We Will Lose

Powerful stuff. Thanks, John. - promoted by david

I was looking through the data the other day. Would you be surprised to learn that Democrats in Massachusetts have knocked on over 2.5 million doors since 2010? That’s just the knocks that have been recorded in VoteBuilder. It doesn’t include lots more recorded in other systems or in individual spreadsheets kept by campaigns. Take a bow, MassDems. Your #DemDoors success is remarkable.

It made me proud but it also caused me to stop and think. Why have we done this? Is it too obvious to say we did it to win elections? And win we have. That doesn’t adequately describe why, however. So I stopped to think about my own motivation, why have I done it? Sure, it’s my job and it’s something I believe is important deep in my soul about the way we run campaigns — grassroots and issues based. It is the essence of the Deval Patrick Doctrine: grow a backbone, stand up for what you believe in and talk to people one-on-one, face-to-face about our shared values.

Yeah, it’s all of that.

But winning elections – even winning them in the right way – isn’t enough. Proving some theory about HOW to win is very rewarding but 2.5 million doors… All those wonderful canvassers… It’s more than that.

Governor Deval Patrick’s voice echoes in my thoughts. “It’s not about the HOW; it’s about the WHY.” We want to win for sure, but the “we” isn’t the party or the candidates. The “we” is the people of Massachusetts. By engaging directly with fellow citizens on issues that matter, we all win.

You know, I can’t believe my personal reaction to the legislature’s response to the Governor’s revenue proposal. My close friends can’t believe it either. I’m not usually that guy. I don’t really see myself as coming from the issues side of the effort. I’m a community organizer. I like campaigning more than governing. Although I’m forever grateful that talented people work in government, I never have.

I’m just worried that if we don’t stand up for what we believe, we will lose.

…we, as a Commonwealth.

I’m worried that 30,000 3 and 4 year old kids won’t get the benefit we know comes from early education and that our students in public universities and colleges will continue to be buried in debt because we don’t stand up and adequately fund their campuses. I’m worried that kids trapped in poverty through no fault of their own will be denied the best route out and up – a better public education. These kids – our future – deserve these wins and it’s up to us to deliver them.

I’m worried that we’ll never address the unforgivable, short-sighted legacy of a slew of Big Dig lies about the costs of construction and the costs exacted on the rest of our Commonwealth’s infrastructure in the deliberate neglect of our subways, roads, rails and bridges to cover those lies. I blame the Republican governors and their “smart guys” like Charlie Baker for the lies back then, but it’s OUR responsibility to act differently NOW! The businesses that depend on that infrastructure and the employees that need it to get to their jobs, deserve these wins and it’s up to us to deliver them.

For me, the worries about these important losses overshadow the political worries of the party or the individual politicians who serve these people while flying our banner. I know that Democrats who stand up for what they believe in will be successful at the polls – - and I’m willing to dedicate myself night and day to make sure of it.

Am I worried that they will lose?

Not today. The other losses are more on my mind.

John Walsh, Democrat


87 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. I don't volunteer on campaigns because I want to "win" elections.

    I work hard on campaigns because I want to create a better country, state, community.

    Elections are merely to prologue to policy.

    Today I don’t feel like we “won” in 2012.

  2. Walsh's Radical Approach ...

    … standing up for what’s right.
    If only more politicians statewide and national stood up for what’s right instead of what they “think” will keep them in their jobs. Brings to mind Churchill’s remarks to Chamberlain after the PM appeased Hitler: “You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor. Now you shall have both!” We’re talking elections, not war here, but the principle is the same. As John Walsh notes, keep going as you are, and “we [and you] will lose.”

  3. So whose approach should I believe, John Walsh’s or

    Stephen Lynch’s?

  4. Powerfully veiled threat

    is what it sounds like to me:

    I know that Democrats who stand up for what they believe in will be successful at the polls – – and I’m willing to dedicate myself night and day to make sure of it.

    Either vote for massive tax increases for the middle class and the poor because that’s what “we” believe in, or we won’t send our team out knocking on doors for you. This is when politics has gone too far, and the will of the insider elite extremists becomes detrimental to the common good and to the party. I’ll be sure to let everyone know that the new Dems believe in massive tax increases to the middle class and the poor. That ought to get you some votes. We’ll know who the believers are, because they will be the ones who voted for the massive tax package.

