Forgive us if we arenít grateful for a 19
cents a gallon gas tax increase because it isnít a 29
cents gas tax increase or a $7 toll hike.
We hope other voters wonít fall for the
"scary expectations" scam. Note how it has worked so
Begin with the decision by Governor
Patrick to go for a gas tax increase of, say, 15 cents a
First, he threatened us with a
ridiculously high $7 toll increase. Drivers who would
have to pay this almost initiated the discussion of a
gas tax increase instead, themselves.
Then, he floated a 29 cents gas tax
increase. Drivers were shocked, especially those who
computed it on top of last yearís historically high gas
Now he recommends a 19 cents gas tax
increase. Toll-payers and drivers are supposed to
breathe a sigh of relief, "Only 19 cents!" If they donít
breathe with gratitude loud enough, the amount will drop
to the governorís next best offer!
With any con job, timing is everything.
The Turnpike Board is scheduled to vote on the giant
toll increase next week. Scammed voters are told that if
the gas tax passes, there will be no toll increase at
all. A question remains: how dumb are we?
We donít have all the information on
possible reforms yet Ė we donít have any in fact
-- because itís not late enough in the Friday of
vacation week for the governor to release the full
package. For 19 cents a gallon, we would expect a whole
lot of reforms Ė and should demand that these be
implemented before we see any possible increase
at the pump. The reforms should cancel the effect of the
new mandated pay-raises for Turnpike workers. (Eg, get
rid of toll collectors by abolishing tolls or with
increased automation; benefit cuts; if all else fails,
bankruptcy so contracts can be renegotiated).
Itís time for Massachusetts voters to
just say No to being scammed again.