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Old 10-14-2010, 02:57 PM   #1
mass88
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2010 Ballot Questions

I am curious what you all will be voting, or how you feel about the 3 initiatives on this years ballot.
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Old 10-14-2010, 03:05 PM   #2
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Re: 2010 Ballot Questions

i don't have a favorite yet but I'm kinda interested to see if it will be as entertaining without Simon
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Old 10-14-2010, 11:00 PM   #3
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Re: 2010 Ballot Questions

I'm glad you got this discussion started here.

Question 2 on the ballot will have a direct affect on architects and others in the planning and development fields. It threatens to repeal the state's primary affordable housing law. The law is responsible for 80% of the affordable housing built outside of the major cities over the last ten years. In its lifetime, it has built 58,000 units of housing, 30,000 of which are affordable at a range of income levels. The law functions by doing two things. First, it sets a goal for every city and town in MA to have at least 10% of its year-round housing stock as affordable. Second, it encourages new building by allowing qualified projects to use a streamlined permitting process (the comprehensive permit) and more flexible zoning (to get around the large lot zoning that exists in most towns).

If the law is repealed 12,000 homes currently in the pipeline will not be built. The UMASS Donohue Institute estimates the repeal would cost 50,000 jobs over the next decade. I am guessing a large number of those jobs would belong to architects and other planning and development professionals.

It is very, very important that members of the architecture and planning communities vote NO on 2 this November.

Much more information is available at www.protectaffordablehousing.org


Full Disclosure: I work for the No on 2 campaign, but I am also a graduate of MIT's School of Architecture and Planning and grew up in affordable housing.
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Old 10-15-2010, 12:51 PM   #4
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Re: 2010 Ballot Questions

I would like to see question 3 pass.

But sadly it will probably get killed thanks to idiots and the advertising is making it seem as if the only source of money to pay for police, fire, education, etc. is from the sales tax.
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Old 10-15-2010, 01:19 PM   #5
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Re: 2010 Ballot Questions

How would you replace that revenue?
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Old 10-15-2010, 04:29 PM   #6
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Re: 2010 Ballot Questions

The hope is that the revenue is not needed and the state will tighten its belt accordingly by cutting jobs, doing away with bloated public pensions and benefit packages and revamping the welfare system.
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Old 10-15-2010, 05:06 PM   #7
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Re: 2010 Ballot Questions

Cutting jobs in the current economy doesn't strike me as wise -- it would be counter-stimulative.
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Old 10-15-2010, 08:39 PM   #8
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Re: 2010 Ballot Questions

Ron(as always your bleeding heart is in the right place),

Those 'jobs' in government agencies holding coats and not showing up 364 days a year cost a great deal of REAL JOBS being created in the private sector due to the punitive taxation needed to support them. If the government wanted a real 'stimulus' it would have forgone payroll taxes FOR EVERYONE rather than doling out pork and temporary positions to the chosen few.

The money is OUR REVENUE NOT THEIR REVENUE. If the state is hurting for money it needs to prioritize spending and find savings before asking us to spread our legs. I'm quite sick of this state voting itself a pay raise whenever it lives well beyond its means.

*Heartless bastard 'Classic Lurker Politicking Rant' mode on!* (think with your heads ArchBoston, the right heads, not your heart dammit)

As far as the 3 ballot questions, obviously I'm voting yes on all three.

The sales tax was meant to be a temporary measure way back in the days of yore, and the as usual the politicians got addicted to spending our money. It should be scaled back.

The affordable housing law needs to be scrapped as well. It benefits a chosen few and does more to limit development for everyone else, which raises housing costs across the board. A typical case of a well meaning law which accomplishes the opposite of the desired effect.

