Dayton, Oberstar rally on the Range

Tom Scheck of Minnesota Public Radio covered last night’s Iron Range DFL rally in Virginia. Audio links to speeches from Congressman Jim Oberstar and Mark Dayton are included.


  1. Wow…did you listen to them??Our kids already owe the “state” $43,000 each. They can look forward to an even greater chunk of their paycheck taken if these guys get elected.

  2. I’m not sure what you mean by each kid owing $43,000. Seems to be to be the classic argument about taxation. Progressive taxation does tax higher earners at a higher rate, but also provides a system that makes upward mobility more possible and encourages a broader middle class, which is where prosperity is generally produced.

    It’s always better to be rich in this country. Always. And if you’re not rich and are worried about never being rich, your bigger problems is the systemic debt and poor budgeting practices used by both parties over the years, but Republicans in particular.

    I say again, I understand conservative arguments and could even support them if they were accompanied by two things 1) compassion for all people, and 2) intellectual honesty about what, specifically, will be cut, other than taxes.

  3. Goods points Aaron….Let’s look at your point #1.

    A widely recognized study by Arthur C. Brooks and documented in his book “Who Really Cares?” states the following:

    *Those who say they strongly oppose redistribution by government (Republicans) to remedy income inequality give over 10 times more to charity than those who strongly support government intervention (Democrats).

    *Those who think government “is spending too much money on welfare” were significantly more likely than those who wanted increased spending on welfare to give directions to someone on the street, return extra change to a cashier, or give food and/or money to a homeless person.

    *Brooks finds that households with a conservative at the helm gave an average of 30 percent more money to charity than liberal households (a difference of $1,600 to $1,227).

    *The difference isn’t explained by income differential—in fact, liberal households make about 6 percent more per year.

    *Poor, rich, and middle class conservatives all gave more than their liberal counterparts.

    *And while religion is a major factor, the figures don’t just show tithing to churches. Religious donors give significantly more to non-religious causes than do their secular counterparts.

    *And the list of facts goes on…

    It’s OK for you to say one political group is more compassionate than the other. But it’s certainly not the liberal Democrats.

    If you wish to support the more compassionate party, join the Republicans..

  4. There’s so much out there on this subject I can’t help myself Aaron..

    The Generosity Index as complied by the organization “Catalogue for Philanthropy”…

    The “Generosity Index” mirrors Red State-Blue State Divide.

    The Catalogue for Philanthropy has ranked the fifty states on their relative generosity, comparing each state’s average itemized charitable deductions with its average adjusted gross income (based on 2003 IRS data).

    The 50-state ranking has a decided Red State-Blue State flavor: 28 of the 29 “most generous” states are Red States that voted for President Bush (including all 25 of the “most generous” states)

    17 of the 21 “least generous” states are Blue States that voted for Senator Kerry (including all 7of the “least generous” states)..

    The obvious conclusion is liberals (Democrats) wish to take from others, conservatives (Republicans) wish to give to others…No?

  5. Aaron…another example just hours ago of the DFL’ers willingness to take from others..but give nothing..

    John Spry: The worst tax proposal in Minnesota
    By John Spry

    Updated: 10/27/2010 07:10:23 PM CDT

    Tax the poor some more.

    That is exactly what one of Mark Dayton’s tax hike proposals will do. He proposes a 30 percent surtax on consumer loans that carry an interest rate in excess of 15 percent annually.

    Minnesota would become a national outlier as the only state with a surtax on loans.

    The Minnesota Legislature passed this surtax on consumer loans in 2009 and it was vetoed by Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

    The authors of this surtax said they wanted to tax predatory credit card companies instead of taxing their constituents. Some lawmakers were concerned that this surtax would hurt people. Other legislators asked, “Who is going to pay the new 30 percent tax?”

    Good question.

    Basic economics says the real pain of this tax would be borne by Minnesota consumers in the form of higher interest rates on loans.

    Government can make a business, like a credit card company, collect a tax on gross sales, but the consumer feels the pain. Monthly phone and utility bills routinely show that costs of taxes collected by business are added onto your bill.

    Have you switched to the compassionate party yet??

