Saturday, February 28, 2009

Why we need a two party system in MA - reason #527

Okay, in truth I have not been counting. But does anyone doubt I could come up with 526 other reasons?

Here is the latest, from today's Globe. The title is "As Legislature guards its own funds, communities reel." Why do communities reel? Because unlike the legislature's, their cuts are real.

The objection to this scheme, of course, is not that the Legislature holds back tens of millions of dollars in a reserve account (less charitable wags would call it a "slush fund"). At least in good times, an argument could easily be made that this is just prudent - a legislative savings account, to be tapped in bad times to pay for the various, necessary spending items that are the GCMD's responsibility (like upkeep of the State House and its grounds).

The objection is to the blatantly disingenuous claim made by various legislators - including leadership - that they are making "cuts," when in fact they are just drawing down from their slush fund. "Disingenuous claim" is too kind, actually. They are telling untruths. Fibbing. Lying. BS-ing. And they are doing that to get political credit for "sharing the pain" of the current budget mess and the resulting truly painful cuts to local aid. They are not in fact sharing that pain. As usual, they do this because they can - because even with a prominent article in the region's dominant newspaper, very few voters will internalize this information, much less remember it the next time they go to the polls.

The Governor's office has done a little bit better. After an initial round of "cuts" last October that was primarily smoke and mirrors, it appears that they have made actual reductions in staff and in funding for some of Patrick's ego projects (the DC office, the Commonwealth Corps paid "volunteerism" program). Of course Patrick still has significantly more staff on payroll than Governor Romney ever did, and those staff are paid salaries well above what Romney's staff was paid (for example, the guy doing for Patrick the job I did in the Romney Administration is making over $25,000 more than I made. I was paid slightly less than your average Pike toll-taker... he's paid slightly more).

Anyhow, broken record time: a viable two-party system would prevent this sort of shameless story-telling. Some day we'll have one again. Do your part by spreading the word about this nonsense.

1 comment:

  1. Keep it comming Dan we need all to know just how upside down our state gov. has become.


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