No to Minnesota Constitutional Amendment on Taxes

Republican state legislators are now proposing to amend the Minnesota Constitution to require a super-majority vote (60%) in the Legislature to approve most tax increases.[1]

This is a stupid idea.   Have they not read about the many fiscal problems California has due to its imprudent requirement for super-majority legislative votes to approve a budget? The U.S. Senate is hamstrung due to its outdated and unconstitutional rules that impose a de facto super-majority vote (again 60%) to do almost anything.[2]  Minnesota even has difficulties passing a budget under normal rules.

Our Legislature needs to operate on a simple democratic principle–the majority rules.

The proposed constitutional amendment stems from the understandable, but mistaken, view that whatever a person earns is due entirely to his own efforts. On the contrary, every one of us owes whatever success one has to a multitude of other people, to a “cloud of witnesses.”[3] Warren Buffett often remarks on his great fortune to have been born in the U.S. We are all in this together. We are our brothers and sisters’ keeper.[4]

[1] Kazuba, Raising the bar on raising taxes, StarTribune, May 3, 2011, at B7.

[2] See Post: The Abominable Rules of the U.S. Senate (04/06/11).

[3]  The Bible, Hebrews 12:1.

[4] A slightly different version of this post was published as a letter to the editor in the StarTribune (May 7, 2011),

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As a retired lawyer and adjunct law professor, Duane W. Krohnke has developed strong interests in U.S. and international law, politics and history. He also is a Christian and an active member of Minneapolis’ Westminster Presbyterian Church. His blog draws from these and other interests. He delights in the writing freedom of blogging that does not follow a preordained logical structure. The ex post facto logical organization of the posts and comments is set forth in the continually being revised “List of Posts and Comments–Topical” in the Pages section on the right side of the blog.

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