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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, May 25, 2007

Fish or cut bait

OK, Speaker DiMasi, if you aren't for closing corporate tax loopholes or legalizing casino gambling, what is your plan for bringing Massachusetts the dollars it needs to protect and educate its residents?

Surely that topic is higher on your priority list that clamping down on rogue North End parking valets?

The Speaker doesn't think much of Treasurer Tim Cahill's suggestion that the time is finally right for casino gambling in Massachusetts. Shrinking lottery revenues and the very real likelihood of an Wampanoag-run casino that would keep most of what it brings in prompted Cahill's change of heart.

DiMasi told the Globe:
"At first blush, I don't think the treasurer has put forward a particularly new, unique, or financially sound proposal," said DiMasi, who has been a consistent opponent of expanding gambling.
This is not a defense of Cahill's proposal -- although it does have a taste of pragmatism that has long been missing as billions of Massachusetts' residents gaming dollars head to Connecticut. Nor is this a defense of casino gambling in general. The arguments on both sides are far too complex for this space.

But this is a call for the Speaker to spend some of his political capital on being part of the solution. So far this year, the House has passed a budget that digs far too deeply into rainy day funds. At the same time DiMasi has "slammed the door" on changes in the corporate tax structure.

So if tax law changes and new revenue sources are not an option, what is? Dipping into our savings until they are gone?

We're waiting Mr. Speaker.

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