The Progressive Tax Plan You Should Know About

Well worth further discussion. - promoted by david

It’s called An Act to Invest in Our Communities.

You’ve probably never heard about it. Legislatively referred to as SB1416 or HB2553, the bill offers the  revenue reform: the progressive tax reform that many of us here on BMG have called for and the fiscal support our cities and towns need. Here’s a neat summary:

1) Raise $1.2 Billion dollars in additional revenue to maintain funding for our communities,
schools, healthcare and programs for our most vulnerable.
2) Lower the tax bill for most families by raising the income tax rate from 5.3% to 5.95% while
increasing the personal exemption from $4,400 to $7,900.
3) Raise the tax on interest, dividends and capital gains for wealthy investors from 5.3% up to
8.95% with an exemption for low and middle income seniors.

A Revenue, Not a Spending Problem

The conservative arguments favoring tax cuts have all effectively been refuted. There is no trickle down effect. There is no optimum level of taxation. And although tax cuts can have a stimulative effect on the economy, they don’t automatically lead to more investment. All that is left is the Norquistian desire to destroy government and the reluctance people feel at paying more for anything. The idea that cutting tax rates offers a benefit for the commonweal may not dead, but it sure smells funny.

The truth is that tax cuts redistribute wealth upwards. They don’t make government and government programs more efficient. They probably make them less efficient. And they pass the buck. When the federal government cuts taxes, states try to pick up the slack, until, when they are tapped out, the buck gets passed to cities and towns. The bottom line is that services and programs–services and programs that people want–are cut back or eliminated.

As a selectman and a parent in a smaller, less affluent town, I’ve seen  the results of decreased revenue. My children’s school system has seen layoffs. Both the school system and our town suffer nagging infrastructure problems that go unadressed. All of our school buildings need replacement or major renovation. Storm Water Phase II will put a major strain on our public works department. We can’t afford to maintain our roads as well as we should. There is no fat in our budgets. We’ve cut to the bone. The next step is cuts will result in amputations.

It’s tempting to blame the economy or rising health care costs for our fiscal problems. But they are only parts of the problem. The fact is that since 1977, Massachusetts cut the income tax rate from 6.25%% to 5.3%. Massachusetts has not been Taxachusetts for a long time. As a share of personal income, we rank 33rd in the country in income and sales taxes. The bubbly economy of the 1990s obscured the inevitable  effects of tax cuts. As a result, general local aid is down 37 percent from pre-recession levels.

Beacon Hill has done its best to preserve funding to education, and federal stimulus funds saved a lot of jobs. “Even with these modest increases, however, total state spending on education for FY 2013 represents an inflation-adjusted cut of around 6.4 percent from pre-fiscal crisis levels.”

An Act Investing in Our Communities

An Act Investing in Our Communities (AAIOC) is progressive tax reform. Richer people would pay more in taxes and higher tax rates would be balanced with higher exemptions. Tax revenues would increase by approximately $1.2 billion a year.

Investment Income

The tax rate on investment income (short and long term capital gains, and dividends and interest income) would rise to 8.95%. Currently, they are taxed at the same rate as income earned by work. Income derived from short term capital gains would decrease from present 12.0 percent rate to 5.95%. The lower rate (3.0 percent) currently applied to capital gains from investments made in smaller Massachusetts companies and held for more than three years would remain in place.

There is an investment exemption for low and middle income seniors and disabled persons (thresholds are $40,000 (single)/ $80,000 (married)) that would effectively set the tax rate applied to the first $7,500 single)/$15,000 (married) of investment income at the same 5.95% rate applied to wages and salaries.

Wages and Salaries

The tax rate on ordinary wage and salary income would rise from the current 5.3% to 5.95%, but the standard personal exemption would increase from the current $4400 (single)/$8800 (married) to $7,900 (single)/$15,800 (married). The effect of these changes would be to increase taxes on upper income filers while modestly decreasing taxes on most lower income filers.

Going Forward

A Google news search didn’t turn up any hits on An Act to Invest in Our Communities. I found nothing on the Boston Globe website. I don’t know whether or not the bill will be taken up in the next legislative session. I don’t know if it’s stalled or what. But if you’re a progressive, if you care about a progressive tax system, if you understand the need for revenue reform, one thing is sure: you should support this bill.


