There's a slight resemblance, don't you think?
One BILLION dollars. On the eve of the Commonwealth's 25 percent sales tax hike, set to go into effect tomorrow, it is useful perhaps to stop and reflect on exactly what our government is about to do to us.
"One billion dollars." Those three words are more useful as an illustrative device ('a LOT of dough!') than a comprehensible quantification of money. Most of us can hardly conceptualize a million dollars, much less a billion.
Still, if our Legislature's estimates can be trusted, in this case "one billion dollars" represents a very real, very large sum of money - money that is about to be sucked from the marketplace and blown into the state's coffers. A billion greenbacks that next year, and for the years to come, will be diverted from whatever purpose we might have had for them and entrusted to the care of the people who dug for us the huge fiscal hole that we as a state sit in right now. This is not an insignificant event.
Howie Carr nails this issue today. Nestled between sarcastic broadsides at Governor Patrick, Howie's column holds just the hint of a silver lining to this weekend's billion dollar stick-up (and all the other money grabs we've seen from Beacon Hill this year):
If the rumbling voter discontent reflected both in Abington last week and in recent polls holds for the next 15 months, perhaps we'll see a new Governor willing to turn things around before it is too late.
Thank you too, Governor, for that property tax relief that you promised all of us during the 2006 campaign.
That’s working out so well that last weekend in Abington, the voters nixed a Prop 2 override by a 4-1 margin, in a turnout rivaling last year’s presidential election, with 500 people taking absentee ballots.
Thank you, Governor, for getting the people of Massachusetts interested in the political process again.
For now, ponder those billion dollars - and the certain knowledge that even as they are sucked out of your wallet and into the State House, your elected officials will continue to cry out for more.