Chip Ford's CLT Commentary
Governor Patrick on Thursday signed his first state
budget -- $26.8 billion, an increase of 4.2 percent over the past fiscal
year's state budget. He disagreed with legislative spending and
vetoed only $41.8 million -- Kumbaya.
How did the state budget manage an increase in
spending if the state had another of its typical "fiscal crises,"
a "billion dollar shortfall" the
latest of which we've been listening to for months? But then the
Beacon Hill pols always do manage to pull this off year after year,
don't they. Somehow they manage to spend more every year -- and
somehow they manage to stiff taxpayers and voters every year, who are
still waiting for their mandated income tax rollback.
No tax relief anywhere. Patrick's promised
property tax relief? Non-existent. The voters' 2000 tax
rollback he would replace with his plan? Non-existent.
Nothing. Suck it up, taxpayers. They have better plans on
how to spend your money -- no, the pol's money now and they
intend to keep every cent of it, and maybe take even more.
In fact, what Gov. Patrick has instead
proposed are tax increases and billions more spending on new dreamer
I got the biggest kick out of yesterday's Boston
Globe editorials. I've always thought the editorial pages and the
Globe's news side were schizophrenic, but yesterday even the editorial
board was schizoid among itself. (I've included the three
editorials that I found incongruent.) I had to respond:
Letter to the editor
The Boston Globe
Submitted: July 13, 2007
What an interesting day of Globe editorial board
In one ("A down payment on progress," Jul. 13) it stated: [Governor]
"Patrick was not able to deliver on his promise of property tax
In another ("Hyperbole is part of the act") it stated: "And it's
overpromising to suggest that any healthcare savings will
automatically be used for property tax relief."
In yet a third ("Another China syndrome"), with equal fervor it
stated: "Where a single political party maintains a monopoly on
power, the only reforms that can be tolerated are those that suit
the ruling party's interests."
But no connection whatsoever is made between them.
Director of Operations
Citizens for Limited Taxation
Gov. Patrick was not able to "deliver on his promise
of property tax relief." What a surprise. We've been asking
"Where's the beef" since his first campaign assertions -- CLT,
a voice in the wilderness. Few if any others joined us. He
used "property tax relief" simply as a dodge when asked about the
"temporary" income tax and the voters' mandate to roll it back. It
got him a free pass thanks to a mostly ignorant and lazy media. He
bedazzled with bs.
His best deal since being elected and taking power is to
let the public employee unions decide whether to reduce municipal health
insurance costs. Even then, "it's overpromising to suggest that any healthcare savings
will automatically be used for property tax relief," the Globe yesterday opined.
Wow, I'll bet the rapacious and connected unions will risk a "negotiated
deal" with "fixed costs" in exchange for the great unknown of
state promises. We all -- even us mere stupid taxpayers -- know
the value of state promises. "Temporary," right.
But then, to top of the absurd prattle -- the Globe tossed in an
editorial on China and its failed or non-existent quality control over its
state-run industries -- an alleged oversight that's poisoning Americans,
their pets, and China's other foreign export customers. One-party
rule is the problem in China, the Globe editorial pontificates. But
still the Globe elites dependably encourage one-party rule here in Massachusetts -- go
The Boston Globe
Friday, July 13, 2007
Patrick vetoes $41m in budget
Abstinence education, courts to lose funding
By Lisa Wangsness and April Simpson
Governor Deval Patrick yesterday vetoed $41 million in spending approved
by the Legislature, slashing $11.5 million from the trial courts,
eliminating funding for an abstinence-only education program, and
surgically excising pet projects lawmakers had slipped into unrelated
accounts — such as a tourism grant for a Seekonk landfill.
In signing his first budget, Patrick approved $26.8 billion in spending,
a 4.2 percent increase that includes millions for many of his
initiatives in public safety, health, and education, but, notably, does
not include his proposal to generate new revenue by closing so-called
loopholes in the corporate tax code.
Patrick praised the Legislature for working harmoniously with the
administration, underscoring the extent to which the acrimony between
the branches has dissipated over the past few months, as the freshman
governor and the legislative leaders have grown accustomed to working
‘‘For the first time in a very long time we have built a budget on real
collaboration between the Legislature and the administration and based
on shared goals,’’ Patrick told reporters at a news conference in his
office yesterday morning, flanked by his budget chief, Leslie A. Kirwan,
and Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray.
