Examples of How to Give Back $2.4 Billion Out of $52 Billion In Massachusetts State Spending To Massachusetts Workers and Taxpayers

  • Want specific ideas of where to cut just over $2 billion out of the $52 billion the state spends every year? Just click on each item in this list to see a description of where we can cut state spending – with no impact on essential services. Click again to close it.
  • Can we safely cut 5% of state spending? You bet! According to a Fabrizio poll in 2008 of Massachusetts voters, the state wastes 41 cents on every dollar it spends – a staggering $21 billion of your tax dollars – every year.
  • That’s as much as the cost of the Big Dig!
  • That’s ten times more than needed to roll back back the sales tax to 3%.
  • That’s why making needed cuts when we roll back the sales tax to 3% is a drop in the bucket. A first step towards cleaning out waste from Massachusetts state government spending.
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  • Massachusetts state government has more than 540 departments and agencies; with a WEEKLY combined budget of approximately $1 Billion.
  • We can save billions every year by opening up the books of each government agency and asking these questions:
    • What is its purpose?
    • How much does it cost taxpayers every year?
    • How much waste can we eliminate without affecting the service the agency provides?
    • Can it be combined with other agencies to save money?
    • What results does this agency produce? Is it worth the money?
    • Is this an essential service?
    • Is the service this agency provides higher priority or lower priority than giving back those tax dollars to the men and women who earned them, stimulating the economy and creating jobs?
  • Taxpayers may conclude that many of these agencies can either be reduced, consolidated or eliminated completely.
  • Some agencies may provide services that are “nice to have” but cannot be justified. For example, it may be nice to renovate a small museum that gets only modest visitor traffic every year. But is it justifiable to ask taxpayers to pay for such things? In this difficult economy, is it better to allow taxpayers to keep more of their earnings, stimulate the economy and create private sector jobs?
  • If we were to eliminate the 25 lowest-priority agencies out of the 540 (one out of every 22 agencies),  we would save $2.4 Billion per year, every year — enough to lower the sales tax to 3%. That would still leave 515 state bureaucracies intact.
  • Can Massachusetts survive with only 515 state bureaucracies?
  • Can we get by with a lot fewer than 515 bureaucracies?
  • Save $ Billions
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  • Hundreds of state mandates imposed on cities and towns force up local spending (and force up property taxes too).  For example, local officials’ hands are tied when negotiating labor contracts.
  • Repealing these mandates would drive down local spending levels substantially. The savings could be applied to cuts in state aid – with no impact on local services.  This long overdue reform alone would make up for a good portion of lost sales tax revenue with no down side.
  • It would also give local communities, teachers and parents more control over schools and other local government services – making them much better and more responsive to citizens.
  • Save $100s of Millions
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  • Save $3 Million per year by cutting ‘eye-popping’ salaries at government agencies called  “quasi-public agencies”
  • Several employees make in the high $200,000s every year.
  • The governor makes $143,000 a year
  • 80 of them make $40,000 more on average than the governor.
  • Bringing them down to $143,000/year would save $3,200,000 per year.
  • The Senate has passed a law limiting the salaries of quasi-public agencies to what the governor makes.  The House of Representatives has not yet passed an equivalent measure.
  • Read the full Channel 5 report at: http://www.thebostonchannel.com/news/23095583/detail.html
  • Save $ Millions

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  • Who’d a thunk it? Even the Boston Globe concedes that politicians continue to give away “utterly unjustified concessions to their public employees.”
  • In an editorial on 5/2/10,  the Boston Globe, fearing our sales tax roll back initiative might win this November, pleads MA legislators to make REAL government spending cuts — especially bloated government employee pensions.
  • Globe “It’s not just the firefighters; many other unions have resisted cost-cutting changes. It’s not just the unions; public employees at multiple levels benefit from a pension system that remains overly generous. And it’s not just payments to employees and retirees; some entire agencies, including the Probation Department, need to be overhauled, and others, such as most pension boards, need to be abolished altogether.”
  • http://tinyurl.com/23l78wn
  • Save $ Billions
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  • More than 540 state government departments and agencies together consume close to $1 Billion/week. Virtutally every government agency is bigger and fatter than it needs to be, while many aren’t needed at all. Case in point: the “Mass Cultural Council“, which spends more than $9 million a year on local pork projects. If these projects are really worthwhile, local residents can elect to pay for them. Or the proponents can raise funds from benefactors or local businesses. Don’t make poor folks in Roxbury pay for nifty arts projects in the Berkshires – when keeping taxes low to put food on the table is a much higher priority.
  • Save $ Millions
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  • Massachusetts taxpayers will fork over $9,000,000 this year for a redundant government bureau to chase backyard moose, investigate roadkill and bust ATV and snow mobile scofflaws, all of which are handled already by existing police agencies.