    • The increases

      are largely on the rich, who have skated with much lower taxes in Mass. than any comparable state, and who have made out like bandits the past 30 years even more so in Massachusetts than nationwide. You have “the common good” exactly backwards. Things were better for middle class and poor people back before we starved our public sector into oblivion. For God’s sakes, since 1977 we’ve cut taxes in this state by 26% and the Governor’s huge plan calls for restoring about one sixth of that.

      It’s just not coherent. If you really have all the people on the side of your Mitt Romney, slash-spending-so-towns-can’t-afford-anything-anymore arguments, then who wants John Walsh’s evil army of door knockers? They’d just be a liability. Amazing how you want an army of volunteers to help candidates who don’t stand up for basic principles.

      And if you don’t think having a functioning state and local government is a basic Democratic principle, the Republican Party is right over there.

      • That's some mighty nice spin there

        you are very good at it. Who says I have to support a Republican? See that’s the problem, it’s as if it’s either/or. That’s what has to change, and that’s why both parties can and do continue to work to destroy our country, whether it be the country as a whole or state by state.

    • much of the pain you're feeling...

      I’ll be sure to let everyone know that the new Dems believe in massive tax increases to the middle class and the poor.

      … in our current environment is as a result of either A) HIGHER taxes at the local level, because of tax cuts at the state and federal level OR 2) greatly REDUCED services at that same local level because of greatly reduced aid from the state and/or fed.

      I’ll be sure to let everyone know what YOU favor…

    • Save your conspiracy theories and cloak and dagger stuff...

      That is neither what I said nor what I meant.

      • Well, after thinking about it

        it’s entirely possible that you were just saying that you would work harder to help re-elect any Dems who did vote for the Governor’s proposal, especially if voting for it means risking support in their district. So, I apologize if pointing that out constitutes a conspiracy theory. But I’m glad to hear that’s not what you meant.

    • "massive tax increases to the middle class and the poor"

      What on earth are you talking about? Please be specific, because nothing I’m aware of that anyone has put on the table comes remotely close to matching that description.

      • Graphs - impact of the tax plans

        I just posted them here

        • Thanks

          I rest my case.

          • Really?

            Cuz nothing like what you say is in those graphs

            • Last time we discussed this

              The liveandletlive household, the very yardstick, bellwether, and irreplaceable standard for discussing tax policy, was taking in just over six figures but running on a very tight budget.

              Hence, the fact that these policies might, in an immediate way, adversely affect the Standard Household was judged by our commentator to refute any pretense that these policies were fair or progressive.

              So yes, by that point of view, the graphs you posted do undermine your case.

              In the future, I suggest you consult the Standard Household before making any policy proposals.

              • I never said we were taking in just over six figures

                I believe I’ve said our household income averages around $75,000/ yr. Our income level is one that matches other families in this state and this range deserves a voice in the conversation.

                • Usual measure

                  is the greatest good for the greatest number. It’s only under a feudal system that we only looked at one household — and that household was not in the third or fourth quintile.

                  According to harmonywho’s charts, the tax increase of around $300 per year is smaller than the cost to the average motorist of our bad roads. Fix the roads and that alone is a net gain.

    • You can't just say something over and over again

      and make it true.

      The “massive tax increases for the middle class and the poor” are in your head. We can pass a plan that doubles the personal exemption and cuts sales taxes and raise a lot of revenue in the process.

      That would certainly help the poor and won’t hurt the middle class, either.

      I’m not saying it has to be the Governor’s plan, but it’s not a bad place for the legislature to start and put their own stamp on it, given that it 1) addresses the needs of our state on two of the most popular, difficult and important issues and 2) is already polled, tested and popular — certainly something we can fight for come reelection time and win.

      Suffice it so say, though, your suggestion that the plan would hit the poor and middle class hard is flat-out wrong, the product of what I hope is ignorance and not dishonesty.

      RyansTake   @   Tue 9 Apr 5:35 PM
      • I agree that raising the income tax, doubling the exemption

        and cutting the sales tax is a good start. But there is so much more in that package that negates any benefit from this. If they want to raise the income tax and cut the sales tax, I’ll support that, and only that. And that is what the majority of MA citizens said they would support, when polled. Not the rest of the mess.

        • So what are you objecting to?

          You really have to help us out with specifics, because we’re all very confused as to where you’re coming from.

