Contemplating the holiday's horrors
© by Barbara Anderson

The Salem News
Thursday, October 29, 2015


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.

Barbara's Halloween Jack-o'-Lantern

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 dying...”

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.

The comments made and opinions expressed in her columns are those of Barbara Anderson
and do not necessarily reflect those of Citizens for Limited Taxation.

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