"The word-mincing going on around here gets creative."
That was what Republican House Minority Leader Marty Seifert said at a media availability session last Friday in reference to 'Democratic-speak' and how he believes the DFL will seek to raise taxes, without saying they are about to raise taxes. Seifert continued:
"The Democrats have been avoiding using the word 'tax increases' - real shock to hear that - you hear about 'inflows', and 'revenue enhancements', and 'balancing' and all that stuff."
The Minority Leader also forgot to mention one of DFL House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher's favorite phrases, "Fairer revenue raise."
Seifert also suggested on Friday that the Speaker is not being honest with Minnesotans about the scope of taxes the DFL plans to raise:
"The Speaker said on MPR two days ago that she is not a fan of the clothing tax. You may not be a fan of the Yankees but you might go to their games."
Later that morning at a joint media availability session with the Speaker, DFL Majority Leader Tony Sertich shot back, criticizing Seifert's characterization of Minnesota's business climate and focus on the corporate tax rate as "myopic."
This past weekend, another DFL leader introduced more phrases into the lexicon of policy discussions on tax increases. Speaking at the Senate District 41 DFL convention on Saturday, House Taxes Committee Chair, Representative Ann Lenczewski (DFL-Bloomington) stated:
"But there is no doubt that the Minnesota House will be proposing revenue to solve the deficit...we've now begun the process of making a bunch of very difficult choices. And there will be cuts. There will also be progressive revenue proposed. You will be seeing that as time goes on here. So I know that a lot of people are waiting for that and we appreciate that. It's part of how the process works to get to a final solution. So, I know that you understand the need for progressive taxation, we will be getting to that point. "
What is the end game to this cat and mouse play at the Capitol as they try to balance the state budget? It's pretty clear to Seifert:
"At the end of the day there will be a tax increase that they propose and he (The Governor) will veto and we'll sustain. And the question is when are we going to go through that exercise. It's not if we're going to go through that exercise, it's when...They were raising taxes when we had a two billion dollar budget surplus and almost a billion dollars in the budget reserve, so you think they're not going to raise taxes when we've got a mult-billion dollar deficit? Of course they are."
So, what euphemism for 'tax increase' do you prefer?
2) Revenue enhancements
4) Fairer revenue raise
5) Progressive revenue
6) Progressive taxation
Or do you have your own choice phrase?
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