A Year of Change? – Important decisions need to be made

Many political pundits are wondering if this year will be one of change.

In other words, will the electoral process this year be about the people taking back the power by pushing the politicians out of office in favor of new ones, or will it be about the politicians holding the power and fighting among themselves for it, at the expense of the people?

The clash over how to raise revenues to meet the state’s income shortfall between Governor Deval Patrick and State Senate President Therese Murray and Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo is just such an example of how the fight may go.

No one in state government wants to cut the budget in order to make it work, as those of us in the private sector are struggling to do.

Massachusetts government wants to raise taxes in order to meet the shortfall. Voters in California, where that state needs $24 billion in order to balance the budget, want no part of the political economic debate. They want their elected public officials to cut the budget and to get on with it.

There is a valuable lesson learned in this. Massachusetts residents want what California residents are asking for – for the politicians to make the tough decisions, for the state budget to be balanced without raising taxes.

The issue here is made all the more absurd when the disadvantaged in their wheelchairs arrive at the State House begging for their programs not to be cut.

Paying for those programs cost a fraction of a state budget drowning in bad contracts, unfunded liabilities, pensions that are out of control and for the payment of health insurance for state employees.

Everything here needs to change.

But the will doesn’t appear to exist for such a scenario in state government.

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