The Globe asked gubernatorial candidates Cahill, Baker and Mihos how they would close the budget gap.
Charlie Baker came up with this:
ask chains like CVS, Wal-Mart, and Walgreens to take over some of the transactions handled by the Registry of Motor Vehicles.
Dude, have you ever seen long lines at McDonald’s? You can bring the kids to the RMV and they can get a free toy. Just saying.
As it turns out that was probably the highlight of Baker’s interview. He went on to talk about consolidating Health and Human Services agencies and capping pensions at $90,000 a year.
These proposals would close our budget deficit from 2 billion all the way down to an almost non-existent 1.9 billion. Way to go Charlie.
But Baker also talks about laying off 5000 state employees, he estimates that the state could save 400 million. But Stephen Crosby, budget chief under Jane Swift says that dollar amount is a pipe dream.
cutting 5,000 workers is “a really seriously Draconian step” that would be difficult because union rules protect the more senior employees with the highest salaries
Baker again is non-specific on what jobs would be cut and to be fair Patrick also includes staffing cuts in his budget. So if we take Charlie Baker’s inflated numbers we still have a 1.5 billion dollar gap.
Is this really a solution? In the real world we need to balance our budget. But I have to say that Baker’s very weak attempt to add specifics to bring down the budget gap was actually better than Tim Cahill who just threw his hands up in the air and pretty much said he had no idea. That’s leadership!