Imagine if every town facing shortfalls (nearly all of them in MA!) tried this credit card scheme. The state doesn’t yet have the revenue either – or else local aid would be pouring in and this whole debate would be moot. The state should hardly be expected to bail Tewksbury out of its own stupidity. Government by credit card is not a good way to do business. Sometimes it’s necessary, I suppose, but if used to address a structural deficiency, it only serves to further erode the situation, and put a budget into freefall. There’s a reason why “paygo” (pay as you go) budgeting is so appealing – it forces government (or business, or even your own family) to address the structural problems underlying a budget (not enough revenue, or too much spending) instead of relying on the quick fix which only serves to escalate the problem.
Instead, I’d like to ask Reps. Finegold and Miceli both why they failed to address the larger structural issue facing Tewksbury, and most other towns and cities of the Commonwealth, when they backed DiMasi and the fiscally rightwing Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce in killing Patrick’s longer term fix of rebalancing revenue generation. This would have pulled us back from the regressive overuse of the property tax, and return us to a fair taxation of the business community (including the very sensible combined reporting, which forces businesses to stop getting away with claiming to be one entity for federal taxation, and another for state). Business does not pay a fair share in Massachusetts (but benefits greatly by government’s initiatives in the form of infrastructure, educated workers, etc). Patrick’s proposals were a slow, gradual start to tackling the fundamental dilemma we have put our cities and towns in under the tender ministrations of Republican governors and legislatures bought and paid for by big corporations.
Miceli and Finegold need to answer that question, before they can be lauded for their support of pulling out the credit card.