Minnesota's liberal-to-progressive blogosphere was aghast today at reading a comment made by Representative Mary Kiffmeyer (R- Smallpond) in the St. Cloud Times:
But Kiffmeyer is skeptical about Dayton’s push for revenue; she believes it’s motivated chiefly by Dayton’s desire to hike taxes on the wealthy.
“It’s not about revenue,” Kiffmeyer said. “It’s about a tax increase, because they want to go after those who’ve actually worked hard.”
Typical of the reaction is my friend Jacop Grippen's earnest and articulate statement On Behalf of the Non-Millionaires Who Work Hard:
So, apparently if you make less than a million dollars you don't work hard, and haven't worked hard.
Mrs. Kiffmeyer, how many millionaire teachers do you know? Police officers? Fire fighters? Cashiers? Servers, well, they do get upwards of $100,000, I suppose. Assembly line workers? Nurses? Executive Assistants? Day Care Providers? Temporarily laid off State Employees? State Representatives and State Senators? (did you mean to inadvertently insult your colleagues?) You get the point.
Eric Austin at Outstate Politics also feels slighted in Dear Middle Class Minnesota, Here Is What Republicans Think Of You…:
Did you catch that? Kiffmeyer let slip just what Republicans think about poor and working class Minnesotans. They haven’t “actually worked hard” or else they too would be wealthy, right? So as we debate blame and budgets remember that the reason Republicans stand on the side of millionaires is they believe they are better than poor and working class Minnesotans. It isn’t something they usually let slip but if you listen and watch long enough they will let you know just what they think of you.
Rather than umbrage and hurt feelings, Bluestem offers a modest solution for working and middle class people.
In light of the higher burden expected of them by Republicans like Kiffmeyer--under that presumption of sloth--let the North Star's tillers of the soil, hewers of wood, drawers of water, teachers of youth and all others--live up to Representative Kiffmeyer's expectations.
Keep her happy, if that's possible, and stop working so hard. No fair challenging that worldview, and you're picking up the tab already. Relax. Meanwhile, in light of Kiffmeyer's high opinion of the work ethic of the wealthy, Bluestem anticipates all of those in the upper tax brackets to pitch in and lift a little slack in exchange for not paying their fair share.
We hear that trees toppled several state parks in Friday's storm need to be cleared from roads and campgrounds. Grab your chain saw and head to Marshall. After all, no less of a figure in state's "no tax" movement than Margaret Martin, writing for the Minnesota Free Market Institute, in her Snapshot of Private Flood Relief, suggested after the Southeast Minnesota floods of 2007 that private giving would be enough:
When disasters happen, government help is needed to strengthen and rebuild civil authority and but the recovery and rebuilding process is best accomplished when private individuals come to support the efforts of those in need, to help get their lives and their livelihoods back on track.
Bluestem agrees whole-heartedly: chop some wood, 'twill do you good, as the cherished old folk song goes.
But even back then, that sourpuss progressive Charlie Quimby had to disagree, in No Tooth Fairy: Private Giving is Good, But No Way to Run the State. There's always one in a crowd, suggesting reasonableness, using actual studies rather than business folktales about high filer tax refugees, and bridging the great divide with civility. Dang it anyway.
Photo: A locked and loaded Mary Kiffmeyer should make those peasants work harder.
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