EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


April 7, 2013

Column: Patrick’s spending spree gets short shrift in the Legislature


Chip also pointed out that Massachusetts is not suffering from a shortage of taxes. According to the non-partisan Tax Foundation, our state and local tax burden is still fourth highest in the country, 31 percent above the national average.

On Tuesday, the Tax Foundation released its annual Tax Freedom Day report. On April 18, 2013, taxpayers in the United States, as a whole, stop working for their federal, state and local government, and begin to work for themselves. In Massachusetts, the date is April 25 — the fourth latest in the nation.

Yet, we don’t adequately maintain our roads and bridges or run the MBTA with transparency or efficiency; reforms that were passed a few years ago still have not been implemented, pensions are still outrageous.

We don’t keep track of welfare recipients’ electronic benefits cards. The state inspector general has told us that the commonwealth can’t prove the eligibility of roughly 33 percent of children receiving welfare benefits, doesn’t know if any of them are in school, if they are even in the state, or in fact if they exist at all.

The House Ways and Means Committee has passed Speaker DeLeo’s proposal and the debate is scheduled for Monday. House Republicans are complaining that there isn’t adequate time for a public hearing on this and on their own finance plan for the transportation system, which will not include tax hikes. Gov. Patrick was still insisting on an income tax hike at a Wednesday rally organized by a group called Stand for Children.

Speaking of children, someone noted on my April 1 Facebook page that “Obama has declared April the month in which his administration will teach young people ‘how to budget responsibly.’” I think this was an April Fools’ Day joke.

My favorite April 1 joke was a news release from Washington-based Americans for Tax Reform.

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