Limited Taxation & Government
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CLT&G Update
Wednesday, August 5, 1998

"If it's a shell game, we must have fooled an awful lot of smart people," retorted James E. Rooney, chief financial officer of the Turnpike Authority and the Central Artery Project.

Today's Question:  Who's most dumb? Is the answer Rooney, his "awful lot of smart people," or us taxpayers and voters?

He was responding to criticism from state Treasurer Joe Malone, who has urged Gov. Paul Cellucci to veto the billion dollar bond bill passed by the Legislature late Friday night. (Today's Boston Globe; "Malone cites 'chicanery,' urges turnpike bill veto")

Like so much else that happened late Friday night -- late night sessions being an old legislative leadership ploy -- in the middle of a feeding frenzy nobody knows what they're voting for or against. They're lucky if most are still half-awake. They just follow their marching orders like good soldiers.

The Globe notes in closing, "The House passed the bill by a vote of 148-3, the Senate by 37-2. But some legislators said yesterday they did not know what they were voting for as the midnight deadline approached."

Most don't know even in the best of times.

"The Best Legislature Money Can Buy," -- now preferring to call themselves "members," not "representatives" -- strikes again! Each "member" of this "awful lot of smart people" is now on a 5-month $19,345-base pay, taxpayer-funded vacation.

Such a deal! The pols voted to borrow $400 million now and pay back $1 billion over 40 years to Wall Street investors, at $25 million a year.

They're burdening taxpayers of this and the next two generations with another billion dollar long-term commitment that'll have to be kept to the bondholders, regardless of the economy. Only legislatively-imposed taxpayer promises are kept.

Politicians' promises to taxpayers need not be kept.

Apparently they like the President Clinton defenders' line; "The voters elected him knowing he was a liar and philanderer, so what's the big deal?" We elected the Beacon Hill Cabal too, and will re-elect most if not all of them again.

CLT&G Prognostications File;
"Another Blast-From-The-Past"

When the Big Dig was first proposed by the Dukakis administration, its low-ball price tag of $3.2 billion was challenged by CLT as unrealistic and a scam. We warned that the cost and completion date would expand exponentially with the years and that the taxpayers would get stuck picking up the billions of dollars difference.

The countdown to "The Massachusetts Miracle, Part II" has begun.

Property values are still high, it's still a sellers' market ... for now. Maybe the MassPike and Central Artery shouldn't be alone in considering a quick bail-out while times are good!

"Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it."

Chip Ford --

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