Every Halloween I carve my
pumpkin as scary as I can make it. Nothing to do with scaring
children who come to the door for treats; I am protecting my home
from the monsters who gather in my front yard at midnight.
My jack-o’-lantern must
have fangs to do battle with Count Barackula, still trying to suck
the lifeblood from what remains of America after seven years of his
reign. This year, maybe square, empty eyes, representing the
mindlessness of the voters who elected him and are now determined to
elect “the first woman president,” whether they rank Hellary
“trustworthy” or not.
Wish the ghosts of
campaigns past, like Huckabee and Santorum, would vanish; is that
Ben Carson and Donald Trump singing the “ghost-busters” song?
Add Mitt Romney to that
list, since his gratuitous statement last week about the recently
deceased Thomas Stemberg, that he was the inspiration for Romneycare,
without which, Mitt said “I don’t think we’d have had Obamacare. So
without Tom, a lot of people wouldn’t have health insurance.”
So without Mitt,
businesses and individuals wouldn’t be dropping their
now-unaffordable insurance, and going on the government exchanges,
leading to what Barackula wanted in the first place, a government
run healthcare system?
My early theory, that if
other Republican candidates fell by the wayside, that Mitt would be
drafted to run at the convention, became not-viable with one foolish
statement. A zombie must have captured his sense, if not his soul.
So, we must have fangs.
This year, Count Barackula is joined in the front yard by his
Massachusetts counterpart, the Vampire Letstax, carrying his “Fair
Share” petition to increase the state income tax on millionaires.
This is a four-year project to amend the state constitution to
repeal the language requiring the same tax rate on everyone; if
enough signatures are collected this fall, Letstax will be in the
yard again next year heading for the 2018 state ballot.
He’ll be joined by a
retired Barackula and all the little vampires, who, whenever they
want to make government bigger and are asked “how will you pay for
it?” respond “suck the blood of the rich!” With so many liberal
crusades, those new taxes will accumulate until the rich find a way
to object to the multiple fangs in their necks.
Here in Massachusetts,
revolt will be relatively easy. Wealthy taxpayers who might tolerate
a federal-type graduated income tax, which eventually taxes everyone
more, should resent being picked on with this particular initiative
petition. The way it works is, the taxpayer pays the same income tax
rate as the rest of us (presently 5.15 percent, but scheduled to
drop to its traditional 5 percent by 2018) on income up to $1
million, then another 4 percent on the rest for a total of 9
percent! Imagine how easy it is for rich folk to pick up and move to
one of the eight states that don’t have ANY income tax, never mind
one that penalizes wealth.
Then imagine the lost tax
revenues when Massachusetts doesn’t get even 5 percent of that
wealth, much less 9 percent, because the wealth is now in Tennessee
with the spirit of Davy Crockett, who allegedly said “Remember that
a government big enough to give you everything you want is also big
enough to take away everything you have”.
Before you sign it, note
the deceptive nature of the petition. Sponsors will tell you that
the new taxes will be spent on education and infrastructure. But
there are constitutional rules to initiative petitioning, one of
which is that you can’t appropriate money with your petition. So
sponsors had to add “subject to appropriation”, which means, the new
dollars will be spent on whatever the Legislature wants, just as all
the rest of our tax dollars are spent on welfare, illegal
immigration, union benefits, fat salaries for administrators, while
social workers for children and keeping the T running and the
bridges maintained are always underfunded.
Lead sponsor Rep. Jay
Kaufmann (D-Lexington) of the “Raise Up from the Grave Coalition”
responds to this accusation thus “... The state constitution
indicates appropriating money in a petition is unconstitutional, but
anyone trying to use the money raised by the Fair Share amendment
for items in the state budget other than education and
transportation would be looked down upon.”
Careful, if you laugh too
hard you’ll choke on your candy corn. “Looked down upon.” No
politician worth his salt worries about being looked down upon,
unless the numbers of downlookers somehow add up to losing an
election. Most are involved in too many issues to be successfully
targeted by any one group.
I often disagree with my
own state representative, Lori Ehrlich (D-Marblehead), but she is
currently supporting several bills I like, including one to prohibit
the sale of ivory poached in Africa; the “distracted driving bill”
to stop scary drivers; and most of all this one, which had its
Public Health hearing on Tuesday: “Rep. Louis Kafka’s bill (H 1991)
affirming a terminally ill patient’s right to compassionate aid in
Oh look, on the other side
of the yard: the ghouls who want to force dying people to suffer to
satisfy the demands of their own cruel religious leaders. They
somehow defeated a recent “right to die” ballot question, which
astonished me. As I’ve been telling you, I’m a compassionate person,
who believes in personal responsibility and choice. How
disappointing, the number of voters who don’t. Nice to have a “ghoul
buster” for my state rep.
On Halloween I’ll hear the
holiday sounds from Salem, reminding me of the modern Fells Acre
Daycare witch hunt that has left the innocent Gerald Amirault still
wearing his miserable ankle bracelet on parole for a non-existent
crime he didn’t commit. I’d love to see Gov. Baker at a party
dressed as Justice, with his sword, to right this wrong. Justice
scares a lot of people; it would be a great costume.
Meanwhile, I’ll just be
Barbara, the Greek meaning of the word which is “stranger in a
strange land.” Please pass the candy.
Barbara Anderson of
Marblehead is a weekly columnist for the Salem News and
Eagle-Tribune Publishing Company.