Massachusetts is stumbling.
Early in his successful campaign for the 2008 Republican nomination for president, John McCain used to accuse the government of "spending like a drunken sailor." Of course such an accusation overlooked that one of those acting like a drunk was a member of his own party, President Bush, who wouldn't veto anything. But in any case McCain dropped the line when he received an angry letter from a navy veteran who complained, "As a former drunken sailor, I resent being compared to the government."
Governments of all spending habits would probably resent being compared to the government of Massachusetts, which despite have a record year of incoming revenue, is none the less raising taxes by the hundreds of millions. State Senator Mike Knapik of Westfield (above) was quoted in yesterday's Springfield Republican as summing up the situation in an attempt to rename the legislation with devastatingly precise humor:
The only Western Massachusetts legislator to vote against the bill, Sen. Michael R. Knapik, R-Westfield, said the state so far has collected $1.2 billion more in taxes than it projected for this fiscal year.
"Why do you need another $500 million in new business taxes?" he said after the vote. "It will hinder job growth."
Knapik and other Republicans said the bill could drive businesses out of the state. To emphasize the point, they proposed an amendment to rename the bill "An act to promote economic stimulus in New Hampshire, Rhode Island and other States in the Union."
Unfortunately it is no joke if it is your job that leaves the state thanks to the fiscal mismanagement of Deval Patrick's Administration and his legislature. It's a shame, everything that was feared might be bad about Patrick has come true, while nothing that was hoped would be good has materialized.
In the UMass Collegian there was an article saying that the much over-rated surrealist poet James Tate would be reading tonight as part of the Visiting Writers Series.
Visiting writer? Tate is a professor at UMass! How can he visit if he never went away?
I see that a computer store has moved into the old Blockbuster movie rental joint on Cowls Street in Amherst.
Amusingly, they have preserved a few aspects of the movie rental decor.
The flowers are blooming nicely in downtown Northampton.
It is evidence of Hamp's essential civility that no one picks or tramples on them, as one would perhaps suspect might happen if they were planted in downtown Springfield.