Charlie Baker begins by telling you that despite what Governor Patrick says, Charlie is going to tell you “about the actual state of our state.” Baker says when the Governor took over three years ago, the state had a $1B surplus and now has a $3B deficit.
Unfortunately, Charlie is only telling people half the story. The supposed $1B surplus that Governor Romney claimed he left behind was widely discredited by independent budget watchdogs. And Charlie conveniently leaves out the fact that we have all suffered through a disastrous global economic crisis that has negatively impacted state revenues in MA and across the country.
But hey, we’ll forgive Charlie for forgetting about the economic downturn – it’s still early in the response. Let’s look at more…
He goes on to say that state spending has skyrocketed, and that Governor Patrick gave state employees a pay raise while unemployment spiked this month.
Now hold on – this is starting to get a little out of hand. I know Charlie is “smart”, but all three national, independent rating agencies recently affirmed the state’s AA rating, specifically citing the Patrick / Murray administration’s responsible handling of state finances. Oh, and Charlie conveniently leaves out the fact that the FY2010 budget was less than the budget the year before…(No wonder he left that out – it would ruin the “spin” around skyrocketed spending.)
And while he correctly points out the rise in unemployment this past month, he neglects to mention that unemployment in MA fell the past two months, and is still below the national average. Or that Governor Patrick recently negotiated concessions from state employee unions that will save taxpayers millions, or that he instituted a mandatory furlough program, or eliminated thousands of positions in state government…(I think we are starting to see a pattern here, Charlie…)
The video continues, with Charlie declaring “our state is a mess”, and saying that it’s time to send leaders who will take action to end the circus on Beacon Hill.
Circus? I vaguely remember something about Weld, walruses and Baker defending it in the Boston Herald – maybe that’s what he is referring to…
He goes on to say that Governor Patrick’s policies are driving business away.
Again with half the story, Charlie! What about the cut in the corporate tax rate that went into effect on January 1st, or opening up the insurance market and attracting new firms into the state, or investing in life science, biotech and clean energy businesses…or the fact that the business confidence index has gone up 9 out of the last 10 months?
Then Charlie talks about his own record, letting us know that he has turned around tough situations before, with the state in the early 1990’s and with Harvard Pilgrim Health Care.
Hmmm…what do both stories have common? I know…Charlie used a tax increase from Governor Dukakis to balance the budget as A+F Secretary, and he used a state-supported bailout to help Harvard Pilgrim. I thought this guy took a “no-new taxes” pledge?
Charlie ends his video with the request that if you agree with what he just said, please help make reform happen.
Like reforming the pension system, or the ethics laws, or abolishing the Turnpike and reforming the Transportation bureaucracy, or reforming the auto insurance market, or joining 49 other states in allowing civilian flaggers? Wait, that didn’t happen under Weld and Baker – it happened under Governor Patrick!
The voters of MA are smart, Charlie. Next time, try giving them the whole story.
For updates and inside information on the Patrick campaign and MA politics, follow me on Twitter @DougRubin.