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Conservative Cato Institute gives Gov. Dayton an ‘F’ for fiscal policy

Gov. Mark Dayton’s fiscal policies get a failing grade in a national report card prepared by the conservative Cato Institute in Washington, D.C.

The report gives Dayton an F; he is one of five governors to get the group’s lowest mark.

Says the report:

It didn’t take long after he entered office for Governor Dayton to reveal his preferences for higher taxes and spending. General fund spending jumped almost 10 percent his first year in office.

To fund the spending increase, Dayton proposed a tax increase of more than $2 billion annually, including raising the top personal income tax rate from 7.85 to10.95 percent and adding a 3 percentage point charge on top of that for the highest earners.Dayton also wanted a new statewide property tax on higher-valued homes, higher taxes on corporations, and other tax increases. The legislature rejected his tax increases, but Dayton returned the favor by vetoing various tax cuts passed by the legislature.

After trying to clobber the Minnesota economy with higher taxes in 2011, Dayton apparently wanted to show that he was helping the economy and has supported narrow giveaways to businesses. For example, he proposed a temporary tax credit of $1,500 to businesses for each new person hired, and he signed legislation to subsidize a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings.

Aaron Rupar of City Pages says it’s not a surprise:

The D.C.-based Cato Institute is a conservative think tank co-founded by Charles Koch, so of course researchers there and Gov. Mark Dayton weren’t destined to be bosom buddies.

Cato gave “A” marks to four governors who’ve cut taxes and spending the most:

  • Sam Brownback of Kansas,
  • Rick Scott of Florida,
  • Paul LePage of Maine,
  • Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania.

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Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by Sean Huntley on 10/10/2012 - 11:12 am.

    Badge of honor

  2. Submitted by Jim Camery on 10/10/2012 - 01:21 pm.

    Why bother with the press release

    You have to wonder if CATO recognizes any grade between A and F. I suppose a press release giving a B+ to someone doesn’t get reprinted, though.

  3. Submitted by Bruce Johnson on 10/10/2012 - 04:39 pm.

    Not Conservative

    I question the practice of naming any group or think tank as conservative or liberal in reporting, but also specifically calling Cato conservative. Corporatist might be the right adjective, but why use a label?

    • Submitted by Justin G on 10/11/2012 - 07:11 am.

      Not Conservative

      Yea, calling an organization that favors gay rights, open immigration, and ending the “War on Drugs” conservative may not be the most honest assessment.

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