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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Number please

I've read through today's Globe story on the number of state jobs added or subtracted during the Patrick administration twice now and decided filling out my own tax return is easier to understand. Let me summarize:

  • Deval Patrick has indeed cut the number of state employees under his control.
  • Charlie Baker agrees, but doesn't think Patrick was clairvoyant enough to see the Great Recession coming and get out in front. Baker says he would 5,000 executive branch jobs -- but does say where.
  • Tim Cahill, the man who cuts the checks for state employees, charges Patrick with using "phantom numbers," then proceeds to lump everything into what Patrick administration officials say is a "statistical sample" that includes state agencies not under the executive branch.
And Cahill of course has been offering phantom solutions to how to close the budget gap.

If that wasn't confusing enough, let's skip over to the Massachusetts House, which approved a $27.8 billion budget yesterday. That's a 3.2 percent increase over the current year, including cuts in local aid, higher education -- and about 1,500 jobs.

Wait a minute -- more money yet we get less? See how easy this is?

Plus the House budget has a special goody tacked in for Boston: keep all 26 branch libraries open or lose about $3 million in funding. Which of course would lead to even more job cuts and other reductions in service across the system.

No wonder my head (and yours) must be reeling from all the spin emerging from Beacon Hill.

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