Governor Deval Patrick has outlined ambitious budget proposals for the 2013 fiscal year, one which will raise the state income tax by nearly one percent, the highest tax increase in state history. Apparently, the Democratic governor never met a tax increase he did not like. He wants to bring the income tax back to the same rate as Michael "Willy Horton" Dukakis, and he wants to remove itemized deductions.
Granted, he offers a balance with a sales tax cut, but that's only because he had raised that same tax five years ago. That's not a tax cut at all, but budget gimmicks. In one report, Patrick claimed that a tax increase will produce ongoing investments that will pay for the next generation. "Saint" Patrick's religious faith in tax increases ignores one glaring reality: rising tax rates do not necessarily lead to rising tax revenues. Projecting two billion dollars for the next fiscal year does not guarantee that the money will be there, especially if the residents who "look forward to" bearing the brunt of these higher taxes choose to leave the Bay State altogether. For him to propose raising taxes in one of the highest taxed states in the country, Patrick must assume that he is glowing with lucky charms, enough that every voter, every taxpayer will throw more of their dwindling cash into the "pot of gold" state coffers.
Recognizing that raising taxes is a tough move in a tough economy, Patrick acknowledges that he wants to lay out more spending with more taxes. One wonders whom he expects will offer up all this extra cash. Perhaps he wants to work miracles in the midst of Bay State voters, wow them with his power to make a whole mass of promises, and like a miracle worker meet every need for every resident.
Based on the Commonwealth's storied history, one would not expect to see a tax-and-spend culture in Massachusetts. The colony that was Ground Zero for the American Revolution. Tax-paying colonists rightly resented that the British Crown was taxing their time, energy, and patience with more levies. The Boston Tea Party of Indian-renegade colonists and tea-dumping fame, then and now, resisted this usurpation of their paycheck without proper representation in the British Parliament. They were Englishmen, they had rights, and they wanted them to be respected. Does Patrick want to take up the legacy of the fighting American rebels, or does he have in mind resurrecting the royal prerogative of British kings, who demanded more money whether the citizens, or subjects, cared or not.
Bay State voters should not sit idly by and let their state leaders take more of their money. Let's consider some of "Saint" Patrick's proposed tax hikes:
He wants to tax sodas. Is Patrick planning on running for Mayor of New York, too? Not just interested in raising revenue, Patrick wants to raise awareness about the dangers of drinking carbonated beverages. Perhaps "kool-aid" or "Irish coffee" would be a better choice, since whatever he's thinking must be a dissolute idea borne of whatever intoxicant he's been drinking.
Patrick also wants to tax candy. No one cares about the youth vote, would be the first reaction to this unique tax hike. Maybe he hopes to take a bite out of obesity, even though the engorged Beacon Hill statehouse should go on spending diet, instead. So much for Salem Witch trials and Halloween parties, other voters may wonder. Then again, Governor Patrick's tax proposals are all "Trick" and no "Treat", and there's nothing hallowed about any of it.
As many politician claim at the outset, Patrick seeks to invest more money in transportation. With tax hikes and corrupt one-party rule, more roads and better bridges will facilitate Massachusetts residents leaving the state, along with their potential tax dollars. Patrick wants to invest in education, but the same tax increases which will bankroll pensions and bureaucracy will have less of an impact on the classroom. Besides, what good is a diploma from high school or college when the state is driving jobs away faster than the real St. Patrick drove snakes out of Ireland?
"Saint" Patrick recites the same Democratic Holy Orders of "raise taxes" and "grow government." He ought to learn a lesson from another Irishman, a Democrat who sponsored lowering tax rates in order to bring in more revenue: John F. Kennedy. In his private life, the 35th President was hardly a saint, but his economic policies where holy, holy, holy.
Massachusetts will be voting for a new Governor in 2014, and Patrick is termed out. While the current governor chases liberal rainbows with tax increases and increased spending, the taxpayer's pot of gold gets smaller and loses its glimmer in the midst of gloomier business and budget projections. Let's hope that Bay State residents choose to hold their leaders accountable. Instead of voting for the same unholy hegemony of Democrats in the statehouse and the governor's mansion, Massachusetts voters can look toward a different faith, one in free markets and less government, and drive away the snakes of high taxes, corrupt politicians, and excessive government.