          • The entire proposal

            which is more than just the income and sales tax headliner.

            • So because it's not perfect, we keep status quo?

              And fix nothing?

              You said you support the raised income tax and sales tax decrease. That’s a HUGE bulk of the Governor’s plan. Great! So you’re almost on board. You would just excise:

              1) the cut exemption

              2) setting toll/fare increases at regular intervals to combat losses from inflation




              …? Because maybe you have a great new plan that would be a terrific alternative.

              Hmmm, I wonder who else might have presented such a changed plan…

        • So, do you like AN ACT TO INVEST IN OUR COMMUNITIES?

          It raises the income tax. Doubles the personal exemption. Raises tax on some capital gains. Builds in protections for seniors. Doesn’t touch the already protected income from stuff like 401ks.

          It doesn’t cut the sales tax. (like the Gov’s).

          It doesn’t monkey with the deductions (like the Gov’s).

          It raises $1.9B, enough to restore the devastating cuts to services/infrastructure, address current needs and invest for future growth.

          It takes most of the revenue from households like mine, which have been getting away with paying much much less than the poor and the middle.

          Does that work for you?

          • works for me!!


            Our model legislation, An Act to Invest in Our Communities, would raise $2 billion dollars by restoring the income tax rate to 5.95% while increasing the personal exemption to hold down increases for low and middle income families, and raise the tax rate on investment income to 8.95%, with an exemption for low and middle income seniors. The CFOC would support other legislation that would achieve these goals.

            for a copy go here

            • At this point, I am willing to take the Act to Invest in our Communities

              along with a lower sales tax. We are also getting the internet sales tax soon, which should really help with revenue. I think that is all we need, and I think it’s the best chance we have to raise revenue and not hurt the economy any more than it is.

              • Does the math work?

                I would also like to see a reduced sales tax and a progressive income tax (even if we have to jerry-rig it w/ the personal exemptions due to article 44).

                BUT… we have some obligations to meet, and a future to shape — or ignore.

                How do you propose — this is a serious question! — getting to the $1.5 billion we need (just to cover our structural deficit) with cutting sales tax and raising income tax ONLY?

                Because the ACT TO INVEST already JUST raises the income tax (no deductions are removed) and raises $1.9B. IF you added to the ATI plan a cut in the sales tax, then that number is going to drop. By how much, I don’t know (I’m sure we could piece together some math using the Mass Budget analyses of the Gov’s revenue proposal, but I’m lazy at the moment).

                So, would you raise the income tax even higher? By how much? And then you’d have to increase the personal exemption… by how much?

                I’m GUESSING (but just guessing) that to make the net revenue add up to the amounts we need, the Number you’d need for that Income Tax rate would have too much of a sticker shock (“TAXACHUSETTS!!”) that it would be politically quite impossible.

                However, I am open to being convinced there’s a path to making this happen, I really would. That WOULD be the ideal. How do we make that happen NOW? Serious question.

                • The math doesn't work

                  We’ve already seen what a plan looks like that cuts the sales tax but tries to raise income taxes enough to make the revenue break even. It’s called the Governor’s plan. Under that plan the sales tax is lower but the income tax is higher, by rate and elimination of the deductions.

                  In the absence of a true progressive income tax (or even higher tax on investment income than contemplated by the Act/Communities), it would be very hard to raise $1.5 billion or more otherwise. Total revenue has to go up, and under current constraints it’s hard to get it all from the wealthiest.

                  My sense is that the Governor’s plan might be a bit better for the poorest, the Act/Communities better for middle-class people in liveandletlive’s income group. I care about both groups.

          • Crickets....

            Stlll waiting, liveandletlive….

        • The legislature is free

          to pass a plan that would ditch the eliminated exemptions in Patrick’s plan which, you’re right, would negate much of what the exemption expansion does for many people.

          If you took this tone in your posts, instead of decrying the plan wholesale, it would be a lot more productive.

          RyansTake   @   Tue 9 Apr 8:04 PM
    • Yes, I agree that the threat was powerfully veiled

      So powerfully, in fact, that it could not be seen.

  5. Just in case you forgot, which apparently everyone has

    the Dems did not win on promoting massive tax increases for the middle class and the poor. They won on taxing the rich. I can’t believe you missed that.

    • I can't believe you're missing...

