On a day like today, a week like this week, a year like this one … it’s hard to focus attention on what’s going on in the Commonwealth. But someone’s gotta mind the store …
Joan Vennochi notes Baker’s reluctance to pick fights with the Trump administration, and — very relevant to a potential ACA repeal — the ongoing fiscal crunch. And she notes the same pattern that we have: An unwillingness to meet the challenge.
In what could be viewed as a gentle knock on Baker’s agenda or lack thereof, [Larry] Summers told the Globe’s Shirley Leung that he has spoken to the governor about some of these matters, and said, “It’s much easier on the outside to feel urgency and vision than it is within the quotidian constraints of governing.”
Back at home, Baker will be judged on preserving health care as we know it, fixing the T, supporting public education at all levels, and investing in the next economic initiative for Massachusetts. They all require money. Baker can’t just manage his way to results.
At some point the “reform before revenue” at the T (for example), runs out of reform. Maybe we’re not there yet. And maybe the real problem is that we’ll never get there. There will never be a good time for a broad vision, because that’s scary and requires confronting interest groups — including taxpayers!
As we’ve said: We have big problems, compounded by the Trump administration’s plutocratic reverse-Robin Hood health care and tax policies. It seems stupid to say that a governor with 70+% approval ratings might be in trouble, but the current “we’re working on that” may not be a compelling message in 2018. Things change.
As Vennochi implies: This state really needs an inclusive model of economic life. We’re playing brilliantly to some strengths, while others are crumbling; and fortunes are changing largely along increasingly bright class lines. How we make a high quality of life accessible to all is our challenge.