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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Not worth the trip from New Hampshire

Mitt Romney's commitment to Massachusetts was made clear by his decision to hold a rare Saturday news conference to announce his budget vetoes. Aside from being able to stick it to the Statehouse press corps unaccustomed to working Saturdays, he told reporters the timing allows him to spend a full week at his New Hampshire vacation home.

The rare Romney sighting, coming after an exhausting travel schedule tied to his nascent presidential campaign, was in keeping with his national vision. The Bay State's latest gift to the nation took up his veto pen to protect taxpayers against excessive spending and unwarranted intrusions on executive authority. Sound like anyone we know (minus actual vetoes of course)?

Seasoned observers on Beacon Hill suggest this budget still does not come close to restoring all the cuts made at the height of the slashing earlier this decade. And that is significant because those cuts came in education, public safety, public health and local aid. Often forgotten in the noise is that cuts at the state level often result in property tax increases at the local level as communities struggle to maintain "frills" like police, fire and teachers.

And of course, the Romney veto message is more geared for Des Moines than Boston.

"When you look at the budget the governor has announced, and the ones in the House and Senate, they're really quite similar in the broad strokes," said Michael J. Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a business-backed budget watchdog group. "Today, he's made a big point of the differences, but up till now there have been many more commonalities than differences in priorities and spending levels."
Enjoy your week in tax-free New Hampshire Mitt. I suspect you can pickup a few votes there with the new you. But I can't help but notice you didn't send your kids to school there.

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