“Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for the profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family or class of men.” -Massachusetts Declaration of Rights, Article 7.
- I support clean elections to rid the pay-to-play system. A public campaign financing system would allow regular people to run for the people’s house. Just like some people don’t have the funding to start-up a small business, some people don’t have access to wealthy investors on a political campaign. Campaign events shouldn’t be limited to those who can afford access to our officials. I welcome the competition in this open seat and competition should be the norm. Taxpayers will also get more bang for their buck if our leaders can focus more on their jobs and less on asking for money.
- Year after year, we see a Constitutional Convention proposal to put judges up for elected office, which is a terrible idea. Judges should not be partisan or political and must not be subjected to the whims of which way the wind blows in a given election year.
- I support the Constitutional Convention proposal that would prohibit the government from using “eminent domain” to take property for the purpose of economic development. It would be reckless for local authorities to forcibly redistribute private homes and land to businesses.
- We didn’t get out of the Great Depression by slashing government, but rather by investing in it. One in four people were unemployed, and those who had jobs pooled their resources together in the form of taxes to create jobs for others. But these jobs weren’t just charity; citizens were receiving public services in the form of national parks, hydroelectric power, and increased access to telephone service. We can do the same today with better infrastructure, clean energy utilities, and increased access to broadband internet… just to name a few examples.
- There’s a myth that our state is “Taxachusetts,” and maybe that was true when Ronald Reagan took office. But the Census Bureau numbers show that our state and local tax rate is at the median—right in the middle of all other states—when it comes to taxes as a percent of income. We only pay about $600 more per capita annually than the rest of the country; sometimes it looks like we pay more, because we generally make more money than other states. But according to the Tax Foundation (a conservative non-profit), as a percent of money made or spent in 2008, we are actually below the national average! As recently as 2002, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation put us at 40th! As far as business taxes, the Tax Foundation said we tax less than 35 other states. And even despite our relatively low tax rates, we’re still the best in education, and we’re near the top in income levels.
- Given all this, I would support an amendment for a progressive state income tax, like we have at the federal level. This would ensure that those who benefit most from the system pay their fair share, and the most vulnerable populations in our society are not expected to pay the same as the wealthiest. I would ensure that the middle class would pay lower taxes than we do now under such a system.
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