 An Act Investing in Our Communities Sponsors

Lead Sponsors

Rep. Jim O’Day  Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz


House Sponsors: Balser, Brady, Coakley-Rivera, Curran, Fresolo, Garballey, Kane, Lewis, Malia, Mark, O’Day, Provost, Puppolo, Sciortino, Smizik , Story, Turner, Wolf

Senate Sponsors: Chang-Diaz, Donnelly, Eldridge, Jehlen.


65 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Act To Invest will help small businesses

    Small businesses rely on having good roads and transportation so they can connect with their customers as easily as the giant companies do. Moreover, our court system is the reason you can trust contracts to be followed. If we start cutting the courts (which are overburdened) then that creates incentives for parties to ignore their contracts because they know the agreement won’t be enforceable.
    It’s time that Beacon Hill passed the Act to Invest in Our Communities.

  2. According to my very rough and quick calculations

    The new tax rate with increased deduction will cost a taxpayer earning $75,000/yr MORE, not less. $75,000 is not a whole heck of a lot of money anymore, and we do not need to be increasing taxes on modest incomed people. I would say there should be no tax increases on anyone who earns at the very least $150,000 yr or less. I really like the concept, but it needs some adjustments, and I would hope they will sit down and actually do the calculations to understand how this will impact different levels of wage earners.

    • That's a bargain.

      At $75K what you called “more” in all caps would be about $10 a month more for married couple, $20 a month more for a single person filing.
      That’s a bargain to have good roads that don’t knock your wheels out of alignment, to provide physical & mental health care for the people who need it, to make justice move more swiftly (and correctly), etc.

      At $500,000 a year (now we are getting toward CEO territory though definitely not quite Liberty Mutual CEO territory), there’s an extra $3,000 a year. The CEOs can afford to chip in that.

      • No, It's not a bargain

        I think we’ve been over this time and time and time again, and was the whole basis for the fight for Elizabeth Warren and President Obama. We cannot at this point raise taxes on people who earn less than $250,000/yr. That money will be coming from already overextended household budgets. If this thing passes as it is currently framed, I will not be supporting Democrats next election season. I can promise you that.

        • We most certainly can raise taxes on some of the people who make less than $250K. I make much less than that, and like cos, I could afford to pay taxes in the range being discussed with little or no adjustment to my lifestyle. If you said we can’t raise taxes on people earning $75K, you’d have something more like an argument, but you’ve taken a stand to protect much higher-income people from increased taxes. From my fairly-well-off perspective, $250K/yr is rich-people territory.

          • Well said -- you are correct -- we all can pay more for the bargain of our government

            – for our combined income it would amount to another $350 a year for clean water, clean air, social services for the poor, elderly and disabled, better education for my neighbors children, open state parks, repaired roads and bridges and on and on.

          • I am willing to compromise at $150,000

            But currently we are at $63,000. Do you have any idea how ridiculous that sounds? Especially after this recent election and everything we learned from it.

        • Our government is a bargain under any household budget

          especially if you value clean water, clean air, repaired roads, better public education for your neighbors children, social services for your sick and disabled family members, the fire and police department, — and on and on . But maybe you don’t think those things are worth it to you, and you shouldn’t have to pay your share. Maybe you’re perfectly healthy at the moment living in the forest off the grid anyway.

          • I beg your pardon Judy

            My family pays far more than our fair share and that point has been driven home this election season. How dare you lay the blame for lack of services, good infrastructure and clean air at the feet of modestly incomed people. I am so disappointed in what I am seeing here. After encouraging, person after person after person – many who earn in the lower end of the 4th quintile – to support Democrats because they understand what is going on, I will now have to hang my head in shame for misleading. I will NEVER do it again.

            • Classic strawman

              How dare you lay the blame for lack of services, good infrastructure and clean air at the feet of modestly incomed people.

              Neither judy-meredith nor anyone else here is doing that. Why do you think anyone is? Is it because you think $240K is a modest yearly income? Many two-professional-income families make nowhere near that much money. Anybody making that much who has trouble making ends meet is spending beyond their means in one way or another, unless they are dealing with catastrophic health issues.

              Seriously – your perspective is skewed. Claiming that j-m or anybody else here is blaming the middle class is nonsense.

              • I said I was willing to compromise at $150,000

                and I’m even willing to compromise at 103.000.

                • I’m weary of your self-centeredness.

                  Your “compromise” at $103,000 — which you were dragged to while you were kicking, screaming, and insulting (here and here) perfectly reasonable contributors from this community — means that you pay $99 a year. In exchange for that miniscule added cost, every resident of the state, including you, benefits from the increase in sorely needed services enabled by this bill.