The liquor tax is a joke too. I don't want to pay for some out of state wino to get his detox so that they can hop the greyhound back to points south when the weather gets cold. Make bad decisions in life? Tough shit, deal with your own self created problems and stay the hell away from my wallet.
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Old 10-15-2010, 08:56 PM   #9
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Re: 2010 Ballot Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lurker View Post
The affordable housing law needs to be scrapped as well. It benefits a chosen few and does more to limit development for everyone else, which raises housing costs across the board. A typical case of a well meaning law which accomplishes the opposite of the desired effect.
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Make bad decisions in life? Tough shit, deal with your own self created problems and stay the hell away from my wallet.
That's what you call thinking with your head?
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Old 10-15-2010, 09:40 PM   #10
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Re: 2010 Ballot Questions

Oh my, oh hell yes

Ok so picture this, I'm a layabout that's perpetually 'down on his luck' and likes get shitfaced on cheap liquor every day of the week on a 'disability' check for 'asthma' caused by my chain smoking habit. To add insult to injury, let's go back a year or two when I hear that state of Massachusetts loves giving money to assholes like me, so I hop a bus to the state I've never paid any taxes to and sign up for every wait list and benefit an advocate is willing to fill out for me.

The state of Massachusetts upon reviewing my paperwork thinks it's swell to offer me 'affordable housing' (because I have no 'income' and don't have a savings account in order to disguise how much money I actually have on a regular basis) and detox courtesy of all the people who go to work every day, pay their taxes, pay their rent/mortgages, and aren't lacking in responsibility when it comes to recreational behavior or substances.

Now it is thinking with one's head to have no problem with this (taken to the extreme but illustrative) scenario?
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Old 10-15-2010, 11:52 PM   #11
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Re: 2010 Ballot Questions

Quote:
Those 'jobs' in government agencies holding coats and not showing up 364 days a year cost a great deal of REAL JOBS being created in the private sector due to the punitive taxation needed to support them.
It's not obvious that redistributing money to the private sector automatically results in job growth. The private sector can do whatever it wants with that money. And right now, it's clammed up with fears of uncertainty and risk and is not adding jobs. It would all get hoarded away, while the amount of active public sector spending shrinking would help shrivel the amount of activity in the real economy even more.

(Oh, and don't forget every public employee you would fire is at least performing some kind of service to society right now. When they're off the payroll, they're just adding to the unemployment benefits crisis. I realize you hate the dole and would scrap it too, but you can only go so far at a time, and realistically we're talking about the effect of the changes proposed isolated from any other, probably unrealistic policies.)
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Old 10-16-2010, 12:06 AM   #12
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Re: 2010 Ballot Questions

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Originally Posted by Ron Newman View Post
How would you replace that revenue?
So do you think it was a good idea when Deval Patrick raised the sales tax during the worst economic conditions in 70 years? He also raised taxes on several other things and raised fees on a lot of things as well.

The hope by cutting the sales tax is that the completely bloated state government will tighten their belts.

In the end this will get shot down sadly. Far too many people will give in to those lame scare ads that make it seems as if sales tax revenue is the only source of funds used to pay for police, schools, etc. A lot of people don't realize how much waste we have in this state. It's no surprise unions are the biggest supports of voting no and have donated a lot of money to the cause.

Did anyone read about the teachers union in I think Bridgewater who are protesting the use of volunteer librarians to staff closed libraries. That's ridiculous.
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Old 10-16-2010, 02:19 AM   #13
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Re: 2010 Ballot Questions

Quote:
The hope by cutting the sales tax is that the completely bloated state government will tighten their belts.
This kind of argument rests way too much on an ironic faith in government to make cuts where they probably should be made. The problems you really claim to want to address could be attacked directly. Merely cutting taxes only ensures unprotected programs get cut, regardless of their worth. Most of the "bloatedness" consists of special interests that get protected. Reform the budget first, then perform the cuts, if they can be made without serious sacrifices, and everyone goes home happy - except libertarian extremist ideologues who were making the "cut taxes = cut the bloat" argument in bad faith and people who think they don't rely on state services, when they're actually using our collapsing infrastructure, e.g., constantly.
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Old 10-16-2010, 10:05 AM   #14
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Re: 2010 Ballot Questions

Cutting the state payroll isn't 'redistributing' money back to the private sector, when the money has already been redistributed to the public sector through taxation, it is simply returning the money back to its rightful owner. You are also making a big assumption that state workers are doing some sort of public service. There are so many duplicate positions, assistants to non-existent positions, no shows, coat holders, and other overcompensated positions that are not only costing us in taxes to support, but burdening us in the long term with underfunded pension liabilities. Those unrealistic and often non-contributory pension funds represent a FAR greater and long term detriment to taxpayers than anything else.

