State Finance Director Tom Hayes’ letter (Aug. 1) complaining about staff writer Dan Weintraub’s expose of our disastrous state budget reminded me of a big-spending senator who once told colleagues, “These taxes aren’t so high. Look at how much we let the taxpayers keep.”
The Wilsonites strangely argue that massive tax increases, such as repealing the renters tax credit, constitute “a reduction in cost.” To them, government “costs” are reduced by raising taxes.
Extending this fiction further, the Administration maintains that “user fees are not tax increases.” But what else should one call involuntary assessments levied on private citizens to support indolent and wasteful bureaucracies?
Weintraub’s article (“State Budget Is a Fiscal Tim Bomb, Critics Say,” July 19) simply documents what the Administration’s own numbers show: that once the sophistries and semantics are dropped, the budget is balanced with over $8 billion in new taxes, fees and tax accelerations, more than $2 billion in bookkeeping tricks that allow the Administration to pretend the state is receiving more money than it really is, and barely $3 billion of temporary spending reductions.
For the Administration to claim that this is a “fair balance of reductions and revenues” is a measure of how far out of touch with reality it has become.