                  I’m sick of you questioning whether participants that I look forward to reading “belong here” — your comments to johnt001 strike me as going well over the line rather plainly spelled out in the BMG Rules (emphasis mine):

                  To us, this means commentary typical of thoughtful discussion between acquaintances who may hold differing views on important issues, but who debate those issues in a respectful manner. Insults, personal attacks, rudeness, and blanket unsupported statements reduce the level of discourse, interfere with our basic objective, and are not permitted.

                  If I were editing this blog, I would strike those two comments of yours and issue you a rather firm warning about continuing such commentary.

    • Maybe you should check out the

      actual text of the bill. It’s unlikely that they didn’t do that math. The other thing to consider is whether the $103,000 is adjusted or not.

      • Where do you see $103,000 mentioned?


        • Did you bother to click the link?

          If you had, you’d have seen a chart where the $103,000 comes from – please read the link provided, then decide how you feel about this bill. It sounds like you haven’t even bothered to look at the bill, and you’re making yourself look foolish.

          • Yes, I've looked at the text of the bills

            using the links provided. I see a $10,300 exemption, but no mention of $103,000 income level. Instead of using such effort to encourage the idea that I look foolish, it would have been more mature of you to simply provide the link to the chart. Can you gather up a little maturity and point out which link has the chart in it?

            • The link in the first sentence of this post...

              …contains a chart showing the tax implications on income levels by quintile, I can’t see how you could have missed it. The top income level of the fourth quintile is $103,800 – those people will will a pinch of $99 per year.

              For the record, I’m spending no effort making you look foolish, you’re doing that on your own.

              • you contribute nothing valuable to the discussion. Are you the resident bully or something? Do I really have to work to fend off your denigration when there are more important things to spend precious time on.

                • I contribute nothing of value?

                  Perhaps you should read my posting history and compare it to your own before you make that charge. Your contributions to this site include support for Ed O’Reilly against John Kerry and support for Marisa DeFranco over Elizabeth Warren – I’m on the correct side of history in those two instances. After DeFranco was eliminated at the convention, you posited a theory that GOP smears against our candidates are actually a trap for the “true progressives” to fall into, and that’s how the GOP keeps the “true progressives” off the ballot. You may think that I contribute nothing of value, but I can tell you, I’ve never said anything that lame-brained.

                  In this thread you attacked a bill to restore tax fairness, put forward by some of the leading progressives in our caucus, without even a cursory look at the links provided. This was made clear by your not knowing where the $103,000 figure came from. My pointing that out is not bullying – if you don’t want me (or anyone else, for that matter) to denigrate what you say here, then maybe you should show a little more care and do a little more research before you make your contributions.

                  • No, that bill does not restore tax fairness for people who

                    earn between $63,000 and 103,000. If you opened your eyes and your mind you would see that. It’s right there in front of you, on that chart. Sorry you can’t handle it, and have to resort to foolishness to try to support a point that you don’t have. You should take those blinders off. Here’s hoping Elizabeth Warren and Barack Obama don’t disappoint. I’ll be watching. Also, let’s see if John Kerry speaks out for the majority of wage earners in this country, and not his own bottom line.

                  • Non-verifiable assertions

                    It seems to me that this discussion has gotten completely hijacked by the question of what the liveandletlive family can and cannot afford — and what will be to the benefit of the liveandletlive family as determined by its sole spokesperson, representative, and partisan. As a case study, the liveandletlive family is not informative. For example, there is no means of discovering where they might be wasting money or where they might economize or what social policies might benefit them, because, under the current arrangement, we’re only going to hear a narrow side of the story.

                    Stated differently: An intelligent discussion of social policy is not generally advanced by calls of “Me! Me! Me!”

                • Want some cheese with that whine?

                  I find johnt001′s comments quite valuable, actually.

                  When it comes to the difficult challenges facing all of us, I have zero patience for ready-fire-aim knee-jerk reactions to reasonable and well-intentioned tax proposals.

                  Rather than whine about this comment, perhaps you might address its substance. This proposal has minimal tax impact on the households you’re expressing concern about, and the benefits hugely outweigh that small impact.

      • OK, I found it

        you must be talking about the $103,800 income cut off. This proposal pretty much throws under the bus income earners from $62,600 to $103,800. We can’t do that; we just can’t. People are in dire situations in this state. We simply cannot throw them under bus when those at the top are still dancing on the unfairness of it all.

