From reading the postings on BMG I got the impression that the Patrick plan for closing state tax loopholes made a lot of sense and I emailed my state legislators to tell them so. However, over the past few weeks I’ve seen various politicians interviewed on our local PBS state politics show and have been amazed at how they feel the need to pander to business even on the issue of the tax loopholes.
By the way, WGBY, the public broadcasting station in Springfield, has a show called “The State We’re In.”. Each week the host interviews one or more people in state politics. The show is available online here, Or if that link doesn’t work try this.
Listening to some of these state legislators I am awed at how big business dominates politics in Massachusetts these days, not unlike what’s been happening on a national level. For example, the host asked state senator Stephen Buoniconti what his stand is on closing the tax loopholes for business and the Senator replied that he went to Mass Mutual and asked them how they felt. When they responded that they were opposed, then he was opposed.
I recently got a job at Mass Mutual (now on the Forbes largest 100 corporations by revenue) and they recently announced record profits and record dividends. They have over 4,000 employees in Springfield and I find it unimaginable that they have any desire to leave. So why shouldn’t the legislature require them to pay their fair share of taxes?? Is the problem that they could finance an opposition candidate to Buoniconti and others?
This brings me to a pet issue of mine. It seems to me that an awful lot of what’s wrong in the US right now is the result of corporate interest taking precedence over human interests in our political process. For example overdependence on fossil fuels, global warming (oil companies), unnecessary “preemptive” war (military-industrial complex) no effective fuel economy standards for cars and no willingness to invest in electric cars (auto and oil industries), draining of the aquifers (corporate agriculture), etc, etc. However, the solution may be at hand. The internet holds out the hope that candidates can get elected, and stay in office without selling their souls to business. If only we can get voters to buy the idea that their civic duty involves digging a little deeper to find out what’s going on and then acting on it.