You may not be aware of it, but there’s an election coming up. Here in Massachusetts we’ll have a couple of questions on the ballot. There’s one about greyhound racing, one about marijuana decriminalization (don’t get excited, it’s not legalization) and then there’s Question 1, which seeks to remove the state income tax.
Naturally this is proposed by a bunch of Libertarians, who assure us that no essential services would be lost. But of course, “essential” to a Libertarian means “not anything that that particular Libertarian would miss.” In the political spectrum, a Libertarian falls somewhere between a three-year-old child and a puppy.
If the measure passes, then Massachusetts can say goodbye to $12 billion in revenue. Springfield specifically would do without $34 million. Does anyone really think we can take $34 million away from Springfield and not notice? Where would the money to pay for things like roads, schools, libraries, police, and fire come from?
The Libertarians have an answer to this: “Who cares? I just don’t want to pay taxes!” Their more specific answer is that there is 40% government waste, so the money would come from there. What plans they have for this waste to be identified and eliminated are sketchy at best. I suppose that once Springfield came up $34 million shy, the government officials would just quit buying solid gold monocles and platinum spats and get serious about spending for a change.
It seems laughable that for a city facing constant budget crises, a plan to take more money away from the city would get any support. But we Americans don’t think very well, and we’re a bit selfish, and we’ve all been trained to think that taxes are awful awful things that should be stopped instead of Money That Gets Shit Done.
Question 1 is an idiotic and reckless proposal. It’s a masturbatory fantasy for a bunch of self-absorbed jerks. If you live in Massachusetts, have the common sense to vote NO on it.