  6. The philanthropy concept is a good point, though philanthropic giving is not necessarily the same as compassionate public policy. There’s a whole (rather involved) argument there.

    One theory here could be that liberals believe in systemic compassion, in which all citizens participate as equals, giving what they can afford, while conservatives would believe in voluntary compassion, donations given to organizations of their choice when they feel it is merited.

    Both are compassionate and important, but again I (perhaps because I am somewhat liberal) lean toward classifying my giving in a separate category than my taxation. I view things like schools and public services, even ones I don’t personally receive, as part of the greater good — and that’s perhaps more of what I was talking about when I say compassion.

    And I think religion plays a role, too. More devoutly religious people will perceive tithing as an unquestioned portion of the budget than people who were not raised or who do not participate in that tradition.

    You know, the whole red state/blue state divide probably applies to a thousand different indicators, the “generosity index” being only one. Another comparison would be the income gap between rich and poor, also more pronounced in red states. More poor = more need, more rich = more ability to give voluntarily. Since red states generally vote for lower taxes and smaller governments, it’d stand to reason that people who could afford it would feel a moral imperative to give more, since their governments do less.

    I’m just spit balling here, but that’s my first impression of this.

  7. I actually read a study not long ago (I apologize for not remembering the source) that found people with less money gave more to charities (as a percentage of their income) than people with more money. I am continually astounded at the amount of money rich people feel they “need”. The mentality of “I got mine” runs rampantly throughout this country. I am also bothered by the ignorance displayed when people talk about our tax code and who will actually see taxes go up. I can almost guarantee that anyone reading this blog would not be affected by the tax increases that are being discussed. The people throwing “my taxes will go up” around don’t have any other thoughtful problem solving thing to say. These people are scared and they are trying to scare others. Seriously, come up with solutions and answers. Specific program cuts you would make (with the amount of deficit reduction that would result) and evidence that tax cuts to rich people that wouldn’t result in an increase in the deficit. These types of policies have been implemented in our state over the last eight years and look where we are. Continuing these failed approaches will make it worse. The same thing applies to what has been done at the federal level. I’m so sick of hearing rich people complain that they don’t have any money. What a bunch of whiners.

  8. Let me address the idiot who says the wealthy don’t pay their “fair share”. I’ll let you dwell a while Aaron, as you work on a more factual respone…

    A very small number of taxpayers — the 10% of the country that makes more than $92,400 a year — pay 72.4% of the nation’s income taxes. They’re the tip of the triangle that’s supporting virtually everyone and everything according to the CBO. What level does the idiot think they should pay, 80%, 90% or 100%?

    Contrary to the myth that Mr. Bush cut taxes only for the wealthy, the 2001 tax cut reduced taxes for every income-tax payer in the country. He reduced the bottom tax rate to 10% from 15% and increased the refundable child tax credit to $1,000 from $500 per child, both cuts that President Barack Obama says we should keep.

    In so doing, millions of lower income taxpayers were removed from the tax rolls, shifting the remaining burden to those at the top, even after their taxes were cut.

    According to the CBO, those who made less than $44,300 — 60% of the country — paid 3.3% of all income taxes. By 2005, almost all of them were excused from paying any income tax. They paid 0.6% of the income tax burden.

    At the same time, they made 26% of the nations income. When you make almost 26% of the income and you pay only 0.6% of the income tax, that’s a good deal, courtesy of those who do pay income taxes.

    For the bottom 40%, the redistribution deal is even better. These 43 million Americans, who earn less than $30,500, made 13.5% of the nation’s income but paid no income tax.

    Instead, they received checks from their taxpaying neighbors worth $16.3 billion.

    Idiot…help me understand “fair”

  9. Since we’re all playing anonymous here, I’ll note I’m not the “idiot”, but here’s my view:

    I strongly believe that most people who really, really give to charity or give to others, don’t keep track, don’t write off their donations on their taxes, and don’t even think of it as “giving”. For crying out loud, who the heck keeps track of how much they “give”? Who would even report this to others without feeling like a show-off?

    I’m betting some of the above mentioned studies examined how much people “deducted” on their taxes for their donations. In my opinion, anyone – republican or democrat – who “gives” and then marks it off on their taxes, isn’t really even “giving”. So, if any of this information is from tax deductions – it’s totally NOT giving – it’s just a lame way for someone to make their taxes lower.

