Editorial: Dayton - The one-hit wonder
The term "one-hit wonder" is often used to describe a person or act known only for a single success. One-hit wonders are usually the result of a fad or a novelty. The song's popularity is usually short lived, but often holds nostalgic value. On the top of the one-hit wonder songs are tunes like; "Who Let the Dogs Out" by the Baha Men, "Macarena" by Los del Rio and "Sugar, Sugar" by the Archies.
You have to wonder why these seemingly talented artists don't have the staying power of music legends that produce hits that transcend generations. A clear difference is one-hit wonders hold tightly to the one hit that brought the artist fame, refusing to change despite the fact the beat has grown stale and no one is listening. While true musical artists grow with their experience, their music evolves over time and becomes a reflection of themselves and of the people that keep them on the billboard charts.
There are also one-hit wonders in the world of politics. After all, it has been said that politics is just show business for ugly people. A prime example of a one-hit wonder in the political arena would be Governor Mark Dayton. During his first term in office as our U.S. Senator he gave himself a failing grade and decided not to seek a second term in 2006. But Dayton reemerged on the political scene in 2009 to campaign for governor.
Just like an old musical artist who returns to the stage with hopes of regaining fame by producing a cover song of a once famous hit, Dayton returned to the political stage with the old liberal mantra of "Tax the Rich." In 2010 Dayton was able to best his two DFL opponents with his rendition of "Tax the Rich" in the gubernatorial primary. He went on to edge out two more contenders in the general election and he hasn't stopped singing the same tune since.
During the campaign in 2010, ABC World News released a poll that found 84 percent of Americans defined themselves as either working or middle class. Is it any wonder why his refrain of "Tax the Rich" was such a big hit? It's such a simple tune - tax someone else so I can benefit. It's not fair that someone else has more than I do, so the government should take it from them and give it to me. This is the rational for why government should take from those who have and give it to those who don't.
Regardless of whether Minnesota has a budget surplus or shortfall, Dayton continues to cling to his hit single that put him in the political spotlight. Just last week at the DFL convention he again took to the stage with a chorus of "Taxes would be fairer if millionaires would pay their fair share."
This just after he succeeded in pushing a taxpayer funded Vikings stadium that subsidizes a billionaire and will cost taxpayers over one and a half billion dollars. He also accomplished increasing the state's debt by $550 million, bringing our total state debt, including previous bonding commitments, to well over $5 billion.
To date, Dayton has shown little concern for how the state will meet it's spending obligations. But there is little doubt that by the time the legislature convenes next January, the old crooner will be singing his favorite tune "Tax the Rich." His calculation is that if he can put the state deep enough in debt, more and more people will join him in his favorite refrain of "Tax the Rich."
When it comes to political one-hit wonders, Dayton tops the charts. The good news for taxpayers is that fewer people are buying his old tune. It is clear that "Tax the Rich" may be a great campaign song but it's a failure when it comes to governing and growing Minnesota's economy.