CITIZENS   FOR  LIMITED  TAXATION
and the
Citizens Economic Research Foundation

CLT UPDATE
Friday, March 17, 2006

What's wrong with us?!?


Caught between his support for expanded health coverage and his opposition to tax increases, Governor Mitt Romney is being urged by fiscal conservatives to veto part of a sweeping healthcare proposal because they say it includes a tax on businesses....

Romney is also facing pressure from the state's leading antitax group, Citizens for Limited Taxation, which has denounced the health bill's financing proposal. The group also opposes the $295 assessment the plan would impose on firms with more than 10 employees that don't offer insurance.

"The $62 is a tax, a bad tax," said Barbara Anderson, executive director of Citizens for Limited Taxation. "Adding a new $295 tax for companies that do not provide health insurance is adding another bad tax to an existing bad tax, so Massachusetts should repeal the $62 and not assess the $295."

Anderson said that healthcare reform should be addressed on a national level and not by individual states. "If the final bill looks like the bill that is presently being floated, Governor Romney should veto it, then address it as President of the United States," she said.

The Boston Globe
Friday, March 17, 2006
Romney is urged to veto health fee
Conservatives hit employer assessment


The reason Boston is losing population is that itís become a lot like New York: a nice place to visit, but whoíd want to live here? ...

No, the reason homeowners are disturbed about the real estate market is that they suspect that the supply of real estate suckers has finally failed, and that theyíre not going to be able to cash out and move down to Spartanburg to be nearer to the kids.

Only 10,000? Wait until they repeal Prop 2Ĺ.

The Boston Herald
Friday, March 17, 2006
Small wonder folk fleeing in droves
By Howie Carr


Chip Ford's CLT Commentary

If you've read the Update from Wednesday, and our follow-up News Release, then you know where CLT stands in this debate.  The $62-per-employee "assessment fee" on employers who actually provide healthcare insurance for their workers is no less obscene than the $10.99-per-day "assessment" on those who pay for their own nursing home costs.  What's with this entire paradigm:  if you pay, you should pay twice?

Barbara just commented to me:  "Grover's and CLT's opinion don't actually diverge.  He and I discussed this and agreed that the only way the $295 could be acceptable was if, instead of an additional tax, it was substituted for the existing outrageous $62 tax on employers which already provide health insurance.  Though the Legislature has not yet passed the bill, we are hearing that it will not drop the $62, therefore the entire package becomes a tax increase."

Or an "assessment," or whatever;  they're craftier than us. They keep coming up with new names, definitions for what's extracted from your wallet by and for government.

Here in the People's Republic, is it any wonder that the exodus has begun?

Chip Ford


The Boston Globe
Friday, March 17, 2006

Romney is urged to veto health fee
Conservatives hit employer assessment
By Frank Phillips, Globe Staff


Caught between his support for expanded health coverage and his opposition to tax increases, Governor Mitt Romney is being urged by fiscal conservatives to veto part of a sweeping healthcare proposal because they say it includes a tax on businesses.

Grover Norquist -- an influential antitax advocate who is president of Americans for Tax Reform, based in Washington, D.C. -- called on Romney yesterday to resist a proposal to continue an assessment on businesses that the state charges to help finance the free-care pool used to reimburse hospitals.

The healthcare plan, written by the Democrat-dominated Legislature, would keep the current $62 per employee assessment and add a $295 per employee assessment on certain companies that do not provide health coverage for their workers.

"I hope we can avoid the Democratic desire to turn this into a tax increase," said Norquist, who is often described as an architect of President Bush's massive federal tax cuts.

As the legislation heads to his desk, Romney, who is exploring a presidential campaign, is being forced to weigh a delicate political decision: accept the Democratic plan and open himself to attacks from the Republican right or veto a plan that he wants to tout as a legacy of his tenure as governor.

Norquist suggested that Romney use his line-item veto power to reject the appropriation that would be funded by the assessment. That would allow Romney to avoid potential political fallout among tax-cut advocates that he would face on the campaign trail. The veto would probably be easily overridden in the Legislature. Those involved in the negotiations in Massachusetts say they have suggested a similar strategy.

"That would be the best of both worlds," Norquist said, asserting that the governor would get his healthcare bill while standing up to the Democrats.

"It's not his responsibility that the Republicans are in the minority in the Legislature," Norquist said. "If he gets overriden, that is not his fault. It could be a centerpiece of how he governs in a state with strong opposition party."

