Taxpayer advocates yesterday blasted the timing of pay hikes awarded to House and Senate staffers, as the state faces lower-than-expected revenues and put off a scheduled tax cut just weeks after the election.
“It sends the wrong message,” said Jim Stergios of the Pioneer Institute. “When there’s a shortfall of hundreds of millions of dollars, that’s a time when taxpayers find it really hard to swallow this.”
House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo handed out raises of “at least 3 percent” to 460 staffers in the House of Representatives last week. Senate President Therese Murray gave her own staff pay hikes of 3 percent. Gov. Deval Patrick raised no objections to the hikes.
“The Senate and House have to manage their budgets just as I have to manage mine,” Patrick said. “So as long as they manage within that budget, that’s up to them.”
Painful cuts to programs and services may be on the way after October tax revenues came in lower than expected and currently puts the state $256 million below expectations for the year. That also means taxpayers won’t get a scheduled .05 percent income tax cut they otherwise would have enjoyed if revenues had been higher.
“The Legislature shouldn’t be giving their staff pay raises,” said Barbara Anderson of Citizens for Limited Taxation. “They should be dealing with mass deficits that are going to get worse.”
The only raises given today are for and by politicians along with police and fire employees. The small family businesses have been just trying to survive and owners are working longer and taking pay cuts. What's worse, companies are taking jobs that will show little if any profit just to stay in business.
The standard of living is going down for pretty much everyone, except for those in our politburo.
Republicans are running scared and backing down on pledges to lower spending and instead are caving and most likely will sign on to the president's plan to raise taxes on the rich and job creators. How will this in itself help our country from falling over the fiscal cliff? It won't - so start preparing yourself and family for even more challenging days ahead.
For you is waiting inflation, tax hikes, and Obamacare, to name just a few goodies that will lead us over the cliff and into third world country status. Ya don't think so, look at the voters!