  • Waste Deep
  • Save $ Millions
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  • Project managers overseeing Boston University Bridge repairs have an eye-popping $2 million budget – just for police details, i.e., flagmen.
  • This was needed to pay for police officers making $48 per hour and for getting paid a full shift (4 or 8 hours) when they work as little as half an hour.
  • What do flagman get paid in other states? $15 / hour!
  • We must stop overpaying for this simple task and hire workers at market rates.
  • Bridge Rehab Detail Costs Raise Fiscal Concerns
  • Save $10 of Millions
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  • In Belmont, as in many Mass. towns, school employees are among the top earners in town. (A coincidence that the Teachers Unions are funding 97% of the opposition to Question 3?)
  • Teachers’ pay continues to increase when many other departments — not to mention most private sector employers — are cutting back.
  • Once teachers, who make up the vast majority school employees, are hired, they’re locked into a grid of so-called steps and lanes. That grid dictates how much more tax money, state and local, will be required each year to pay for government schooling in Massachusetts.
  • Without passage of Question 3 and the reforms it would finally force Beacon Hill to implement, unfair and unsustainable teacher and administrator increases will continue.
  • Read the flimsy justification for these increases here: Belmont School Officials Defend Their Overcompensation
  • Save $ Millions
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  • Hundreds of millions of dollars can be saved for the taxpayers of Massachusetts with just a few commonsense reforms at the Probation Dept, report finds.
  • Probation Dept. Flaws Prove Costly
  • Save $ Millions
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  • John R. Buonomo, the former registrar of probate for Middlesex County who was caught on carmera stealing public funds, may be serving time behind bars, but he can still count on his pension check arriving on time every month.
  • Convicted Thief to Keep Pension
  • Save Thousands
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  • Party-hearty Beacon Hill lawmakers are chipping in taxpayer dough to an old Kentucky hoedown where they will schmooze with lobbyists, play the ponies, swill bourbon on Churchill Downs’ “Millionaires Row” and enjoy a private serenade by Wynonna Judd and Loretta Lynn.
  • Hacks Bluegrassing on Taxpayers’ Green
  • Save $ Thousands
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  • $2 million of our tax money was spent to rent 20,000 square feet of office space at 90 Everett Ave., Chelsea .  It was intended to house up to 180 workers of the Dept. of Revenue but ended up virtually empty for two years.  Read the full report found at: http://tinyurl.com/38623ha which then redirects you to the I-Team page.
  • Save $ Millions

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  • Tell the Boston firefighters union that if they insist on blackmailing citizens by refusing safety measures without extra pay, then maybe we should not only refuse their demands but replace them with workers willing to work for market wages. That would mean lowering their pay AND ending their cushy retirement packages.
  • City Council must stop indefensible firefighter raise
  • Save $ Millions
Save Millions
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  • $38 million is being funneled to a Dorchester shrine to the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and could rise to at least $68 million this year, infuriating watchdog groups who insist the project should be privately funded.
  • Temple for Ted Kennedy built with pork
  • Save $10s of thousands
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  • Remember the Boston Globe’s 3-part series on the front cover of their newspaper about the terrible, painful cuts they had to make to schools in Salem?
  • Well, turns out almost all of them got their jobs back.
  • Now we learn that all of 45 city employees are earning $100,000 a year or more – up from 34 just two years ago.
  • The median household income in Salem is less than $60,000.
  • Money Talks as Anger Grows
  • End taxpayer abuse by crying wolf over nothing – and bring school employee salaries in line.
  • Save $ billions statewide
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  • Massachusetts taxpayers will receive huge breaks when voters this fall force the legislature to auction off unnecessary and expensive real estate holdings that are currently being misused as sweet perks for state workers.
  • State Workers get Sweet Deals on Posh rental Properties
  • Save Billions
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  • You know the age-old excuse around here. Taxpayers have to pay and pay for ridiculous pensions and Cadillac health benefits to government workers – legislators, city councilors, court clerks, PR flaks, highway workers, janitors, etc. – to lure talented people from the private sector, where they’d make higher salaries. Not true! The jig is up! The scam revealed…
  • Public Enemies!
  • Save Billions
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  • “Ed reform” in Massachusetts has scammed taxpayers out of billions of dollars since its passage in 1993, an independent state audit revealing massive cost overruns and poor oversight has shown. Now the teachers unions are salivating anew as Beacon Hill prepares to dump yet another $250 million into the state’s chronically failing urban schools. When will the politicians learn that pouring more good money onto the problem of  badly managed schooling never solves the problem? Stopping this latest wasteful “ed reform” expenditure will save taxpayers hundreds of  millions of dollars.
  • Dramatic shake-up planned at 12 city Schools
  • Save Millions
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  • Even as the private sector job market reels from a deep recession, high unemployment and escalating taxes, state government continues to dole out millions in six-figure overtime payouts to state employees. Eliminating overtime waste will save Massachusetts taxpayers tens of millions of dollars over the next 5 years.
