Saturday, April 28, 2007

Veto the Budget!

The House passed a budget. Sal's 'compromise' with Deval was more spending, primarily out of rainy-day funds and other one-time solutions. Great planning, huh? Meanwhile, Deval wants to eliminate corporate tax loopholes, money that would grow with inflation and would permanently add to the solvency of the Massachusetts state budget. Sal had the audacity to call Deval's spending plans shortsighted on the radio.

Yet, none of this was prominent in Lisa Wangsness's big budget article. In fact, she barely mentions the biggest issue surrounding this budget debate. I guess reporting on the poignant topics of the day is no longer a priority, especially when talking about how much money is being spent on this and that is oh so much more important. Right? I confess myself disappointed in the Globe.

However, to Governor Deval Patrick, I urge he veto this budget. I highly doubt the Senate is going to be able to fix it; it's going to take an epic tug-of-war with business-sleazy Sal. It's time to take the Speaker of the House to the mattresses. Apparently, Sal DiMasi thinks this is a one-sherriff town. While I'd prefer cooperation to power-plays, if it's a fight Sal wants, Deval ought to give it to him. That way, when Sal loses (and he will), we won't have to go through this mess again.


sco said...

The Governor has line-item veto power in Massachusetts, unless I am mistaken. He doesn't have to veto the entire budget, just parts he doesn't like.

Of course, then the lege will override him, because they generally stick together on district spending.

Ryan Adams said...

It's not the line items, it's the fact that the corporate tax loopholes aren't included.

I'm willing to compromise on line items, not corporate tax loopholes.

Anonymous said...

Ryan, you should let the Globe know what you think. Call or e-mail Frank Phillips.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, "Business-sleazy Sal." Good thing Patrick doesn't have any big business connections weighing him down.

For a new Governor who is still trying to find his footing to veto the first budget he faces would be a disaster.

Ryan Adams said...

No one's saying that to Spitzer. It would show he means business. He wants those corporate loopholes repealed - or else. That's the message he needs to send to Beacon Hill. I'd shut down government before I'd allow a budget to pass without repealing unfair corporate loopholes.

Anonymous said...

Spitzer, as AG for 8 years has already built up strong relationships with much of the legislature, and is thus in a better position to play hardball with them, because he has already earned their respect. Believe me, I wish Patrick were Spitzer, but he's not. He needs to cut his teeth a little with the legislature before making any big moves. It will pay off in the long run.

Anonymous said...

Ryan's right. What Patrick has going for him is public dislike of the legislature and desire for change, and that goodwill's going to be hard to maintain indefinitely when there's no money for any social priorities. That's the capital he has and he can't afford to squander it.

I mean, how would you suggest he cut his teeth with the Legislature? They're already trying to establish their primacy, and the more he lets them get away with it the more they're going to try and run him over. Meanwhile, we're not getting the revenue coming in that we need and Patrick's supporters will get fed up over time. It's a lose-lose. How does he gain their respect by letting them pull the same old crap everybody's fed up with without a fight? That's a recipe for disaster.

Spitzer has to deal with a Republican Senate, and somehow I doubt "respect" is more important than political capital.

Ryan Adams said...

So let me get this straight, Anon 10:09, Deval needs to cut his teeth by playing nice and passing Mr. Sal's budget?

Um... no thanks. That's not a recipe for a strong Governership, that's a recipe for the second coming of Speaker Finneran. Deval can cut his teeth by taking Sal down an notch. He has a freaking army of volunteers to help him.

eddie said...

Anon 10:09, that's really counterintuitive. He can play hardball because they respect him? If they respected him that much, he wouldn't have to play hardball in the first place. He's winning because while Bruno's fighting him every step of the way just like here, he's actually fighting back. He can't win in the Senate, so he's taking it to the people. But Patrick should do just the opposite.

The only way to gain respect is to earn it, and giving up and going home isn't going to earn anyone's respect. Sal will do whatever he can get away with unless he's stopped.

Anonymous said...