The budget funds state operations for the 2008 fiscal year, which began
In a statement yesterday afternoon, House Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi
commended the governor for working with the Legislature, and for
embracing nearly 100 percent of the spending priorities to provide local
aid, sewer rate relief, and money to implement last year’s health reform
law, ‘‘all without new taxes, fees, or fines.’’ DiMasi had sharply
opposed the corporate tax code changes.
Without the new revenue from Patrick’s loophole closures, the budget
relies on $600 million in one-time income and reserves, which is $50
million more than in fiscal year 2007.
Though budget aides said end-of-year revenues should be strong enough to
repay the reserve accounts and finish the year with a surplus, Patrick
said yesterday that he remained concerned about the use of one-time
revenue. He said he would continue working to find ways to save money
within state government and to pursue the corporate tax changes through
a special commission he and the Legislature set up to study the
corporate tax code.
But Brian Dodge, spokesman for the state Republican Party, said Patrick
had not worked hard enough to keep his oft-repeated campaign pledge to
save $750 million by making government more efficient. Dodge called
Patrick’s $41 million vetoed spending ‘‘window dressing.’’
The governor retreated somewhat from the harder line he had taken
against legislative earmarks — money set aside by lawmakers for a
specific, and often local, purpose. Lawmakers had bristled at Patrick’s
first budget proposal in February, which eliminated many local earmarks,
saying the new governor was treading on their authority to help decide
how money is spent.
But such items can prove useful in the horse trading that goes on during
budget negotiations, and the Legislature delivered millions for
Patrick’s programs to spend more on all-day kindergarten, extended
learning time, children’s vaccinations, new police officers, and other
Kirwan said Patrick had vetoed about $20 million in local earmarks,
mostly items that appeared to be crammed into departments where they did
not belong. That represents just a tiny fraction of the total
local-level earmarks in the budget, she acknowledged. But, she said,
Patrick wanted his agencies to work more closely with lawmakers on
understanding local needs — so the Legislature can trust agencies to
handle them without a specific directive in the budget.
Not all the vetoes were earmarks, however.
Robert A. Mulligan, the trial court’s chief justice for administration
and management, said in a statement yesterday that if the Legislature
does not restore the roughly $20 million increase for the trial courts,
the courts would have to lay off hundreds of employees, which would
threaten ‘‘to significantly limit access to justice’’ in the
Administration officials said, however, that the trial courts had sent
back $4 million of unused money this year.
Steven C. Panagiotakos, Senate Ways and Means chairman, said the
Legislature may contemplate overriding that veto.
‘‘We thought the amount we gave them was probably close to where they
needed to be,’’ he said yesterday. ‘‘A significant cut there needs to be
Patrick also excised a provision that would have allowed the state to
spend $712,000 in federal money on abstinence education. Massachusetts
has received the grant since 1998, but public health officials in the
administration decided that they no longer wanted the money because of
the strings attached: the federal government does not allow the money to
be used for programs that also teach students about birth control.
Rebecca Ray, director of Healthy Futures, which teaches abstinence
classes to about 7,000 students, said losing the money would slice her
organization’s budget in half and dramatically reduce the number of
‘‘I think it’s tragic that these communities and all these students are
going to miss out on this opportunity,’’ she said. ‘‘It’s money that is
free to our state, and I know the administration is certainly looking
for other funding from the federal government, yet they’re turning down
Local firefighters also took issue with Patrick’s vetoes, castigating
him for slicing $2.25 million from Boston fire programs, including
$500,000 for the hazardous material response team, and for eliminating a
$1.1 million fire education program for students.
‘‘The Legislature put forth a [budget] that would have greatly enhanced
the city of Boston’s ability to respond to a terrorist attack, and
Governor Patrick felt it was unnecessary funding,’’ said Ed Kelly,
president of Boston firefighters Local 718. ‘‘We are appalled by that
The Legislature can consider veto overrides whenever it wishes, but a
legislative source said a vote would probably come before the end of the
month. Last year, the Democratic Legislature overrode almost all of Mitt
Romney’s $573 million in vetoes. Whether lawmakers would do the same to
a Democratic governor remains to be seen.
