I don’t wanna bore you with this/oh but Scot Lehigh Scot Lehigh Scot Leeeehigh…
POLITICIANS, PAUL Tsongas used to warn, too often treat the business sector as though it’s an ATM machine, tapping it constantly for cash without worrying about replenishing the account.
That’s a pretty fair description of what’s been happening here in the last few years.
… There’s a tendency among some to see the private sector as a rich (and selfish) realm that can be taxed with little consequence. Certainly the governor has presented his tax changes as mere loophole closings that should have no ill effects. But basic economics tells you that an increase in the business tax burden has to be felt in one or more of the following ways: The price of products and services will rise, or there will be less money for wage increases, or profits will fall.
Uggggghhhh. Scot, let’s think this through: OK, you’re right, there are unintended consequences to raising corporate taxes/closing loopholes, whatever you want to call it. Sure. There are also consequences to leaving property taxes the way they are. There are consequences to not investing in all-day kindergarten (for instance), or trains, or public universities. There are consequences to dipping into the rainy day fund. Everything’s got consequences, OK?
So as Lehigh later deigns to point out, MA is still 40th in corporate taxation. So even after the litany of really bad stuff that Romney did and Patrick’s proposing … we’re still dealing from a position of strength. And would Lehigh like to defend the actual litany of loopholes that Patrick proposes to close? Let’s be specific, huh?
Our problem is our overall cost of doing business, including things that are largely out of the state government’s control, like the cost of real estate. But Gov. Patrick seems to realize that it’s not just the cost of doing business in MA that we need to address; it’s the cost/benefit ratio. You just can’t have our Greater Boston economy in Ohio or Alabama, for instance. The things we have to offer are an amazingly well-trained workforce, good schools, mature infrastructure, etc. So we’ve got to play to our strengths. If MA isn’t going to be cheap, at least it can be high-value. We’re losing that edge, too.
(And does Lehigh have a plan for shoe-horning municipal unions into the Group Insurance Commission? I’m all for it, but maybe there’s a reason this wasn’t the first thing Patrick did; maybe it’s not the low-hanging fruit we think it is. Don’t know.)