Charles D. Baker, Jr., an insurance executive described by the Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts as “nothing more than an overcompensated insurance executive who placed profits over patients at the expense of hard-working families and employers in Massachusetts’’ is running for governor of Massachusetts as a Republican.
He’s already, on the first day, driven his campaign into the tried-and-true Republican swamp of old and useless bromides that got the country into its current financial mess.
Massachusetts, like most states, has been badly hurt financially by the shenanigans of Wall Street and by the policies of the national Republicans for the last few decades. Baker has no intention of putting things right.
“I’m a no-new-taxes candidate,’’ he said, adding later for the television cameras: “Yeah, read my lips: No new taxes.’’
The state just passed an increase in the sales tax, along with a truckload of cuts to a variety of programs, to help repair the damage. Charlie insists he’ll try to repeal it. Which is pretty much the same thing as saying he’ll cut funds for education, for police, for fire, for social programs, and so on.
Baker, apparently unaware that the state has slashed heavily already, offered this:
When asked what needs to be cut from the budget, Baker said that “everything should be on the table,’’ including scaling back the state’s landmark healthcare initiative.
Sounds a lot like the Republican apes in the Federal Senate and House who say no to every program that threatens the obscene profits of their corporate donors – you know, insurance companies, drug companies, oil companies.
But Charlie said he ‘would resign’ his position as chief executive of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, one of the big local insurance groups.
Naturally he’d put the state’s new health care program on the chopping block: it probably cost him some bonus money when it went into effect.
Of course Charlie criticized the current governor, Deval Patrick, for the state’s financial problems.
“I think he let the budget get away from him, and once the budget gets away from you, really bad things happen,’’ Baker said.
As if Massachusetts had no connection to the rest of the country’s money catastrophe. Oh, wait, Charlie doesn’t think there is a connection.
“I’m not going to participate in national discussions and national politics; I’m interested in what happens here in Massachusetts,’’ he said.
Ya can’t have one without the other, Charlie boy.
But Charlie’s trying to make a game of it. He cites his good points.
Baker said he supports abortion rights and same-sex marriage, adding: “My brother’s gay, and he’s married, and he lives in Massachusetts, so I’m for it. Is that straight enough?’’
Maybe Charlie ought to sit down with his brother and discuss the tone-deaf irony of that remark.
Charlie also supports the death penalty. That’s certainly in line with his past as a health insurance executive, considering that health insurance companies are in the business of killing people for profit by denying care.
Charlie’s come out of the gate as just another slash-and-burn Republican, crowing about screwing the middle class and the poor, refusing to pay for the stuff that lifts up the people and the state in order to line the pockets of his rich friends and his corporate donors.
And just as a general principle, no one, no one who works or worked in the executive branches of the insurance industry should qualify to run for public office. They should stick to what they know, and what they know is thievery.
Sorry, Charlie. We don’t need any more Republican con men in charge of anything.