    Look at normal, day-to-day giving. Who’s the best tippers? Rich people who could easily be? Usually, sadly, in my experience, no. The best tippers are usually working-class people or people who really don’t have jack to give away, but know how hard their waitress or bartender is working.

    Anyone who says conservatives “give” more should maybe be saying, “Conservatives report their giving more.”

  10. We live in a system with a progressive income tax. The numbers you cite sound about right and exist for reason. The “poor,” loosely speaking pay little to no income tax, but pay the same local sales and, when applicable, local property taxes. Those are regressive taxes, paid regardless of means. As a percentage of income people under $43,000 pay more for other taxes than those at the top, and that is fine, so long as the income tax is weighted to account for the difference. That system has been in place since the 1800s, and has largely only been opposed by those whose income is most affected. There are ideas to move away from the income tax to a national sales tax, but the challenge there goes back to how to avoid making the tax regressive.

    “Prosperity for most” comes when the middle class is large and growing. That usually comes from the “poor” moving up. A properly executed progressive income tax is one way of making that happen. What do you suggest?

  11. Aaron…”A properly exectued progressive income tax” is what we already have….as noted in my factual previous post.

    The high income earners pay all the tax, the low earners pay nothing. Thats’ as progressive as it gets. It doesn’t work. Half the people have no skin in the game. Why would they want to change that?

    What do I suggest? The inter-cities have voted DFL forever… and poverty and crime is still as rampant as ever. It’s not working. The reason is they’ve become dependant on “free” money from the government..Stimulus, cash for clunkers, bailouts, etc. etc.

    We need to kick out the DFL’ers, put in Independants or GOP’ers and see what happens. Proverty and crime will go down..and the best in people will come out. People want to be challenged..

    (Let’s not get derailed here though. All this posting started because you falsely stated conservatives are not compassionate. They might not be compassionate enough but studies show they’re more compassionate than liberals. Liberals want to be viewed as compassionate. However, not by example, by using their own money, but by taking from others. That’s wrong…and immoral from the start.)

  12. “The low earners pay nothing … Why would they want to change that?”

    You’re honestly saying that poor people are choosing to be poor so they don’t have to pay taxes? Good grief.

    “I’d rather be poor so I don’t have to pay taxes. I don’t care that I live in a crappy apartment where my kids have to walk by drug dealers … We love it here because we don’t pay taxes! Oh, and the hallways that smell like urine are great, too. But mostly it’s just that no-taxes thing! Our family just loves it here.”

    And the “immoral” comment?

    Maybe we went to different churches when we were little or something, but no where did I learn anything about lots of money or excess possessions making for a more “moral” person. In fact, it was sort of the other way around …

  13. So….You’re telling me that 50% of the people live in conditions you describe above?? Get real.

    Regardless, having the top 10% pay for most all the roads, airforce, army, navy, marines, police, firefighters, nursing homes, medicare, medicade, obamacare, welfare, foodstamps, cars (cash for clunkers), banks (bailouts), ethanol (subsidies), cigarettes (subsidies), GM cars (bought the company)…does nothing to help people out of poverty..

    Most likely a large percentage of the people you describe have cell phones better than most, large(r) screen TV’s than most, ATV’s and two cars…

    But again, you’re attempting to distract from the original debate which is…Republicans are more compassionate than Democrats. Become one and you’ll see. You might even start to tithe. Tithing knows no income bounds.

  14. A thought provoking story related to the issues at hand.

    My mother passed away recently. We received wonderful condolences, cards, letters, visits and e-mails. Some cards had monetary gifts in the form of cash or check, some had none. We appreciated them all.

    As we were writing the “thank yous”, we noticed one card stated a gift had been given directly to her church in her name. Certainly fine, it was going to the church which she loved dearly.

    But it struck us as interesting…of the many cards/gifts received, only one person bypassed us, decided for us, as to how to use the memorial money. That person was our state representative. That person is a Democrat. Its how they think…they really believe they know better than us.

    P.S. …what if she didn’t like the church?

  15. It would appear we could just keep going and going on this topic. And I am no longer sure how many anonymous commenters there are here, so I won’t spend too much more time on this.