        • No. It doesn't.

          I don’t know what we’re missing here, but you’re accusing Rep. Jim O’Day Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, and Sen. Jamie Eldridge, not to mention Jehlen, Balser, Brady, Coakley-Rivera, Curran, Fresolo, Garballey, Kane, Lewis, Malia, Mark, Provost, Puppolo, Sciortino, Smizik , Story, Turner, Wolf of throwing people under the bus based on your understanding of the Massachusetts Tax Code. These people are among the most progressive people on Beacon Hill.

          How are earners from $62,600-103,800 getting thrown under the bus? If we were to raise the income tax rate to 6.3% and double the exemption, the average tax increase would be $121! That’s the average, and the increase proposed is not 6.3%, but 5.95%.

          When you stop to think that the increased revenue stream would eventually rein in costs at the local level, the 4th quintile does pretty well. How many costs have been passed off to parents in schools? We have to buy school supplies for our kids? We have to participate in fundraisers all the time? Kids pay sports fees to play sports. They pay to park at many schools. If you’re looking at things from a balance sheet perspective, the 4th quintile does fine and will do better with the $1.2 billion in revenue coming into the state.

          • And I appreciate very much that we have such

            thoughtful leaders. However, just because they have the right idea, doesn’t mean they can’t miss something by accident or not understand the implications to some people who aren’t involved in the public discourse and don’t make their voice heard. No kidding about the cost to parents for school. You forgot about paying out of pocket for busing. I’m not sure how you can just arbitrarily say that the 4th quintile does pretty well. I think before you make that assertion we should conduct a survey and ask people just how much confidence they have in their present and their future. There is absolutely no reason whatsoever that we can’t protect that quintile and still raise revenue. I’m not saying we need to cut their taxes, but certainly, let’s not raise their taxes.

    • It should

      I don’t know if you’re right or wrong about the bill, but we’re very under-taxed in Massachusetts currently and it means we can’t afford the quality of state that we ought to have. Individuals who earn $75K – an income fairly similar to what mine was not that long ago – can very very easily afford to pay a little more, and they should.

      I also think 5.95% is a bit too low, especially with the increased exemptions. I do like the idea of making the state income tax more progressive by increasing exemptions, but we need a rate above 6% to make up for that.

      As a high income person (far from the 1%, but certainly in the top 25%), I am frustrated that buses run so infrequently, that we charge so much to ride the T, that we don’t provide adequate legal representation for people who can’t afford their own lawyers, that schoolkids in communities around me are growing up without much art or history or music classes and fewer field trips… one thing I am not the least bit frustrated about is the state income tax. It’s a tiny proportion of my larger-than-I-need income. I’d much rather have the other stuff, and I’d much rather see an economy that works well for all my friends and neighbors.

      • I get it

        High income earners just need a little sensitivity training. I don’t mean to be sarcastic, but it infuriates me when those with plenty of money to pay out of pocket easily for everything and then have money left over to save, invest, put their kids through college etc proclaim that it’s a good idea to tax more those who perhaps make ends meet, but struggle with having not much left over to secure their own modestly prosperous future. I think we need to take our hands of the modest discretionary income of those who earn less than $150,000/yr

  3. Beware the message that only the rich must share in paying for what we need

    The argument for raising revenue primarily from higher earners makes sense at the federal level, where high income taxpayers have enjoyed large tax rate cuts for over a decade. But beware sending the message that you can cut taxes for average workers and increase revenue only from higher income earners. If we need $1.2 trillion to fund important programs in Massachusetts from which we will all benefit, then all taxpayers should pay something more. Maybe it is time to take on the need for a true graduated income tax in Massachusetts. But liberals send the wrong message about shared responsibility if we suggest everyone under $75,000 doesn’t need to contribute something more to fund community needs. That just plays into the conservative narrative that taxes are bad and we don’t get anything for paying them.

    • Seriously???????

      Beware the message that only the rich must share in paying for what we need

      I think we determined a long time ago that rich aren’t even close to paying their fair share.

      • This is a graduated income tax, DMA.

        And I agree with Live and Let Live, it’s time the rich started paying their fair share.

        Given the composition of the House, the chances of good tax reform at the federal level are, at best, poor. Even with a necessary Constitutional change in Massachusetts, we have a better chance at revenue reform here. And at the very least, we put the subject on the table.

