Wednesday, March 19, 2008

No Casino Magic

The Finance Fairies seem to have scratched Massachusetts off their delivery schedule. There'll be no surprise economic miracle here today or tomorrow or anytime in the next decade.

I confess to mixed feelings seeing that the Legislative Committee on Economic Development will recommend that the whole Massachusetts House reject Gov. Deval Patrick's three-casino plan. Their 10 to 8 ought-not-to-pass (a.k.a. up yours!) recommendation is almost always fatal to a bill.

I don't see big gaming as the way out, or even a way out, of our money troubles. We remain in the same dreadful spot — lots of needs, no funding, and no proposals from the House, which controls state moneys.

His High Pettiness, House Speaker Sal DiMasi won yet again. His (insert noun) is bigger than anyone's. However, he remains so shortsighted that he smugly leaves us hanging. He and his minions have stymied every proposal from Patrick to free money to get our economy moving. More important, DiMasi has nothing, nada, zilch to propose himself. He'll naysay us into squalor.

He won't raise business taxes to fair levels that these identical companies pay in other states. He won't raise taxes to bring us even to the top half of tax rates in the nation. He continues to push off infrastructure necessities as legislators and nearly two decades of Republican governors have done.

I'm beginning to believe that Patrick did not crop his hair closely. Rather DiMasi is causing him to lose it in frustration.

Patrick has given DiMasi one funding source another, only to have it stuffed back in his face. Casinos were down the list. The best we can hope for now is that legislators and voters scream Enough! at Sal.

The best outcome for today's latest financial roadblock would be for the legislature to say collectively, "Okay, we can't even fantasize on gambling money. We have to come up with some way to keep the commonwealth perking."

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