Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has a “novel” solution to the state’s budget woes. On Tuesday, he was very clear: “we are raising taxes and fees.” Patrick, however, left the details of how he intends to raise the proposed $2 billion in revenues until his State of the Commonwealth speech later this month.
This pledge to raise taxes comes amid a weak economy and at a time when interest rates for borrowing are at an all-time low. Patrick pledged to use the money to help subsidize public universities. The tax raising pledge also comes after Patrick pledged to give in-state tuition for illegal immigrants. Patrick also plans on funding a series of major transportation projects. A fair and toll increase is also almost certain. At the end of this past year, Patrick dipped into the state’s rainy day fund for over $300 million dollars.
Many feel Patrick was asleep at the wheel during his absentee year of governing in 2012. Patrick spent most of 2012 out of state campaigning for President Obama. During that time, a menigitis outbreak was caused by a Massachusetts drug compounding company that was not monitored properly by the state’s health department. A state-run drug lab scandal will affect an estimated 10,000 criminals charges and convictions due to alleged tampered with evidence. The case is estimated to cost the state millions.
So, why should taxpayers bear the burden of the Governor’s lack of interest in managing the state and his lack of fiscal stewardship? Since the scandals, Patrick has had several cabinet members resign. He has failed to appoint a new Suffolk County Sheriff, and has appointed another political ally to a judgeship.
A lame duck governor, Patrick raised eyebrows when he made his pitch to Senate President Therese Murray and House Speaker Robert A. Deleo about supporting US Attorney Carmen Ortiz for Governor in 2014. Ortiz has been accused my members of the Boston media of going on several political witch hunts, including the famous Probation agency scandal, implicating members of the legislature in corruption.
What Patrick apparently has not realized is that members of the legislature and the citizens of the Commonwealth will indeed have a say in the debate, especially when it comes to taxation.