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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Do the right thing

I am not a big fan of the anti-tax movement because I believe what they really represent is the tax-someone-else movement. There are only a handful of true believers, most of them dangerous people like Grover Norquist, out to destroy government for simple ideological (and financial) gain.

So it is a highly unusual moment when I agree that the Massachusetts Legislature is going to do the right thing by refunding a capital gains tax increase found to be unconstitutional, rather than plow ahead with an unfair retroactive tax.

If the state were still deep in the hole I might not agree with this one. It has the money and doing the right thing now gives them leeway to do the right thing later -- not capitulate to the kind of blind tax cut fever that has financially bankrupted an already morally bankrupt federal government.

And given the sluggishness of the Massachusetts recovery coupled with the huge needs for infrastructure etc. (not to mention rising property taxes that threaten great harm to the elderly) they keep enough in the state's coffers to meet needs. History has clearly shown too deep a round of cuts in the state during sluggish fiscal times is a recipe for disaster.

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