Thursday, November 14, 2013

Do as I do.....with others' money.

Approximately 14 months ago, Twin Cities blogger John Gilmore put forth a post which began as follows:

Why is it some children of enormous inherited wealth react to their condition by inflicting themselves upon the greater public under the misnomer of public service?

I would guess it's because the impact one can make with his/her wealth is minimal compared to that of doling out a largess from the public treasury. And if someone worth multiple millions obtains such a position of authority in the public sector, the citizens are then forced to play a part in fulfilling that individual's progressive utopia, usually via higher taxes.

Which brings me to the revelation of the personal finances of Minnesota's chief executive.

Gov. Mark Dayton acknowledged Wednesday that he was embarrassed by the tax return he released Tuesday that showed he had given only $1,000 to charity despite total earnings of $343,234 last year, according to his tax returns released this week.

"I pride myself on my charitable giving and I'm disappointed in myself.” Dayton said at the end of a briefing with reporters on another issue. “I totaled it up and noticed I had fallen off, so I will remedy that."

The drop was significant from 2009, when Dayton, then a gubernatorial candidate, earned $172,475 mostly from family trusts, and donated nearly $27,000 of that to charity.

In addition to his $116,125 state salary in 2012, Dayton received $92,381 from a family trust and $130,291 from capital gains. Dayton gave $1,750 to charity in 2011, when his earnings totaled $342,322.
The dates listed are what's most telling. In his first two years as governor of Minnesota (2011-2012), Dayton gave a combined $2,750 to charity. Yet while he was merely a gubernatorial candidate in 2009, he gave nearly 10 times that amount (in all likelihood, progressive causes made up most of the beneficiaries).

That seems to lend some credence to the theory that for what little Dayton donated out of his personal nest egg, he more than made up for in 2011 when he signed a biennium state budget which was 11% higher than the previous budget (and shut down government for three weeks because he wanted more). Again, increasing funding of government makes more of a positive impact (in Dayton's mind anyhow) than anything he can achieve with his personal wealth.

So when Dayton indicates he's "disappointed" in himself, any chance he'll give out an "F" grade like he did when he was a U.S. Senator? Of course, after such a harsh self-assessment in 2006, Dayton chose not to seek reelection for his Senate seat. Hmmmm.


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