Monday, October 26, 2009

No to New Taxes, Yes to Reform

Remember the slogan, “reform before revenue?” Well, the Legislature did very little reform, but mostly revenue! Now, only a few months after the sales tax hike went into effect, there are new calls to raise taxes yet again.

In Joan Vennochi’s Sunday column in the Boston Globe, Vennochi reports that One Massachusetts is “calling upon like-minded citizens to e-mail Patrick this week and demand balance-what they define as a combination of federal funds, rainy day funds, minimum cuts and more revenue options.”

Are they kidding? More revenue options? That is code for more money for Democrats to dole out to the special interest groups. We’ve raised a plethora of taxes this legislative session. From the sales tax, to the meals tax and don’t forget the satellite television tax, there aren’t many left to raise! The sales tax was sold to the general public and to unions as the solution to our state’s problems, yet here we are months later with a revenue shortfall. The essential services and local aid Democrats vowed to protect are all on the chopping block yet again!

Instead of raising taxes, which yes would be quick and easy for Democrats to accomplish, how about we convene in a full formal session to tackle the many financial challenges facing the Commonwealth. While we have taken baby steps as far as reform goes, there are still many areas of state government that must be reformed. Furthermore, if the financial challenges are as great as we all see them to be, why is the Legislature doing very little in the way of legislating right now. We’ve met here and there to pass legislation that could easily have been taken up during an informal session. Is it because the Democrats on Beacon Hill don’t want to do the dirty work? They’d rather grant the Governor expanded 9C powers so they can say they weren’t involved in the cuts. Well, we’d rather go line item by line item, cut the waste where necessary and implement practical, cost saving reforms.