Quote:
This kind of argument rests way too much on an ironic faith in government to make cuts where they probably should be made. The problems you really claim to want to address could be attacked directly. Merely cutting taxes only ensures unprotected programs get cut, regardless of their worth. Most of the "bloatedness" consists of special interests that get protected. Reform the budget first, then perform the cuts, if they can be made without serious sacrifices, and everyone goes home happy - except libertarian extremist ideologues who were making the "cut taxes = cut the bloat" argument in bad faith and people who think they don't rely on state services, when they're actually using our collapsing infrastructure, e.g., constantly.
Reform and cuts need to be done concurrently. The beast needs to be starved to keep from growing AND attacked with resolve to tame it. The public needs to learn to not tolerate politicians holding them hostage with threats to cuts to infrastructure and public safety when there is plenty of pork and patronage on the table. When a politician with great and open disdain for the public forgets they are a CIVIL SERVANT WHOSE JOB IT IS TO SERVE THE PUBLIC NOT THEIR OWN PET PROJECTS, they immediately need to be ejected from office.
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Old 10-16-2010, 11:19 AM   #15
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Re: 2010 Ballot Questions

As I have gotten older, I realize ALL politicians are dishonest and don't care. They come around and talk to the people only when they want our votes and then disappear for the duration of their term.

I believe in term limits and I also make every attempt I can to vote out incumbents.

You have politicians voting to raise the alcohol tax and then they get caught up in NH loading up on booze.

We have dozens of toll booth workers, toll booth workers, making over $60,000/year. That is nuts. We have state workers retiring at in their early 50s. 9 out of 10 private sector workers will be lucky to retire in their early 60s at this point.

Government in this state has a simple solution to any problem.....when things get tough for them they simply raise taxes and fees.
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Old 10-16-2010, 10:01 PM   #16
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Re: 2010 Ballot Questions

#1. I vote yes. It takes away from our neighbors to the north. Plus is takes money right out of the hands of the DUI Industry (Ex: When you have to go to those "Alcohol is bad" courses, those programs would be directly affected. Not a practice of mine for the record).

#2. I vote no. We need to have some set of affordable housing. Sure it's not perfect, but 40B has done a lot of good for people who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford a nice place to live. I did a presentation on 40B and 40R for Grad School last semester.

#3. I vote no. You like the fuzz? Or your local Fire Department? Or good roads and bridges? Then pay your share!
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Old 10-16-2010, 10:04 PM   #17
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Re: 2010 Ballot Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by czsz View Post
This kind of argument rests way too much on an ironic faith in government to make cuts where they probably should be made. The problems you really claim to want to address could be attacked directly. Merely cutting taxes only ensures unprotected programs get cut, regardless of their worth. Most of the "bloatedness" consists of special interests that get protected. Reform the budget first, then perform the cuts, if they can be made without serious sacrifices, and everyone goes home happy - except libertarian extremist ideologues who were making the "cut taxes = cut the bloat" argument in bad faith and people who think they don't rely on state services, when they're actually using our collapsing infrastructure, e.g., constantly.
Good call CZSZ...


You have to have Government in your life. You can't have zero Government. Look at what a Libertarian Government has done to Liberia and Sierra Lionne. Do you really want that for MA. I'm not a big fan of certain pols either (Hello Mumbles, Scott Brown). But it's also the lobbyists who have ruined this nation. It's just that these Senators need to grow a spine and stand up for the little people.
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Old 10-18-2010, 03:26 AM   #18
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Re: 2010 Ballot Questions

Quote:
Reform and cuts need to be done concurrently. The beast needs to be starved to keep from growing AND attacked with resolve to tame it.
This is a good idea in theory but never in practice. Better to do the assessment first, when it doesn't raise any fears of actual risk - that way, it won't be tampered with by anyone attempting to protect pet projects or special interests.

Really, you have nothing to lose by employing this method, unless your real goal is to dismantle legitimate government services to promote private sector fundamentalism.
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