Thursday, October 16, 2008

Dear Colleague

I have learned over the few years I've been doing this that having a blog can be a dangerous thing. On the one hand, I want people to read it and enjoy it and feed the attention whore complex that all bloggers have. On the other, I don't want too many people to read it, as I never really take it seriously and enjoy the freedom to say things without the world and my employer going over it with a fine tooth comb. So I shy away from politics. Except for today.

If you don't live in Massachusetts, feel free to skip ahead to another blog or post on mine

On the ballot next month, in addition to choosing the next President, there will be 3 ballot questions. One of them deals with legalizing small amounts of marijuana. The other deals with banning greyhound racing, The third one would repeal the state income tax. I don't care if you want to smoke weed while sitting on a greyhound, but you can't vote to repeal the income tax.

A folk singer has championed this cause saying that not only will there be less government waste if this passes, but you will get around 1600 bucks. This was later proven to be around 800 bucks or possibly less if you're not a millionaire.

The state income tax currently makes up about 40% of the state's budget. And in that 40% is some stuff we can't not pay, like debt obligations and medicaid/medicare and pensions. So then you have a much smaller amount of money that you'd be able to cut totally. In return for 3 dollars a day in your pocket, you would get the privilege of standing in line at the Registry of Motor Vehicles for 5 hours because they're now only open 1 day a week. Or you could watch as your property tax goes through the roof to make up for the loss in income.

Let's be honest. If this passes, the Legislature is not just going to swallow it and not find cash elsewhere. The sales tax will go up, property tax will go up. Fees will increase, and services will decrease. I'll just come out and say it. If you vote to repeal the income tax in MA, you're a moron. And I'm not saying this as a state worker fearing for his job. I'm saying this as a guy who has a base understanding of public finance and is getting his MPA. It doesn't make sense.

I'm getting high with the greyhounds if this thing passes. And if you think it won't, just read the comments section in the Herald. These people think this is a good idea to clean up waste. I weep for the future. Vote No on 1.


Anonymous said...

Times Editorial the other day weighing in on MA pending vote - under advice from the HofTM no doubt - they urge everyone to vote NO.

The Ten Angry Men said...

This all assumes, of course, that if it passes the legislature even acknowledges it. More likely they'll just stuff the Prop under their bra and walk out of the room.