Charlie Baker Campaign Update for 10/22/09

I’m sure that many of you received this via your email inbox but just in case I wanted to share it with the rest of RMG.

As we prepare to launch our new web site next week, I wanted to share some news about our growing campaign.  As you know, I believe every great idea starts with a conversation.  For those of you hearing directly from me for the first time, know that I value your support, and I look forward to many more conversations at every step of our campaign to get Massachusetts back on the right track.

First, we’re excited about the move to our campaign headquarters at 70 Fargo Street in South Boston.  We’re a block from the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, on street parking is available, and a shuttle runs regularly from our building to South Station.  If you’re in the area, come visit us.  I’m sure we’ll be able to come up with something for you to do!

Unfortunately, this week’s more important news was the Governor’s admission that September’s tax revenues were $200 million below projection.  That means $600 million in state budget cuts will be required to address the revised revenue projection for the rest of this fiscal year.  Worse, while local governments are forced to cut vital police and fire services to cope with massive budget deficits, the Associated Press is reporting the Administration has failed to cut their previously stated number of state employees, even sparing patronage jobs for the politically connected.  This is dead wrong, and it’s why people are fed up with state government.

Turnarounds only begin when you plan for the worst, and budget accordingly.  That way, you can make tough, but necessary, decisions to get back on track.  Instead, politicians on Beacon Hill lurch from one piece of bad news to another.

Contrast that approach with the one being pursued by many cities and towns around Massachusetts.  They’ve been sucking it up for over a year – planning and budgeting for the worst-case scenario, and making it work.  They are renegotiating labor agreements, streamlining services, and eliminating bureaucracy.  Businesses are doing the same.

Massachusetts’ families are also tightening their belts and learning to live with less.  BJ’s is having one of its best years ever, as people seek out more bargains and discounts.

But not state government.  No hiring freeze, no wage or workforce concessions, no work force reductions, no agency consolidations, no contracting out, no re-structuring, and no bold new thinking about delivering results.  Instead, state government tinkers around the margins – usually not enough and always too late – with no proactive effort to get ahead of this economic mess.

One person who does a lot of work with state government put it best:  “I simply have no idea what’s going to happen next.”  He’s not alone.

Beacon Hill needs to start planning and adjusting TODAY to the impending financial reality behind next year’s budget.  And they need to build that budget without taking it out on cities and towns.  The way to turnaround Massachusetts is to grow our tax base, and balance the budget.  Raising taxes while families and businesses are hurting is not.

With tax hikes of almost a billion dollars in each of the past two years, the Patrick Administration has proven that raising taxes, especially during a recession, only makes things worse.

You heard it here first.  The call for new taxes to protect “our investments” is days away on Beacon Hill.  When it comes, do not believe it.

I believe the way out of the mess Beacon Hill has created is structural reform, aggressive cost controls, imagination in government, and a loud and clear message to the families, job creators, and to our cities and towns that state government is going to solve its own problems, without raising taxes or cutting local aid.

I look forward to sharing more thoughts on my vision for getting Massachusetts back on track.  I appreciate all your feedback and your overwhelming support.  Our campaign is listening – I mean really listening – to what you have to say.  So please keep it coming– check out the links below my signature for various ways to connect with me and the campaign.  Together, we’re going to turn Massachusetts around.

Charlie Baker


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