Healey immediately goes negative

It didn’t take her long. Kerry Healey said “congrats” to Deval on the phone, and immediately pounced for the cameras: Deval Patrick is a big scary lib! Boogity boogity! Good Lord, is that all she’s got? How about a reason for anyone to vote for you, Kerry?

So let’s immediately address the already-familiar attack lines:

  • Patrick will raise your taxes. Really? Patrick has never proposed raising the income tax. Last year, Patrick did endorse a health care ballot initiative that would have raised cigarette taxes and imposed an assessment on some uninsuring employers. Since the new health care law was passed, those are off the table. No one is proposing those anymore. So that’s a red herring at this point.

    And let’s keep in mind: The Romney administration raised fees and essentially forced communities to raise their own property taxes, which is even tougher on vulnerable people that the income tax. And perhaps most importantly, Mitt Romney introduced and insisted upon the personal mandate for health insurance, which will force many lower income folks to buy insurance. You can pay the state or you can pay Blue Cross/Blue Shield, but either way it’s not money in your pocket.

    “Patrick will raise taxes” is a tendentious prediction; the Romney administration has a record on this that is, uh, not exactly pure. Healey must be forced to either defend or actively disavow her administration’s record.

  • Patrick is soft on crime. That’s rich, coming from a criminologist who apparently has nothing to say about the fact that the state crime lab has been underfunded. (More here.) Does she promise to increase funding for the crime labs — even while she promises free beer tax cuts? Look, it’s nice for Healey that she doesn’t really have a record on crime, her “four books” notwithstanding; but if she wants to get on Patrick about CORI, again, she’s going to have to either defend or disavow.
  • A Patrick governorship means unchecked power for the legislature. Well, fat lot of good Republican governors have done us in that regard. Geez, they’re not even competent enough to get more Republicans elected in the legislature. Did Mitt Romney take on the Big Dig Culture of neglect, special-interest favors and outright corruption, before a concrete block dropped on someone’s head?

    Let’s be clear: The legislature — any legislature — does indeed need to be checked. Have Mitt Romney and the rest been enough of a check? Will Kerry Healey bring any clout whatsoever to that job? Or do we actually need someone with a bit more influence — a mandate for wholesale, cultural reform on Beacon Hill? If Deval Patrick is elected, that’s exactly what that will mean.

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22 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Taxes

    Actually, Kerry Healey will raise your taxes (if you're a homeowner) or your rent (if you're a renter).

  2. Boogity Boogity

    The boogity boogity thing really works.  I am petrified.


    After the Legislature finishes laughing itself sick over these ideas, it will take Deval out under the Arch.

    There, it will be explained to him what will happen if he vetos pet projects.  A sort of 'You'll never eat luch in this town again' kind of talk.

    The GOP Governor can can call the papers, yell from the treepops - will Deval not get caught up in the go-along-to-get-along ethos?

    Especially given all his electoral experience...

    • I hold him to it

      ... that he'll make some enemies on Beacon Hill. Looking forward to it.

      • No

        If Patrick is to be an effective Governor (which I think he will be), then he will use his power in far more subtle and ultimately effective ways than "demanding wholesale change!!!" that some around these parts naively believe is the best method.

        When Governor, if Patrick "makes enemies on Beacon Hill" he won't be effective -- no more effective than, say Romney, who made plenty of enemies on Beacon Hill. What he will do, rather, is use his considerable political skills to influence and change policy the way he believes it should be changed, while at the same time stressing that he's working WITH the legislature, not against it. This is something that I believe will be easier for a Democrat to do than a Republican, whose policies are usually DOA when they reach the legislature, for obvious partisan reasons.

        It may be good politics to "run against the legislature" in this campaign, but it is horrible politics to "make enemies" on Beacon Hill when clearly a solid working relationship with the legislature is necessary for the Executive to make a significant impact.

        Patrick is smart enough to understand this, and it's how I think Patrick will govern -- as opposed to the "let's make enemies and challenge the legislature!!!!" attitude apparently prevalent with some on BMG.

  4. Patric won't raise taxes?

    I think it's more than a little disingenuous to say that Patrick won't raise taxes because 'has never proposed raising the income tax'. There's a lot more to taxes than income tax, as you showed in your very next sentence.

    Obviously Patrick never stated that he would raise taxes, but he does state (on his web page) that he will 'implement' the following: energy rebate program, an economic stimulus package that includes investing in workforce development and training, brownfields redevelopment, cultural facilities, and other things, state-wide WiFi, an expanded marketing program geared towards businesses and workers, and delivering affordable, quality, healthcare to everyone. And that's just from the economy section. His other sections contain other programs that he intends to implement.

    How, I wonder, is he going to manage to do all that for free?

    • How?

      1) Read his proposal to reduce waste.  That accounts for some of this. 2) You don't do it all at once.  As the economy grows, you use the extra revenue for these projects.

      • Thought the extra revenue was for more local aid

      • The whole $quot;waste$quot; thing

        is kinda silly, because just about every candidate, Democrat and Republican, says s/he is going to "reduce waste" when, really, what is "waste"? We don't ever get a straight answer. And how much $$$ is MA spending on "waste", exactly? Again, no answer.