      I can’t believe you missed that.

      … what everyone is telling you: which comports exactly, precisely and very very cleanly with the words of both candidate Warren and Senator Warren.

    • Warren is talking about FEDERAL taxes

      which have been cut for the highest incomes many times over. We have a federal deficit problem that would go away instantly if the wealthiest in this nation

      Here were are talking about STATE taxes. You insist, despite all evidence, that his plan soaks the poor and middle class. The Governor did his best, given the state constitution’s prohibition on a progressive income tax (which we should change, posthaste), to come up with a plan that spares the poor and middle class. Yes, the income tax rate goes up. But it’s still lower than in many states, and he doubled the personal exemption in his plan and wants to cut the sales tax.

      If a couple paid 5.25% income tax on $60,000 in income, that’s $3,150. Under this plan there’s another $8,800 in income on which this couple would pay NO state income taxes – the increased exemption. So their state income tax would be, even at a 6.25% rate, $3,200. 50 bucks a year. A dollar a week. Which is more than offset by the nearly 30 percent decrease in the sales tax. A tax lower income people spend more of their income on, since they’re spending their money instead of hoarding it.

      Seriously, enough. I feel your pain that many people are struggling to get by. I’m among them. But all of this is a SYSTEM. The people who cut our public revenues, federal and state, to the bone over 35 years are the same ones whose other policies make sure middle class wages are squashed too. When you act like raising taxes, no matter what the situation, is the most horrific imaginable, you play right into their hands.

      So I’m pointing the finger at people like you. When you say “I’m a Democrat” there are always these “buts.” Oh sure, I’m for all that Democratic stuff but I don’t want to pay for anything. Sure, I want a good environment and safe roads, but I live in the woods and drive a big truck and want cheap gas too. Sure, I want kids to be safe, but I like my guns and don’t feel like any more regulations. Sure, I want good schools but God forbid I pay a dime more in taxes.

      The routine is getting old. Whine, whine, whine, recycle right-wing talking points about how starving our state of the revenue it needs to function is somehow being for the little guy, whine some more, misrepresent the numbers, whine yet some more.


      • Right, she is

        and I think we all know that because of those federal tax cuts, the tax burden is being transferred to the poor and middle class via state and local taxes. So don’t hang on Elizabeth Warren’s coat tails as if she promoted regressive taxation, because she never said a thing about it during her campaign.

        • "regressive taxation"

          Again, we need specifics. WHO, in your view, is promoting “regressive taxation,” and exactly HOW are they doing so? Otherwise, everyone just keeps slinging insults around, and that’s not constructive.

          • When you promote the governor's proposal

            you are promoting gas tax increases, T-fare increases, registration fee increases, etc. All of them regressive, and all of them set to increase with inflation, no vote needed. Did you know, I was just reading an article that said that Massachusetts has a ton of wealthy people living here? Crazy that we can’t come up with some way to tax the top earners, but we have all sorts of ways to tax the lower income earners. But oh yeah, it’s the Constitution of Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Halts us in every direction. Just can’t get around it. I seem to remember, David, that you came up with pretty good arguments showing that the constitution did not prohibit true progressive taxation. Also, in case you missed it, have you seen the 44 tax deductions set for demise under the governor’s plan.

            • Show your work.

              Where are you getting all this?
              You’re saying things. I will grant you that.
              I just don’t see where you’re getting those things.

              (And again, guess who could CHANGE the Governor’s OPENING BID and make it better?)

              • Yes, it's reeeaaaallllllyyy hard to find.

                Ssssshhhhhhhhhhhhh. No-one wants to talk about it.

                • Hm, but they are hardly the bulk of the plan

                  Or am I missing something? I don’t see anything that says that regressive taxes are the primary driver of the Gov’s plan. By cutting the sales tax and increasing the personal exemptions, it is, in fact, extremely PROgressive.

                  Regressive mixed in with Progressive, with most of it being Progressive.

                  On balance, progressive. What am I missing? Thanks.

                • Please...

                  It’s not like, absent the Governors plan, the MBTA fares will never rise, Registry fees will disappear and gas will never be taxed again.

                  Guess what: if we don’t pass the Governors plan the MBTA fare increases we’d see OVER 5 years, we’d see IN 1 and the same goes for the Registry fees. Gas taxes are probably going up no matter what… and I’m all for toll increases as a pocket congestion charge.

