As I’ve said before, we probably need a significant tax hike. Since the late 1980s, there’s been a disconnect between our demand for spending (mainly in the form of local aid) and our willingness to pay for it.
But to move ahead on a major boost in the sales tax (from 5 percent to 6.25 percent) without making some real changes in the government pension system, and without insisting that public employees make the same kind of sacrifices in salary and health benefits that private-sector workers are making, is unconscionable.
It’s also business as usual.
House Speaker Robert DeLeo, in a recent op-ed piece in the Boston Globe, argued that the Legislature is on the way to reforming the way it does business. I hope that’s the case.
On the other hand, we all know that when the pressure is off, people tend to slide back into their old habits.
This is a great opportunity for Gov. Deval Patrick. Let’s hope he can rise to the occasion.