        That said, it's pretty ridiclous for Republicans and Healey-ites to be getting all into the "how's he gonna pay for all this?!" game. After all, how is Healey gonna pay for all the programs she has and will propose on this campaign trail? And how's she gonna pay for the tax cut?

        This goes both ways, you know.

  5. Explanation?

    The Romney administration raised fees and essentially forced communities to raise their own property taxes, which is even tougher on vulnerable people that the income tax.

    Can you explain how raising fees causes communities to raise property tax?

    Also, why is an increase in property tax tougher on people than the income tax?

    • come on gary your better than this

      when my income decreased my income taxes decreased and guessy what my property taxes went up..... go figure

      • o.O

        Do that again?  Are you answering question 1 or 2?

        • whatever

          • No really, I don't get it

            How can the increase in user fees cause a town to raise property tax?  I mean, I have to register a deed, and it costs a few bucks more.  So, the town has to raises taxes?  That makes no sense.

            Or, why is more property tax worse than more income tax?  If either go up $100 aren't I equally out $100?

            • Fees and Taxes

              I think there are actually two points there ... the Romney administration (1) raised fees and (2) essentially forced communities to raise their own property taxes.

              The property tax can be tougher on people than the income tax because it is a regressive tax in that it often takes up a higher percentage of the budget of a person or family with a lower income. 

              Also, the property tax is generally fixed as a percentage of the value of something (the value of the property) other than a person's or family's income.  Consider the case of two neighboring homes of equal assessed value (and therefore equal property tax).  A senior couple on a low, fixed retirement income of $20,000 per year lives in one home that they purchased long ago and their mortgage has been paid.  A young couple with two incomes and a combined income of $80,000 lives in the other home.  If property taxes on the homes increase by an equal amount -- say an increase of $1,000 per year -- it is obviously a higher percentage of the income of (and therefore a higher burden on) the retired couple (5% of the retired couple's income compared to only 1.25% of the young couple's income).  Fixed fees (like user fees) have the same effect, since they are not tied to the income of the fee payer.

              This contrasts with a flat tax rate in Mass of 5.3% on the incomes of both couples, where both couples pay the same tax rate.  Assuming all of both couples' income is taxable (and for simplicity sake, eliminating deductions and exemptions), the retired couple would pay $1,060 and the young couple would pay $4,240.  Many people claim that the flat tax is "fair" because everyone pays the same tax rate, although the more one earns the more one pays in taxes in absolute dollars.  It should be noted, however, that opponents of the flat tax claim that since the marginal value of income declines with the amount of income (the last $100 of income of a family living near poverty being considerably more valuable than the last $100 of income of a millionaire), taxing the last $100 of income the same amount despite vast differences in the marginal value of money is "unfair".

              • Oh no, another one $quot;property tax is regressive$quot;

                You state the case well, and therefore, you know as well as I that economists are split as to whether property taxes are regressive or progressive. BUT, with longetudinal studies, there are many respectible studies that show strong correlation between income (over the years) and property tax paid (over the years) and therefore progressive.

                zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. We'll never agree. End of thread.

                How about the fee question? How is it possible that user fees cause towns to raise property taxes?  The fees are on users (not towns). 

                • Yikes ...

                  Sorry, new member here -- and certainly do not want to get into a "property tax is regressive" debate.  Understand that there are many points of view and countless studies; but I wanted to address the "no really, I don't get it" question.

                  As for the relationship between user fees and property taxes,  I think they were presented as two separate and unrelated issues (i.e., the Romney administration has raised fees and the Romney administration has forced communities to raise property taxes).  I don't think there is any causal relationship between the user fees and the increase in property taxes -- nor do I think CMTA meant to imply any in his post.

                • Not what the poster said...

                  Re-read the post. It doesn't say that the Romney administration raised fees which forced towns to raise property taxes. It said that the Romney administration raised fees and forced towns to raise property taxes.

                  The latter was caused by retroactive reductions to state aid in FY2003, and then flat state aid (in the face of rising costs) in FY2004, and FY2005.

                  Some communities took back the amount of property tax that were under the Levy Limit by. Others passed overrides. Others cut services.

    • Read again

      The sentence does not say that one caused the other. Perhaps I should have added a comma.

      • O.I.C.

        My confusion:

        1: The Romney administration raised fees and essentially forced communities to raise their own property taxes; 2: The comet hit earth and essentially forced the dinaosaurs to move to warmer hotels.

  6. What a contrast

    Listening to the 2 speaches back to back on WBUR (and trying hard not to over-react to WBUR's new Oakes/Ashbrooke style of beating a single question to death by asking it fifty to sixty times), I heard a stark contrast.  Healey's was a point-by-point, hard-hitting speach by a politician running for office and trying to win on points.  Patrick's was a speach by a leader who cared deeply about governing Massachusetts.  Healey just was not in the same league as Patrick was.  She sounded small and petty.

    • She sounded to me

      like someone who knows that even with her incumbency she is starting out as the underdog. And her anxiety showed.

      Let's hang Mitt around her neck and throw her into the Charles.

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