Friday, October 24, 2008

Questions on Question One

So J at one of my favorite blogs asked a thoughtful question regarding Ballot Question One that is on the November 4th ballot here in Massachusetts. 

 For those of you who don't know about this question I'll sum it up for you.  A 'yes' vote on the question would repeal the state income tax, effectively cutting the state's budget by 40 percent.  The dollar amount lost would be about 12 billion dollars.  Even if all state employees were let go that would only account for one third of the cuts necessary to make up for such a drastic cut. 

So back to the question at hand.  J wanted to know where the yes folks thought the money would come from if this question passes.   So when asked; the proponents of this question say that there is fat in the budget.  When pressed further they are unable to come up with specific places to trim the 'fat'.  I have been reading comments in our local papers and many of the yes folks say that the legislature will just ignore this question if it goes through anyway and that the schools and emergency services will get their money no matter what.  This question is actually a binding question.  That means that as of January, if passes, the income tax will be reduced to 2.65% and then as of January 2010 the income tax will be eliminated.  So the roll out of the bill is over two years yet the cost is the same.  It would take a super majority to overturn the vote.  If it goes through it is doubtful that the politicians would take that step.

I worry that our most vulnerable populations will be effected: the children, the elderly, the lower middle class, the poor.  The yes folks claim that the average person will get over $3,000.00 in their pocket. Unfortunately that figure reflects people who make over $200,000.00.  The average salary in my town is about $60,000 so clearly the people in my community will not reap the benefits.  

For those of you interested see what you could do with our budget.  Where would you find the 12 billion dollars?  Check out this link

What do you think?


Alicia said...

I think I had no idea that the people of Massachusetts could be so dense!

Barbara said...

Alicia thanks for your comment! It amazes me too that people can be so short sighted. The comments on local political blogs would make your hair curl!
I hope people think about the chaos a yes vote could create.

Nov. 4th can not come soon enough!


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