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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, October 20, 2010

Promises to keep

Here we are, less than two weeks away from the election and Charlie Baker is already backing away from his promises.

The former Administration and Finance Secretary, who knows a thing or two abut balancing budgets, has been proclaiming in his ads -- or through his spokespeople -- that tax cuts are just around the corner.
“There’s no phasing it down,’’ Baker spokesman Rick Gorka told State House News Service on Oct. 4. “It’s straight to 5. We’re filing the sales and income tax [cut] to 5 percent on Day One.’’
Not so, the candidate says now.
“I’ve proposed reducing that over four years and simplifying it to 5 percent, which I think would be a great thing to do,’’ Baker said at a press conference outside the State House, on another busy day of politicking ahead of the Nov. 2 election. “I’m going to pursue that straight out of the gate.’’
What's changed?

I'd like to think it's the real Charlie Baker emerging from the cave where he's been hidden by his campaign. That Baker is a pragmatist who knows that talk about slashing billions in waste, fraud and abuse is just talk. After all, he had the chance to wield the waste ax during the Weld administration and we know how that turned out.

Or maybe Baker is believing his internal polls showing him with a 7-point lead -- a result contrary to every other survey to date if you want to talk about funny numbers. And by that measure, he knows there's enough trouble ahead without adding to it.

Or perhaps he is seeing the business community, band together in opposition to Question 3, which would slash the sales tax well past its long-time 5 percent mark, all the way down to 3 percent. While Baker opposes the measure too, perhaps he feels too much ground may be opening between him and what should be a natural constituency.

In any event, it's interesting to see the promises roll back even before the vote is taken. Could this be an omen for how the Baker administration would run?

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Anonymous HesterPrynne said...

Or it's Baker's homage to St. Augustine: "O Lord, give me chastity, but not yet."

October 20, 2010 9:04 AM  

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