Funding our Priorities Fairly
We’re currently facing a serious fiscal crisis, and we do not have enough to pay for all of the things we care about. Revenue is decreasing, costs are going up, and people are in need of more and more help from their state government.
Jamie understands that any responsible state budget has to look at both expenditures and revenues, and he believes that at this time our state needs to look for new sources of revenue, rather than balancing our annual budget by cutting vital state services even further.
Every budget dollar has an effect on people’s lives. Our tax dollars fund our schools, so our children can get a good education. Our taxes fund our local police and fire departments, and maintain and repair our roads and bridges, to protect our public safety. Our tax dollars fund our health care system, so we can access the care we need to keep us healthy.
Despite the myth of “government over spending,” over the past ten years, state government spending – as a share of our state economy – has actually gone down, according to the independent research organization Mass Budget and Policy Center. We’ve seen large cuts to spending on higher education, infrastructure, and social services, among others.
A fair tax system asks citizens to contribute to the cost of government services based on their ability to pay. Jamie understands that when we are considering ways of raising revenue, we should strive for fairness and avoid regressive taxes that would hurt low-to-moderate income families the most. He is a strong supporter of establishing a progressive income tax in Massachusetts, which would help balance out other, more regressive taxes (such as sales and property taxes) and make our tax system fairer overall.
We should also be making sure that corporations are paying their fair share towards the the benefits of the Commonwealth they enjoy, including an educated citizenry and public transit systems. While serving in the House of Representatives, Jamie was a leader in the successful effort to close corporate tax loopholes that were allowing big corporations to avoid paying taxes through sophisticated accounting, costing the Commonwealth millions each year.
No elected official likes to talk about increasing taxes – but Jamie believes legislators have an obligation to be honest with their constituents about the choices we face. In this situation, the choice to is clear: we need to do whatever we have to do to protect funding for our highest priorities, such as education, health care, infrastructure, and public safety.