State House News Service
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Patrick signs state budget, vetoes $41 million
By Jim O’Sullivan
Gov. Deval Patrick cut $41 million from the $26.8 billion state budget
he signed Thursday that will increase state spending by 4.2 percent in
the fiscal year that began July 1.
Patrick vetoed 117 spending earmarks and two budget riders, setting up a
test of the Legislature’s eagerness to contest the budget decisions of a
governor from their own party.
The volume of spending cuts, representing 15 hundredths of 1 percent of
the overall budget, is small, compared to vetoes announced in recent
years by Republican governors. For the last 17 years, vetoes have
averaged roughly $150 million, with a low of $3.3 million in fiscal 1998
and a high of $584 million in fiscal 1992, Patrick aides said.
“It’s balanced, it’s responsible, it’s a true collaboration with the
Legislature and we haven’t seen that in a long time,” Patrick told
reporters moments after signing the budget at his desk. “And it’s a very
conservative and appropriate increase in spending while at the same time
addressing some important investments in the Commonwealth. So when I
talk about balance I don’t just mean fiscally balanced, I mean balanced
in the sense of priorities as well.”
The fiscal 2008 budget marks the first in 16 years where the House,
Senate and Executive Branch have all been under Democratic rule, and
Patrick faced scrutiny for how he would handle the Legislature’s
spending urges. At the same time, he has feuded with legislative leaders
over policy matters more often in his first few months than many Beacon
Hill veterans expected, and aides on Thursday worked to paint his
decisions as the result of cooperation.
Patrick said repeatedly that the budget was the result of
"collaboration" with the Legislature, but said that some of the cuts he
made were to appropriations that were not "justified." He said he hopes
a corporate tax code commission that has delayed further progress until
the fall will take up his plans to generate new revenues from
Lawmakers whose districts were hit with vetoes said they were confident
their colleagues would help them restore the funding.
Administration and Finance Secretary Leslie Kirwan said, “We consider
this a success no matter what happens after today.”
Asked if he was concerned about the structural deficit built into the
budget by the use of roughly $600 million in onetime revenues and
reserves, Patrick replied, “You bet your life.” He said, “We have to
deal with the need for recurring revenues.”
Senate Ways and Means Chairman Steven Panagiotakos called Patrick’s
vetoes “minimal.” He said, “We’ll have to sit back and review each of
his messages and overrides and decide with our membership, at least on
the Senate side, what we think our priorities are.”
Patrick sent back four amendments – to sections of the budget dealing
with information-sharing under the new health care law, GPS devices for
sex offenders, an electronic health records task force, and a proposed
transfer of $150 million from the General Fund to the Health Care
Security Trust Fund.
In a statement emailed by his office, DiMasi said, he was “pleased
Governor Patrick embraced nearly 100 percent of our spending priorities
to help municipalities, bring significant aid increases to local school
districts, provide water and sewer rate relief, continue implementation
of our health care reform law and many other important initiatives – all
without new taxes, fees or fines.”
DiMasi said, "We will continue to analyze the Governor’s vetoes and
amendments over the coming days. We will make a decision on each veto
and amendment based on its merits and its importance to the communities
and taxpayers who stand to benefit."
Legislative leaders, after substantially rewriting Patrick's budget and
placing their own version on his desk, said in the days before the
signing that they did not anticipate a large volume of vetoes, but said
they would override vetoes of items they deemed worthy. Panagiotakos
said “the communication is much better” with the governor’s office than
under past administrations.
Sen. Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester) said, “I certainly don’t think we’ll be
seeing the marathon veto sessions we’ve seen in the past.” Pointing out
that Patrick restored $384 million in Romney emergency spending cuts
within days of taking office, Tarr said, “It’s hard to come back now and
make major reductions to a document that was tight to begin with.”
The budget represents a 5.8 percent increase in local aid, includes $1.8
billion for the implementation of the health care reform law, and is
expected to fund 100 additional municipal police officers. Expanded
learning time funding would double. Patrick aides also touted a major
budgetary move that would use some of the state’s share of the
multi-state tobacco settlement to pay for a trust fund for state retiree
Patrick vetoed federal grant funding for abstinence education and 29
travel and tourism earmarks totaling $2.86 million. The most obvious
cuts, said Kirwan, were tourism dollars set aside for a dental program
and a $35,000 engineering study of a Seekonk landfill. “Maybe it’s a
really cool landfill,” she joked.
