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Arts groups fight governor's slashing of arts funds

Flux Boston details just what the cuts would mean. Arts groups are trying to get legislators to override Gov. Baker's veto.

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People don't pay taxes for you to doodle, it it doesn't pay the bills than it a hobby an you need a real job.

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Many artists do have "real jobs".

Art also brings money into the economy through tourism and businesses wanting creative people around.

But, hey, sorry you are so simple minded and unable to do basic research on the subject. I hear Gary Indiana is a great place for people who hate art.

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.

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But okay.

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oh wait, you're hiding behind anon.

What about jobs at non-profits? People who aren't artists, are often highly educated in "traditional" fields (quite frankly, clearly more educated than you or the 8 people who actually liked your statement as of the time I wrote this), and work to keep many of the organizations in the state running? This also covers school field trips to places like museums and other cultural/performing arts events, various festivals that you may enjoy between writing those tax checks, programs for at-risk youth, an entire organization aimed at hiring the aforementioned professionals into non-profit roles, and so much more.

Maybe, before you complain about your tax money going to people who "doodle," actually use your noodle and do a little research next time. You know, so you know what the hell you're talking about.

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The MCC funds more than just the visual arts. They also (directly or indirectly) fund almost every historic site and cultural attraction that tourists visit in Boston. So defunding the MCC also really punches a major industry in Boston right in the balls.

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OK - we fund your pet project.

What gets cut instead?

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Anything which has two degrees of separation from Jim Rooney. So BCEC, reforming future MBTA pension schemes, airport fees for small tranches of the local economy, taxi protectionism, anything at all related to the Chamber of Commerce, etc...

I understand your take at the city level, but there is so, so much patronage larded around the state and quasi-state entities which could be cut. Let's start there.

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envy.

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I don't get this remark. Surely railing against the soft corruption of patronage and things like the governor's council isn't just the refuge of the tea party scoundrel?

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or a pension scheme. The governors council isn't patronage but a collection of the insane. The Harvard educated Rooney probably isn't qualified for a private sector job. Some guy that spends hundreds of thousands of dollars for a taxi medallion is licensed and registered with the BPD is told to screw because millennials like ride share. Those thousands of tea party like pin pricks against government and government spending has brought us and will continue to bring us crumbling infrastructure, shitty schools and division. But then again Howie has made a living off of that.

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When the system can be gamed so someone can retire in their 40s with a $100k+ year pension, the public sector is being looted basically.

When we're told that after getting a cut from every car rental at the airport by anyone ever in order to pay for the convention center, only to be told that hey, they need another $1b to really make the thing work, that's inefficient use of state resources.

Don't recall mentioning bus drivers - largely they seem like hard working people with a tough job. Wish they'd pull into bus stops when they can though.

As for crumbling infrastructure, don't you think $1b towards bridge and road repair or a $5 surcharge on car rentals going to highway and transit funding would be a better use? My problem with these leeches is simply opportunity cost. I want to see our government spend lots of money on infrastructure and schools and the university system, etc... Not so the Jim Rooneys and other patronage wizards can have a nice comfy life. You can go ahead and vote for the Steve Murphy's of the world if you like the way insiders feather their nests in our 'service' I'll vote for John Keith.

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I love fake progressives. Ideologues fitting comfortably within but proclaiming injustice without. Humor me some more.
Doug Bennett 2016!

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Just hating on everything they can just because they can.

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They're petitioning on behalf of their constituents, which is a basic right of all of us under both Commonwealth and Federal consititutions.

Your comment appears to assume that the governor's cuts are the only way to balance the budget, and that any petitioners are required to offer a complete alternative - both unsupported suppositions.

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Less expense, more revenue.

Based on everything I've read, Beacon Hill on both sides of the aisle has no appetite for more revenue (on a percentage basis - we are almost exactly average - I think like 26th in the country - on a dollar basis, as a wealthy state - we are close to the top - certainly top 10, maybe top 5. And if you want to know what happens when you raise taxes etc. beyond a reasonable level - talk to NJ and CT.

As for expenditures - the Gov has to get all this through the state house - so sure there's an option. But people come in all the time yelling "don't cut mine, don't cut mine" - but if there's no new revenue coming in - some things need to get cut. It's easy to just say don't cut. But what I want to hear these groups say is what is less important than their cause - they may be right - but I'd like to see if they have a sane sense of priorities before I give them the time of day.

Not saying the arts are unimportant - but it's probably close to the bottom of the list in state priorities.

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"no appetite for more revenue" except when it comes to T fares. Then hike them mothers as much and as frequently as possible...because that's not raising revenue....?

How about cutting tax handouts to GE?

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Argue what you will - but there are very specific laws defining what taxes are and the rules around them (basically they go in a general fund and pay for what the legislature and gov deem important). Then you have fees - which by law have to broadly reflect the cost of the service delivered - so to get your license, the government can only charge roughly the cost of providing the service +/-.

