COMMENTARY: 43.1B BUYS US WHAT ?

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The Massachusetts state legislature passed a 43.1B state budget, the highest in the state’s history. Despite this we continue to hear from a host of advocates that this is still insufficient.

Additionally, essential state services are rapidly deteriorating. The MBTA heads the list with several derailments, substandard equipment, and a persistent history of service delays. The State Police come next, mired in controversy over significant issues of competence and integrity.  Then there is the Registry of Motor Vehicles, which consistently fails in its responsibility to remove dangerous drivers and ensure the security of our driver licensing system. Scandals have shaken the confidence in the state’s Probation Department, the Department of Children and Families, and a host of other agencies. In Westford we have seen no appreciable increases in Chapter 70 education money and, we are now expected to foot the bill for a federal stormwater compliance program, because our state legislature refused to assert jurisdiction.

So where is the money going ?  If you review the state budget, a very small percentage of the revenue goes to the benefit of the so-called “common good.” Most of it goes to special interests.  Your tax dollars shore up an artificial economy comprised of state contracts, state employees and state benefit recipients, who provide  the political support to maintain Beacon Hill’s status quo. Your interests are secondary.

Understand,  this arrangement does not promote economic stability. The thirst for more revenue is insatiable. The authors of the most recent state budget warn us that new tax dollars may be needed. The hope of revenue from sources such as marijuana sales and gambling are not proving sufficient.

Class warriors in Massachusetts are now advancing the millionaire’s tax. It may be wise to heed the warnings of Governor Cuomo, hardly a fiscal conservative, who cautions that making war on the rich courts disaster. Once government begins devouring the private wealth of its productive sectors, bankruptcy and general destitution will soon follow.