by Carla Howell by Carla Howell
Between 1990 and 2007, the population of Massachusetts rose from 6 million residents to 6.5 million. In 17 years, the population increased 8.3%.
During the same period, Massachusetts state government spending more than DOUBLED.
During the same period, most Massachusetts city and town government spending also more than DOUBLED.
If Mitt Romney's socialized medicine law — HillaryCare in Drag – doesn't sink of its own weight, income tax penalties will soon go into full effect and squeeze more blood out of Massachusetts taxpayers.
Imagine that you're a Massachusetts taxpayer and voter.
On Election Day 2008, you get to vote on a ballot initiative that offers you two choices:
Vote "Yes," and END the state income tax. If the Initiative passes, you and 3,000,000 workers will each get back $3,600. Not just once. Every year. If the Initiative passes, it would roll back Massachusetts state government spending to the 1995 budget – $17 billion.
Vote "No," and KEEP the state income tax. You and 3,000,000 Massachusetts workers keep paying $3,600 each every year. And the Massachusetts government would spend the budget: $28 billion.
Vote "Yes" once and take home an extra $3,600 a year — with a $17 billion 1995 state government budget.
Vote "No" once and pay the state government $3,600 each year — with the current $28 billion budget.
If you were a Massachusetts worker, taxpayer, and voter wouldn't you vote "Yes?"
Could this really happen in Massachusetts?
In 1980, Ronald Reagan for President won Massachusetts with 1,057,631 votes.
In 1984, Ronald Reagan again won Massachusetts — this time with 1,310,936 votes.
In 2002, our first END the Income Tax Initiative in Massachusetts got 885,683 votes — 45.3%. We did it with volunteers, a small budget, and advertising spending of less than $89,000.
In Massachusetts. The state that elected and re-elected Teddy Kennedy, John Kerry, and Mike Dukakis.
In 2002, when we showed Massachusetts workers the huge, immediate, direct benefits of ending the income tax, with no loss of any government "services" they want or need, they couldn't wait to get to the polls — and vote "Yes."
We only had one problem. Not enough money to get our message out. Not enough funding to show the plain and simple facts to Massachusetts workers.
In 2002, the media blacked us out. The Boston Globe refused to publish a single article about our End the Income Tax initiative before August of Election Year — and only after we pleaded their political editor for weeks. Only after we started to book full-page ads in their newspaper. While the Globe lavished coverage on our opponents, Big Government proposals, and scores of trivial issues, they demanded that we pay a price for coverage. Coverage that their readers wanted.
The rest of the Boston mainstream media was just as bad. Even Republican talk show hosts were blacking us out and blocking our supporters' calls. Their candidate – Mitt Romney – dismissed and ignored our initiative as much as he could. Romney flatly opposed ending the income tax when he had to go on record.
Despite this blackout, we got 45% of the vote – with only 2 million out of 6.5 million Massachusetts citizens casting a vote. Many never knew it was on the ballot. We still run into people who are surprised to learn that End the Income Tax was on the ballot in 2002.
Today, things are different.
For one, the bell's been rung. Even if the media were to black us out again, many more will learn about it this time because it's now familiar to a sizable chunk of the Massachusetts population. And because our 45% vote made the idea of Ending the Income Tax credible. The Globe has already run two articles that highlighted our initiative — more than they did ten months further into the election cycle last time around.
For two, 2008 — unlike 2002 — is a presidential election year. More people will vote. The more people who vote, the better for us.
For three, as Ron Paul for President is demonstrating, a bold small government message attracts and mobilizes ever-growing numbers of supporters. Disgust for Big Government is growing.
As Ron Paul is proving, Americans are hungry for plain and simple talk.
As Ron Paul is showing us, you can start small and grow fast. Start weak and grow strong. Start with modest donations and raise the large sums needed to put the case for freedom in front of the voters.
Just as Ron Paul inspires us today, our Ballot Initiative to END the Income Tax can inspire other small government activists.
Especially when we make voters an offer they won't refuse.
October 15, 2007
Carla Howell [send her mail] is the Chair and co-sponsor of the 2008 Ballot Initiative to END the Income Tax in Massachusetts.