  4. This is bait and switch at its best.

    Shame on all of you for unabashedly supporting this instead of working to change it just a little to promote prosperity for all. How dare you.

    • How is it that?

      Did somebody promise to never raise taxes on the middle class? The closest thing I can recall to such a promise is Obama saying he’d keep the Bush tax cuts for the middle class while ending them for the rich.

      There’s a kind of hysterical tone to your posts in this thread. Do you feel personally threatened by this tax proposal, or what?

      • Yes, this bill threatens to drain more from our

        already over extended household budget. Not only mine, but family, friends, neighbors and others who are in the same quintile, albeit the lower end of the 4th quintile. Every step forward we take, someone shoves us back one. I feel like we’ve hit the proverbial glass ceiling of prosperity, and the glass ceiling keeps getting lower and lower. Our raises from January of 2013 have already been resorbed back into either the private sectors effort to maximize profits or the government’s effort to reform the tax code. That is if we are lucky enough to get a raise in 2013. I am just so fed up. Did we not learn anything from the 2012 election?

        • And the answer to the other question?

          Where’s the bait and switch?

          It’s too bad your family’s finances are so precarious. I’m not going to insist that you could afford another $10 or $20 bucks a month in taxes; maybe that would be a real challenge for you. If so, you have my sympathies.

          To me, it’s apparent that the continuing cutbacks in public services, and the privatization of some of what remains, have actually cost us all a lot of money. What we don’t pay for with taxes, we’re paying for with fees and directly out of pocket (as with the school supplies mentioned above).

          How would you adjust the proposal? Increase the personal exemption and raise the flat rate more?

        • Why do you blame the government?

          ALL of us in the 99% have hit the “proverbial glass ceiling of prosperity”. ALL of us feel that ceiling “getting lower and lower”. I didn’t get a raise in 2012. I didn’t get a raise in 2011, or in 2010. My salary, in real dollars, is significantly lower today than it was in 2000.

          I’m utterly flabbergasted that you seem to lay the blame for that on excess taxes. When the tax-cutting greed and fiscal insanity of Proposition 2 1/2 began (in 1982), I drove on highways that were safe, well-lit, and well-maintained. My family’s health care was affordable, effective, and efficient (at least in comparison to today). I look back at the last three decades of unrestrained tax-slashing, and I see a colossal failure of the tax-slashers to do anything but destroy the very things that made Massachusetts the jewel of the American crown.

          The promised gains for society have turned out to be massive subsidies for the already-wealthy. We have seen a historic transfer of wealth from the 99% to the top 1% — and in particular, from those at the very bottom of the economy to those at the very top.

          When I look at things that drain my family’s household budget, I see things like health care costs spiraling up — barely restrained by anemic yet much-acclaimed state and belated federal regulations. I see basic odds and ends that I use every day that now fall apart after a few weeks of use, when they used to last for years. I see that I can’t repair broken window thermopane windows on my newly-purchased two-family — my only option is to replace them with new windows that cost hundreds of dollars each and MAY last five years if we’re lucky. I see “lifetime” kitchen pots that cost a fortune fail after ten years of normal use, while my mother’s copper-bottomed RevereWare pans continue to cook well after sixty years of daily use. I see corporate profits and the bank accounts of the very wealthy growing steadily upward, while the rest of us make do with less and less.

          I work hard to find ways to keep my nineteen year old son positive and engaged about his future, so that he doesn’t spiral into the paralyzing depression that grips so many of his peers. I work hard to counsel my twenty six year old daughter as she struggles to manage that crushing college debt burden that she took on when she finished her undergraduate degree and graduated to face an economy with no jobs, no safety net, no housing, and no health care.

          What I really don’t comprehend about the attitude that you express here is that you seem to feel that government is the villain. It isn’t. I think we are seeing, all around us, precisely what some of us predicted would happen way back in 1982 when the Barbara Anderson’s of world were starting their crusade to make good government their scapegoat.

          In my view, tax programs like this are the vital and necessary first steps towards restoring the society that I want my grandchildren to live in. I note that the times when our society was at its most prosperous — especially for those in middle quintiles — were times when marginal income tax rates were significantly higher than they are now, when capital gains taxes were significantly higher than they are now, and when the tax rate actually paid by corporations was significantly higher than it is now.

          I suggest that you are attacking the ONLY efforts that have any realistic shot at improving the economic suffering that all of us share. I wish you’d stop.

