CLT Update
Monday, July 9, 2001

"Who's Hot" this week: Barbara Anderson!

We hope our friends in the Swift administration, which we encouraged to back down from a politically disastrous proposal, know the old Russian parable, sent to us some years back by a member:

A Cossack was riding across the frozen plains of Siberia and heard a plaintive chirping. Looking down from his steed, he spotted a small sparrow on the ground, shivering and unable to take flight. He dismounted, cupped the little bird in his hands, and pondered what he could do to save it from a freezing death.

Observing steam rising from a nearby heap of fresh Yak dung, the Cossack gently placed the sparrow into its warmth then rode away.

As it revived, the sparrow began chirping with joy. Its song soon attracted a fox, which ran to the dung heap and ate the little bird.

The moral of the story is: Those who put you in the dung heap ain't necessarily your enemies, and those who pull you out ain't necessarily your friends.

The administration may be getting some heat because of our resistance to a tax for paid family leave, but people who recommended that Governor Swift break her pledge weren't doing her any favors...

Chip Ford

The Boston Herald
Sunday, July 8, 2001

Pols & Politics
Who's hot ... Who's not

Who's hot: Barbara Anderson

The ubiquitous anti-tax activist may not have the clout she used to, but last week all it took was one angry phone call from Anderson to get the Swift administration to back away from a plan to impose a tax to pay for a family-leave program. Anderson accused Swift of breaking a no-new-taxes pledge and that was enough for Swift's aides to put a lid on the tax.

The Boston Herald
Monday, July 9, 2001

A Boston Herald editorial
A trial balloon goes pop

Trial balloons go up. Trial balloons get shot down. And few went up and came down faster than the family-leave tax plan advanced by acting Gov. Jane Swift.

Swift had proposed requiring employers and employees to buy mandatory coverage for those who might leave work because of a birth or other family issues. It seemed that no matter how she and her staff tried to spin the idea that this was a fee -- or an insurance plan or whatever -- they could not spin their way out of the fact that it would remove money from workers' paychecks and it would tax their employers.

It couldn't fly. It didn't fly. And when such anti-tax gurus as Barbara Anderson called it what it was and reminded Swift of her "no-new-taxes" pledge, it soon became history.

There are other good ideas out there, including a tax credit for employers of companies with under 250 workers which offer parental leave proposed by House Speaker Tom Finneran. Perhaps it's time the governor remembered that old adage about government -- that there's no telling what you can accomplish if you don't care who gets the credit.

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