Minnesota: Don't cherry-pick: be real about the effects of higher taxes

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Gov. Mark Dayton wisely urged Minnesotans to use facts in the budget debate in a speech to the Chamber of Commerce. Despite this sage advice, he continued to rely on a flawed analysis as an important rationale for his budget's higher taxes.

"If the lowest taxes equaled the highest job growth and the highest per capita income, public policy would be clear and simple," Dayton told the Chamber. "In fact, however, the opposite is true. If you look at the last chart, two pages of your handout, people living in the states with the lowest taxes generally have among the lowest per capita incomes. And those states have inferior job growth," he stated.

Gov. Dayton's data analysis has multiple statistical mistakes. One critical error is selection bias. He looks at a small subsample of the available evidence that was carefully cherry-picked, instead of drawing a conclusion from all of the available evidence.

Read the full commentary in the Pioneer Press.

Originally published: 05/18/2013, Pioneer Press