Massachusetts ‘Taxpayers’ Foundation’s Attack on Question 3

A group that regularly defends high taxes and high state government spending, once again, issued a “report” loaded with the usual doom-and-gloom threats if Question 3 passes and we roll back the sales tax to 3%. But who are they?

The Massachusetts “Taxpayer” Foundation is an Orwellian name con. To be honest and accurate, they should replace the word “Taxpayers” with the two words “Tax Profiteers”. They are funded by politically-connected corporations to lobby for special privileges for themselves – and oppose tax cuts for workers and small businesses.

Michael Widmer, their President, is a former Dukakis Administration Official and an unregistered lobbyist. He’s the Poster Boy for what Ayn Rand called a “Pull-peddler” (see Atlas Shrugged).

In the last 30 years, the Massachusetts “Taxpayers” Foundation has actively opposed  and campaigned against ALL ballot initiatives to reduce taxes for Massachusetts residents. For more than 30 years, they’ve allied and joined forces with the National Teachers Unions, the Massachusetts Teachers Unions,  state and local government employment Unions, and the AFL-CIO – to stop tax cuts to taxpayers.

Here are a few of the Ballot Initiative Tax Reductions they have campaigned against:

1980: Proposition 2 ½  – which reduced property taxes and limited increases.
1998: Reduction of income tax rate on interest and dividends from 12% to 5.3%
2000: Governor Cellucci’s income tax rate roll back from 5.95% to 5.3%.
2002: END the Massachusetts state income tax
2008: END the Massachusetts state income tax
2010: Question 3 to Roll Back the Sales Tax from 6.25% to 3%

Rolling Back the Sales Tax to 3% will cut a mere 5% of total state government spending. It does not touch local spending nor in any way dictate, nor require, that the legislature touch a dime of either local spending (not that there isn’t plenty of waste to root out of local spending, especially in the cities). Nor does it take a dime out of essential services (not that some essential services can’t be cut – such as using expensive overtime rates to pay police officers for flag detail).

Their “report” against Ballot Question 3 focuses solely on trying to convince the reader that Armageddon will result from rolling back the sales tax to the spending level of 2009 – while refusing to expose the billions of dollars in government waste ripe for cutting. The very waste from which their supporters profiteer.

The news media greeted the “report” by these Tax Profiteers with warm, uncritical promotion. Rather than expose the group’s special interests, news articles refer to them as a “watchdog” group.

The Tax Profiteers “watch” state finances to be sure – in the same sense that a fox watches a hen house.

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