  5. Sent to Study

    Both the Senate and House version were sent to study. I think this means its dead and would need to be refiled.

  6. Liveandletlive,

    I, and I think many others here, agree with you more often than not generally speaking, but you do seem to have thrown a bit of a tantrum on this thread. Keep in mind that the 44th amendment to the MA Constitution forbids an expressly graduated or progressive method of income tax, so file this under “doing the best we can”.

    • Tantrums, foolishness - however you want portray my efforts

      at being a voice for my family and the people around me who trust me to guide them in making wise choices for their own representation – is part of the reason for the frantic nature of my argument today. Everyone is trying to convince me that the absolute middle of the spectrum, the 4th quintile, is doing OK. During recent elections, people have lost support for saying such things, were criticized for being out of touch, and now you want me to agree that this quintile is all set, doing well, and are ready to give more in taxes. I’m sorry I can’t agree with that. Elizabeth Warren won the election on leveling the playing field, not creating tax reform that leaves the middle class paying the highest rates of all. I am stunned and shocked that I am getting beaten back fighting the same fight that won the Senate seat for the Democrats. I appreciate that this is “doing the best we can”. But we can do better, and should always strive to do so.

  7. How does this tie in with the sales tax?

    I’m sympathetic to David’s comment last week about reducing the sales tax.

    I’m concerned about the health of public transit. Any cut to the sales tax has to preserve, nay IMPROVE the MBTA and other public transit agencies state wide. I wonder if the sales tax could be made broader but shallower. Adding in things like taxing twinkies and Twix bars, pumpkins, gasoline, sporting event and amusement tickets, neckties and aprons, costumes [feel free to have a write-off on the annual tax form if used for work], gun safes*, comic books. I have no idea how much the sales tax could be reduced by adding in these things. Probably not much — maybe from 6.25% to 6.20% or somesuch. But go for it! Or, exchange adding those things into the tax base for taking a few things out, like broader classes of over-the-counter medicines.

    * don’t pull the “gun safes protect us” nonsense. Safety helmets are taxable, as are a number of other things which protect us. You own a gun, you damn well should own a safe, and the rest of us shouldn’t give you the benefit of a tax break on it.

    eliminating the sales tax holidays,

  8. A couple of comments on stomv's list

    If we are going to exempt food and clothing I’d rather keep that exemption absolute. Although some things may seem obvious I can imagine a variety of opinions and figuring out where to draw the line would be a nightmare.

    Gun safes and comic books aren’t taxed – why? All other printed material is taxed, which in a way is ironic given our experience with the Stamp Act. Gun safes should just be outright required for anyone who owns a firearm. My response to those who whine about taxation or required ownership is the state already requires certain purchases and you don’t have to own a gun to begin with.

    Gasoline is already taxed, I believe at a higher rate than ordinary sales, though my view is that it should simply adhere to the same sales tax rate as every other cash and carry good.

    • Gas tax is per gallon

      Currently, the gasoline tax is $0.21 per gallon. At $4 a gallon cost, that’s slightly less than the sales tax; at $3.75, it’s about the same.

      Not all printed material is taxed. Bibles, newspapers, magazines, textbooks, and comic books are exempt. It might become complex to differentiate between comics and magazines.

      I suppose that the exemption for gun safes and trigger locks is to encourage their use. Trigger locks are already required.

      The exemption for clothing is not absolute. Bowling shoes, athletic uniforms, and jockstraps are taxable.

  9. I missed quite a donnybrook here, it seems.

    I hate getting involved in these things, but this is the same person who, a month ago, essentially accused everyone of posting to BMG for the specific purpose of burying a post about green energy. The posts doing the bumping were about such irrelevant things as a new PPP poll in the Senate race, the Kochs sending mailers for Scott Brown, the second presidential debate and Brown accusing Warren of using paid actors in her asbestos ad.

    Liveandletlive, I get what you’re saying about people in the $75-100K range feeling very squeezed. I agree that we should try to shift the tax burden back upward. I also agree with somervilletom and others who point out that the tax-cutting mania of the last 30 years is what’s got us into this mess. I think almost all of us agree with you on values, if not always on the details of how to get there. But please, please chill out.

    • No

      chilling out would mean raising the white flag of surrender. While I must say I am incredibly tired of this, and even more tired now that we are still having the regressive tax debate, within our own party no less, after this last election, I’m not sure I’m ready to surrender. But the idea is very appealing sometimes.

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