I am waiting
by my mailbox for one more anti-Question 1 giant postcard. If I have my
immediate family to dinner, we need six of them, laminated, for
I have the teacher; the nurse; the working mother; a young woman
holding, for some reason, a pink plastic pig; and the so-called "Fact
flyer." I'm waiting for the ones with a frightened senior citizen or
handicapped kid; then my collection will be complete.
I guess if you have over $5 million of union money to spend, there's no
limit to the place-settings or the paid media ads telling voters that if
Question 1 repeals the income tax, property taxes will go up. Note that
the groups using this scare tactic are the same public employee unions,
along with the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, who have always
opposed Proposition 2½ and would love to see higher property taxes.
My young friend Garrett Quinn has a video on Red Mass Group that shows a
blind kitten begging people to vote no or he and four other blind
kitties will die. Nice to see that not all Gen Y's have been brainwashed
by the Massachusetts Teachers Association. Garrett also has a video with
zombies lurching through the streets, screaming that if Question 1
passes we are all "gonna die!"
Happy Halloween, voters.
Question 1 opponents believe that voters will be tricked by the words
"risky" and "reckless" if they are repeated often enough. I have been
signing my name "Barbara Anderson, risky reckless racist" — because I'm
voting for Question 1 and against Obama.
I'm actually a thoughtful voter. Even though George Carney, owner of
Raynham Park, ran an ad against banning greyhound racing with the tag
"Vote No on 1, 2, 3," I am not getting even by recommending that
everyone vote yes on 1, 2, 3. I carefully researched the two other
ballot issues and am voting yes on 1 and 2, no on 3 — because I like
greyhounds more than I dislike Carney. With the right to vote comes the
responsibility to decide not just on personalities, but to learn as much
as possible about issues and candidates.
This is why it seems odd to me that the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce
invited me to debate Question 1 with MTF's Michael Widmer at its Oct. 31
meeting, then took a public position against Question 1 before hearing
Also odd: The argument that instead of voting for ballot questions,
voters should just vote out the politicians who don't address their
concerns. If there's a level playing field, sure. But incumbents have
the built-in visibility, the fundraising advantage, the ability to buy
votes with our money and do favors with their incumbent power, and all
the paid time off in the world, to campaign. Most incumbents limit
debates with their opponents, if they'll debate at all.
At the federal level, there are no initiative petitions. Sen. John Kerry
has an excellent opponent in Jeff Beatty, a national security specialist
who has a great personality. All Kerry has is the power and funding of
incumbency; and to make sure that voters don't notice his personality
deficit, he agreed to only two debates during the senatorial campaign.
This is an insult to voters, for which he will almost certainly be
rewarded with editorial endorsements and re-election, again.
Here in Massachusetts, four incumbents who have repeatedly shown
contempt for voters have viable challengers this year. Sen. Susan Fargo
and Reps. Barbara L'Italien, Paul Kujawski and Bill Greene all voted to
freeze the income tax rollback that was passed in 2000, holding the
income tax rate at 5.3 percent despite the will of the voters in their
districts. Sandi Martinez of Chelmsford is running against Fargo; the
House challengers are, in L'Italien's district, Lonnie Brennen,
Georgetown; in Kujawski's, Kevin Kuros, Uxbridge; and in Greene's, Tony
Lucacio, Billerica. Let's see how they do.
I must tell you something about Question 1, in case you haven't figured
it out for yourself: The Massachusetts Legislature, which refuses to
honor the earlier income-tax rollback, worth roughly $700 million to
state taxpayers, is highly unlikely to allow voters to cut $12 billion
from the state budget. Speaker DiMasi has publicly stated that he
wouldn't implement the income-tax repeal.
So forget about the place-mat people and their dramatic fears. The
public employee unions are afraid that if Question 1 passes, the
governor and the Legislature, before repealing it, may address citizens'
concerns about out-of-control union benefits.
It's becoming clear that the overtime games, fake disability and pension
benefits, extra pay for working on Sept. 11 and learning to use
computers, early retirements, and health-insurance-for-life benefits,
will lead our communities into real trouble. Note Vallejo, Calif., which
is declaring bankruptcy because its union benefit outlays are more than
Who knows? If Question 1 passes, maybe the Legislature will apologize to
the voters for its previous lack of respect and return the income tax
rate to 5 percent, just like we ordered. Since Deval Patrick didn't ever
get around to the "property tax relief" that he promised, I would apply
my income-tax savings to my property tax bill, every year.
The comments made
and opinions expressed in her columns are those of Barbara Anderson's
and do not necessarily reflect those of Citizens for Limited Taxation.