Conservatives have always been wary of the so called Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation (MTF). Unlike the Citizens for Limited Taxation and other taxpayer organizations the MTF is a front for big business and big government. If you needed another piece of data to help you understand this is the case, tonight gives it to you. Governor Deval Patrick, the leader of the big government machine in Massachusetts, is giving the Keynote address to the MTF tonight.
The Massachusetts Republican Party took the liberty of asking the Governor some questions ahead of his appearance.
Why Does Patrick Favor High Union Pay Rates Over Taxpayer Savings?Patrick Waved Through High Union Pay Rates: “Gov. Deval Patrick missed out on additional savings when he waved through high union pay rates for his supposedly cost-cutting civilian flagger program, according to economists and a lawmaker – a 'lost opportunity' that could come back to haunt him during his re-election campaign…Patrick administration officials last year indicated they would suggest unions renegotiate the flagger rates, because the ones currently on the books are from the 1930s, but that negotiation never happened, said Andy Bagley, research director for the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. “That was a lost opportunity,” said Michael Widmer, executive director of the business-based foundation. “The Legislature left that open for (the Patrick administration) to pursue that line, but they've taken the rate that's on the books.” (Boston Herald, 7/28/09)
Why Won’t Patrick Implement Cost Saving Reforms?For Example, Patrick Will Not Eliminate The Pacheco Law: “”Repealing or amending the Pacheco law would produce large and growing savings year after year,’ says Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. ‘States and municipalities across the country have shown that competitive bidding can save money and improve services.’” (Boston Globe, 5/7/10)Patrick Also Will Not Eliminate “Hack Holidays:” “But the subject the Republicans kept veering back to was Evacuation Day. Widmer calculated it and Bunker Hill Day cost the state $5 million in overtime costs out of a state budget of $28.2 billion.” (Sun Chronicle, 3/18/10)Why Has Patrick Made Such Poor Budgeting Decisions?With Patrick At The Helm, There’s No End In Sight To The State’s Fiscal Crisis: “…The administration’s plan relies much too heavily on one-time solutions that further deplete the rapidly disappearing state and federal reserves and create an even larger deficit in fiscal 2011. The heavy dependence on one-time monies results in significant part from the Governor’s decision to exclude direct local aid from his principal of “shared sacrifice” in closing the 2010 deficit. The Foundation estimates that the projected fiscal 2011 structural deficit is at least $3 billion, which will require spending cuts of the magnitude of 2010. A major flaw in the Governor’s original plan, exacerbated by his subsequent actions, is its heavy dependence on one-time solutions, which leaves the state with fewer options later this fiscal year and results in an even larger budget deficit for fiscal 2011. The additional reliance on one-time solutions so early in the fiscal year (the 2010 budget already counted on $2 billion in federal stimulus dollars and state reserves) places the state in a vulnerable position when it confronts a likely deficit later in the year. At that point, the state will have nowhere to turn except one-time revenues, setting the stage for even deeper cuts in fiscal 2011.” (Mass Taxpayers Foundation Report, 12/10/09)The Worst Is Yet To Come With Patrick…The 2011 Budget: “…huge budgetary hole for 2012 when there will be virtually no reserves to count on and with no possibility that the economic recovery will produce sufficient revenues to close the 2012 structural gap. The major concern in the Governor’s budget is the heavy reliance on one-time funds…Relying on this one-time money would artificially prop up the 2011 budget at a level that cannot be sustained in fiscal 2012. The Governor’s proposal to withdraw $175 million from the stabilization fund would bring e balance well below $500million and could trigger a downgrade of the state’s credit rating while leaving the state vulnerable to a real fiscal emergency. The Governor’s reliance on more than $2 billon one-time funds in 2011 will require major budget cuts in 2012…The state will face a structural deficit of $2.5 billion in 2012 with virtually no federal or state reserves remaining to close the gap.” (Mass Taxpayers Foundation Report, 3/1/10)