Tuesday, November 11, 2008

 

Notes on the 2008 elections – 1: Massachusetts state income tax

Massachusetts liberals really did put their money where their mouths are.

Question 1 on the state ballot would have repealed the state income tax, eliminating 40% of the state's tax revenues. Conservative columnist George Will characterized it as "the most radical measure at issue" in last week's elections.

Supporters claimed that the "average worker" would save about $3,700 per year. It turns out there are no average workers in Massachusetts. Although a similar measure was narrowly defeated in 2002, this time it was rejected by a whopping 70% to 30%.

Rare Massachusetts Republicans supported the repeal and claimed afterward that "money played the biggest role in the results."

I am shocked, shocked to learn that money played a role in an election! Just as shocked as Republicans must be.

There was also some smug backbiting in the winner's circle. Craig the Carpenter reportedly remarked to supporters of the tax repeal, "If you don’t want to pay income taxes, move to New Hampshire." Which begs the question whether New Hampshire would grant them asylum.

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