Yea, another embarrassing, and for Scott Walker, a badly time repudiation of his austere cuts and borrow policies from just a month ago:
CNBC: Minnesota is 2015's Top State for Business: Leave it to the North Star State to chart a new course to competitiveness. Minnesota is America's Top State for Business in 2015, reaching the pinnacle of success by way of a much different route than our eight previous winners.
Minnesota's ranking in the top half for all but two of our 10 categories of competitiveness. Indeed, the birthplace of Spam, Scotch Tape and the supercomputer marks a new first this year. Never since we began rating the states in 2007 has a high-tax, high-wage, union-friendly state made it to the top of our rankings. But Minnesota does so well in so many other areas—like education and quality of life—that its cost disadvantages fade away.
Rather than just seeking the lowest taxes or the highest incentives, companies are increasingly chasing the largest supply of skilled, qualified workers. So states are touting their workforces like never before, giving the Workforce category—where Minnesota finishes a respectable 13th—greater weight in our study.
I know Republicans will read this and weep, not believing their own eyes, desperately holding onto their stolen half burned recall Walker petitions:
The state's path to the top is marked by a carefully crafted and still controversial strategy by Gov. Mark Dayton, the first Democrat to hold the office in two decades. The hallmark of his plan: a big tax increase. Dayton began calling for higher taxes ... with the state facing a $6.2 billion budget gap. By 2013 he managed to push through a whopping $2.1 billion tax increase, primarily targeting smokers and wealthy people (one of whom is Dayton himself, an heir to the Target retail fortune). Last year Dayton did approve a $508 million middle-class tax cut. But the rate for top earners remains among the highest in the nation, at 9.85 percent.
This year, with a state budget surplus of nearly $2 billion, one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation and apparently no exodus of millionaires, Dayton has been taking a victory lap of sorts. "More Minnesota businesses are expanding, so more Minnesotans are working. They are earning more money, which means they are paying more taxes," Dayton said. "It is Minnesota's economic successes, not tax increases, that have produced our present budget surplus," he said.
Dayton has championed tax breaks and subsidies for businesses ... Even so, Dayton has won few friends in the business community ... Republicans and business leaders warned the strategy would ultimately backfire.
Get ready for it; when state revenues blossom, pay off debt, and increase the public's investment in infrastructure and education, Republicans don't see that the reward for good economic policy, they see that as over taxation. That's what the Bush tax cuts squandered; "surpluses as far as the eye can see" and paying of the national debt; we had to give back those excessive tax dollars. Oh, and government gets bigger.
"Back-to-back billion-dollar surpluses show that the level of taxes on individuals and business owners is too high," the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce said at the start of this year's legislative session. "The best way to grow and expand the state's economy is to reduce uncompetitive business taxes." Republicans sought to undo the tax increases this year, while Dayton proposed increasing the gasoline tax.Here's another story getting some attention.
In our study, Minnesota finishes in second place for Education, thanks in large part to some of the best-performing K–12 students in the nation.
In Quality of Life, Minnesota finishes third. Crime is low. The air is clean, and in the home of the Mayo Clinic, people are healthy ... fifth place in Economy, sixth place in Technology & Innovation and ninth place for Infrastructure. Those strengths are enough to outweigh Minnesota's 35th-place finish for Cost of Doing Business and 32nd for Cost of Living.