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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Tim the Tool

I noticed the other day the author of the "Tim for Treasurer" slogan that got our state treasurer elected has come up with a new slogan: Tim in '10". After reading his secret plan to close the budget gap, I'd like to propose another one instead.

Tim the Tool.

I applaud the Globe for challenging the gubernatorial hopefuls to come up with the open budget-balancing schemes. While they may fall short in some regards -- Charlie Baker's tough on jobs approach will be hard to implement and still not close the total gap -- they represent some thought on the part of the candidates and their staffs.

Except for Tim the Tool.

Cahill, an independent who left the Democratic Party in July, said he would not raise taxes and would consider cutting all “sacred cows,’’ including health care, education, and local aid. But even though he has managed state finances since 2003, he declined to offer more specific cuts, saying, “It’s hard to do when you’re not in the [governor’s] office.’’

He blamed Patrick, saying the governor has not given him enough information to differentiate “real spending’’ from agencies merely “defending their turf.’’

On a Lame Scale of 1-10, that's just off the charts. The only bit of truth in his "plan" is some surprising political honesty.
“I know it sounds like I’m avoiding, but I don’t want to make the mistake this guy did, by promising things that aren’t doable or real,’’ Cahill said of Patrick. “I don’t want to fall into that trap, especially without all the information.’’
Not surprisingly, Baker, a former administration and finance secretary and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care chief, had the most details, proposing, among other things, a consolidation of health care agencies and eliminating 5,000 jobs. Even then, he acknowledged, there would be a gap.

High marks on the truth scale. But as Stephen Crosby, who was Jane Swift's A&F secretary and a Patrick supporter in 2006 pointed out, it's not easy to slash 5,000 jobs in an environment where union rules protect the highest-paid employees.

Not to mention the Donkey in the room -- the Massachusetts Great and General Court, whose members have been patrons to many of those job holders Baker would like to cashier.

Nonetheless, it was a good exercise to see which of the candidates have given serous thought to the job and what will be needed -- and which are looking to move up to another job by offering the same old political pablum.

I'm looking at you Timmy.

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