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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Trend-setting Deval?

Only in Massachusetts can a series of fiscally correct moves be considered a trend.

But that may be exactly what you get when you add the Patrick administration's efforts to roll back the 9 percent pay raise to MBTA executives on top of recent moves to veto an increase for state pensioners and trying to end the police union gravy train around construction details.

OK, rolling back a pay raise may seem like a no-brainer, but the move did elicit the objections of Methuen Democrat Steven Baddour, the House Transportation Committee chairman who saw it as a "cheap political shot" at the Republican MBTA director Dan Grabauskas.

Well, not so cheap -- particularly when Smilin' Dan also decided to skip the $10,000 cost-of-living increase on his $255,000 salary.

Heck, all this good government might even revive talk of "political courage."

I wouldn't go that far. But it is a sign of what we have become used to passing for "governing" on the state and federal level when an executive makes news by making sound fiscal decisions even when they may have political ramifications.

It doesn't hurt Deval Patrick that these decisions are coming at a time when voters are facing a ballot question to eliminate the state income tax. In many ways, they are largely symbolic and will only make a tiny dent, if any, into the tangle of bad fiscal nightmares that Massachusetts faces.

But you have to start somewhere I guess. Why not here?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't hear you complaining when the union workers at the T got their 9% increase. That's a much bigger financial hit than the managers and other non-union folks.

Is it some liberal philosophy that only union workers hould get raises?

Baddour was right on this one.

August 20, 2008 11:18 AM  

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