Limited Taxation
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Barbara's Column
June 1999 #4

Uncle Sam Wants You ... to Leave Massachusetts

Friends, taxpayers, Massachusetts patriots: you have a unique opportunity to serve your country that does not require you to take up arms, volunteer as a point of light, or even run for national office. All you have to do is leave the commonwealth.

Take your family with you. Better yet, talk the whole neighborhood into going. Remember the lost colony of Roanoke? All we need are a few lost towns.

Secretary of State Bill Galvin has noted that Massachusetts is very close to losing yet another congressional seat because of state population decline. One is better than nothing, but think of the benefit to the United States of America if, say, half the Massachusetts delegation vanished during the next census.

The non-partisan National Taxpayers Union rates Congress on every vote that significantly affects taxes, spending, debt and regulatory burdens on consumers and taxpayers. The most recent average score in the U.S. House, for the 1998 session of the 105th Congress, was 39 percent. The Republican average was 56 percent. The Democrat average was 20 percent. The Massachusetts average was 16 percent.

Those fed-up taxpayers who live in either Joe Moakley's or Richard Neal's districts should go first; your two reps vote for the taxpayer only 10 percent of the time. Then when they're gone we can gerrymander their districts again. Keep in mind that gerrymandering was invented in Massachusetts by Marblehead's Elbridge Gerry, who first sliced, twisted and meandered legislative districts to keep his party in office. Therefore it is an honorable local tradition and any manipulation of district lines is acceptable.

Joe Moakley has publicly complained about John Olver (16 percent), insisting that he doesn't work hard enough to bring money back to Massachusetts from Washington D.C. Since most of the money comes back to Moakley's area, Congressman Olver is only representing his Happy Valley constituents, who have no particular reason to want their federal tax dollars sent to Boston.

Because Olver was nice to me when he was the State House Taxation Committee Chairman, and because Moakley was mean to him, let's give Olver both Neal's and Moakley's districts. We can gerrymander a thin line from Springfield across the middle of the state through Newton and Cambridge to Boston. Thus we will celebrate diversity by having just one congressman for the western Mass liberals, the Newton and Cambridge leftists, and the Boston business community.

John Tierney, my congressman through no fault of mine, has the highest NTU rating in the Mass. delegation, 21 percent. Because at least I've never seen him shamelessly pimping for Clinton, or breaking a term limit promise, I'll give him McGovern's (16 percent) and Meehan's (18 percent) districts.

New Congressman Mike Capuano, who hasn't had time to disgrace himself, was a good friend when he was the Taxation Committee staffer in charge of dealing with Proposition 2. I'm going to give him Ed Markey's (14 percent) district. Maybe with Mr. Telecommunications Act gone, we can get rid of all the so-called competition that law was supposed to bring us, before it merged the radio stations and basically destroyed talk radio.

Unless a lot more people want to move out of the state, I'd just as soon keep Barney Frank (18 percent) who is at least amusing and says what he thinks; besides, he and Brookline deserve each other. However, I'm going to give him Delahunt's (18 percent) district and hope that someday Plymouth and Barnstable Republicans can find an interesting candidate to beat him fair and square.

That, along with the Libertarian I hope will win my new eastern Essex County district so that I have a congressman I can call about limited government, will give us some needed diversity in our now-five member congressional delegation. With Delahunt, Markey, McGovern, Meehan, Moakley and Neal gone, the remaining Massachusetts voters won't have to apologize to the rest of the country for our poor choices, except of course for our two Senators whose jobs are not affected by the population decrease.

The continued presence of Kennedy and Kerry should make it easier for thousands of disaffected Massachusetts taxpayers to migrate to other states. Less people in Massachusetts, fewer radical left-wingers in Congress, that's my plan. Thank you for leaving.

Barbara Anderson is executive director of Citizens for Limited Taxation.  Her syndicated columns appear in the Salem Evening News, the Lowell Sun, the Tinytown Gazette and MediaNews Group newspapers around the state.

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