Also cut was a $10.47 million line item for workforce development
grants, which included earmarks for a $750,000 high school biotechnology
program, $500,000 for an urban revitalization plan in Lowell, $250,000
for a health center skilled training program on Cape Cod, $150,000 for
“worker coordinators” at the AFL-CIO, and $200,000 for workforce
training, educational services, and transitional services in Chelsea.
Another target was $10 million pulled out of a $135 million trial court
Veto messages traditionally are sent to the House Ways and Means
Committee, where chair Robert DeLeo (D-Winthrop), in consultation with
DiMasi and Senate leaders, will decide which vetoes to try to overturn
by the requisite two-thirds roll call vote.
Rep. Paul Kujawski (D-Webster) said the $100,000 cut from a travel and
tourism line item for public safety in Dudley was justified in that
account because it would have paid for police details during that town’s
yearlong 275th anniversary celebration. He pointed out that Dudley also
saw a double murder this month.
“When you’re a rep that tries to get important earmarks that are crucial
for strapped towns in your district, and the item is vetoed, it’s
disappointing,” he said, adding, “You look to your colleagues to support
overriding the veto … It’s our job to get that done.”
Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation,
said the revenue constraints and similar interests of the Legislature
and Executive prevented vast differences between the conference
committee’s report and Patrick’s version. “If the question is, in a time
of plenty, what will happen? That remains to be seen,” he said.
Rep. Christine Canavan (D-Brockton) said lawmakers and Patrick would
likely “proceed cautiously” with budget expansions, relying instead on
supplemental budgets that can rely on revised revenue figures. She said,
“Everyone’s cautious because we don’t know what to expect and we still
have a deficit.”
Widmer said higher-than-projected revenues from the fiscal year that
ended June 30 would likely bridge much of the structural gap created by
onetime revenues, adding, “It’s not a very good way to budget, to agree
on estimates and then hope the revenues will exceed the estimates.”
Patrick had criticized the use of reserves to balance the budget, opting
instead to try to raise business taxes through closing what he called
“loopholes.” DiMasi has agreed to canvass House members to gauge their
support for a $78 million plan to strip telecommunications firms of
their property tax exemption, and Patrick said on a radio talk show
Thursday afternoon that support is growing in the Legislature for that
provision, “as I sense it.”
Kirwan said Thursday that the administration had backed off its
resistance to a reserve drawdown because they judged unfeasible the
elimination of the spending necessary to offset such a withdrawal.
Patrick budget aides said they did not anticipate any legislative
pushback to the four amendments. One of those changes would empower the
state’s Division of Unemployment Assistance to share corporate
information with the Health Care Connector Authority implementing the
insurance reform. A second would prevent delayed notification of
authorities when sex offenders violate geographical parameters of
parole, Patrick budget aides said.
The third amendment makes changes to state accounting necessitated by
Patrick’s proposed reductions – a number that will likely change once
the Legislature votes on overrides. The final amendment would re-define
the mission of an electronic health records task force as increasingly
Pressed by radio show host Jim Braude on what Friday’s headlines will
bring about what got “snuck" into the budget, Patrick said, “Nothing
that we slipped in there or snuck in there. We combed it pretty
carefully for what others may have tried to slip in there and some of
those things we did veto.”
Patrick said he found “disappointing in absence is direct property tax
relief, which was part of the proposal we made to the Legislature but
didn’t survive the legislative process.”
Patrick’s budget press conference took place in his office, where
Administration and Finance aides stood by as media crowded in and
Patrick stood with Kirwan and Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray at a podium next
to his desk.
After signing the budget at his desk, the governor distributed pens to
staffers. "Hell of a ride, huh?" he said to one, before admonishing them
as a group to "take a nap."
The vetoes were also monitored for any hint of favoritism from Patrick
toward lawmakers who switched their votes last month to help defeat a
constitutional amendment headed for the 2008 ballot.
“Go tell Kris Mineau that this is my reward,” said one lawmaker whose
vote changed in Patrick’s direction but who saw an earmark slashed,
referring to the top activist in support of the amendment.
The Boston Herald
Friday, July 13, 2007
Deval thwarts fight
with $41M trim of state spending budget
By Casey Ross
Gov. Deval Patrick cut $41 million in spending from the state budget
yesterday, a modest reduction that averted a showdown with legislative
GOP officials accused him of ignoring promises to slash waste, but
Patrick argued that the modest use of his veto power is a reflection of
closer coordination between the executive branch and lawmakers who
worked together to fund mutual priorities.
