On The Right, Facts Really Matter. And The Easter Bunny Is Real.

In today’s Globe, in the Metro section, there’s a story on the battle over Question 1 on the November ballot.

It was put there by the Committee for Small Government, headed by someone named Carla Howell. Her aim is to abolish the state income tax, her justification is her claim that 41% of government spending is waste.

She even backs her claim up with rock solid proof. Yup, she does. A Republican pollster asked 500 voters to speculate on ‘the share of every tax dollar that state government wastes’.

Yup, that’s pretty rock solid evidence. And there’s this reading:

But supporters of repealing the income tax say the figure is meaningful whether or not voters know its origins – and whether or not it’s precise.

And this:

Howell, a former Libertarian gubernatorial candidate, said she found it useful to be able to cite a number; the survey of 500 likely Massachusetts voters – conducted by the Republican pollster Fabrizio, McLaughlin & Associates – provided her with a tangible figure. But the actual percentage, 41, is not essential, she said.

Howell also claims that she puts the number in quotes on signs and documents supporting her quest to cut the legs out from under government in Massachusetts.

Yeah, quotes, yeah that makes it okay to use the uninformed opinion of citizens who haven’t a clue what they’re talking about and to pass it off as a fact. Or to put it in politer terms:

“It’s an absurd number,” said Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a business-backed budget research group. “That’s pulled out of the air. The public may think there’s 41 percent waste, but that has nothing to do with the facts.”

Once again the right, and it is the right wing at work here – Carla Howell ran on the Libertarian ticket for governor – unable to muster any evidence, any facts, any semblance of reality to support their bogus arguments, turn to make-believe and fantasy to push their nonsense on the rest of us.

Perhaps Ms. Howell would like to invest in some Easter eggs, laid by real bunnies and thus quite valuable. Give The Lion a call, lady, and we’ll cut a deal. But be forewarned that it will cost you – you don’t get something for nothing from The Lion the way you want to get something for nothing from government.

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5 Responses

  1. Because I share a State with you… I agree with your post but would like to express a degree of outrage at the “No” crowds words. I like the idea of ballot questions but really hate how they get pushed. Neither side is telling the truth.
    On a side note I “played” the Globes interactive cut the budget thing. No matter how much you cut you don’t save. Stick to reporting Globe-please

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  2. I heard Howell on the radio this morning throwing around a bunch of figures on the state budget and such. But because she started off with the useless 41% number in the beginning, she has no credibility on anything else in her arguments. If a person lies about one thing, her audience is under no obligation to believe anything else she says.

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  3. This initiaiative only cuts 18% of state spending not the widely advertised 40%. Total state expenditure from all levels is 66 Billion NOT 28 Billion

    THE DOCUMENTED PROOF:

    The Massachusetts state budget IS 44 Billion
    you can find that on page 312 of the budget at this offical government link:

    http://www.mass.gov/Aosc/docs/reports_audits/SBFR/2007_SBFR.pdf
    ‘Total expenditures and other financing uses……….. $ 44,907 (in millions)’

    Once again that is the OFFICIAL State budget at the OFFICIAL website

    Add 22 Billion in local government is 66 billion total spending. Q1 cuts 12 B from the budget.

    12/66 x100 = 18.18%

    That is 18% not 40% of the total budget cut

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  4. The 41% may be a bit off, but I’m sure that the Easter Bunny and the Great Pumpkin are real: they give me candy every year. There’s no way my husband does that!

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  5. The Great Pumpkin is a figment of the Easter Bunny’s imagination. Charles Schulz ate a couple of bad Easter eggs the day he came up with the whole pumpkin shtick.

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