In a hilarious column today the Globe’s Jeff Jacoby asserts that the world, or representative democracy in Massachusetts, or something equally colossal, may end if ballot Question 3 (to defund public services by cutting the sales tax from 6.25% to three percent) passes:
A vote for Question 3 is a vote to grab state government by the collar and give it a shaking it can’t ignore. Pass up this chance, and you may not get another.
Now, a 6.25% sales tax rate may not be the best public policy for the Commonwealth (personally, I favor 5%), but I can’t really see that it will end life as we know it before the next scheduled general election in 2012.
Even funnier is that this fantastic assertion comes in the final sentence of an entire column ostensibly devoted to ridiculing hyperbole. “Tax Cut Monster” (“who punishes any drop in tax rates by ravaging police and fire departments, throwing the sick and poor into the street, and reducing public infrastructure to rubble”), Jacoby asserts, is an exaggeration. His best evidence is that “the apocalypse” (his term) did not come after Proposition 2 1/2 was enacted. (Now there is penetrating analysis: mountains did not melt, therefore everything critics of Prop. 2 1/2 asserted was fantasy, but I digress). If Question 3 goes down, however, it’s the Seventh Seal.
A free BMG mug to whichever commenter comes up with the best definition of “Jacoby’s Apocalypse:” the titanic convulsion that may destroy Massachusetts if Question 3 is defeated. Here is something that he may have had in mind, from Revelations. Mind, this is only after the Sixth Seal:
[T]here was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
Enter soon, you may not get another chance!