  • Government employees line pockets with OT
  • Overtime Bonanza
  • Save Millions
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  • The new Massachusetts insurance mandate is driving up the cost of both government-subsidized and privately-paid medical care and medical insurance.
  • Many options exist for cutting costs that can give everyone more access to health care than they have today for much less money and save tax dollars. For example, repeal restrictions on walk-in care and publication of laboratory test prices.
  • Graham: RomneyCare to cost $900 million next year alone
  • Save $ billions
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  • Rampant nepotism is costing MA taxpayers millions, as relatives and friends of government officials crowd state and local payrolls.
  • Cut no-show jobs and ban special favors.
  • Carr: The Hack Train is Never-ending
  • Save $ Millions
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  • Massachusetts courts are notorious for waste and inefficiency. Streamlining the system will save millions annually.
  • Six-figure Court Clerks of 2009
  • Save Millions
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  • Save $10 of Millions
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  • Beacon Hill must repeal costly and unnecessary credentialism, the laws that protect greedy government employee unions from competition even for easy tasks that a child could do.
  • The teachers’ union in Bridgewater and Raynham has filed a labor grievance that could block volunteers from keeping the school district’s libraries open after a recent round of layoffs.
  • Volunteer organizations stepped in to pick up the slack — only to be surprised and disappointed by threats of a labor complaint, citing the volunteer book stackers’ lack of the “proper qualifications.”
  • Don’t let unions keep neighbors from helping neighbors.
  • Greedy Teachers Unions target “uncertified” Volunteer Librarians
  • Save $ Millions
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  • The Massachusetts legislature and governor spend $23 billion of your tax dollars – every year – in what they call “off-budget” spending.
  • Politicians refuse to publish details about this off-budget spending.
  • What are they hiding? How much of it is waste? Sweetheart deals, nepotism jobs, and lucrative government contracts? Redundancy? Unnecessary bureaucracies? Lavish pensions? Items of extremely low priority?
  • Our sales tax cut reduces government spending by just $2.34 billion. One tenth of the amount “off-budget” spending.
  • We can cut total state government spending by up to ten times the amount of the sales tax roll back by implementing a new rule:
    • Move all “off budget” spending to the operating budget. Any state government spending not reported “on budget” – in the full light of day – gets no funding.
  • Now that’s a reasonable proposition that any honest candidate or legislature who claims to represent taxpayers – and not special interests – should be proud to support and vote for. And a fast way to cut $23 billion from state government spending – or, if they comply, expose billions of dollars of waste ripe for cutting.
  • Save $ Billions
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  • As the great Jerry Williams used to say, “They just don’t get it!” The very same people who voted recently to raise taxes on struggling Massachusetts workers; the very same people who voted recently to drive more good jobs out of the state, refuse to share in the pain that they themselves created.
  • Pols Refuse to take Furloughs
  • Save $100s of Thousands
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  • Government road and highway construction projects are  notorious for wrapping up months and even years late and coming in millions and even billions over budget. Introducing commonsense, independent oversight of government-funded road and highway projects will identify and save taxpayers billions over the next two to three decades.
  • Many Highway Projects Millions Over Budget
  • Save $ Billions
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  • Imagine getting a six-figure pension for mostly part-time work. That is just one perk in our state pension system that is costing you millions of dollars.
  • State Pension System Costing You Millions
  • Save $10s of Millions
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  • When you pay a highway toll in Massachusetts, you might assume every penny is used to pay for road upkeep, or at least to help pay off the Big Dig. If so, you assume wrong.
  • Toll Money Given to Charities, Pol Events
  • Save $100s of Thousands
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  • Another high-paid state employee is caught working half-days at full-day pay. Eliminate wasteful, no-show positions throughout the state and local bureaucracies and save millions.
  • Court Employees Scam Taxpayers
  • Save $ Millions
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  • Massachusetts taxpayers will fork over $9,000,000 this year for a redundant government bureau to chase backyard moose, investigate roadkill and bust ATV and snow mobile scofflaws, all of which are handled already by existing police agencies.
  • Read the full Boston Herald article found at:  http://tinyurl.com/2wwdvr8 which then redirects you to the Boston Herald page.
  • Save $ Millions
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  • Bay State welfare recipients can play the slots, pick up a six-pack of beer or nab a flat-screen plazma under loosey-goosey state government restrictions that allow those on the dole to treat taxpayers’ wallets as their own personal ATM.
  • Welfare Card Can Be Swiped for Booze, Slots
  • Save $100s of Thousands
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  • Like the idea that the person collecting ever-increasing tolls from you on the Mass Pike is making an average salary of $75,000?
  • Does it take as much skill as the job of a gas station attendee – who makes $20,000/year?
  • Pay toll-takers what they’re worth!
  • Save $ Millions
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