Excerpt from Carla Howell's Small Government News
+++ TV DEBATE FOR CARLA HOWELL +++
Mark your calendar. Set your alarm. Fire up the popcorn.
Tuesday, August 27th, 8PM, New England Cable News. The show is
called "NewsNight." 30 minutes will be set aside for this debate out of this 60 minute show.
Michael Widmer and Carla Howell will debate Ballot Question 1,
our Initiative to End the Income Tax in Massachusetts.
Chet Curtis, a well-respected and even-handed TV Newscaster,
will moderate the half-hour TV debate.
Michael Widmer is President of the Massachusetts Taxpayers
Foundation. His organization represents Tax Profiteers - businesses that feed at the public trough. Businesses who
benefit from High Taxes, High Spending, and Big Government Programs. Special Interests.
Michael Widmer holds a PhD in Political Science from Harvard.
He was the Press Secretary for Governor Michael Dukakis.
Carla Howell is the Chair of the Committee for Small Government, the organization that put
Question 1 on the Ballot November 5th. Carla Howell is also the Libertarian candidate
for Governor of Massachusetts.
Carla Howell has been a successful businesswoman in the private
sector for 25 years. She has an MBA from Babson.
Big Government VS. small government. Keep the $9 Billion
Personal Income Tax VS. End the Income Tax - and put the $9 Billion back in the hands of the workers who earned it.
Bring it on.
State House News Service
GUBERNATORIAL DEBATE ON TV TONIGHT
The four Democrats running for governor spar Tuesday in a
debate sponsored by WCVB-TV Channel 5. The hour-long forum with Shannon O'Brien, Thomas Birmingham,
Robert Reich and Warren Tolman will air commercial free at 7 pm. Peter Mehegan and
Mary Richardson, co-hosts of Chronicle, will moderate. The debate is intended to cover
many issues facing Massachusetts, not a single theme. (Tuesday, 7 pm, Channel 5)
Chip Ford's CLT Commentary
Tonight we'll be pushed to a yawn -- Democrats running for
governor will debate who can give the most away in order to buy votes from Gimme Lobby special interests in the upcoming
Seemingly to make up for this viewer punishment, we'll also
be treated to what should be the main event: Carla Howell taking on "highly-respected, nonpartisan" Mass. Taxpayers
Foundation president Michael Widmer -- the non-profit organization's vocal opponent and lead adversary of Question
One, repeal of the state income tax.
This should be one debate you don't want to miss!
We've done a lot over the year to expose MTF and knock it
from its once-lofty perch. For a refresher course on this non-profit "non-partisan think-tank" funded entirely by
Boston's Fattest Corporate Cats, review the following CLT Updates:
Jan. 25, 2002
Who is this so-called
Feb. 8, 2002
MTF: Instigating class warfare
Feb. 9, 2002
Like Enron, MTF is "nonpartisan"
Feb. 22, 2002
MTF finally outed as shill for "corporate elite"
Mar. 7, 2002
MTF: wrong again, backpeddling,
but still wants tax rollback freeze
Jun. 7, 2002
MTF calls for bigger tax increase
Tune in to New England Cable News' "NewsNight" at 8:00 pm.
Go get'im, Carla!
* * *
Remember last month I suggested that we watch home sales and
prices as an indicator of the effects of "The Largest Tax Hike in State History"? In the CLT Update of July 28th I wrote:
"In my opinion, the leading economic indicator of the
effects of the biggest tax increase in history in the months and years ahead will be home sales and the
value of homes in Massachusetts.
"To set a benchmark, I've included today the latest report. I suggest that you save it, and in the months
ahead refer to it as a gauge of the impact of the biggest personal income tax hike in the nation. I'll
post these reports from time to time in the future as I come across them, to see how we're faring in The
Peoples Republic of Taxachusetts."
Just one month ago, on July 26th, the Boston Herald reported
("Mass. home sales buck national downward trend," by Scott Van Voorhis):
"The Bay State's hot home sales market surged again in
June, even as the real estate activity in the rest of the country cooled.