The $26.8 billion budget Patrick signed into law yesterday includes a
$6.8 million increase in kindergarten expansion grants, $4 million to
hire more police officers and $1.8 billion to implement universal health
“For the first time in a very long time, we have built a budget on real
collaboration between the Legislature and the administration,” Patrick
Despite his decision to cut some of the Legislature’s spending --
including $20 million in coveted earmarks for local programs - Patrick
did not endure criticism from top lawmakers. Instead, House Speaker Sal
DiMasi and Senate President Therese Murray, both fellow Democrats,
issued statements pledging continued cooperation with the governor in
the months ahead.
The hands-off treatment represents a sea change from previous years when
Republican governors trotted out a long list of vetoes that were harshly
criticized -- and quickly overturned -- by Democratic lawmakers. Since
1990, Bay State governors have averaged about $150 million in vetoes per
While some observers said the newfound cooperation is refreshing, others
called it disquieting.
“This is the thinnest (budget message) I’ve seen, both in terms of the
quantity of dollars cut and the number of vetoes,” House Minority Leader
Brad Jones said. “The governor was very critical of the budget when he
was campaigning, but you don’t see that here.”
Still, Patrick and his budget aides said they carefully weighed the
vetoes and were not shy about cutting spending they deemed wasteful.
Overall, 117 earmarks worth $20 million were cut from the budget;
another $21 million was slashed from general spending. Among the items
cut: $10 million for work force development grants, $950,000 for parks
both statewide and surrounding the Big Dig, and $300,000 for family
The Boston Herald
Friday, July 13, 2007
A Boston Herald editorial
Gov’s discovering who is in charge
To describe Gov. Deval Patrick’s action yesterday on the state budget as
a mixed bag would be an understatement at best.
The man who campaigned as a Beacon Hill outsider did slash several dozen
legislative earmarks - the bread and butter of his Democratic brethren
in the Legislature -- and for that taxpayers ought to be pleased.
He also vetoed excess spending on “tourism” that wasn’t tourism at all,
and rejected an outside section that would have provided state health
insurance to one woman -- the mother of a former Bay State pol.
But lawmakers can override those vetoes in a single afternoon -- and
likely will. And with nearly every other stroke of his pen the governor
revealed himself to be what many expected: A rubber stamp for the
He vetoed only $41 million of the $26.8 billion spending plan for the
fiscal year that began on July 1. By comparison, former Gov. Mitt Romney
trimmed $573 million in legislative spending last year (most of which
was restored by lawmakers).
He also bought into Senate President Therese Murray’s plan to divert any
potential budget surplus into grants for private biotech companies --
instead of returning it to the taxpayers.
And at the end of the day, the state budget that Patrick signed tallies
a few hundred million dollars more than what he originally proposed.
Taxpayers probably ought to get used to it.
Overall, we’re left with what is essentially a “maintenance” budget,
with slight increases for local aid, schools, expanded kindergarten and
extended learning time grants -- and ample use of rainy-day funds.
There are no new taxes in the budget (though given Patrick’s preference
for increasing taxes on corporations, credit for that goes to the House
Sure, it could have been worse. But it appears that going along to get
along is simpler than taking on the true powers that be.
The Boston Globe
Friday, July 13, 2007
A Boston Globe editorial
A down payment on progress
Governor Deval Patrick's first budget is signed and delivered, with a
modest $41 million in vetoes to match a modest growth in spending. The
first Democratic governor in 16 years praised the "really great spirit
of collaboration" with the Legislature in crafting the $26.8 billion
budget, and the short veto list is a reflection of that co operation.
But the echoes of Patrick's ambitious campaign agenda are not so distant
that they still can't be heard, and they describe the work with the
Legislature that still remains.
The dire predictions that one-party government would lead to a spending
spree have not come to pass; indeed, the 2008 budget holds spending
growth to 4.4 percent -- smaller than the growth rate of the last three
budgets under the former Republican governor, Mitt Romney. Still, it
manages to fund a few important initiatives, most notably the new
universal healthcare law, which weighs in at $1.8 billion. That includes
the subsidized insurance plans for lower-income residents, payments to
hospitals, and outreach and cost-control measures associated with the
Other programs Patrick touted as a candidate, however, received what can
only be called down payments, including early childhood education,
full-day kindergarten, and additional community police. Also, Patrick
was not able to deliver on his promise of property tax relief, either
through expanding the senior circuit breaker or more direct funding of
cities and towns.
