Call me a consummate cynic and you’d probably be right; but in my own defense, my cynicism has a hard time keeping up with reality. I don’t trust our government to do things right or in the best interest of the people. Somehow when the government gets involved the cost always increases in direct correlation with a decrease in value of service.
If you look at the little red voter information book that the state printed up and distributed at your expense you will see what I mean. Study it carefully and read between the lines and tell me if you agree. I’ll give you my cynical view of the ballot questions we must vote on in the upcoming election but remember this is only my viewpoint; you have to make up your own mind. http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/ele14/pip14idx.htm
Question1 THE GAS TAX INDEXING (GTI): Those who support eliminating GTI want you to think that they want to make the legislators vote on a gas tax increase so it makes them more accountable to the people. REALLY? When has a legislator ever worried about passing or increasing our taxes? What they don’t tell you is that the GTI being attached to the consumer price index actually limits the gas tax increases to inflation. What they also don't tell you is that if the CPi goes down the tax may be reduced to no less than 21 1/2 cents per gallon. this is why our gas tax has only risen about 3 cents in 20 years. This takes the ability to increase your gas tax out of the hands of the politicians. If you vote to eliminate gas tax indexing you actually free the politicians to increase your gas tax at will. What do you think these politicians will do if they have the ability to increase the gas tax as high as they want with a simple vote? I think we need to not only limit the gas tax but limit the politicians ability to increase taxes at their whim. Therefore I will VOTE NO TO QUESTION 1.
Question 2 THE BEVERAGE CONTAINER LAW: Those in favor of this law want you to think that this is about the environment. They say it will keep the parks and playgrounds clean. Maybe I’m confused but aren’t there laws against littering? Most people don’t litter just out of principle. Others obey the law rather than having to pay a fine. If this law were truly about littering then it punishes law abiding citizens for the few people who don’t have enough respect for their community to keep it clean. If it were about littering we would enforce the littering laws a little more aggressively; perhaps even increase the fine for littering. No, this law is about collecting more tax revenue. They said it in the information handout. The state collects over 30 million dollars in unclaimed deposits. Now they want to tax the water bottles under the guise of environmental protection because they see another endless revenue stream. I’ll VOTE NO ON QUESTION 2 as well.
Question 3 EXPANDING PROHIBITIONS ON GAMING: Any time I hear the word prohibition I think of the 18th amendment to the constitution. It didn’t work then and it doesn’t work now. Personally I don’t gamble; I don’t like risking my money with such a small chance of maybe winning more. However, I do respect another person’s right to do whatever they want with their own money. If this were about the carnage that gambling addiction can cause to an individual or family then it would be a different story. But then if the government is so concerned about this then we would eliminate the state lottery and any other state or charitable gambling as well. Personally I think the state wants to prohibit gaming because they can’t pilfer enough revenue from it. They point to the dwindling casino industry as a reason to stop gaming but if someone wants to spend millions of dollars to build and operate a casino then let them. It creates a lot of temporary jobs as well as many permanent jobs. It pumps a lot of money into the local economies of communities who are open to gaming. I think I’ll VOTE NO ON QUESTION 3.
Question 4 EARNED SICK TIME FOR EMPLOYEES: You can’t earn time to be sick. That’s like saying that I’m planning to get sick because I’ve earned it. Although many employees who do receive paid sick time use it like that. They take a sick day even though they’re not really sick. Others use their paid sick days as extra income or vacation days. People do get sick and that’s a part of life. Some get sick because they don’t take care of themselves and others get sick because they’re victims of chance. The question is, do we want to force every employer who has over 10 employees to pay every one of their employees a full weeks pay for not working? Imagine how much the cost of their goods will go up for the consumer. Many employers have a paid sick day policy but there are many companies that just can’t afford it. It may price their goods out of the market. This law may cause some companies to downsize to under 10 employees. Imagine being laid off for this reason. While the idea of forcing employers to pay sick employees to not work seems noble, the reality will be devastating for many. I guess I have to VOTE NO ON QUESTION 4 too.
Question 5 THE CPA TAX: I guess you already know I’m going to VOTE NO ON QUESTION 5.