Romney is also facing pressure from the state's leading antitax group, Citizens for Limited Taxation, which has denounced the health bill's financing proposal. The group also opposes the $295 assessment the plan would impose on firms with more than 10 employees that don't offer insurance.

"The $62 is a tax, a bad tax," said Barbara Anderson, executive director of Citizens for Limited Taxation. "Adding a new $295 tax for companies that do not provide health insurance is adding another bad tax to an existing bad tax, so Massachusetts should repeal the $62 and not assess the $295."

Anderson said that healthcare reform should be addressed on a national level and not by individual states. "If the final bill looks like the bill that is presently being floated, Governor Romney should veto it, then address it as President of the United States," she said.

Norquist diverges from Anderson's position in that he supports the $295 assessment on firms that do not provide insurance to workers. "We encourage the Legislature to drop that [the $62 per worker assessment] tax in return for the tax on those people who don't provide insurance," he said. Norquist said other changes are also necessary, including tort reform to cut down on malpractice cases.

Romney and his Republican allies failed this week to persuade Democratic leaders to reduce or eliminate the $62-per-worker fee on companies that already provide health insurance to their workers. The governor wants the business assessment restructured so that it does not raise new revenue and therefore could not be characterized as a new tax.

GOP lawmakers say Romney is waiting to see what the Legislature produces. Negotiators are putting the final touches on the bill, which may be considered next week.

"We got 90 to 95 percent of what the administration wanted," said Senate minority leader Brian P. Lees. "I respect the governor waiting to see what the final version says."

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The Boston Herald
Friday, March 17, 2006

Small wonder folk fleeing in droves
By Howie Carr


The reason Boston is losing population is that itís become a lot like New York: a nice place to visit, but whoíd want to live here?

Or maybe weíre more like a reality TV show. You know, tolerable enough to check out every once in awhile, but you always want to keep the remote control handy, because you never know when the next 18-wheeler is going to get stuck under a pedestrian bridge over Storrow Drive.

So 10,000 people have checked out of Boston in the past year. Most readers saw the headline yesterday and said, "Only 10,000?"

Yes, I know the news came as a shock to the mayor, Mumbles Menino. But then, heís often surprised. Just the other day, someone told him "youse" is not the plural of you.

Let me spell out three of the many reasons residents of Boston - and the rest of Massachusetts - are fleeing:

Itís too cold.

The cost of living, including taxes, is way too high.

All the local amenities that used to somewhat alleviate the two above problems are now available everywhere, in warmer, cheaper states.

Boston used to be the land of the Bean and the Cod; now itís the land of the $55 parking ticket. Itís Sodom and Begorrah, as William Buckley once said. Mumblesí spokesman claimed City Hall doesnít believe the numbers, and that the population of Boston is on the rise.

Earth to Mumbles: the people leaving here are American citizens who pay taxes.

The people moving here are illegal aliens, who donít. We have a boom economy, if youíre a court translator, or an auto-insurance fraud investigator, or work in a hospital emergency room.

If youíre anybody else in Massachusetts, forget about it. How bad is it when Fidelity decides itís better off doing business in Rhode Island? And now that the Legislature has driven out most of the stateís heavy industry, theyíre going to beggar whateverís left of small business with this new "health-care" tax.

Hereís the way they think around here:

Problem: Nobodyís coming into the city to eat anymore. What are we going to do?

Proposed solution: Letís put a local options meal tax on every restaurant, so we can drive even more people away.

Problem: Nobody can afford to live here anymore. What are we going to do?

Proposed solution: Letís override Prop 2Ĺ to raise property taxes so even more middle-class people will have to sell their homes and move to New Hampshire or Florida. And then letís vote for the town to buy up some more "open space" so the housing prices will go up even higher.

Problem: Too many illegal aliens.

Proposed solution: Tuition breaks for illegal aliens at state colleges.

Right now, the real-estate market in Massachusetts is moribund. This is going to be a sleeper issue in the campaign for governor, but the problem isnít what the pols say: people worrying that their children arenít going to be able to afford a house in their hometown.

That concern is over. Everybody under the age of 35 who doesnít have a trust fund has long since left for South Carolina, except for the loser kids who never did move out, and are now just waiting for their parents to kick off.

No, the reason homeowners are disturbed about the real estate market is that they suspect that the supply of real estate suckers has finally failed, and that theyíre not going to be able to cash out and move down to Spartanburg to be nearer to the kids.

Only 10,000? Wait until they repeal Prop 2Ĺ.

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