                  You’re opposing the managed implementation of the inevitable. I suppose you want to see the UNmanaged implementation: that occurred under Rmoney. Been there. Done that.

            • You are correct

              that the Massachusetts Constitution, or rather the way the courts have interpreted it, is a huge problem here.

              I was concerned, when the governor’s plan came out, about the deductions he proposed eliminating. That’s why I support An Act to Invest in Our Communities. This plan would raise the income tax to 5.95% and raise exemptions as well, so income taxes would be lower than under the governor’s plan. It also would leave the deductions you mention in place, but it would not (as I understand it) cut the sales tax. It would raise the tax on investment income to 8.95% with an exemption for low- and middle-income seniors. I’m fine with that because income from investments, now and for the foreseeable future, is taxed very little at the federal level. This plan would generate about the same amount of revenue as the Governor’s plan.

              In the long run, my fervent hope is that we will amend the constitution to allow a progressive income tax. It is true that people in your income range are having a tough time, as are those poorer. It would be better to raise taxes on high income people, who have gotten virtually all of the income gains in Massachusetts in recent years. The fact that we can’t is, in my view, not a vast conspiracy to screw the middle class as much as an unfortunate fact based on a bad century-old court decision. If income gains continue to go almost exclusively to the top 5% or so, I could imagine political support for the progressive income tax growing.

              In the meantime we have to do something and the plans proposed (except the DeLeo plan) try to raise the revenue we need in as progressive a structure as possible.

        • The only regressive tax plan is the one that passed yesterday.

          Gas taxes are regressive.

          Both the Gov’s and Act to Invest reduce the overall regressivity of our pretty regressive status quo.

          Our most regressive taxes are property tax, sales tax. Our most PROgressive tax is the income tax, when combined w/ the personal exemption.

          A plan that only raises revenue with a regressive tax contributes to our overall regressivity.

          Plans that raise our Most Progressive tax, and purposefully go out of their way to ENHANCE that progressivity, are Not Regressive.

          SO like David, I do not know what specifically you are referring to. Unless you point to some specifics, I’m left thinking that you don’t quite understand the facts. If you have other facts that I’m not aware of, please share, b/c I’m by no means an expert. But I have done some pretty extensive time poring over these plans, and feel pretty confident in what I’m saying. So, help me out if I’m misunderstanding.

          • I will say this....

            I do not have enough money to own a home, yet I would be a net loser under the Guv’s plan.

            • Net loser

              Would you have to pay more tolls? higher mbta fares? tutoring b/c class sizes are shortchanging your kids’ education? Would you have to pay more in property taxes, thru higher rents, b/c THOSE will go up to continue to cover the municipal nut?

              Or, maybe, would you find that your services are back online…. that the weekend rail service was restored… that there wouldn’t be punitive fare hikes?

              Because we wouldn’t be investing that revenue into a bottomless pit. WE’D ACTUALLY SEE A PRETTY DECENT RETURN ON INVESTMENT. Policing, roads, safe water, toilets that flush, trains that take you places… Try buying that on the private market for less than 10% of your income.

              Or, think about this:

              What if the Legislature took the Gov’s plan as a starting point and restored some of the deductions? Took the basic idea and fixed the bad parts? Isn’t that what a legislature is for… hammering out policy and law? Since when was the Governor’s plan something that sprung fully formed and immutable?

              C’mon. Like some of our legislators, you’re creating a false impression of inevitability (as well as a zero sum logic) to cover for what I am beginning to sense is a pre-formed conclusion on your part. You don’t want to see any tax increase, at all, for whatever paranoid Grover Norquist TEA Party Libertarian reason, and you’re reverse engineering your rationales to fit that position.

              Net loser indeed.

              • The governor's plan does raise tolls and fares, and keeps raising them

                every year.

                • Again, show your work.


                  • They don't have any to show

                    The arguments against keeping MA competitive by refusing to invest in common services are as empty as Mitt Romney’s smile.

                    • I am perfectly willing to allow the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

                      to do what it needs to do to take back some of the hoarded wealth at the very top of the income and wealth scale. Don’t you realize that you are making Romney’s empty smile even bigger by protecting the rich and taxing the rest of us. Don’t your realize that?????

                    • Show your work

                      “Protecting the rich” — Where?