The budget depends too heavily on reserves and one-time payments -- some
$600 million in drawdowns or deferred payments to the state's rainy day
funds. This problem, as well as the unfinished agenda on education and
property tax relief, can be addressed by other Patrick proposals still
pending in separate legislation: Closing tax loopholes and allowing
municipalities more freedom to raise their own revenues through local
meals or hotel surcharges. These are reasonable proposals that deserve
Beyond sheer dollar figures, Patrick also sent important policy signals
in the budget. He vetoed some $20 million in earmarks -- pet projects of
legislators that are sometimes worthy but should be able to stand on
their own merits. For example, 58 individual earmarks for workforce
development grants, totaling $10 million, were vetoed because they went
around the competitive process established for the grants.
And Patrick vetoed a federal grant of $712,000 for abstinence-only sex
education in the public schools. These programs put young people at risk
by denying them information about preventing pregnancy and disease.
Massachusetts is right to reject the money --and the ideological strings
So Patrick has survived his first budget workout. But there's still
plenty more to do.
The Boston Globe
Friday, July 13, 2007
A Boston Globe editorial
Hyperbole is part of the act
We're all for the bill pushed by Governor Patrick that would allow
cities and towns to join the state Group Insurance Commission in an
effort to control healthcare costs. But we had to laugh at the bill's
new title: "An Act to Reduce the Reliance on Property Taxes through
Municipal Health Care." As the watchdog Boston Municipal Research Bureau
recently pointed out, under the terms of the bill most communities will
not be able to join the GIC until 2010, and then only if they reach the
high hurdle of a 70 percent buy-in from local unions. And it's
overpromising to suggest that any healthcare savings will automatically
be used for property tax relief. What's next: a transportation bond bill
titled "An Act to Eliminate Gridlock?"
The Boston Globe
Friday, July 13, 2007
A Boston Globe editorial
Another China syndrome
Government officials in China have tried to portray the execution of
Zheng Xiaoyu, former head of that country's State Food and Drug
Administration, as an effective cure for the corruption behind the
export of dangerous and sometimes deadly food products and medications.
But the rot is systemic. It can hardly be excised by sentencing a
high-profile official to death.
While it may be a positive sign that the Communist Party has
acknowledged China's failures to regulate food and drug safety, this is
the least that could be expected. After all, a long list of Chinese
products have recently caused sickness and death in North and South
America and in Asia. Among them are toothpaste, fish and other seafood,
pet food, toys, and various medicines. If everything made in China can
be considered to share the same brand name, that brand has suffered a
very costly blow to its reputation.
Perhaps the most revealing signs of just how sensitive the government
has become to international suspicions about the unreliability of
Chinese products are the official assurances it has issued about the
food to be served to athletes coming to Beijing next year for the summer
Olympic games. "All the procedures involving Olympic food, including
production, processing, packaging, storing, and transporting will be
closely monitored," an official with the State Administration for
Industry and Commerce pledged this week.
The special care taken for food at the Olympics will do no more to clean
out the corruption in China, however, than the draconian punishments
meted out to a few prominent bribe-taking officials. Thus far, there has
been no government effort to identify, prosecute, and punish the
bribe-givers. Indeed, after a Chinese newspaper referred by name to some
of the companies allegedly doing the bribing, China's Central Propaganda
Department told two major Chinese Internet portals to remove the article
from their sites. The offending article vanished the same day.
This governmental compulsion to control information goes to the core of
China's corruption syndrome. Where a single political party maintains a
monopoly on power, the only reforms that can be tolerated are those that
suit the ruling party's interests.
Since the Communist Party elites still feel threatened by a free press,
they go on refusing to let in the cleansing sunshine of criticism. It is
hard enough in an open society to discover and bring to light the hidden
ways in which malefactors of great wealth endanger the well-being of the
public. In China, it is nearly impossible.
China was able to export products that killed dozens of people not
because of one corrupt official but because of its one-party system, its
lack of a truly free press, and its savage style of unregulated
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