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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Broken promises

Watching the way things work in Washington these days reminds me a little of Lucy and Charley Brown with congressional Republicans playing the role of the snotty little girl who breaks her promise.

With a little more than a week until the fiscal new year, The Statehouse News Service offers two stories today reflecting on how beholden Massachusetts is to the politics of gridlock: not only are we waiting for lawmakers to end a GOP-led revolt over promised federal Medicaid dollars, we are also waiting for the feds to cough up $160 million in cash they admit they already owe us.

GOP "leaders," including our very own Scott Brown, have tied 30 state capitals up in knots by opposing legislation that would deliver promised stimulus dollars. The display is also threatening continued unemployment benefits for those who have lost their jobs in the Great Recession triggered by similar efforts at GOP "leadership."

There's little dispute the nation faces a serious deficit problem -- the Bush's administration's success in cutting taxes on the rich and fighting two wars on credit cards have indeed created a deep hole after Clinton surplus.

But undoing the benefits of the stimulus bill -- and on the backs of the real victims like the unemployed -- makes about as much sense as apologizing to BP for demanding they pay for the mess they caused.

And whatever rationales partisans can come up for to justify causing chaos in three-fifths of the state capitals doesn't come close to explaining the excuse for not returning a $160 million overpayment in Social Security funds shelled out by Massachusetts residents.

It's important to remember who has dirtier hands in creating the mess we're in and who is behaving irresponsibly in efforts to try and dig out. It would be nice if the GOP would put the public interest ahead of their party interests, even once.


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