down boys, have some milk and cookies. This class envy is beyond belief. The rich need to fix your roads. How bout you fixing your own roads. How bout you building your own playgrounds. Why should someone with more money pay more for the same service. Get off your rear end and make your own million or is it that you want someone to take care of you?

    1. Citizen says:

      Geez, Mary, the rich have all our money. Where will we get money and labor? Class envy. I don’t think so, darling! You go drink that kool aid some more.

      1. Mary says:

        What do you mean your money? I believe it is their money. Do you think everybody should share all the money and everyone makes the same? Do you think working hard, inventing a product, or starting a business should provide you with more money than a bum on the street? I think you may be in the wrong country.

        1. Citizen says:

          @Mary. You poor dear. You haven’t read many books about the U.S. tax code lately, have you. The wealthy and corporations pay virtually no taxes, but the middle class shoulders the burden for them. The WalMarts of this world pay third world wages and give the workers few benefits so they qualify for food stamps, subsidized rent, and Medicaid, all courtesy of U.S. taxpayers. So, therefore, the middle class tax money has been uploaded to the rich and the corporations. So, the bum on the street deserves nothing? That bum on the street just might be a homeless veteran who served his country. The lowest ranking soldier who served the U.S., to me, is a better person than someone wealthy who is evading taxes. Go back and drink more Kool-aid, Mary.

          1. steve says:

            I dont know of any third world countires that pay $8-$12 an hour to cut open boxes and put things on shelves. As I stated earlier above, the person who make minimum wage is generally deserved that minimum wage. If you have a skill set or education that will make your boss or the company you work for more money than the average worker, they will be forced to pay you more money. I am so sick and tired of people thinking all business’s are evil and greedy. What would these people have if wal-marts didnt excist. They would be poor and homeless on the street without any job. Wal-Mart opened 50 years ago as a small grocery store to make a profit for its owners. They have created an excellent business based on low priced goods. We should now punish them for their success? Face the facts not everyone is worth anything more than a low paying job, if so we would live in a class less society also known as communism. Maybe you should head to China and see how their employees are doing. Business’s excist to make money not to create jobs for people, plain and simple!

            1. Citizen says:

              The point, Steve, is that WalMart jobs are directly subsidized by taxpayers. That’s a great business model. Sarcasm, there. Sam Walton was a great man, his heirs, not so much.

              1. steve says:

                I agree with you slightly, however that is what is wrong with our government entirly. All government ecspecially the federal government is way to involved in everyones lives. What happened to the framers ideas that government should just be for public goods. How is it the taxpayer or governmetns fault that you cannot find a job that will pay your basic neccesities?? It gets pretty sickening watching the small amount of self resposibilty all citizens seem to be lacking. You cannot afford food, go out and get a second job so that you can or a better job so that you can. The only reason this does not happen is because we hand them everything they need. So many abused programs it is insane, We cannot afford to keep giving away so many freebies. Our grandkids grandkids will still be paying the debt that our government has spent. Talk about the ultimate taxation without representation. Why should we put later generations in the hole by tens of trillions of dollars when they had nothing to do with it. The budget must be balanced and we must start creating surpulses to pay it down. This means cuts and some tax raises, but mainly cuts.

                1. Citizen says:

                  Steve, you have to look at the alternatives to these “freebies,” as you put it. Turn the sick and elderly onto the street? Leave children in dangerous homes? Cut the military spending so we can’t protect our borders and ourselves? Let alone keep out terrorists? Stop fixing/plowing/building roads? Stop treating/purifying our drinking water? Stop environmental initiatives to keep that water cleaner for recreation? Stop stocking our libraries? Cut police and fire protection? Let criminals roam free in the streets? All these services are provide the majority spending of tax dollars. You sound like so many people who say cut, cut, cut. But YOU and THEY do not want to give up these services. So I think you should all get together and write an article about what you would cut and give up.

          2. Mary says:

            Your true colors just came out. You are a union stooge who thinks businesses exist for them not the other way around. Your precious unions have destroyed more business jobs than any recession, depression, or economic downturn. Just look at the Steel, Mining, Auto, Airlines, and heavy manufacturing. And as far as reading books on tax code, I don’t have to read them, I live them as a tax paying upper class citizen. I probably pay more taxes in one year than you have in your life.

            1. Citizen says:

              @Mary. Never worked for a union. Glad you admit you don’t read. I can tell!

  27. snowiz says:

    It is our government and our government should not compete with itself. We should not be hearing about state governors that are lowering tax on business in order to compete with other states. Businesses can afford to move, emplyees can’t. So the state give a tax break to the businesses to move to their state and bring employees/taxpayers that will cover the tax break to the businesses. So the state that lost the employees/tax payers in this deal now has fewer taxpayer so they all have to pay more. The state that the business moved to has business tax breaks to make up so they raise the taxes on the employees. This is a spiral effect that sticks it to the employees/tax payers… and we know it will never be reversed. If government did not compete with itself then business would migrate to where the workforce is that is the best fit for their success and we would all be alot better off.

  28. snowiz says:

    The 2 sides represented in this thread are the wealthy and the middle class. The wealthy is made up of wealthy individuals and profitable businesses. The middle class is represented by the employees and the not so profitable businesses. As far as the people commenting that are pro-business, you should not be commenting here, comments here should be from taxpayers that are paying their fair share and you’re not.

    We need to end this madness by converting to a flat tax system and stopping government from competing with its self.

  29. Lisa Gonyea says:

    I am pro business…and very low middle class. I know who employees me…I know what I pay in taxes, and it vexes me to see those who choose not to work, not to study in school, and more or less sit on their collective duffs. I am one who sees people buying groceries much better than I can by on there EBT cards. Most people who are on the right believe in a hand up and not so many hand outs….(and that includes unneeded subsidies) If people are getting welfare money, they should work for it or have to attend school or job training. The cycle of welfare families needs to be cut.

    1. Blizno says:

      Lisa, do you have any idea how much money is taken away from USA by welfare cheats and all other lowest-class fraudsters? It is a few pennies compared to the BILLIONS stolen from you, me and the rest of us every year by the super-wealthy.

      The super-wealthy and their paid liars, such as Fox News and Sarah Palin, appear to have convinced you that your enemy is the slob in the apartment next to yours who has a better TV than you have.

      The super-wealthy have won! They have convinced you that you are being robbed by insignificant fleas while the super-wealthy are stealing your future and your nation away from you.

      Friend, you have been duped. Your enemy is not the welfare cheat or all of the welfare cheats put together. Of course the Right-Wing radio pundits rant about welfare cheats. That is so that you get into a rage about them while the super-wealthy take everything away from you and me.

      Follow the money. The money is being sucked up in a huge torrent by the super-wealthy. We are being robbed by them.

  30. Vicki Carrero says:

    Here I am with my morning coffee and an amazing informational article that has taught me something. It’s true that we learn something new everyday. I enjoyed this article. Your views are similar to mine.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Watch & Listen LIVE