MNGOP Sen. Hann says he's not convinced income equality is such a bad thing
During a Legislative Commission on Planning and Fiscal Policy hearing about income equality on Wednesday, Sen. David Hann, R-Eden Prairie, argued that achieving greater income equality by increasing taxes on the rich wouldn't make Minnesota a better place.
That's pretty standard Republican fare, but the ineloquent way he made his case came across as slightly callous and had Hann attempting to clarify himself after the Huffington Post picked up his comments in a report unflatteringly entitled, "GOP Lawmaker Not Convinced Income Inequality Is A 'Bad Thing.'"
Here's a transcript of the controversial portion of Hann's comments, followed by the video:
As a thought experiment, let's say we passed a policy in the state of Minnesota that said nobody could make more than $500,000 a year. I'm not suggesting we do that, but if we did that, it would certainly reduce the inequality gap, but all the people making over $500,000 a year would move out of state. And what would happen to the revenues to the state if we did that? I don't think that would be a positive thing to the state of Minnesota to have that kind of policy on any level...
It's clearly the point that there's bad things about inequality, and yet, I'm not so sure... that that is a bad thing.
In a statement released to the HuffPo, Hann attempted to quell any blowback stemming from his remarks. Here's what he said:
The point of my comment was to focus on increasing the quality of life for those with the least; not on the gap. Everyone can agree that hardworking Minnesota families aren't making enough money.
In fact, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, 49% of Minnesotans are either unemployed or underemployed. The honest answer to that problem is to grow jobs with higher income and increased purchasing power for families. Unfortunately, Democrats and Governor Dayton focus on wasteful and inefficient spending on a new $90 million office building, welfare for politician's campaign accounts, and voting to raise their own pay.
Hann has a well-earned reputation as an outspoken critic of how the state spends tax dollars. For instance, last year, he blasted the Dayton administration for paying $80,000 annually for a communications director and $103,388 on the salary of the health insurance exchange's executive director.
Actually, given recent developments, we've gotta admit Hann was probably on to something with his criticism regarding the MNsure director.
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