Then he said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”
Matthew 22:21 (context)
Here in Massachusetts, Question 1 up for voting is whether we should abolish state income tax. The proponents of Question 1 argue that, although it cuts out 40% of the Massachusetts state government budget, the state has at least 40% waste in its budget. Thus, increasing efficiency and removing redundancy and waste will easily cover the 40% budget decrease when residents no longer pay income tax. They emphasize that citizens will get an average of $3,700 a year that right now goes to the state. They say that even without the money from income tax, the state will be able to operate exactly as it always has if it becomes more efficient.
People who oppose Question 1 say that removing 40% of the state budget with one swipe is irresponsible. They argue that although the state certainly has areas it could reduce budgetary waste, no amount of streamlining can make up for losing 40% of the budget. Without income tax, the state will have to start cutting services, such as road maintenance, health care for the uninsured, first-responder services, education, etc. They say that the value of services the state provides is worth paying income tax, and that no amount of increased efficiency can bridge that 40% gap.
The signs for Vote No on Question 1 amuse me. They simply say:
It’s a Reckless Idea
I like that. Compared to the rather wordy Yes on Question 1 signs, I think the No signs sum up their position quite succinctly. Then again, I may be biased…