Monday, January 20, 2003

Speaking truth to Mitt. Economist Ed Moscovitch has a terrific op-ed piece in today's Herald on Governor Mitt Romney's campaign to slash $200 million in local aid. Unfortunately, it's not yet on the Herald's website, but Moscovitch makes two main points: (1) Romney, in refusing to consider a tax hike, is not telling the truth about how much money even a modest increase would bring in. Simply raising the income tax to 5.9 percent as of March 1 would bring in $200 million this fiscal year, thus canceling the need for local-aid cuts, Moscovitch writes, contradicting Romney's assertion that a tax cut this year would come too late to make a difference. (2) Romney's plan to cut local aid equally and across the board -- supported by the House but opposed by the Senate -- will have a disproportionate effect on poor urban areas. "A 15 percent cut across the board would cost Worcester $192 per person, but Weston only $57," Moscovitch writes. "This is fair?"

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