Wha................? Spitzer spent his 8 years as AG forming strong relationships with the legislature? Weird, I thought he spent that time pissing off every politician in the state by cracking down on corruption and corporate crime. Funny how politicians, 'specially Repubs, of whom there are quite a few in Albany, don't tend to love or respect the guy who sends their big donors to jail. NY campaign laws are as lax as they come and piling up as much campaign dosh as possible is a BIG issue. It's more like he earned their eternal enmity.

Spitzer's already been at odds with both the State Assembly (Democratic controlled) and the State Senate (republican-controlled), his Reform Albany pledge went over like a ton of bricks, and before he embarked on his statewide I hate Republicans tour he was travelling around to individual Democrats' districts to publicly ream them out for crossing him. Not seeing the respect he's getting (check out the NYPost for daily updates on how the Republicans are crowing about how they're hosing Spitzer, taking him to school, and telling him what to do, sounding exactly like DiMasi except worse).

But it's a different situation, because he spent all those years forging these relationships and building that goodwill.

Erm. Okay. You can try to be your opponents' pal, or you can try to beat them.

Anonymous said...

In another part of your blog you highlight how well the state economy is doing because of business. If you change the playing field their used to ( state tax laws) maybe they'll leave. Or at least go to Conn. Ri.,where they'll still have the available intellectual infrastructure ( colleges etc).

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Mintz Levin's in da house, representin our homies from Bedminster.

Anonymous said...

Can any of you explain the recent votes by the Democrats in the house. The Republicans wanted to exempt cities and towns from paying the state gas tax. Seems logical and a quick help to small towns especially. All Rep. were for it, all Dems. against? Same with exempting energy efficient light bulbs from a sales tax. What gives.

Ryan Adams said...

Anon 5:36, it's a point I've considered. Deval's proposed corporate loophole repeals, however, are fairly paltry compared to their massive profits in Massachusetts. For example, all the cable companies are still here, despite the fact that they have to pay taxes on their cables while verizon doesn't have to pay, despite the fact that they own the very same cables.

Sal DiMasi could have said "let's truly examine this issue and create a compromise." Instead, he appointed the most biased people to his 'commission' and clearly doesn't want to pass a single one. So, we're going to have to do this the hard - and right - way, enforcing *Tax FAIRNESS*. That's what this is about: fairness. Paying their fair share. Not crushing them with added taxes, but having them pay what they owe us by virtue of basic fairness.

Ryan Adams said...

Anon 9:19, I could make guesses, but I have no idea as to the real reason why. Perhaps the state gov't doesn't want to encourage localities to drive more?

I'm right with you on energy efficient lights, though, I'd make anything green related be taxed less - while anything that's not taxed significantly more (given readily available options), if it were up to me.

Anonymous said...

Ryan - the House budget is only a first step.

Now, the Senate will do a budget, and the TWO versions will be combined, and that COMBINED version will be offered to Patrick for veto.

You have GOT to bone up on this 'How a Bill Becomes a Law' stuff before you go shooting off opinions (I think the commenter who urged you to contact Frank Phillips was NOT a friend).

BTW - the REASON corporate tax loopholes weren't IN the House budget is that the House sponsors CHOSE not to offer them as an amendment. Nothing stopping them. Now, the Senate sposnsors will have a chance. But it's important to remember that while a Gov. can veto and take stuff OUT, they CAN'T put stuff in.

Ryan Adams said...

I'm well aware of the process of the budget. I'm sorry if that was ambiguous. However, I don't have any confidence whatsoever that the Senate will pass anything better. After the conference committee, I forsee a budget that Deval Patrick will have to veto. Thus, I urge Patrick to veto the budget.

Again, if that was ambiguous, sorry.

Anonymous said...

Jesus Anon 1:36, no offense, but how stupid do you think people are?

You need to remember that we all managed to pass second grade just as well as you. Ryan stated right in the post that he doesn't have faith in the Senate fixing the bill, though he, like everyone else, knows they could try though they'd still have to battle it out in conference, and nobody ever implied that the Governor can put anything in (again, second grade), that's why this post is about Patrick potentially vetoing the budget, not Patrick putting anything in.

It does help to read a three paragraph post throughly and make sure you've actualy comprehended it before shooting off opinions like "1 + 1 = 2--isn't that amazing???"

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