The Outraged Liberal ponders the governor's plan to increase the income tax but cut the sales tax:
As a practical matter, the proposal was dead on arrival. But it will no doubt launch a loud and raucous debate about the quality of life and services in Massachusetts and our neighbors. That alone would be debate worth having -- and may have been an underlying goal of Deval's Dream Speech.
The Globe reports Gov. Patrick will propose an increase in the income-tax rate to pay for improvements to our transportation and education systems, in his state-of-the-state address tonight.
What Would You Cut? - Budget simulation game from the Globe.
- The Committee for Small Government
- BostonMaggie: Send Beacon Hill a message.
- Garrett3000: You deserve the money a lot more than a bunch of pols and their pals
- Jay Fitzgerald: Beacon Hill will never let the thing go through, but a yes vote could force them to make needed reforms
- Shirley Kressel: Why this liberal supports Question 1.
- Steve Forbes Maybe (Mass. pols)'ll wake up when you whack them with a 2-by-4.
- Barbara Anderson supports it.
- Vote No on Question 1 Committee.
- Gene Koo: We're all responsible to contribute to the costs of civilization. We’ll all pay the price if we don’t.
- Margalit: Renters would get hurt by Question 1.
- Chris Lovett looks at what a yes vote might mean.
- Matt O'Malley: Snow removal in New Hampshire sucks, do you want that here?
- Tim Jarrett: An idiotic response to crisis.
- Philip Matthews: The Definition of Fiscal Insanity.
- Paula Woolley: Vote no one One for the sake of our schools and city.
- Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce: Would devastate Mass. economy.
To clarify: the Globe wants to continue the state income tax because they have a huge sexytime crush on Mike Widmer, send pot smokers to Guantanamo Bay forever, and run Greyhounds directly into the ground.
A Proper Bostonian comes up with Swiftian reasons to vote for the measure (as in Jonathan, not Jane).
It's a wild idea that I've been giving serious consideration to: abolishing income tax for Massachusetts residents. How would saving "the average taxpayer about $3,600 a year" a loss of about $12.5 billion a year, "roughly 45 percent of the state's budget of about $28 billion" actually affect Massachusetts? Would schools suddenly shut down, hospitals and police crumble? Or would those things that make our state function-unnecessary jobs and wasteful goods-be organically pared away?
The Herald takes a look at the people paying Carla Howell's salary as she tries to convince people to repeal the state income tax:
The push to scrap the state income tax - billed as a grassroots movement - is heavily bankrolled by an odd-ball collection of libertarians who don't even pay taxes in Massachusetts, including a crackpot who’s likened Homeland Security to the "Gestapo" and a "Biblical capitalist" who thinks paper money should be eliminated. ...
Rick Holmes, opinion editor at the Metrowest Daily News, explains why he isn't buying Carla Howell's effort to repeal the Massachusetts income tax in November:
Carla Howell, the leader of the income-tax-repeal effort, came in to see me last week. I have an editorial here about the question I keep asking: Is the point of the referendum to "send a message" or enact a law?
Howell says it's about enacting a law, one that would remove some $12 billion from the state budget. Fine, but if you are going to ask the voters to make decisions on the budget, you ought to be able to provide some details, and Carla appears to have decided not to. ...
On the heels of the MBTA pay-raise story comes the news that people are paying more in property taxes on houses that are worth less. The Outraged Liberal, who predicts disaster if Question 1 passes, hopes:
... Hopefully those folks who plan to speak out against Question 1 are hard at work for a campaign that will launch right after Labor Day -- you know about the same time the Democratic convention ends, the Republican convention begins and the political media's focus on the presidential race obliterates all other discussion?
First state pensioners, now detail-lovin' police, but there's an endgame in mind here and it's not necessarily Washington:
... Make no mistake, Patrick has an election in mind all right. It's the November referendum on Question 1, the income tax repeal. Polls suggest voters are unhappy enough that they could vote their wallet and not their best interests. Sacred cows need to fall.
If that means dealing with upset pensioners and police officers angry because they've been asked to do some dieting along with the rest of the state budget (and there will be a lot of that in the months ahead, particularly if the federal Medicaid waiver is slashed) that drama may only help convince fence sitters that Question 1 is a recipe for disaster. ...
The Outraged Liberal explains why we're no longer all that highly taxed and why the ballot question to end the state income tax will actually accelerate the number of people fleeing Massachusetts.
Chris Lovett gives it good odds of passage in part because this year has some parallels to 1980, when Prop. 2 1/2 was passed: An economic slowdown, a presidential election and, in Boston, a seeming mayor for life.