                      “Taxing THE REST OF us” — How?

                      You’re talking in circles.

                  • Ok, like I said, it's really hard to find.

                    It did just happen to blip out a couple of times.

                  • But, after further research

                    it looks like he may have taken out the MBTA fares and the registration fees.
                    Or this new summary is incomplete, which could also be the case.

                  • Nope, it's still in there, just in a different spot.

                    In addition to funding these spending increases with revenue from the Governor’s broad-based tax reform package (described in the Revenue section of this Budget Monitor), these spending increases would be funded in part by indexing to inflation various transportation-specific revenue sources: the gas tax, tolls, MBTA fares, and RMV fees. Specifically, the Governor proposes:

                    Indexing the Gas Tax to inflation, first rising in July of 2013 and generating about $13 million next year. The gas tax would then rise from 21 cents per gallon to 24.6 cents in 2021, resulting in $118 million in new revenue. Since the flat per gallon gas tax has not been adjusted for cost growth since 1991, these future inflation adjustments would only serve to fend off additional real declines in future years.
                    Increasing tolls by 5 percent every two years, beginning in FY 2015.
                    Increasing MBTA fares by 5 percent every two years starting in fiscal 2015.
                    Increasing RMV fees by 10 percent every five years starting in fiscal 2016.

                    • indexing to inflation isn't really raising taxes

                      so much as it’s keeping taxes up with inflation.

                      We wouldn’t call a cost of living adjustment a big, every increasing raise for an employee — I don’t think it’s fair to call indexing, say, the gas tax to inflation a huge, every increasing tax on the poor.

                      FYI: the Murray-Deleo plan indexes the gas tax, too. It doesn’t index the T to inflation because I’m betting it knows for the T to keep up with level services, without a plan like Patrick’s, fares will have to increase much higher than they would just from indexing them to inflation.

                      All that said, if you have a plan with those aspects of the Governor’s plan, be productive, and instead of lambasting the whole thing, just lambaste the parts of it you don’t like, and praise the parts you do.

                      I’ve gone out of my way to argue for the good things the House and Senate plan does because… wait for it… I want to be productive, and reward them for their good ideas. I’m just not going to sit on my hands as they push a lot of bad ones on the revenue side, comparative to our needs.

                      RyansTake   @   Tue 9 Apr 10:48 PM
                    • I didn't support the Murray-Deleo plan either


                    • So, what's your suggestion?

                      This ISSUE is before the legislature RIGHT NOW.

                      If a group of progressive Senators sticks together, we can defeat the sugar coated Satan sandwich which is the JWM transpo funding plan.

                      If we can’t stop it in the Senate, the Governor’s veto sends it BACK and the Speaker does not have a veto-proof majority.

                      So the issue is still up in the air.

                      What do we do, besides “Nothing, leave everything as is,” which is, by the way, hurting the middle-class and poor already.

                    • "Satan sandwich?"

                      Come on. Listen, the House plan doesn’t go nearly, not nearly, as far as I want, but let’s keep things in perspective.

                    • Here's some perspective

                      State and local tax revenues are down by 26% since 1978. Aid to cities and towns is down 46% since 2001. Our mass transit and our roads are crumbling. We have a structural deficit of $1.5 billion. We need revenue.

                      We also have unique political circumstances that make getting that revenue more possible right now than down the line. When are they going to do this if not now? Will the suddenly grow courage in 2014, an election year? What if the next governor is a Republican, as could well be the case.

                      This one is about what kind of state we will be. If we do not get it done correctly now, we will almost certainly be screwed for a decade or more. So the House bill may not be “Satanic” but it’s still unacceptable.

                    • SUGAR-COATED

                      I said SUGAR-COATED. ;)

                      I do think it’s pretty awful and actually insulting. And I think that if this is what we do, here, now, in 10 years we’re going to be seeing the results in a continuing degradation of our schools, transpo system, infrastructure, and more desperate people with fewer resources to turn to.

                      I AM being cheeky with my word choice, but I actually do find the JWM plan to be simply awful, and maybe even worse than nothing.

                      With “Nothing” we will at least get back to revenue sooner rather than later, and get a better plan. With a sweetened devil pita, we do NOTHING again, for the foreseeable future.

                      PS: “Sugar-coated Satan sandwich” comes from Emanuel Cleaver.