    My original point on compassion was not related to charitable giving, per se. It was related to policy. Though I didn’t explain what I meant in great detail, what I intended to say was that I could get behind necessary reforms to entitlement programs if they were rooted in providing long term stability to the programs for everybody, not just divisive, ugly group-on-group hate. Anon #1, you are quick to take policy disagreements personally and to make your policy disagreements personal. I have been to Republican events as a journalist and majority Republican social events since. There are good people in that party. But I can’t stand all the bitching about immigrants and poor people. I just can’t. GOPers may feel the same about DFL events, but at least when Democrats complain they’re bitching about people who can defend themselves. That’s what I meant. I’m trying not to paint with too broad a brush, but if you want me or others to buy the argument you’re selling what you’re doing here won’t work.

  16. I was going to go on with this, but then I thought … Why? … Let’s face it, you’re “conservative” and I’m not.

    In my opinion, conservatives value their money more than they value people, and no matter what we discuss, that’s not going to change.

    In your opinion, someone who isn’t “conservative” or “republican” is flawed for whatever reasons you see (really doesn’t matter … let’s face it, I’m not going to make you change your opinion).

    So I have a challenge for us:

    Instead of sitting around all day on the computer arguing about this, let’s each go out and help someone else today. Maybe we could spend an hour helping others – this could be anyone you know who needs help – no judgments on who needs help. Maybe we could specifically make a financial donation to a charity or to someone who needs help. Whatever that needs being done, let’s just do it …

    We all obviously have a computer and internet. We’re likely sitting in a warm house and we probably already ate breakfast.

    Let’s act on what we’re arguing about instead of going on and on.

    I dare us all to do it and come back tonight and share what we did good today. I bet we’ll all get a lot more out of it than we will from this conversation.

    The “not conservative” : )

  17. Aaron, Aaron…easy.

    Conservatives aren’t “bitching” (I’ll bit you picked this word up from The View). We’re simply stating the facts..conservatives are more compassionate than liberals.

    Also, they’re not against immigrants (most of us are only a generation away from one), but we strongly believe in following the law..and therefore are against those breaking it. That includes illegal immigrants.

    We’re also all in favor of helping the poor…only you do it with your time and money. I’ll do it with my time and money. Let’s not do it the socialist/liberal way…with each others time and money.

    I like “The Not Conservatives” idea. I just got back from supporting the area’s youth football program, but I’m out the door again. I’ll report back later..

  18. Because I am from a passive aggressive midwestern family I am pursing my lips now and saying “real good, then.” I just hauled my own trash to the dump. So we’ve both done some good.

  19. Hello all:

    As I sit down to write this, I actually feel sort of weird saying, “I helped this person” or “I did this good thing.” So I guess I’m not going to go into specifics as I thought I would this morning regarding my own day.

    However, I will say that I know I helped out a few people and that I supported a few causes that needed the help today. And mostly I’ll say that I just felt better about myself by doing so.

    I work. A lot. And yet I find myself just slightly above that prior mentioned $44,300 group. Without a savings account, I live paycheck to paycheck, but I don’t really expect anything else or think I have too little. I have a nice house and enough to eat. My kids have plenty. We are “OK” and much better off than many others.

    I am OK with giving of my own time and resources to help others, and I am OK with paying taxes. To me, both are sort of the same. To complain about taxes is to complain about money, and in my opinion, it just seems plain wrong to do so when I am “OK” and others are not.

    Aaron, thanks for providing a venue for this conversation. I realize I’m not cut out for this type of political dialogue, and I shall now officially be returning to the depths of the “lurkers” : )

    Keep writing about us here on “the Range” – I always read your stuff first each day. (In my family, it would have been, “that sounds fine” instead of “real good then.”)

  20. Great heartfelt posting Anonymous #??.

    I’m in your camp. I’d just as soon let you have ALL you earned to give to causes and people you wish (except for maybe 10% needed for the “common good”).

    Unfortunately…the politicians think they are better at making decisions with your money than you. They want to take 11%, 15%, 22% or 39.5% from you and give it to whom they wish…That’s simple wrong. I trust your judgement more than I trust the politicians.

