To analyze, and be able to cite to the cause of a problem is appropriate. Only by understanding the actual causes of a problem can the current administration do the following:
1. Avoid repeating the same error.
2. Determine the root cause of the problematic situation.
3. Evaluate competing potential cures to the problem.
For example, the insufficient revenue to maintain core services, is an “inherited structural revenue imbalance”.
In reviewing the actions of the past three administrations [Weld, Celucci, Romney] improvident revenue management, rubber stamped by the legislatures in place at that time becomes evident. That “improvident” management did the following:
1. In good times, cut taxes at the request of lobbyists, in ways that solely benefitted special interests more than 40 times for a net revenue loss to the Commonwealth of over 4 billion dollars.
2. In bad times, cut services without overturning the “luxury cuts” and “luxury subsidies”.
Note that neither the “luxury cuts” nor the “luxury subsidies” which were sold to the legislature and those three administrations did what was promised – “create jobs” – the sole beneficiaries of these cuts and subsidies were lobbyists and their clients, not the citizens of the Commonwealth.
One of my unfavorite such luxury subsidies of all times was the yearly payola-like subsidy to Raytheon – Raytheon gobbled up its subsidy and then cheerfully closed the plant involved. That subsidy not only did not create jobs – it didn’t save any jobs at Raytheon – not even one!
An administration practicing prudent government finance, on the other hand, would pay down debt in good times as well as build up surplus, not cut fundamental revenue structures. Such an administration would not need to practice flailing 9C cuts, because the rainy day fund would hold billions were such prudent practices followed. No handouts to lobbyists in good times of subsidies and imprudent cuts, either. And no jobs waiting for those same prudent governors or their staffs or legislators who “retire” with lobbying firms.
Have I seen such a prudent administration since Governor Dukakis in this state? No, not yet.
But hey, this bit of wisdom is not new. In fact, you can find the counsel needed for prudent governance even in the old testament in the Parable of the Seven Lean Cows and Seven Fat Cows
Do you think state government has finally learned the lesson of the lean and fat cows – or will lobbyists continue to seduce governance away from prudence to benefit their clients?