                    • Boo/images

                      I tried to resize some good images but I appear to have done it wrong. Grr.

                    • Looks OK to me...


                    • images were in the first Satan sandwich post

                      I prob’ly screwed up the spaces or something. Learning!

                    • "sugar coated satan sandwich" is the polite version.

                      The first iteration I heard of this was in the form of a question:

                      “You want mustard or ketchup on your shit sandwich?”

                      As in, it’s a shit sandwich and you can dress it up with whatever condiment you want but it’s gonna remain a shit sandwich.

              • Tea party libertarian reason

                Because I think something like $500 million – $1 billion strikes the proper balance to keep Massachusetts competitive through investment and attractiveness to industry? That’s way off base. 1. I rarely use the T, so any savings I get from frozen fares are negligible. 2. Not sure how the plan reduces property taxes. I do know the Governor promised this in 2006, but I’m guessing you homeowners haven’t seen it yet. I do know that the elimination of the deduction for home sales will have a chilling affect on real estate, so that will likely lead to higher property taxes in the long term. 3. Early Ed. screwed up big time with the sex offender and commissioner thing. If I we an elected official I’d dread going home and trying to explain that I thought we should throw more cash at an issue overseen by such nitwits. Overcrowded classrooms? C’mon, we can obviously do better, but we have a pretty successful k-12 system as is. I’m not very likely to ever utilize this train from Pittsfield to NY either. I have no idea what that’s all about.

                • whoosh

                  the sound of you missing my main point.

                • 1. I rarely use the T, so any savings I get from frozen fares are negligible.

                  That depends, entirely, on how much time you spend idling your car in traffic. There is a relationship between traffic and T ridership. So if fares are kept low and more people use the T and less people obstruct you in traffic then you spend less time idling your car and waiting. You’ve saved a great deal of money (called amortization) over all the time you spend in your car since you’re making more efficient use of the gas you’ve purchased: if you purchase less gas then the savings from the T fare is hardly negligible.

                  • These roads better be completely empty

                    Or it’s going to tough for me to save $1,000 a year…anyway, this thing is pretty much going the way it should have. Lame duck Guv opens up with enormously ambitious plan, house goes 1/4 way…. Senate reads the mood, goes 1/3-1/2 way to Guv. We probably end up with a decent amount of revenue.$800 mill or so. At the end of a progressive governor’s term, you get a $1b+ increase one year to save the state from collapse and then close to another billion for targeted investments and to clean up a mess. Not a bad result considering the previous 20 years.

                    • Congestion and delays

                      Pointing to this paper, Paul Krugman in his blog says that there is evidence that even small increases in ridership for public transportation systems can lead to significant reductions in traffic delays.

                    • well then...

                      [new] These roads better be completely empty (1+ / 0-) View voters
                      Or it’s going to tough for me to save $1,000 a year…

                      … must be nice to consider anything 1K to be ‘negligible’.

                      Of course $1K/year is about $2.75 per day and you can save that by skipping out on Dunkins or Starbucks.

                      Regardless, $2.75 is about 3/4 of a gallon of regular gas (at todays prices). If the lower bound is a car with stop/start tech (like a Prius or some of the other hybrids out there) then you’ll, of course, never touch that because you’ll never idle, but if your upper bound is one of those guzzlers without stop/start that gets maybe 15mpg then you can probably eat a lot of gas just idling. Swizzle in heat/AC and whether or not you have a phone charger and your engine is doing a larger number of small tasks. These add up. Also, engine-hours is not shown on mileage but it does count for wear-n-tear (this is why airplane engines are rated on hours of operation rather than miles traveled) so less idling will means less maintenance costs… so there’s that.

                      So, yeah, maybe you won’t save yourself $1K per year, but I don’t think $400 to $600 per year is out of the realm of possibility and I, personally, wouldn’t go considering that ‘negligible’.

                    • According to a Texas Transportation Institute study...

                      …the extra cost of traffic congestion for each peak-time commuter in Boston is $1,147, so there you have it, Kitty. Here’s a link (pdf):


                • The reason

                  I continue to live in Massachusetts is that

                  Tea party libertarian reason

                  does not drive public policy here. Or so I thought.

  6. John,

    As I asked in another thread, why did Deval essentially take the opposite position when running for office? That fact seems to fly in the face of your deval Patrick, grow a backbone doctrine. I am still waiting for that answer.

