By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Patrick is right on taxes

Jon Keller may be right in observing that Gov. Deval Patrick has completely botched his communication strategy, and has thus rendered himself irrelevant on Beacon Hill.

But who can disagree with the governor when he says he’ll veto the 25 percent sales-tax hike now being considered by legislative leaders if they refuse to reform their corrupt ways of doing business first?

We probably need a decent-size tax increase. We have been lurching from fiscal crisis to fiscal crisis for the better part of two decades now, as our appetite for spending continues to exceed our willingness to pay for it.

But even a liberal weenie like me is unwilling to fork over another penny until pension outrages like this, no-show jobs and the like have been eliminated once and for all.

And if Patrick is finally ready to engage and fight, who’s to say this battle can’t be won?

Update: Keller responds.

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  1. NewsHound

    Dan – agree with all except that we probably need a “decent-size tax increase.” We need innovation to utilize all the efficient opportunities provided by technology. We need to be more efficient so that we can provide good services without increased taxes so that Massachusetts can participate in the economic recovery and future prosperity.

  2. O-FISH-L

    This will never happen here, but before even considering new taxes, the state should have established something similar to the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC). Give an independent, bipartisan commission six months to examine all of state government, including the authorities and quasi-public state agencies, then recommend closures, mergers, efficiencies etc. I’m talking everything from the court system to the Quinn Bill to pensions to HEFA and everything in between. Like BRAC, the governor and legislature would have to accept or reject the entire list. I think a commission could easily lop off 25% of the state budget in no time. Unfortunately, the legislature and governor would rather feed the beast than starve it.

  3. An Astute Observer

    **as our appetite for spending continues to exceed our willingness to pay for it.**Who’s appetite? The only ‘appetite’ for more and more spending is the appetite of the politicians on Beacon Hill. Spending increases their grip on power. Cutting alienates them from one constituancy after another that look to government for services. “Fix the pension system? We don’t want to get the state employee unions against us!””Cut back on cartoons for the blind? We don’t want the handicapped groups against us!”The “average joe” citizens taxpayer isn’t unionized…or represented by lobbyists.**We have been lurching from fiscal crisis to fiscal crisis for the better part of two decades now,**DO you recall when the state lottery was introduced? We were going to have stellar schools! City and town budget would be awash in new revenues. This new income that the state didn’t have before was going to solve all of our state budget problems! It wasn’t enough, was it? Should we keep appeasing the burgeoning demands of the budget which threaten to hurt us, unless we stop paying protection money?It’s time to starve the machine. hunger (as an expression) is a wonderful motivating force for change.When the state government has to decide: “Gee do we reform the pension plan…or do we cut food for the homeless?”…it just might be whats needed to reset our priorities.

  4. Nial Liszt

    It appears that the guv has landed a spot on the Globe’s s*** list for daring to even threaten to veto a tax bill. How else to explain the use of this photo?

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