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John and I are based in Minnesota and can’t help drawing on the politics of the local scene in our commentary. We think the local scene is of more than limited interest, at least for illustrative purposes.
Minnesota Democrats — the DFL — took control of the political branches this past November. Governor Walz was reelected by a wide margin over a weak Republican gubernatorial candidate. However, the margin of victory in the legislative houses was much closer. The DFL majority in the state House of Representatives is 70-64. In the state Senate Democrats hold a 34-33 edge and a few hundred votes would have flipped the result. The state is not California crazy, at least not yet.
Despite the lack of any consensus to go crazy, the Democrats have gone crazy. They can’t help themselves. In the current legislative session that is scheduled to close today, Democrats have let their political id run free. There is no adult superego in the room. We have gone beyond the pleasure principle to what seems to the death wish.
It’s not a pretty scene. Indeed, it reveals the heart of darkness. The Star Tribune of course celebrates the Democrats’ accomplishments in a page-one story. The Star Tribune focuses on the last-minute doings, but let’s step back and take in the sights along the Democrats’ trip up the river without further comment at the moment:
• The Democrats have enacted an abortion bill that sweeps away all limits in the name of the individual’s “fundamental right to make autonomous decisions.”
• The Democrats have enacted the Trans Refuge Act that eliminates a parent’s authority to protect his child from what it denominates “gender-affirming health care.”
• The Democrats have enacted a law banning “conversion therapy” for minors.
• Minnesota is a heavily taxed state. It ended the last biennium with a $17 billion surplus. Democrats have chosen to return approximately none of the surplus, certainly none of it to those of us who paid into it. They are spending it in the biennial budget that they are adopting.
• Speaking of which, Democrats are fashioning a $72 billion biennial budget that runs 40 percent over the current, wildly excessive budget of of $52 billion.
• Holding a $17 billion surplus, Democrats have chosen to raise taxes. They are raising the tax on gasoline by indexing it to inflation and adding a new 50-cent fee on deliveries of more than $100, with an exemption for food. Party on, Wayne!
• Democrats have already raised the sales tax in the metropolitan Twin Cities by 0.25 percent. Democrats in the House and the Senate are working on an another increase in the metropolitan Twin Cities between 0.50 and 0.75 percent.
• Democrats have proposed a so-called global intangible low-taxed income tax to match a federal tax provision on businesses with global earnings.