Today, CLT Associate Director Chip Faulkner hand-delivered the following memo to the Boston offices of the Mass. Human Services Coalition, the Tax Equity Alliance of Massachusetts, and many of the other "human services advocates" clamoring for more state funds for their programs at the expense of our tax rollback.

It was also issued as a news release statewide, and will be hand-delivered to all legislators on Tuesday, the day before the Legislature meets to override Gov. Swift's vetoes on Wednesday.

-- CLT MEMO --
Friday, November 30, 2001

To:  Concerned human services providers
Cc:  The Massachusetts General Court
        November 30, 2001
Re:  The pie is divided into two parts

Taxpayers are not your enemy. Taxpayers provide all the money for all the services you help provide. Demanding that they give more, or give up their promised tax rate reduction, is not a productive strategy on the part of human services providers.

Instead, we should be allies. In more than 25 years of taxpayer activism, we've heard very few complaints about money being spent directly on the mentally retarded, mentally ill, abused spouses and children, or short-term welfare assistance for emergencies.

The state fiscal pie, all of which is provided by the taxpayers, is divided into two parts.

1. The part for legitimate government spending, including human services, which we define as services provided to people who are in difficulty through no fault of their own and which don't create incentives for behavior that causes habitual misery (i.e, pre-reform welfare programs).

2. The part that is squandered on what we call WIMPAC: waste, inefficiency, mismanagement, patronage, abuse of power, and corruption.

The difference between fiscal conservatives and liberals may be just the amount of tolerance for part (2). Liberals seem to be saying "Get part (1) done, even if means having high amounts of (2)." Fiscal conservatives eventually resist being taken advantage of and say "Enough."

The priorities in the 2002 state budget should make anybody say enough.

CLT supports taxpayer money being spent on (1). It's been clear from the response to the terrorist attacks that Americans love to help other people who are the victims of cruel fate; taxpayers are repaid for their generosity by feeling good about doing good.

However, we are aware that money given to agencies, programs, and to some providers is not necessarily money given to category (1). There is waste and inefficiency within the human services system as well as in other government sectors.

Considering the major increases in state spending over the past decade -- it has doubled -- there's certainly fat marbled throughout the government roast. It's the job of managers and the Legislature to find and eliminate it, and you should help them. It's not the taxpayers' job to find it or fund it.

Join us in defending the taxpayers promised rollback, and we will join you in demanding part (1), as we all attack part (2). We know that Governor Swift's vetoes will reflect support for taxpayers. We support her choices which protect direct services to the genuinely-in-need while cutting the items which reflect misplaced priorities in the leadership-crafted 2002 state budget.

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