Gimme Lobby imports another
"non-partisan think-tank"
to oppose keeping the promise

State House News Service
Advances: Week of September 25, 2000)

"new numbers showing the state's pension system
is more adequately funded than many believed"

"...on Beacon Hill, lawmakers are beginning to take notice of the progress and wondering when the state might begin plowing funds dedicated to pensions into other areas.

"Similarly, public employee unions may see the good news as reason to demand benefit changes deemed unaffordable in recent years."

The Gimme Lobby is raging ahead to "Keep the Broken Promise Broken" at any cost, to keep your money flowing into their pockets.

Even as their state pensions are booming -- the fund almost runneth over like the state's "rainy day" fund -- still they cry "The sky is falling, we can't allow your tax burden to be lightened!"

Get ready for the campaign of a lifetime! Never has a campaign been so clearly defined for us and our posterity:

"To the victors belong the spoils."

Watch for the "A Promise to Keep: 5%" letter in your mailbox later this week, and quickly send in your most generous contribution. Consider it your investment toward prying your earnings away from the state's biggest and most selfish special interest ... the insatiable Gimme Lobby ("Mine, mine, mine: More Is Never Enough!").

There's only six weeks left before the election. The future you invest in will be yours and your family's!

Chip Ford

PS.  Click here to view a video excerpt from Barbara's Thursday evening New England Cable News debate against Jimmy St. George and has-been former-Congressman Chester Atkins on Margie Reedy's NewsNight.

Also recently posted is the Secretary of State's 2000 Voter Information Guide for Question Four.

In our Update of May 23, 2000, "A 'Nonpartisan' Report, My Assets!"  we exposed the liberal front-group, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, an alleged "nonpartisan research organization," as TEAM's national arm.

We pointed out then that its Massachusetts "contact" and recipient of CBPP financial state grants just happened to be none other than the "nonpartisan" Commonwealth Center for Fiscal Policy -- run by Jimmy St. George of TEAM (Tax Everything And More), who obviously is just as "nonpartisan."

So who and what is this latest "Washington, DC-based research organization" (reported below), this Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy that's about to blow into the Bay State and argue against our state taxpayers' promised rollback?

The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy is an offshoot of Citizens for Tax Justice.

CTJ's stated goals are:

* Fair taxes for middle and low-income families 
* Requiring the wealthy to pay their fair share 
* Closing corporate tax loopholes 
* Adequately funding important government services 
* Reducing the federal debt 
* Taxation that minimizes distortion of economic markets

It's Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy and Good Jobs First website states:

"For the first 15 years of its existence, ITEP worked extensively with Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ), providing much of the research for important studies released by that organization."

"ITEP works with a broad spectrum of local organizations on tax, corporate subsidy, and other issues relating to government taxation and spending policy. Tax and budget advocates, unions, community organizations, religious groups, living wage campaigns, environmentalists, and economic development networks consult with ITEP regularly."

Does this sound very "non-partisan" to you?

State House News Service
Advances (Week of Sept. 25, 2000)


TAX CUTS & HEALTH CARE: More than a dozen health care-related associations and advocacy groups will join Senate President Thomas Birmingham Thursday to officially launch their effort to defeat Questions 4 and 6 on the November ballot.

The questions would roll the income tax rate back to 5 percent and allow drivers to secure rebates on auto excise tax and toll payments.

Opponents of the questions will argue that the $1.8 billion that would be stripped out of the state's revenue stream is needed to pay for health care services to the poor, children, the elderly and the disabled.

Organizations that have signed on with the Coalition for Quality Health Care include the Massachusetts Hospital Association, the Massachusetts Extended Care Federation, the AIDS Action Committee, the Massachusetts Association of Older Americans, the Massachusetts Home Health Association, Massachusetts Community Health Centers, Health Care For All, the Massachusetts Senior Action Council and the Massachusetts Mental Health Coalition.

Gov. Cellucci is leading the tax cut forces. Cellucci says the economy is roaring, jobs are plentiful and state services have been expanded due in part to a string of tax cuts that he says have spurred economic growth in recent years. (Thursday, 1:30 pm, Grand Staircase, State House)

The new Coalition for Quality Health Care will supplement the work of the Campaign for Massachusetts' Future, the lead organization opposing the income tax cut.

The latter campaign, which enjoys strong support from organized labor, will release a report Monday detailing the way tax cuts would be distributed by income group if voters pass the income tax cut.

The report was conducted by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a Washington D.C.-based tax research organization. Michael Ettlinger, the institute's director of tax policy, will present the report.

In October 1998, he partnered with the same Massachusetts organizers opposing this year's tax cut question to release a study claiming the wealthiest 1 percent of Massachusetts residents received the overwhelming majority of benefits from tax cuts enacted in the 1990s. At the time, Cellucci deputies suggested the study authors were only interested in raising taxes. (Monday, noon, Room 456)

STATE PENSION FUND: The Pension Reserves Investment Management Board meets Friday. It's the first PRIM meeting since state pension administrators announced new numbers showing the state's pension system is more adequately funded than many believed, largely due to strong investment returns generated by the PRIM Fund managers in recent years.

The $31 billion-plus fund is about 85 percent funded, as opposed to 73 percent. That means it may not take until 2018, as is currently envisioned, to erase the state's unfunded pension liability and have enough money on hand to meet pension obligations to thousands of current and retired public employees.

The unfunded liability has for years been a black eye on the state's overall fiscal record.

Now that PRIM officials have a new funding ratio figure, serious discussions about future investment strategies are expected to take place over the next few months. And on Beacon Hill, lawmakers are beginning to take notice of the progress and wondering when the state might begin plowing funds dedicated to pensions into other areas.

Similarly, public employee unions may see the good news as reason to demand benefit changes deemed unaffordable in recent years. The PRIM Fund has generated a 15.4 percent return over the past seven years, far exceeding its statutory benchmark of 8.25 percent a year.

Fund defenders worry that the strong returns will cause Beacon Hill budget writers to pull back too soon on annual pension funding, which now tops $1 billion a year.... (Friday, 9:30 am, 84 State St., Boston)

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