EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

March 7, 2013


The Eagle-Tribune

---- — To the editor:

Dennis DiZoglio’s Feb. 24 opinion column, “We need money to fix region’s transportation system,” laments the worsening infrastructure problems we face in the Merrimack Valley. His solution to all this, not surprisingly, is to raise revenues (a euphemism for raising taxes) and even suggests embracing Gov. Deval Patrick’s proposed income tax hike as a funding option.

He blames some of our troubles on the Big Dig, but neglects to point out that this boondoggle was the nation’s most wasteful public project whose initial $2.8 billion cost blossomed into a $22 billion gouging of taxpayers.

The project, rife with corruption and graft, is what you get when the public repeatedly elects officials whose solution to any problem is to immediately throw money at it and raise taxes.

Any darn fool can do that. Massachusetts leads all states in electing such people.

Billions are wasted that could be used to fix our infrastructure without raising taxes.

Massachusetts has a prevailing wage law that drives up the cost of such public construction jobs by 30 percent to 40 percent.

Let’s get rid of it, like New Hampshire did years ago, so we can build more highways and rail lines for our hard-earned tax dollars.

And what about the hundreds of millions of dollars that state Rep. Jim Lyons has forced the state to admit it is spending on health care for individuals who most likely don’t qualify for it.

Then there are the tens of thousands of EBT card recipients to whom the state gives money but can’t find their mailing addresses.

The fraudulent use of these EBT cards is legendary.

Don’t forget that we have not yet gotten to the bottom of the Probation Department’s nepotism and patronage problem. What about the thousands of state employees making well over $100,000 a year who never take pay cuts?

The public has had enough. There are billions in waste, fraud and inefficiency that are begging to be salvaged and would be available to bring our ailing infrastructure up to snuff.

Mr. DiZoglio, I suggest you look for your money in these areas before going after taxpayers yet again.

As I said before, any darn fool can raise taxes. But someone willing to make tough choices and do the work can find the funds to make our region’s transportation system first class without raising our taxes.

Mike Devine

West Newbury