"Massachusetts homes sales jumped 13.1 percent last month, with condo sales increasing by a solid 7
percent. Prices also increased substantially, with single-family homes posting a sizzling 17 percent,
year-over-year increase from June 2001, bringing the average sale to a record $369,077, the
Massachusetts Association of Realtors reported.
"Meanwhile, real estate sales nationally showed signs
of a potential slowdown in June."
In today's Boston Herald business report ("State's housing
prices take a dip"), only a month later, Mr. Van Voorhis finds that
Massachusetts again "bucks the national trend" -- this month
taking a sudden dive:
"The Hub's hot home sales market cooled in July amid growing concern that local real estate prices may
be headed for a tumble.
"Single-family home prices in the state fell 1 percent
in July from a record $369,077 the month before, the Massachusetts Association of Realtors said yesterday.
"And sales volume, after rising steadily through the spring and summer, took a 6.7 percent dip from June
"And the bulls of the local real estate market got a boost yesterday from the national home market.
"Sales of new single-family homes rose last month to 6.7 percent, to an annual rate of 1.017 million, the
Commerce Department said yesterday. That number was higher than the 976,000 rate projected by
Sale prices and housing starts are suddenly down in Massachusetts, and suddenly up around the nation.
Do you suppose there's some cause-and-effect at play here? Did the biggest increase in a personal income
tax of any state in the nation, the largest tax increase in state history, have
something to do with decreased housing starts and diminished homeowner equity?
Nah, that couldn't happen in a state where the Legislature
thinks it can repeal the law of gravity simply because it doesn't like it ...
The Boston Herald
Tuesday, August 27, 2002
State's housing prices take a dip
by Scott Van Voorhis
The Hub's hot home sales market cooled in July amid growing
concern that local real estate prices may be headed for a tumble.
Single-family home prices in the state fell 1 percent in
July from a record $369,077 the month before, the Massachusetts Association of Realtors said yesterday.
And sales volume, after rising steadily through the spring
and summer, took a 6.7 percent dip from June to July.
While some local real estate brokers shrugged off the
numbers, other industry observers said yesterday that signs are mounting that the days of rocketlike growth in home prices may
Sales of luxury homes in the $1 million-and-above category
have fallen as prospective deep-pocketed buyers grappled with massive losses on Wall Street, according to some real
While he is loath to offer a timetable, Nicolas
Retsinas, of the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University,
said he foresees an eventual, modest price drop in the Hub's overheated real estate market.
But Retsinas said he doesn't foresee a dramatic plunge in
prices. Rather, any decline would probably be in the more modest 3 percent to 5 percent range.
"I think there will be cooling off," Retsinas said. "I don't
imagine you are going to going to see double-digit price appreciation. That, perhaps except for some local areas, we
have pretty much seen the end of."
Moreover, even some executives in the still-booming home
sales industry are starting to sound a note of caution when making predictions about the immediate future.
Dean Casos, president of Homevest Mortgage Co. in Newton,
said business - both on the refinance and purchase side - is up 20 percent over the past summer.
But if the economy continues to stagnate, the hot market may
finally begin to cool, Casos believes.
Casos said he is seeing a 25 percent to 30 percent drop in
sales of homes above $1.2 million.
"A lot of those buyers may have had a lot of money invested
in the stock market," he said.
However, David Drinkwater, president of the state's
Realtors, rejects the idea that the Boston area's high-flying home sales market represents a bubble that is about to burst.
Drinkwater noted that July's drop in homes sales was due not
to falling demand, but rather to a steady drop-off in the number of homes hitting the sales market.
Too few new homes are being built to meet demand, Drinkwater
"You can't sell what you don't have," Drinkwater said.
And the bulls of the local real estate market got a boost
yesterday from the national home market.
Sales of new single-family homes rose last month to 6.7
percent, to an annual rate of 1.017 million, the Commerce Department said yesterday. That number was higher than the
976,000 rate projected by private economists.
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