To: Concerned human services providers
Cc: The Massachusetts General Court
November 30, 2001
Re: The pie is divided into two parts
Taxpayers are not your enemy. Taxpayers provide all the
money for all the services you help provide. Demanding that they give more, or give up their promised tax rate reduction,
is not a productive strategy on the part of human services providers.
Instead, we should be allies. In more than 25 years of
taxpayer activism, we've heard very few complaints about money being spent directly on the mentally retarded, mentally ill,
abused spouses and children, or short-term welfare assistance for emergencies.
The state fiscal pie, all of which is provided by the
taxpayers, is divided into two parts.
1. The part for legitimate government spending, including human services, which we define as
services provided to people who are in difficulty through no fault of their own and which
don't create incentives for behavior that causes habitual misery (i.e, pre-reform welfare
2. The part that is squandered on what we call WIMPAC: waste, inefficiency,
mismanagement, patronage, abuse of power, and corruption.
The difference between fiscal conservatives and liberals may be just the amount of tolerance
for part (2). Liberals seem to be saying "Get part (1) done, even if means having high
amounts of (2)." Fiscal conservatives eventually resist being taken advantage of and say
The priorities in the 2002 state budget should make anybody say
CLT supports taxpayer money being spent on (1). It's been clear from the response to the
terrorist attacks that Americans love to help other people who are the victims of cruel fate;
taxpayers are repaid for their generosity by feeling good about doing good.
However, we are aware that money given to agencies, programs, and to some providers is
not necessarily money given to category (1). There is waste and inefficiency within the
human services system as well as in other government sectors.
Considering the major increases in state spending over the past decade -- it has doubled --
there's certainly fat marbled throughout the government roast. It's the job of managers and
the Legislature to find and eliminate it, and you should help them. It's not the taxpayers' job
to find it or fund it.
Join us in defending the taxpayers promised rollback, and we will join you in demanding part
(1), as we all attack part (2). We know that Governor Swift's vetoes will reflect support for
taxpayers. We support her choices which protect direct services to the genuinely-in-need
while cutting the items which reflect misplaced priorities in the leadership-crafted 2002 state