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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Sunday, January 02, 2011

The kindest cut

The best thing Deval Patrick could do for incoming legislators is cut their salary -- by as much as possible. And woe unto any lawmaker who pulls an Andy Harris.

The newly elected Maryland Republican, you may not recall, brayed loud and long when he discovered his congressional health benefits would not kick in until Feb. 1.

An anesthesiologist elected on a platform that includes repealing the federal health care law for average Americans, Harris whined about his top-shelf perk:
“This is the only employer I’ve ever worked for where you don’t get coverage the first day you are employed."
Newly elected members of the Great and General Court would do well to stifle themselves from similar outbursts should Patrick take a razor to their (and his own) salary.

While the Globe offers a number of stories this morning on the prospects of an improving economy and jobs picture, the fact remains Massachusetts is only slightly ahead of the national curve and the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center notes there are "significant segments of our population with very high unemployment rates and very low long-term wage growth."

A large influx of new House and Senate members should keep the moaning to a minimum, Harris' example notwithstanding. So a word to the wise to incumbents with chips on their shoulders thanks to bad behavior of some of their recent former colleagues: shut up and take it like the rest of us.

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