Thanks for directing the discussion about the recurring MBTA funding crisis to the Big Pig — corporate welfare. As I commented at that posting, we are losing far more than the $150 million in film tax credits to what Auditor Suzanne Bump called the two-billion-dollar “black box” of corporate subsidies when she testified to the committee hearing bills on disclosure of these give-aways (bills that are still languishing in committee!).
There should be another focus for this conversation, and that is on the tax rates paid by m/billionaires. A recent report found that almost 9,400 tax filers in Massachusetts make over a million dollars a year, with a total income of $28.4 billion. A 4% surtax would bring in $1,136,000,000. And really, it should be a higher surtax on the 82 guys making $25 million to $100 million. Many of those are in the financial industries, which brought down the house. Two billion a year would take care of a lot of subway fares, school teachers, potholes and day care centers.
Come to think of it — last year, the state raked in $2 billion more in income tax than they expected. Yet, instead of spending it on the services the state had just slashed, the Gov tucked most of it into the rainy day fund. And then gave us a sales tax holiday to boot. So…maybe our elected officials just don’t want to give us our services, even if they have the money…
Now, let me say that I agree with those who point out that the T has been unfairly saddled with Big Dig debt (mostly dumped on the Turnpike Authority, which collapsed, and some of which the T is now trying to shift to Massport in ferry costs, as if musical debt will solve the problem). And I agree that the T is inefficient and poorly managed and full of layabouts and negligent in fare collection and all those other Boston-Herald-commenter types of gripes — but then, most every department is similar, and most private companies too, for that matter. I fully agree that we should audit and examine the agency’s operations to cut the very substantial waste, fraud and abuse. Agree, agree.
But we should also recover the big missing public money lost to massive corporate welfare, and to the uber-rich, most of whom are spawn of corporate welfare.