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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Monday, September 04, 2006

Knee jerk conservatism

Back from a break and this time, Tom Reilly didn't self immolate...

It is truly amazing how people come to accept the Big Lies, even in the face of obvious evidence to the contrary. This time I'm looking at the second oldest canard in the conservative playbook -- No New Taxes (please remember the anagram -- No Newt Axes -- it is relevant to the discussion.)

Our intrepid lit-gov Kerry Healey is going to take the pledge we are told, swearing fealty to Barbara Anderson and Citizens for Limited Taxation. It's all about controlling the Legislature, she says. Reilly isn't far behind in the pander parade, offering funny numbers to make the medicine go down smoother. Ditto for Christy Mihos.

Chris Gabrieli has a thoughtful compromise, tying cuts to restoration of services, while Deval Patrick is the only one with the courage to flatly say this emperor has no clothes: you can't cut taxes while restoring local aid, funding for schools, public safety and reducing the property tax burden.

First, some history. Yes Massachusetts voters opted to cut the income tax rate back to 5 percent in 2000, a move that then-Gov. Paul Cellucci promised would be painless. We know what happened to that promise. You can read the whole sordid history of "painless" Massachusetts tax cuts here.

What makes Healey's pandering especially egregious is her double-barreled pledge to freeze the gasoline tax as well. That money goes to repair roads and bridges (and subsidize the Big Dig follies perpetrated under Weld-Cellucci-Swift-Romney).

So our intrepid would-be leader is offering the classic Republican bait-and switch -- there is such a thing as a free lunch and you can have it all and not pay for it.

The saddest thing is so many people still believe this mega lie. I guess that means her administration will do everything on time and on budget too?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Repost from your other post, but this one seems to be more recent...


While clearly important, the heart of this debate for many of us residents has little to do with the economics of the tax cut. If the legislature of this state feels it knows better than the people it is governing, then it should amend the constitution to remove the referendum process entirely. I don't know how the Democrats can claim to be the "party of the people", yet continue to disregard the will of the people.

The funny thing is, Democrats are proving one of the reasons why we are a Republic and not a Democracy... we are not generally subject to the will of the masses, we are subject to the will of our elected officials and the protections afforded by our state and federal Constitutions. They just missed the part about the Constitution.

September 15, 2006 1:52 PM  

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