  7. Here are the deductions we are losing under the Governor's plan

    Most of these are useful and helpful to low and middle income people. I think the film credit at the end was thrown in for as a ha ha, and in order to get that one, we have to take the rest. I’ve noticed that how the system works.


  8. how we'll be remembered

    John Walsh is correct in his assumption that we, as a society, will lose. And we will also be remembered as the generation(s) who were the first to not “pay it ahead”. We took what we were handed – in this case our transportation infrastructure, education system, and social safety net – and did NOT make it better for the next generation. We got greedy instead.

    Nice legacy, that.

    • You should be more specific

      about who is being greedy, and who is hanging on with their fingernails and fighting to just make ends meet. Generalizing as you have gives opportunity to place blame where the blame does not belong.

      • Clearly

        the blame goes to the richest among us and their enablers. Among whom I count not only the Republicans and lobbyists but also ostensible Democrats who routinely threaten to “tell the people where I live” all about how the Democrats are against the middle class whenever they suggest trying to undo some of this mess.

        You’re with DeLeo on this one, you’re with austerity. Period. Because if people continue to vote right just to avoid any tax increases, no matter how much has been cut in recent years, today’s “hanging on with their fingernails and fighting to just make ends meet” will seem like the good old days.

      • A lot of the arguments you make...

        about who is being greedy, and who is hanging on with their fingernails and fighting to just make ends meet. Generalizing as you have gives opportunity to place blame where the blame does not belong.

        … against Deval Patricks budget where made against another fearless leader, FDR, and held similar traction (that is to say none at all) at a time when “hanging on with their fingernails” was a euphemism for “about to die from poverties affect.”

        • Loss aversion

          It’s a well-known result in experimental psychology that people experience a loss more keenly than they experience an equivalent gain. This can sometimes be seen in the assignment of cubicles: before being assigned Alice and Betty might think cubicle 43′s advantages outweigh cubicle 57′s, but after Alice is assigned to cubicle 57, she’ll be unwilling to take cubicle 43 because she doesn’t want to lose cubicle 57′s advantages.

          Likewise here. Approaching a tax increase that could give us better transportation, more educational opportunity, and ultimately a stronger economy, we might feel the monetary loss more keenly than anything gained in exchange.

          [wish I could have written this more elegantly]

          • Alice is moving

            South. She doesn’t need her Massachusetts cubicle anymore. Alice hates cubicles.

            • Bye

              Anyone who thinks “South” is a better way to live is probably better off going there.

              • Agreed

                Let’s see … “South”. That would be, for example, North Carolina — where legislators recently attempted to pass legislation establishing a state religion and exempting North Carolina from the obvious constitutional prohibition of same. Or maybe Florida, scene of “stand your ground” and Trayvon Martin. Maybe Alice means Virginia, where transvaginal ultrasounds nearly became a requirement for any woman seeking an abortion. Perhaps Alice prefers statues commemorating slave-holding generals to heroes of the American Revolution. I hear Selma is a lovely place — for whites.

                Yeah, “South”. If Alice thinks “South” is nice, I doubt that she ever liked liked Massachusetts very much.

                • You forgot

                  South Carolina, which may be the worst of the bunch.

                  From the great Charlie Pierce comes this nugget about a South Carolina-based Congress-douche and his argument against background checks for gun purchasers:

                  Read about the Rwandan genocide, the Hutu and Tutsi tribes. Read that all Tutsi tribe members were required to register their address with the Hutu government and that this database was used to locate Tutsi for slaughter at the hands of the Hutu. Since the government had the names and addresses of nearly all Tutsis living in Rwanda (remember, each Rwandan had an identity card that labeled them Tutsi, Hutu, or Twa) the killers could go door to door, slaughtering the Tutsis.

                  The results of the 2012 congressional election.

                  This Nutball: 169, 415 votes. (66.5 percent)

                  Some Democrat Named Brian Doyle: 84,735 votes (33.3 percent).

                  Thank you, Third Congressional District of South Carolina.

                  God, the Civil War was an awful waste. And our old friend, Clio, Muse Of History, swallows a fistful of klonopin with a fifth of Stoli and looks for an Estonian sailor down on the docks to take her away from all this.

                  So yeah, have fun. Don’t send a postcard.

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