weather, I enjoyed my Saturday drive out Route 114, then down I-495. The
autumn foliage shone bright through the rain.
I was headed
for Westborough where I was part of an "issues panel" at the "Winning in
2010 Conference" of the
Massachusetts Republican Town & City Committee Chairmen. The other
panelists were economist David Tuerck of the
Institute, and Bill Vernon of the
Massachusetts chapter of the National Federation of Independent
Tuerck did a PowerPoint presentation on the economy, arguing that
the federal government rushed into a stimulus plan that didn't and won't
work, but will cause massive deficits and inflation.
He said that
Massachusetts is doing slightly better than the national average on
employment. But the lost jobs have led to lower personal and corporate
income-tax revenues; and the sales-tax hike won't raise the $980 million
that had been anticipated by state tax-hikers — partly because many
Massachusetts shoppers, who like other Americans are buying less, are
doing more of that limited buying in New Hampshire and on the Internet.
already know that the new sales tax won't save us from fiscal free-fall,
as state revenues dropped dramatically in the first month of its
existence. And while shoppers' restraint is tough on business, I think
we all know that Americans in general should be saving more, borrowing
less, and spending less.
government doesn't have to make it worse on the usually job-creating,
small-business sector. Vernon focused his remarks on the special
difficulties these businesses face in Massachusetts, where unemployment
insurance costs are the highest in the country, taxes are high,
regulations create more expense, and the state health-insurance law
raised costs 45 percent in three years.
When it was
my turn I thought some optimism was called for, so I said that if the
assembled Republican city and town committees did their job and defeated
some tax-hiking state legislators, we could start to move Massachusetts
in a better direction. I expressed confidence that they can also help
their country by defeating Democratic congressmen who vote to increase
the national debt.
Tuerck's charts compared the roughly $400 billion deficits under Bush to
the $1.85 trillion deficit predicted for this year by the Congressional
Budget Office. Many Republicans were understandably unhappy with the
Bush deficits, but now, as a bumper sticker says, "Please don't tell
President Obama what comes after trillion."
I listened to WRKO's Pundit Review, where
blogger Garrett Quinn joined host Kevin Whelan. A caller attacked
libertarian-leaning Republicans like Garrett, saying they should not be
part of the real, conservative Republican Party. Garrett calmly disputed
that, arguing that everyone who believes in fiscal responsibility should
there was a year to set aside differences on social issues in order to
save the country, it will be 2010.
me a photo of a little girl about four years old at a rally, holding a
sign that said, "I'm already $38,375 in debt and I only own a doll
house." She looked a lot like my granddaughter.
Independent who appreciates the Massachusetts minority party. State Rep.
Jeff Perry, R-Sandwich, has written a book called "My
GOP" in which he expounds on its history. According to Perry, the
Republican Party was created by anti-slavery organizers, played a
leading role in securing women's right to vote, and we know from
watching the Ken Burns' documentary, "The National Parks: America's Best
Idea" last week, that the party also took the lead in environmental
been grateful for Republican leadership in ending the military draft
after Vietnam, and was told years ago by a party elder that Republicans
fought to allow birth control here in Massachusetts, causing them to
lose power to Irish Catholic Democrats. Seems that blacks, women and
environmentalists should give some credit where it's due.
on Democrat-controlled Beacon Hill, the Joint Revenue Committee is
embarking on a "listening tour" to get ideas for more taxes. Other
lawmakers are considering forcing the still-viable banking, insurance
and financial sectors to uncover links to the slave trade as a condition
of doing business with the state, so that apologies and reparations can
Beacon Hill Update tells us that many legislators who get a per-diem
payment for showing up for work have not been paying federal or state
income taxes on the amount for decades. Also, when they were caught not
paying into the Medicare system, state taxpayers were forced to send the
missing amounts to the federal government. Think we taxpayer serfs will
get an apology and reparations?
sales-tax package also raised Registry fees even as Registry offices
were closed around the state, forcing customers to wait in line the way
we did before then-Gov. Paul Cellucci hired Dan Grabauskas to run the
Registry of Motor Vehicles. That's the same Grabauskas, by the way, who
was just forced out as MBTA manager by the Patrick administration.
Couldn't the governor have asked him to save the Registry again instead
of just buying out his contract at taxpayer expense?
Republican town and city committees: It's time to win in 2010. Just find
us some fiscally conservative candidates, and I predict we voters will
do the rest.