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Hypocrisy From Massachusetts Politicians? Inconceivable!

(I really shouldn't use Howie Carr as a source twice in one week, but I disagreed with him the first time, so I think it's OK.)

This week, talk-show host, Boston Herald columnist, and all-around gadfly Howie Carr published what has to be one of his easiest pieces of the year: he calls around to the offices of prominent Massachusetts Democrats and asks them about their tax filings.

Several years ago, the Massachusetts legislature voted to raise the state income tax. (Remember, in liberal-speak, tax cuts are always temporary, and the "natural" state of any tax is higher. This applies even when the hike was passed with a promise that it would be temporary, as it was in Massachusetts. This also applies, on the federal level, to the Bush tax cuts, although there Congress wrote their transient nature into the law.) But some anti-tax activists, with the cooperation of some very clever Republicans, wrote a nice little poison pill into the law: the higher tax rate would be voluntary -- taxpayers could check off a box to tax themselves at the higher rate, but the default would be the lower rate.

This stroke of genius has spiked several efforts to jack up the tax rate in Massachusetts, and driven quite a few Democrats to fits of impotent fury.

"We need to raise the income tax! The state needs more money!"

"Oh, really? Good heavens! Do you really mean that?"

"Yes, it's an emergency!"

"So, I take it that you're already paying the higher rate voluntarily, to help out in this crisis?"

"Um... er... ah..."

"So, you're saying that it's critical that we all give more money to the state, but you aren't? That it's essential that the state make us all do what you're not willing to do voluntarily?"

"We all have to make sacrifices! It's for the common good! It's for the CHILDREN, man!"

"OK, fine. If it's that important, then let's all pay the higher taxes. You first."

And that's pretty much where it ends.

Every year, a minuscule percentage of Massachusetts taxpayers choose to fork over a measly additional half-percent in their taxes. Last year, according to Howie, it was barely 1,200 out of 3.3 million. And this year, going by Howie's figures, it'll be even fewer -- if the current trend continues, it'll probably not make 750 -- or, to use Howie's numbers, less than 0.0004% of Massachusetts taxpayers think the state is in such a crisis, that they're willing to make the personal sacrifice without the state coercing it out of them.

And very few of them -- if any -- are in the best position to know the shape of the state: the people elected and selected to run the state.

It's kind of like what Glenn Reynolds says about global warming -- "I'll believe it's a crisis when the people who say it's a crisis start acting like it's a crisis."

In Massachusetts, apparently the state's financial woes aren't at a crisis stage yet.


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Comments (6)

Oh, this one was rich. For... (Below threshold)

Oh, this one was rich. Form the article we hear the spokesman for House Speaker Sal DiMasi said:

"Howie - The Speaker said he'll pay the higher rate if he can trade salaries with you. Otherwise, he will pay what he is required to pay under the current law."

I'd like to hear him reiterate that sentiment to someone who made considerably less, yet paid at the higher rate.

One of the most important lessons I learned as a parent or as a manager was to lead by example. But this is apparently not a philosophy these liberals ascribe to. They're more from the camp that believes "do as I say, not as I do".

If God only requires 10% th... (Below threshold)
Mark:

If God only requires 10% that should be enough for the Government..


I just had the eye opening ... (Below threshold)
Nosmo:

I just had the eye opening experience of attending
http://www.greenjobsconference.org
And the hypocrisy was so thick you could cut it with a recycled knife.

The politicians were gushing about going green, about how they were going to mandate change whether the public wanted it or not, costs be damned.
Force of law and all that, you see. Yet flying in to Pgh from DC for a couple hours was cool with the environment - and mandating hybrids for all was seen as something natural.

Look at the list of suspects there, and notice that although Academia, Government and Labor is represented, Industry was not invited unless they were a "green industry". BP Alternate Energy was not outright boo-ed but there was a great deal of muttering and hissing during the presentation

Tough questions were ignored. Union thugs wearing florescent green staff shirts gave an air of intimidation and proofread all questions before giving them to the panelists... Such is the state of free discourse planning our future.

My friend who works on the fringes of the industry was pointedly ignored when he questioned the prevailing wisdom of shutting out non-union workers and residential builders.
Free markets and supply/demand were joked about by the speakers to the laughter and applause of the assembly. Come November, there will be a change, we were guaranteed it.


Sorry for not giving my real name, but I was there as his guest and my real name will be popping up on the attendee list linked to his company... He has a family to feed.

I wouldn't be a bit surpris... (Below threshold)
Django:

I wouldn't be a bit surprised if Obama shows who he really is after he loses the nomination or the general election. His angry wife hates America and he goes to the church of God Damn America where he married her. I would expect the mask to at least slip a bit so we can hear about what a racist, evil, murdering pile of garbage the US is directly from the man himself.

Another BOSTON TEAPARTY and... (Below threshold)
Spurwing Plover:

Another BOSTON TEAPARTY and this time substitute some demacrooks for the boxes of tea

There is no better case tha... (Below threshold)
tyree:

There is no better case than this one to prove once and for all the shallowness of liberal conviction. They work hard at forcing others to do that which they will not do, like paying higher tax rates. In addition, as we see in the current Berkeley vrs The United States Marines debacle, they work hard at keeping others from doing that which they will not do, like protecting the people of the United States.




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