Why Not “Yes” On Ballot Question One?

(Starve the Beast… – promoted by Cool Cal)

Like the clarion call on Capitol Hill for leadership regarding the mortgage bank bail-out crisis, there seems to be a lack of leadership here in Massachusetts regarding those who back the ballot question to eliminate the personal state income tax.

According to Boston’s NBC affiliate, “Even Beacon Hill Republicans have been muted in their response, saying they’re sympathetic with the frustrations of taxpayers, but have stopped short of backing the question.”

Why is that? Why are our elected officials reluctant to be seen in the same room with people who pay taxes that are routinely wasted, and/or used against us by elected officials? Maybe we should find politicians who listen to us instead of the current crop who talk nice to us every other November and blow us off during the two years in between.

Many of us are well aware of the fiscal nightmare such an income tax repeal would create, but it’s apparent many people feel forcing the state legislature to be fiscally responsible is something we just can’t afford to futilely ask them to be any more.

Let’s say the wife keeps the books in your family. Let’s say around a quarter of your paycheck this week is missing. She turns to her husband and says, “Honey, where’s the missing money from your check?” The husband responds, “I dunno. Fraud, waste, and abuse…?”

Being a good wife, she holds in her anger while all kinds of things are running through her head. “Is he gambling; does he have some floozy in an apartment somewhere…?”

The following week, the husband comes home with a paycheck and the wife immediately notices a quarter of it is missing again. She asks her husband where the money is and she gets the same response, “I dunno. Fraud, waste, and abuse…?”

Just how long would any wife put up with that nonsense?

Yet we taxpayers put up with this every payday on the local, state, and federal level. When the government essentially puts guns to all of our heads, telling us we WILL pay taxes for however they deem fit to spend it, they MUST give our hard-earned dollars all the respect and care appropriate.

But they don’t because we NEVER hold them accountable.

We constantly hear of wasteful programs, increased staffing for those programs, criminal filching of government dollars by individuals and entities, over-paid political workers, while politicians skirt their own rules when it comes to returning monies back to the towns (i.e. Lottery profits) and withhold them for future “General Fund” vote-buys. From the governor on down, they force us to enroll in programs they can’t pay for, knowing they can just force us to pay more.

No wonder the citizens of the Commonwealth say, “ENOUGH!”

And as far as decimating education, most of our public school money comes from the federal government. Local monies pay teachers. Now while I am the son of an educator and I have the utmost respect for the profession most of the time, these are the SAME teachers who tell us on one hand that we must do things “for the children”, but will take the first opportunity to go on strike, throwing hundreds of kids out onto the streets, just because they don’t get the pay increases and benefits they demand.

Think about it (and this is not exclusive to Massachusetts)…

We pay sales tax, taxes when we eat out, property tax (BTW- Governor Deval Patrick ran on a property tax rollback which he immediately took back AFTER he was elected), vehicle registration fees, a cigarette tax upgrade, excise taxes, utility taxes, failure to purchase the mandatory health insurance penalty, denial of deductions for 401(k) plan contributions, highway and tunnel tolls, and more. Yet for some reason, that’s never enough for our legislators.

Oh, and to give you an example of the arrogance of power that is the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, according to WCVB Boston, “Speaker of the House Sal DiMasi has suggested he would not let the question become law even if it was passed by voters.”

Like we haven’t seen that before.

Many of us have worked for businesses that have ups and downs. Sometimes we have to take a cut in hours; sometimes there are layoffs, and sometimes that business either shuts down or leaves the state. Government never shrinks. It always gets bigger and when it does, we are the ones who pay.

Maybe when the state legislature has to live by the same rules we live by, they may make more responsible decisions. Sure, repealing the state income tax will be rough but it won’t be the end of the world. Program cuts will be inevitable. Maybe useless programs will be eliminated altogether. I doubt the fraud, waste, and abuse will go away because too much of it sustains lifestyles (if you know what I mean)….

Then again, should Question One pass, our arrogant Democrat super-majority may find yet another way to blow off the will of the people. After all, this is Massachusetts and it’s not like there isn’t precedent.

About BobParks

  • Vote3rdpartynow
  • The problem with your whole “government is wasteful!” argument is that Question 1 does nothing to specifically address waste in government.

    Using the “wife” example: Question 1 suggests we should cut that husband’s entire check by 40%, and that will somehow remove all of the “fraud, waste and abuse”. That husband also supports that concerned wife we love so much, and if the husband can only take home 60% of his income, the wife is also going to be hit pretty hard.

    The point is, cutting income tax completely in such a short time will cause many state services and jobs to be cut. We have NO idea how much of these cuts will be “waste”. Question 1 makes NO distinction. If you believe the government in power is abusive and corrupt, what makes you think they will make good decisions on how to reduce spending?

    I challenge you to write some more specific laws, that target the overpaid and corrupt. I cannot support such a drastic change that could ruin much good in our state.

    Please, vote NO on Question 1. I say this as a Massachusetts tax payer.

  • so we can watch the entrenched libs flail about and then ignore the will of the People on a tax referendum……again.

  • nomad943

    I certainly cant think of any reason why not.

    Oh yeah .. any reason outside of the scary stories that is.

    Be vewwwy scayed.

    Imagine a world without all that nepotism and patronage. Its unthinkable.

  • Renee

    For the same reason why Obama will be elected President, this measure will pass also.

  • Festus Garvey

    Since when does the federal government pay for most of a public’s school budget.  I think it’s around 5% (which is just one reason why NCLB is silly).  And to prove how inept Bob parks is when it comes to basic government budgeting (or business budgeting for that matter)…he states…”Local monies pay teachers.”  What a fool.  Seventy percent of any budget–public, private or non-profit–is personnel costs.  So in one breath Bob says the feds pay most of an ed budget…and in the next breath he says the local communities pay for the salaries.

