Clueless Mass. Taxpayers Foundation
Again Inserts Foot in Mouth

Well, duh ... there they go again!

Imagine how it must feel to be always wrong, to be so irrelevant that nobody you advise listens to a word you say.

With its most recent report, issued yesterday, the so-called Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation again is stuck with its foot in its mouth, as usual. Obviously, Michael Widmer and the clueless MTF is striving to continue its perfect score.

"Gee whiz," they seem to say over there at the clueless MTF, "the Legislature keeps spending more than we can afford. We just can't understand it."

And can you imagine ... the pols didn't adopt even their "sensible" tax rollback scheme -- the one that rolls back the income tax only if personal income jumps through enough hoops to insure that state surpluses continue to mount.

The MTF just doesn't get it and, after all these years of practice at being utterly clueless and wrong, they never will.

Chip Ford

Boston Herald
Wednesday, August 16, 2000

Taxpayers foundation says state budget spending risky
by Tom Walsh

Free-spending lawmakers, buoyed by a booming economy, have put the state at the top of a potentially risky financial path, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation warned yesterday.

"We're not hitting the panic button, we're just throwing up a caution flag," said Michael Widmer, president of the foundation. The nearly 7 percent increase in spending for the current fiscal year is "unsustainable over the long term," he said.

Jim St. George, executive director of the Tax Equity Alliance for Massachusetts, however, said Widmer is "crying wolf."

'The final budget as approved is less than one percent more than Gov. Cellucci submitted," St. George said. "So unless they are saying Paul Cellucci is a tax-and-spend liberal, you have a hard time saying the Legislature has gone off the reservation."

Bills providing prescription drug subsidies for seniors and early retirement benefits for teachers will both force increased spending for years, Widmer cautioned. "These hint of the kinds of fiscal practices that got the state in trouble a decade ago," he said.

St. George said the real concern people should have is with a November ballot initiative that would cut the income tax rate to 5 percent, undermining the state's ability to get through an economic downturn.

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