The Massachusetts Legislature isn’t waiting for Gov. Baker to pull the trigger on TCI. The House just passed a gas tax increase as part of a transportation bill whose costs won’t affect them because they get a taxpayer-funded travel allowance.
The measure that passed the House adds a five-cent tax on gasoline and a nine-cent tax on diesel. It also cranks up a ride-sharing fee by one dollar per trip. The hikes are expected to raise $600 million, which lawmakers are pretending will go to infrastructure improvements.
But that’s not even the story here. In classic elitist left-wing political fashion, this pain at the pump has little if any effect on the people who pass it. Massachusetts legislators get a big pile of money for their commuting costs.
The Boston Herald reports that lawmakers living within 50-miles of the statehouse can tap 16,248.00 dollars annually to cover gas and tolls. If they live further away, the sum is 21,664.00.
No pain at the pump.
But wait! There’s more!
Sen. Harriet Chandler of Worcester, who takes the $21,664 even though there is a way for her to get to “work” that is under 50 miles, says,
…legislators are really doing us a favor, saying they could be earning more money in the private sector.
“We probably get paid less than other people do who work at higher-paying jobs.”
That’s a Yogi Berra quality Joe Bidenism. People with higher-paying jobs make more money than everyone who gets paid less.
Chandler makes $160,000.00 a year, by the way, for her temp job as a legislator, plus the per $20+K annual ‘per diem’ for commuting costs. Combined, that’s three times the national median income. But as the Herald notes, it’s not called a per diem anymore. They added it to office expenses, but that’s okay! Those legislators are paying taxes on that.
Have you ever heard that one? It comes up every time anyone asks a question about public employee pay or compensation or about raising taxes. Well, we pay taxes.
But you don’t get paid if we don’t pay taxes. That is to say; you are paid with taxes. So, any taxes you pay are taxes on our taxes. That sounds wrong on so many levels.
And what happens when you raise our taxes? You want to increase your pay which also raises our taxes. But Democrat Senator Chandler has a solution. Quit and get a ‘better paying job’ in the private sector.
Do it. Now. Please.
We’ll applaud your free-market impulses and, wherever possible, any resulting reduction in taxes caused by a mass migration of people living on our dime (by force) to an occupation where they have to produce something to earn our dime (and pay taxes on that).
That’s probably not going to happen. Earning 160,000 a year plus expenses isn’t too shabby, even in Taxachusetts. But, thanks for trying to raise your gas tax. It encourages more folks to make the drive into New Hampshire for cigarettes, vaping supplies, beer, wine, liquor, (just about everything else) and gasoline and not necessarily in that order.
Which helps us keep our taxes low. But that situation might get even better.
Gov. Charlie Baker, for his part, says he’ll veto that tax. He’d rather go with TCI which will raise the tax exponentially higher.
I’d weep for my brothers and sisters across our southern border, but they keep electing these idiots. And elections have consequences. But you are more than welcome to shop here. Just stop voting here before you ruin the good deal you’ve got across your norther border.
| Boston Herald (subscription)