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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, January 14, 2009

Politics as usual

The likely fallout from the economic crash brought about by the fiscal mismanagement of the Bush administration is all around us: proposed wage freezes, skyrocketing prescription premiums, cuts in public safety and education.

In response, Gov. Gov. Patrick is embracing old ideas with new interest and offering to take the political heat for making another $1.1 billion in cuts to the fiscal 2009 budget.

And as if to demonstrate why the Massachusetts Republican legislative caucus could fit into a phone booth, the hearty band of GOP lawmakers responds in a tired way that adds nothing to the solution.
“He hasn’t provided any information to anyone,” Senate Minority Leader Richard Tisei said in an interview. “It’s disgraceful, and he’s not living up to the job. This is not transparent, it’s not an open process, and it flies in the face of everything he said he was going to do.”
Which of course begs the question -- where is your plan Mr. Leader?

The "9C" authorization vote up before the Legislature today is designed to give the Patrick administration two weeks to complete a plan on where and how to cut. Administration and Finance Secretary Leslie Kirwan admits "We haven't formulated a plan."

On the surface, that sounds awful and begs the question why not. In reality, Kirwan's office is hard at work on a fiscal 2010 plan due in two weeks as well and revenues for FY09 were not firmed up until yesterday.

It is also true that a) the Patrick administration seems awfully slow in putting rhetoric into legislation and b) Senate President Terry Murray, a diehard Democrat laments "...it's hard to act in the dark. We'd like a little bit of light, in terms of what the parameters are."

Nonetheless, if the GOP delegation were sincere about being part of the solution, I would have thought they would couple their partisan blast with their own version of where spending could be cut.

After all, there are folks in each House and Senate Republican's office who spend at least some time on budget matters. They see the revenue estimates that are driving this process and know the broad parameters of where the money is spent.

Once upon a time, we used to see a yearly "A Better Budget" proposal. How better to make their point about Patrick's absence of plan than by producing one of their own? Or at least hold off the whining unless and until they are bypassed for feedback in the next two weeks?

Oh yeah, that would take some work beyond putting together a set of talking points.

Hey gang -- wonder why you continue to caucus in a closet?

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Blogger tim said...

Why do you even bother with the republicans they do not matter in the state except for the token governor who can not wait to leave Deval had two years and has done nothing

January 14, 2009 1:57 PM  

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