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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, January 30, 2009

Battle lines bein' drawn...

Senate President Terry Murray says Gov. Deval Patrick hasn't cut enough from his FY10 budget proposal. House Speaker Robert DeLeo says he's cut too deeply.

The packies and the snackies are up in arms over proposed new taxes, while the restaurant lobby says it is under "assault" and singled out on that front. Must be the soft mood lighting in high end restaurants that make it hard to read menus -- and newspapers.

Bet Patrick is wishing he had gotten a job offer from good friend Barack Obama?

Oh never mind, he's in line for $11 billion instead. But then again, everyone will fight over that too.

Ah yes, it's budget time in Massachusetts!

Here's a suggestion for the media: instead of weighing in with the standard reaction stories with whoever's ox is being gored, how about an in-depth look at the nature of the problem and the reasonableness of the solution.

DeLeo (or his new Ways and Means chief) and Murray will eventually put meat on the bones of their complaints so they are allowed a pass for now.

And yes, higher booze taxes could send some people to New Hampshire. How many? What sort of traffic does the Granite State get from Bay Staters in search of booze and butts? What about the other charges associated with that trip -- like gasoline costs. I'm sure there's some tenure candidate at some university who is studying that question.

Instead of the nanny state complaints about a sweets tax, how about a serious look at the costs of childhood obesity, dental decay and the overall health of young people.

It's curious that Patrick didn't propose a sales tax hike. Is that because people from Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York come here to shop because our sales tax is lower? How about reporting on how our taxes compare to neighbors other than "tax-free (except for staggering property levies, tolls and a bunch of sin taxes) New Hampshire.

Nope, it's easier to pick off the low-hanging fruit. Less taxing, if you will.

I'll be headed out for some R&R and will be returning to this post several days after Punxsutawney Phil tells us whether we will have six more weeks or a month-and-a-half of winter. Stay warm and, as always, thanks for stopping by. Catch you on the flip side.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

R&R? I thought that's what this blog is!

January 30, 2009 6:12 AM  
Blogger Daniel said...

I'm confused. If this federal cash comes through, why will these steep cuts/tax increases/layoffs/pay cuts be necessary? $11 Billion > $1 Billion Deficit, no?

January 30, 2009 8:48 AM  
Blogger SusanT said...

Hello. I work for Environment Massachusetts and I would like to get in contact
with you about working together. I'm hoping to send you press releases about
what we're getting done at Environment Massachusetts and how it affects the
people of Boston. I look forward to hearing from you, my website is susan.torres35@gmail.com. Thanks a lot!

January 30, 2009 2:21 PM  

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