    Which brings me to the silliest of facts Yes on 1 folks bring up–the amount of waste instate government.  They apparently make it it.  Bobpicked 25% out of thin air.  At least Carla Howell says her 41% waste # is based on a survey of voters who felt there was 41% waste in gov. spending.  So Carla didn’t make up the number, a randomly selected amount of people made up the number.

    Sure there is waste in gov and it pisses me off, but Question 1 cuts off an arm and a leg.  If someone could give me a real analysis of how much waste there is, we can start talking.  (Now I’ll get the usually pension scams, police details and no show stories.)

  • The Angelic One

    Phr00t, I agree with you that citizens should vote against Question #1. In fact, my opposition to this issue goes back to last December. I applaud your desire to start a dialogue but – for a lot of people here at RMG & across the state – that train left the station a long time ago & it ain’t coming back.

    I’m not opposed to reducing government by at least 40% but I AM opposed to doing so without a plan in place to make practical the shift from Democrat paradigm to Republican paradigm. Right now, the rallying cry for Question #1 proponents is “Starve The Beast!” but beyond that there’s no strategy, no tactics, no alternative proposals. I offered an idea that would make the first practical step in challenging the status quo but said idea was largely ignored. Thus a golden opportunity to help revive the Republican Party as well as to advance the conservative cause here in Massachusetts has regrettably been lost.

    I agree with the gist of your “communitarian” ideals but said ideals lack traction to many of the neo-libertarians (or actual Libertarians) who support Question #1. For me, your arguments make sense at face value but “communitarianism” of the Democrat/liberal variety is ultimately doomed to failure. I support a “communitarianism” that reflects a Republican/conservative perspective. Such a “communitarianism” would embrace as important – even noble – the people who work in the public sector. That’s not what we currently have. In fact, the more times many union members scream “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!” at the taxpayers, the more said taxpayers will in exasperation respond with “Starve The Beast!” as their respective rallying cry. That’s where we stand right now with Question #1.

  • The argument that this is too drastic or that the legislature will reform itself is nonsense. This has to be done otherwise nothing will change. I am amazed to hear people arguing for the establishment and unions.  

  • I’m glad I came in here and debated with all of you. It is very important to critically look at these proposals that will potentially affect us all.

    I did not use my usual title for this comment. I want to only express my respect for your opinions that you shared. We all have opinions and reasons for them, and we can only learn from each other by listening and debating about them.

    All that I ask is that we put name calling and mud slinging aside in the future. The fact is, we all are residents of Massachusetts. We all pay income tax. We all want to see Massachusetts succeed. There are many things we can find to bring us together to get things done, but this will only happen if we give it a chance.

    If your opinion is that we can never work with people who do not agree, I respect that opinion. It happens all too often.. people feeling shut out, like their opinions don’t matter. You get labeled a “republican”/”conservative” and all of your thoughts and issues get ignored, so it is only fair to do the same in return.

    In attempts break this cycle, I say thank you. Thank you for disagreeing with me, and telling me your opinions. I hope you return the same courtesy to the next person who disagrees with you.

    Good luck,

    – Phr00t

  • Flynn

    I say yes on question 1

    The legislators have proven to us they will not respect our hard earned tax dollars.They spend our money without regard to our real community needs.If this means our local property taxes will rise that’s fine at least I will have more say in where it should be spent here in my town.I’m tired spending money on studies and gazebos when we could concentrate on education and crime HERE where I live.

    By the way ED O’Connell running for Plymouth County Treasurer is one of the only candidates that has the courage to speak publicly in favor of Question 1

  • Seaworthy

    The ignorance of the average US and Massachusetts voter is beyond comprehension. I bring up Bill Ayers, Sal DiMasi, Question 1, tax issues and you’d think I was talking about polymer physics. I don’t understand. People do in fact understand taxes—-they are overwhelmed, but again you talk about the waste and they think it’s just welfare and illegal aliens. They don’t understand that the entire state government is a cesspool. And they all think that their local hack Rep and Senator ain’t a bad guy- and more often than not they don’t even know who it is.

    I’m beginning to think that the “dumbing down of America” and these left wing school teachers are more than just a coincidence. Children and young adults and even some older adults have been brainwashed.

    Lastly—the Republican party and Republican voters have to get mad—-damn mad–and get off their butts and start spreading the word, that it’s time we fight back—-by whatever means that are required.  

  • gary

    Why not vote yes?  What’s the downside?

    There is no question-none-that the Legislature and Governor will get together to reinact the income tax.  Whether that’s at the same rate, lower rate or higher rate, it will return in the form of a newly enacted statute. No question, the Speaker of the House has said as much. Forget the $3700 refund to the taxpayer.  It just won’t happen.

    However, a Yes vote, will force just that.  Each advocacy group; special interest, all the state funded 501s will have to argue their worth and produce the Zero based budget that Carla Howell is advocating.

    Through August, we were looking at the largest revenue in the history of the State.  Before that, 2008 FY, was the largest revenue in the history of the State.  

    Then, in September when the revenue turned down slightly, the Treasurer weighs the notion of going hat-in-hand to the Federal government for a bailout, and Patrick cuts costs in his office in the amount of $600,000.  I’d love to see the details of that cut.  Anyone?

    It has reached a point, with year after year of continuing record spending where the state government has really given taxpayers no other choice:  vote Yes on #1 and vote out the incumbent.