Monday, March 03, 2003

Getting real about Romney's reforms. The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation -- perhaps the most objective source of information about the state budget -- has posted its analysis of Governor Mitt Romney's proposed 2004 budget on its website. The verdict: a mixed bag.

Though the MFT lauds many of Romney's reform initiatives, it continues:

It is unfortunate that this bold restructuring plan has been undercut by overstated claims about its short-term fiscal benefits. While the budget has been billed as eliminating $2 billion in "waste, inefficiency, and mismanagement," more than $1 billion of that total reflects new taxes, fees and other revenue, and another $400 million derives from one-time fiscal gimmicks.

In addition, the MFT finds that the savings Romney proposes to generate through budget cuts come mainly at the expense of real programs that fill real needs, such as local aid and health care, and not from cracking down on patronage abuses.

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