T Fares are quite different - they certainly don't cover the cost of the service (nor should they). In fact - fares are part of the problem. Because the T can never make ends meet - the state throws more and more money at their feet. To the tune of hundreds of millions a year in supplemental income to the T (and an expense to the state). The fare raises aren't really helping the state-they still have to send the T money by the truckload - but it's not reducing the state's liability.

As for handouts to GE - mixed bag - getting GE to move here was a coup. The direct handouts actually come from the city in the form of tax credits. If memory serves, the state offered infrastructure improvements. If it goes to a heliport or refurbishing an old bridge - I'd say you may have a point - but if went say to installing light rail service through the South End and South Boston and by the convention center - might be a good thing. As my regular readers know - I rail against these handouts and the excuse that they are "an investment" - because historically they aren't. However, my mind changes when the data changes - and this one truly could be different if other companies look at GE and say - hmmm, Massachusetts - maybe they are on to something. We'll see. But if I were a major corporation in NJ, CT or IL right now - I'd be checking to see if Charlie Baker would take my calls.

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Well if you want to be pedantic, neither of us ever said taxes or fees, we both were talking revenue. These finer points of definition are all true and make for great discussions around the State House, but in terms of the public messaging these distinctions are lost on most people not dealing with this continuously. It is seen as not extracting more money out of the tax payers. Whether that be a fee, tax or the fares which partially subsidize our transit system.

The political game is to tell people to read your lips -- "no new taxes," "reform before revenue," "squeeze out some efficiencies from the existing resources," "negotiate better contracts with the unions" and "seek out cost savings through the superior workings of the private sector" and then just raise revenue on the least likely to fight back while forwarding on any savings to friends and backers. Given that we're damn near a one-party state, this is something done more frequently here by Dems than Republicans, but they're far more suave about it than ham-fisted dim-wits who rule the legislature.

But more relevant to the point is BostonDog's post below. We are sitting here discussing $14 million being cut down to $6.5 million. GE's deal with the State includes $120 million to address GE's infrastructure needs (including demolition, site prep, property acquisition, improvements & construction, abatement & remediation, and planning, design & construction of parking facilities, helicopter pads, traffic & streetscape improvements, etc. etc..) Another $1 million in grants to the company for training their workforce (programs developed to suit the Company's requirements) -- govt support in facilitating all permitting (no dollar amount or time amount on how much "senior staff at the Exec Offices" will be spent on that). Another $25 million from the state dedicated to transportation improvements in the Seaport area, some unspecified (and unquantified) energy incentives, and a few other perks in addition to all the money and benefits provided through the City of Boston's budget ($25 million in tax breaks plus other perks - many in-kind types overlapping with the state ones listed).

The $7.7 million being cut from the Arts budget is a drop in the bucket.

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Were you?

That $120 million will be financed. Any guesses what it will cost to finance that $120 mil? Now multiply 5% times the 600 salaries coming to town. The deal almost certainly pays for itself and then some and that's before factoring in potential growth and the publicity of GE choosing to relocate here, which is enormous.

Personally not usually a fan of these deals. First one I've seen that MAYBE makes sense, save for the heliport.

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There, more new revenue without pissing anybody off

But no, Baker wants to make a socially conservative stand for once

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My vote is for $25/hr flaggers over $75+/hr detail cops.

If you're looking for waste and protectionism there is no shortage of that in MA. The fact is arts spending is some of the best, economically speaking, since it tends to get spent at the local level right away as opposed to being funneled to outside corporations. Arts spending also tends to improve quality of life of the community.

In short, arts funding is already so low there is little to be gained by cutting it and a ton to lose. But it makes for good soundbites to low information voters.

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?

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We are a very generous state - about 40% of the state budget goes to them.

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With your mortgage deduction how many of my tax dollars do you get in refund?

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I made no judgement about MassHealth or the budget. I didn't say whether I think that's the best thing ever or the worst idea of all time.

Since you asked, I invariably owe the Commonwealth of Massachusetts when I do my taxes each year, even with my mortgage interest deduction.

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to what many self proclaimed conservatives call "free loaders". I find it ironic that many people who pay no tax due to write off's seem inclined to point fingers. In fact the presidential candidate counting on these hyperbolic hypocrites refuses to release his returns. Amusing to say the least.

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MUCH MUCH MUCH cheaper that way.

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We raise taxes so that we can have civilization.

Without public arts, where would your condo fortune be??? Those very wealthy people who spend money on stuff - they would go elsewhere.

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Hey, don't spare anything, or we may lose the next Marky Mark.
Also, your zipper is showing, middle class commentators. You assume Massachusetts art is "civilization". Having camps of homeless in the forest or a "methadone mile" is not an civilization issue for you. Paying for comprehensive, decent housing for the homeless - like the Swiss - would reduce their home value or the sums extorted through rent. But a saxophonist nearby does the opposite: fool nouveau riches can be tricked into paying more for your decrepit triple decker.

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