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The last hurdle before the election

I thought our readers might wish to celebrate the end of a very long and arduous road that Carla Howell and her friends have trod. I have heard they have just passed the last hurdle and their initiative to end the income tax in Massachusetts will appear on the ballot this fall.

If you are in Massachusetts, help spread the news. This is your chance to roll back the State like it has never been rolled before.

Get out there and give the Massachusetts government a good extra hard kick in the goolies for us here at Samizdata!

14 comments to The last hurdle before the election

  • Clint

    Polls notwithstanding, I really don’t think this has a chance to pass. Not in Taxachusetts.

    Nonetheless, I look forward to voting for yet another hopeless cause.

  • nick g.

    Good luck! Other writers have pointed out that some legislators just shrug off these referendae as annoying interruptions to their programs, and do nothing about it. So do Eurocrats, when people vote “NO!! NEVER!! GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH!!!” on the ballot papers. You should pass a law that if someone ever wants public office, they should never be allowed near it!

  • Is there any polling data available on it?

  • Midwesterner

    There is a copy of the act here(Link).

    It leaves no room for doubt as to how it is to be interpreted. It makes clear the primary intention is to shrink Massachusetts government.

    Cool. I want one.

  • I don’t care how liberal they are, when someone is in private in the ballot-booth and they have the opportunity to vote for what amounts to a 5% raise for themselves*, are they really going to decline, “for the good of the commonwealth?” I don’t think so.

    *At least, when you take incomes taxes for granted, it probably feels like a raise, even though it’s your money to begin with.

  • Just like the ballot question overturning our “temporary” increase in the income tax, our solons, paragons of probity and justice all, will ignore it.

  • inmypajamas

    Or just move to Texas where income tax is prohibited by our state constitution. Of course, it is a wee bit warmer down here.

  • Just like the ballot question overturning our “temporary” increase in the income tax, our solons, paragons of probity and justice all, will ignore it.

  • Henry Bowman

    Rand Simberg,
    According to the campaign website, a Jan. 2008 poll showed the initiative at 46-45 per cent. And, Clint, be aware that an identical initiative several years ago damn near passed. It is not a lost cause.

  • Jim

    I do applaud Carla Howell. But I’m not sure how many people know that this same initiative was on the MA ballot a few years ago. It failed.

    Worse, our MA legislature has a proven track record of ignoring referendums they don’t like. We voted to drop the income tax to 5% and they didn’t do it. No one believes they will eliminate the tax completely just because the pesky voters demanded it.

    So again, I applaud, but the only possible impact of this referendum is that it might embarrass our legislators. (If they are even capable of shame.)

  • Paul Marks

    No one could accuse me of having an optomistic outlook on politics (or anything else) and have talked about some of the problems these brave people face before – but that does not alter the fact of their courage.

    I support them 100% and hope (against all the odds) for their victory.

  • frommass

    It will pass.

    The legislature will then simply refuse to eliminate the tax, and continue right on collecting it by forcing employers to withhold it.

    The Massachusetts Supreme Court will then rule that the Legislature is doing so outside of its power, and that collection of the tax is unconstitutional.

    The Legislature will then tell the Massachusetts Supreme Court to go fuck itself, just like the Legislature did when the Supreme Court ruled that our current income tax rate of 5.3% is unconstitutional.

    The Supreme Court will then bend over and smile, because they WANT the tax collected, and don’t care what the people vote, or what the law is, or what the constitution says.

    Because the Court is peopled by corrupt Democrats.

  • Midwesterner

    IANAL, so I have two questions for any constitutional law types out there. First, if this passes and the Mass SC upholds the obvious intent of the law and the legislative and executive branches ignore it, is there a 14th amendment (or any other) remedy available under the US Constitution if Mass attempts to continue forcibly collecting or punishing citizens?

    And second, same question but with the Mass SC ignoring or permitting it to be ignored?

    If this passes and is ignored are we in for reconstruction era federal type actions?.

    If the answer is ‘yes’ to either of the first two questions, then this is probably a matter worthy of donors nationwide becoming involved to offset at least a little bit the massive sums of money that Massachusetts (and maybe other) government paycheck cashers are going to spend trying to defeat it.

  • Mass. will always have high taxes as long as they keep voting in Democrats. If they vote out the income tax. The Dems will just find new ways to increase taxes. The Symptom is high taxes.. The disease is Democrats in our government.