Friday, January 12, 2007

I Sense a Little Hypocrisy

The Globe writes an editorial today about Deval Patrick meeting with the state's mayors and selectmen. Boston's biggest newspaper couldn't help but get a dig in on Deval Patrick "hedging" on his so-called promise to apparently single-handedly cut property taxes for all the state's cities and towns. He was ambiguous, so fine. Maybe he deserves a few digs on the issue, even if I think his policies so far have not only been consistent - but right. Yet, criticism is tempered by one thing alone: hypocrisy.

The Boston Globe's editorial today is not without that dastardly, inconvenient, annoying, little word - hypocrisy.

It's time, says Beckwith, for Beacon Hill to prove itself a worthy partner in the effort to make Massachusetts a haven for current residents and a draw for
new families.

A predictable revenue-sharing partnership is a good long-term goal. But adding another earmark now, especially when faced with what could be a tight budget year, would be a misstep.

According to the Globe, we don't have enough money to increase earmarks for states and towns. We don't have enough money to increase their local aid, at least beyond the amounts already accomplished this year. However, because Deval Patrick can't do it, he's criticized at the top of the piece.

Ah, hypocrisy. It's almost as delicious as my sausage and garlic pizza pie from Santarpio's in East Boston last night. Almost. Maybe next time, when the Boston Globe writes about Deval Patrick's meeting with local leaders, they should just stick to the meat of their argument. Going off on tangents in their editorials doesn't improve their argument; it only calls their entire piece into question.


Anonymous said...

Maybe Deval shouldn't have spent the campaign promising to cut the property tax when he had no authority to do so. Then perhaps the Globe wouldn't be so critical.

Ryan Adams said...

Like I said in a previous blog, I don't think he ever really said he would cut the property taxes. For the people who actually listened to what he said, it was apparent that he is trying to create environments that would be condusive to no more property tax hikes and even small reductions. Even the concrete plans he offerred during the campaign required cities and towns agreeing to keep property taxes stagnant in order to get some increased aid.

shawn said...

Anon, when did Patrick ever promise to cut property taxes? He said they're too high, and they are. He also discussed the link between Romney slashing local aid and increased property taxes. That's not the same thing as promising to cut property taxes, unless you think the voters are so dumb they don't understand the process and think that since he mentioned property taxes, he must be able to cut them.

Prop 2 and 1/2 and all, voters probably understand how it works a little better than you think. Though it is true that Romney liked to attack Shannon O'Brien for things she had nothing to do with as State Treasurer but were the Governor's responsibility instead.

Joe said...

People who expected Deval to cut taxes were living in a little place I like to call "fantasy land."

In "Fantasy Land", liberal democrats cut taxes, Congress has 5-day work weeks and people solve problems amicably. Ha.

Seriously, I agree 100% with Ryan about how Deval never implied he'd cut taxes, simply because it was Deval who was saying what he was saying. If anything, I expect taxes to go up.

Being upset that Deval hasn't slashed taxes yet is not only a stupid pot-shot, but the most unrealistic request I've heard yet.

Anonymous said...


Cut the Property Tax by Reinvesting in Cities and Towns. Today there is too much reliance on local property taxes as a source of revenue for essential services. As Governor, restoring local aid to pre-2000 levels will be one of my highest budget priorities. Once restored, we should commit a fixed percentage of annual state tax receipts to direct support of local services by cities and towns. Furthermore, the state must uncap lottery disbursements to cities and towns.

Joe said...

Fantasy Land, here we come!

Anonymous said...

You guys are so easily manipulated. He clearly came as close as he possibly could to promising to cut property taxes without actually saying it. That way he could shore up support among people who were nervous about voting for him out of fear that he would raise taxes, but not technically be breaking a promise when he failed to lower property taxes. Ryan, this guy could kill your dog and you would figure out a way to justify it. It's sad to see people tricked so easily by someone b/c of his charm and charisma.

Ryan Adams said...

Anon's statement is almost exactly what I said: he essentially promised an environment in which towns and cities would hopefully be able to toe the line on property taxes - by increasing local aid.

I wasn't "tricked," like I said on a previous blog. Not only do I think Deval's right, I think he's justified. In fact, if I were governor, I would have proposed radical changes in the way we - as a state - collect taxes. Property taxes would become very slim, covering things like libraries and plowing, while education would be completely taken over via state funding and income taxes. That way, we could slash property taxes, get rid of a lot of these unfair, stupid formulas and be a whole lot more progressive by having most of our taxes come from income tax.

So, if anything, I knew all along Deval was never going to go far enough for the way I'd like to see this state taxed. I think it needs to be completely reorganized and made to tax income, not real estate that may not necessarily accurately compare to one's income.

Anonymous said...

Too bad you didn't warn the voters, who think he IS going to cut property tax.

But, he did work for the greatest literal truth teller of all time.

We can expect four years of learning what 'is' is.

Ryan Adams said...

No one I know voted for him because he IS going to cut property taxes. However, we voted for him because he DID recognize that cutting the income tax WOULD MOST DEFINITELY make dozens and dozens of towns make their property taxes skyrocket.

Ryan Adams said...

No one I know voted for him because he IS going to cut property taxes. However, we voted for him because he DID recognize that cutting the income tax WOULD MOST DEFINITELY make dozens and dozens of towns make their property taxes skyrocket.

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