Sacred Cods and Holy Mackerals


Quick post on a snowy Sunday
March 1, 2009, 4:43 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I don’t feel like thinking today. My brain is frozen with the image of shoveling myself out tomorrow morning. Maybe I’ll trick Pragmatist Jr. into doing it, Tom Sawyer-style. Anyway, I’m posting the comment I left over at Bluemassgroup.com about the ongoing gas tax debate. Although I’m not sure if it can be a debate when only the anti-gas tax crowd is making any noise. Anyway, enjoy…

Here’s the reality that the GOP, Boston Herald, and other anti-tax groups don’t want to talk about.

Let’s say that the Beacon Hill Democrats all went on vacation and left the GOP in charge to write and pass transportation reform legislation. The GOPers take all the popular steps: firing tolltakers, busting up the MBTA employees union, and everything else recommended within the Mass. Transportation Commission Financing report.

Guess what. They would still need to pass a gas tax to pay for all the debt and all the roads and bridges that need repair. Maybe it would instead only be 8 or 10 cents. But they would have to raise the gas tax. And the GOP knows this. They may not say so publicly, but they know it deep down in places they don’t like to talk about.

So it’s BS for them to shape the argument into a straight up “yes or no” on whether the gas tax should be hiked. The debate needs to be about addressing all the reasons that we got to this place (the bloated benefits and perks, the lack of construction oversight, swelling debt, all of that stuff) and what we need to do to fix it.

This conversation should be in the shape of a “Contract with Massachusetts Taxpayers” and it should say, in exchange for raising the gas tax, we will do A, B, C, D, etc.

The Boston Globe (and of course the Boston Herald) has failed MISERABLY at discussing exactly what reforms are being proposed within the Senate’s and Governor’s reform plans.

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