    Don’t give up and just lurk. Speak your mind…with logic, common sense, facts…and yes, emotion.

  21. A lot of the policy surrounding tax increases has focused on high income earners. What has been proposed (nationally) involves raising taxes on income above $250,000. My question is: do people actually know what the percentage of people in this country earning more than $250,000 is? (Answer: 3% of earners). I find that truly amazing. So, only 3% of our population works hard enough or deserves this kind of income?! No, only 3% were lucky enough to land where they did or be born into affluence. I’m not saying they don’t deserve it, but i am saying that there are people in the lower and middle class who work just as hard, if not harder, and they will never move up.

    We struggle to live paycheck to paycheck and expect to have some basic governmental services and a social safety net. I don’t think that is laziness or entitlement. If you don’t want the small percentage of rich people in our country to be paying such a large percentage of the taxes collected maybe we need to improve our systems so there is greater mobility from the lower and middle classes upward.

  22. You’re correct on the need for people to have “greater mobility”.

    Individuals must move (be mobile) to where the jobs are..and two move themselves to became knowledgable (get educated) in the fields which are doing the hiring. No new systems needed to do either.

    Those willing to get ahead do both…in good times for sure, but especially in bad.

    Those unwilling to do either are typically complain about the world being stacked against them.

  23. The percentage of people in the upper classes in this country has been shrinking for over three decades. Mobility has actually been downwards. According to the previous poster’s logic, the vast majority of people in this country don’t want to improve their lives. Sorry, I don’t believe that.

  24. I did not say the vast majority of people don’t want to move…

    What I did say is: “Individuals must move (be mobile) to where the jobs are..and two move themselves to became knowledgable (get educated) in the fields which are doing the hiring. No new systems needed to do either”.

    I said this because 1) it’s true, and 2) you said we need new “systems?”. Whatever that is.

    I implied that’s a lame excuse and gives cause for people to wait for someone to help them…

    And yes, migration is down…due to three factors.. 1) an aging population, 2) two income families, 3) unwillingness to move because government now pays 99 weeks of unemployment.

  25. Just wondering Aaron…do you still support this guy who promotes election fraud?? Geez, and then he implies it’s the Ranger way…God help us.

  26. The first two of those factors can be quantified, but the third is more of an opinion. If I lost my job today I would try very, very hard not to move. Yes, I might be eligible for unemployment for x number of weeks, but that’s not what I want; it’s a patch.

    The reason I don’t want to move is because A) I love where I live and B) my family and the support network for my wife and I and our children are located here. A forced migration to Atlanta, or Phoenix, or Houston, or Raleigh is only going to make our lives emptier, even if there is a job (probably a vulnerable one) waiting for me there.

    Mobility is important in a service/technology based economy, but forced mobility makes people angry, divides families. I’ve long argued that this is why technology infrastructure is so important; the internet can let innovation and entrepreneurship happen anywhere.

  27. Just can’t quit with random arguments, can you?

    He’s obviously kidding, and the reason it’s a joke is because of the insinuations about voter fraud fueled by conservatives, who just can’t handle a place like the Range not voting Republican the way they should.

    But here it goes again. If you goal is to cheapen every discussion, congratulations.

  28. By systems I primarily meant educational. But there many other things that can be done to decrease the oligarchy (plutocracy) that exists in this country.

  29. We’re about to take a significant step in removing some of the pluocrats this Tuesday…Break out the 3.2 beer!!

  30. Anzelc promoting voter fraud isn’t random Aaron. He suggested it at the oberstar / Cravaack rally..the topic of this

  31. I know Tom Anzelc and think he’s a good guy. I don’t know anything about you, but would say that you seem like a bully, the kind of guy who likes to scare other commenters off sites by flooding the comments with snarky bravado. Maybe if I knew you better I wouldn’t think that. Instances of voter fraud are extremely rare in Minnesota and I’ve not heard of any documented cases of voter fraud on the Iron Range since the institution of politically balanced election judges decades ago. You are fishing again. Your guys are going to win Congress. Don’t be a jerk about it.

  32. I’ve posted nothing but the truth Aaron. If that comes across as snarky bravado??…you’re got a ways to go before hitting bottom.

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