Clearly, Massachusetts Corruptocrats have learned nothing from California’s overwhelming rejection of tax-and-spend initiatives Tuesday. The attempt by Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Democratic-controlled legislature to shove this bloated excess down their throats failed uniformly across the state.
As the Golden State’s results and impact is felt across the country, this tidbit from the San Francisco Chronicle’s analysis stands out:
Focus groups run by the “yes” campaigns were so uniformly negative that consultants thought there was a problem with the groups.
“We moved to different cities and tried different questions, but we got to the same place with every group,” said Gale Kaufman, a consultant for education groups supporting the ballot measures. “People sent a very simple message: ‘It’s not our job.’ ”
Even before the election, focus groups were sending a clear message to Sacramento: after a wild spending spree, you created this mess. Now that it has become unmanageable, you want us to fix it?
In the Bay State, the key difference is that politicians aren’t inclined to place anything on the ballot when they can simply sneak in big tax hikes during a late-night session.
But the public anger is the same: anyone assuming Massachusetts taxpayers are going to roll over and play dead (like they usually do) may be proven wrong this time.
In today’s Herald, even WTKK’s Margery Eagan gets it, to the point where she’s quoting Howie Carr in her column. An excerpt:
The Tax Stealers – aka, our legislators – just did again what they do best: Tell us taxpayers to drop dead.
And we taxpayers just did what we do best: play dead.
Reform before revenue! That’s been Senate President Terry Murray’s mantra.
Guess that’s gone by the boards.
Several dutiful taxpayers told me yesterday they’re doing all they can to fight back: e-mailing and calling to harass The Stealers.
Either The Stealers ask for lots of personal information before responding, or they don’t respond. Or they send a form letter answering nothing. Or they do call back, and lie.
But there are signs that taxpayers are ready for all-out revolt. From Hillary Chabot in today’s Herald:
Outraged small businesses and tax watchdogs promised yesterday they’ll be heard on the hikes, be it at a rally planned for the State House steps today or at the voting booth in November.
“It’s completely out of control,” said Barbara Anderson, executive director of Citizens for Limited Taxation. “The only thing they care about is not getting re-elected. We have to throw them out.”
Corie Whalen, who organized the conservative anti-tax Tea Party in Boston last month, invited anti-tax citizens to gather at the State House starting at 11 a.m. today.
“They’re misleading people when they act like necessary cuts have to be made when they haven’t worked to clear up real waste,” Whalen said.
Jeff Golden, a buyer at Downtown Wine & Spirits in Somerville, said the vote to remove the sales tax exemption from liquor at package stores means many smaller shops would close their doors.
“It’s frustrating for a smaller place. We’re operating on the margins already,” said Golden. “We’re going to have a hard time convincing people to come here when they can get it for less in New Hampshire.”
In the end, it’s not enough to simply write columns about unfair tax increases. How about using that microphone? It’s right there in front of you.
First task: removing Therese Murray from office.
Time to raise some hell.
Arnold image: KCBS