Pigging out on your
Big Surprise: Tax Hogs
Fear Loss of State Income Tax!
Most parents are watchful of
the company their children keep. If you
hang out with a questionable crowd, your
character and morals will be in doubt.
Hang out with druggies or thieves and
your involvement with drugs or your
respect for property rights will be
Ive been the focus of such doubts
myself on two occasions.
First, since I went to college in the
late sixties and early seventies
(spending four years at Cornell, the
Berkeley of the East, and
then five years in liberal Cambridge), it
is often presumed that I must have
experimented with illicit drugs. While
that presumption would be false, it is
Now it is happening again. I must confess
that I have been spending an inordinate
amount of time with
ashamed to admit this
village people. You know what
Im referring to: big-government
Of course, being from Taxachusetts we are
all accused of being tax-and-spend
liberals when we encounter people from
states south of Washington, D.C. or more
than a few hundred miles from the ocean.
Oh, youre from
Massachusetts, they say as they
clutch their wallets, back away and look
at you like you are a leper. If you are
from Massachusetts, you are guilty; case
So I guess I shouldnt be surprised
when I hear complaints from local
citizens that the North Andover School
Committee (of which I am a member) has
done this or that, with the assumption
that its members are a monolithic,
single-brained, five-headed monster.
Unfortunately, fulfilling my duties as a
School Committee member requires me to
mingle with the village people on a
This wouldnt be so bad if they
shared a diversity of opinions, but
instead they seem to embrace a single
ideological perspective: Growing the size
of government and increasing our taxes is
always desirable. Never, ever, reduce tax
revenues or government programs!
A recent meeting at North Andovers
Middle School organized by our
legislators and supported by our town
officials provides a prime example.
The meeting was purportedly arranged to
give citizens an update on the generosity
of our state government and to permit
local officials to genuflect to the
extraordinary efforts, wisdom and
kindness of our legislative delegation.
Even by Massachusetts standards,
this was a one-sided affair; a contest
with just one contestant; a super bowl
with just one team on the field.
Have you ever heard anyone begin a story
with, There are two kinds of people
? Well, they were right. You
can guess what these two
With a few exceptions including a senior
citizen who came to complain about the
Legislature squandering taxpayers
money by handing out undeserved pensions
(three cheers for her!), the meeting was
dominated by one kind.
Given that our citizenry is pretty
diverse politically, why were the views
of those attending this meeting so
one-sided? What gave rise to this
preponderance of a single ideological
I could begin answering this question by
referencing the concentration of flies
around a certain substance dropped by
actually, I think I
Flies go where they need to, to get what
they want. They swarm around warm smelly
stuff that they like and which the
animals no longer have a use for. While
their culinary choice may be disgusting,
they are at least morally accountable
since they dont take anything the
original owner seeks to keep.
But other insects are not so respectful
of the barnyard animals. They are
equipped with devices designed to
administer local anesthesia and then
drain the lifeblood from animals that
would prefer to keep the blood for
If these insects were people, their
thievery would be contemptible.
With the exceptions noted earlier, it
appears that those who attended this
meeting have one thing in common. They
are all net consumers of your tax
dollars; i.e., they receive more in
payments, goods and services from the
government than they pay in taxes. They
and their families personally benefit
from higher taxes and their lives would
be diminished if our tax burden were
While there was considerable oratory at
this meeting regarding the great benefits
of government spending, no attendees
thought to acknowledge their shared
conflict of interest.
After the initial pontification period
ended, the time came for questions from
Amazingly, one gentleman went to the
microphone and decried the lack of state
aid to the city of Lawrence whose annual
budget is supported with $140 million
annually from the state; not to mention
being given a new high school costing the
state well over $100 million with
essentially no contribution coming from
Lawrence residents. He concluded with a
plea for greater social justice!
Then North Andover United (NAU) took over
the microphone. NAU, in case you are
unaware, is the group that pretends to be
a neutral arbiter of tax and spend issues
but which campaigns full time for
increased government services requiring,
you guessed it, HIGHER taxes!
I thought Id heard softball
questions before, but NAUs doe-eyed
pleading for reassurance from our
legislators should be nominated for the
softball hall of fame.
A leader of NAU asked (Im
paraphrasing), Do you think it
would be good if the taxpayers of
Massachusetts eliminated the income tax
thus requiring you to reduce state
Oh my GOD! You would think that
Armageddon was at hand.
Reduce government spending? Disaster!
Even the great depression would be a
I was waiting for someone to cry,
Give us more taxes or give us
These people, as they say, need to get a
grip. If the income tax is eliminated in
Massachusetts, the total of our state and
local taxes, on a per capita basis, will
merely drop to just above the level that
currently exists in New Hampshire
the fastest growing state in New England.
Here are the current state and local per
capita tax burdens in New Hampshire and
Massachusetts (from the U. S. Department
of Commerce and the Census Bureau):
* Massachusetts: $5,203
* New Hampshire: $3,321
* Difference: $1,882 more in
Massachusetts for every man, woman and
When you multiply this difference by
Massachusetts state population, you
get over $12 billion, which is more than
the projected reduction in tax revenues
if the state income tax is eliminated.
But the argument for eliminating the
income tax is not merely that it
wont do harm. It is that it will
lead to tremendous growth in the
states economy, create a multitude
of jobs, and ensure a better standard of
living for our citizens.
Why? Because, a dollar you earn will be
spent wisely by you; whereas that same
dollar, taken from you and spent by a
government agency, will often be
squandered or used to enrich public
sector employees beyond what they could
have earned in the private sector.
Check out the income taxes you paid to
Massachusetts last year. How much better
off would you be if you could keep those
earnings year after year? Would you be
able to save more and be more secure?
Would you have more job opportunities as
businesses moved into Massachusetts and
prospered? Would Massachusetts begin to
grow again instead of standing out as one
of the few states losing population?
Remember the barnyard animals that keep
having their blood drained by the insect
swarm. If you reduce the flow of blood to
the insects, they will protest vehemently
but the animals will regain their
health and will live longer, more robust,
and happier lives.
Now for the important question: Are you
one of those having the life sucked out
of you, or are you one of those living
off the lifeblood of others?
Ignore the protests of the village
people. The sky will not fall, but a
heavy burden will be lifted from your
If you are tired of your earnings being
sucked dry to support a ruling class of
ravenous public employees and special
interests, STAND UP for yourself and your
family by supporting the initiative to
END THE INCOME TAX .
and offer to help out in any way you can.
Dr. Ormsby is a member of the
North Andover School Committee. He
is a graduate of Cornell and has a
doctorate from MIT. You can contact Dr.
Ormsby via email: email@example.com
All pictures and
(C) copyright, Valley Patriot, Inc., 2008