Billionaire Liberal Governor Boosted State’s Economy By Taxing The Rich

Many Republicans often argue raising the minimum wage or increasing taxes on the rich would kill jobs and hurt the economy, But Minnesota’s Democratic Governor, Mark Dayton, completely debunked those arguments in practice.

Dayton, a billionaire who’s great-grandfather started Dayton’s, which would later become Target, inherited a $6.2 billion deficit when he took office as the Governor of Minnesota in 2011 after Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty ran the state into the ground.Dayton was a former U.S. Senator, and of the few to vote against the Iraq War, but he left office disenfranchised with politics in Washington DC, as he felt his liberalism left his hands tied in terms of enacting meaningful legislative reforms.

In his home state, he had much better success enacting liberal policies. Governor Dayton reduced the deficit and increased tax revenue by taxing individuals who made more than $150,000 two percent more, from 7.85 percent in state income tax to 9.85 percent, or over $2 billion in extra revenue for the state annually. He also increased the minimum wage and passed an equal pay for women law, despite conservatives in the state criticizing him for these efforts.

The result was the creation of over 170,000 new jobs to Minnesota’s economy, which now has one of the highest employment rates in the country. The median income in the state is also $8,000 more than the national average. That multi-billion dollar budget deficit he inherited is also now a $1 billion surplus.

In contrast, during the same time Wisconsin’s Republican Governor Scott Walker broadened poverty levels to the highest they have been in decades by decreasing taxes on the wealthy. Trickle down economics is a myth perpetuated by Republicans that continues to damage our economy and increase poverty. Any conservatives who maintain these arguments should just be pointed to the success Democratic Governor Mark Dayton has had in boosting Minnesota’s economy with his progressive reforms, and he implemented them with a Republican controlled State Legislature for his first two years in office. The publication Mother Jones dubbed him the most successful governor in the country in 2015.

Featured image courtesy of Flickr