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CLT&G Update
Thursday, June 9, 1998

Greetings activists and supporters:

"You could come up with a list of eight or 10 things that would be better investments than just giving (the surplus) all away."

This quote from John Gould, president of Associated Industries of Massachusetts, from a story in today's Boston Herald (below) pretty much sums up the Beacon Hill attitude -- and Gould is very much an entrenched member of the Cabal.

There are still too many "unmet needs" to give away all that excess revenue -- "giving away" meaning returning it to the taxpayers!

Doesn't something have to belong to you before you can give it away?

But there always will be "unmet needs" for the Goulds and St. Georges of the world, as long as they can get to our hard-earned money before we can. Which is why today's Boston Herald lead editorial is titled: "The feeding frenzy of '98."

You may recall that it was John Gould and AIM who paid the bill to defend the Legislature's 55 percent pay-grab in 1994 against our petition to roll it back and encourage a "citizen legislature" with a 6-month legislative session.

What I find most amusing about the Herald story is the reporter's statement: "But he [the Institute's executive director, economist David Tuerck] quickly came under fire from all sides of the political spectrum." Wolfson then lists the Tax Equity Alliance for Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, and AIM -- not one of which has ever supported keeping the promise of ending the "temporary" tax increase!

Chip Ford --

The Boston Herald
Thursday, July 9, 1998

Report: Surpluses sour growth
By Bernard J. Wolfson

Adding to the growing tax cut clamor, a new study released yesterday by Suffolk University argues that persistent Bay State budget surpluses over the past four years have dampened job creation and economic growth.

The report, by Suffolk's Beacon Hill Institute, said the state government has under-estimated its revenues by more than 4 percent of total spending since fiscal 1993. The resulting accumulated surplus of $4 billion has fueled extra spending and filled the state's rainy day fund, rather than going back to taxpayers where it belongs, the report asserted.

David Tuerck, executive director of the Beacon Hill Institute, said under-estimating revenues has damaged the state's economy by discouraging lawmakers from cutting tax rates. Higher taxes have hampered job growth and capital spending, he said.

According to the report, a fiscal surplus of over $600 million last year cost the economy 73,000 jobs, over $2.5 billion in salaries and $11 billion in spending on new capital equipment.

The report came two days after Acting Gov. Paul Cellucci called for an immediate $650 million tax cut, announcing that the state's fiscal 1998 revenues were $1 billion higher than expected. The fiscal year ended June 30.

Tuerck said a $1.6 billion tax cut over three years is feasible. That's one year faster than a similar plan backed by Cellucci. Tuerck also proposed a new law that would penalize the state government for surpluses exceeding 1 percent of budgeted spending.

But he quickly came under fire from all sides of the political spectrum.

Jim St. George, executive director of the Tax Equity Alliance for Massachusetts, said restricting budget surpluses would force state government to err on the side of deficits.

Michael Widmer, director of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said the conservative revenue forecasts underlying the current surpluses are "one of the biggest reasons for the state's fiscal recovery" since the last recession.

And John Gould, president of Associated Industries of Massachusetts -- the state's largest employer group -- warned there are too many unmet needs to rush into tax cuts.

"This is an election year, and the impulse is to try to spread largesse among the voters," Gould said. "But there's tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. You could come up with a list of eight or 10 things that would be better investments than just giving (the surplus) all away."

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