Yesterday I was listening to Howie Carr on the radio who was discussing Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker’s special panel — another “blue-ribbon commission,” as Carr puts it — to try to come up with ways to improve the “T,” the century-old Massachusetts subway/streetcar/commuter rail/bus system, following this past month’s disastrous breaking down of most of the trains and subway cars throughout the system from the extreme cold and the 4 or 5 big storms we’ve had.
And given the kinds of entrenched pols Gov. Baker has installed to improve the “T,” we will obviously get business as usual. As Carr wrote in his Herald column this week, it really is a panel of hacks which shows that another new “blue-ribbon commission” will continue to feed the “hackerama,” even if appointed by this so-called reformer Republican Charlie Baker. But Howie Carr sounded surprised that Charlie Baker would appoint a hackarama to this important panel. Yes, Howie, as shocking as it may seem, Charlie Baker is . . . one of them. Yes, he’s a . . . hack. It may take a 12-step program for Carr and other believers in these politicians (like Romney and Scott Brown, for instance, here in the People’s Republic) to face the truth about these shysters who hide under cover of “reform.”
As Carr notes, the Charlie Baker-appointed “crew of hangers-on” includes a former head of the Boston Redevelopment Authority (“a reformer from City Hall. Wink wink nudge nudge”), a member of Obama’s 2009 transition team who had contributed $1,000 to Deval Patrick (Charlie Baker’s 2010 winning opponent), at least two people who supported the gas tax to be linked to inflation (but not deflation, of course) that was repealed by the voters last November, a contributor to Donald Berwick‘s campaign for governor (“the moonbat’s moonbat”), and more. They are all hacks, moonbats, political activists, etc.
Any businesspeople, Gov. Charlie Baker? People who might have actual experience in following the bottom line, perhaps? (Nope.)
Let’s face it, despite the so-called “libertarian think-tank” that Baker co-directed at its founding, the “free-market oriented” Pioneer Institute, and whatever studies they have done toward reforming the system and freeing businesses and freeing the people so they can actually prosper in Massachusetts, Charlie Baker once again shows why I have rightfully referred to him in this space as “Charlie Half-Baker.”
And regarding that “free-market think tank” Pioneer Institute formerly co-directed by Charlie Baker, their
promotional brochure copied and pasted into Wikipedia Wikipedia page notes that the Institute is actually somewhat good on healthcare freedom. But on school reform, while they oppose national standards for K-12 educational curricula, they promote the 1993 Massachusetts law mandating state-imposed standards. And get this: According to Wikipedia they propose to “Advance a portfolio of public school choice options (charter schools, autonomous vocational-technical schools, and inter district choice) as well as private school options.”
Nothing about actual free-market choices there, as such “choices” they have outlined would still be under the ultimate control and approval of government central planners. And nothing about promoting homeschooling as an alternative. As Jacob Hornberger pointed out, there needs to be a total separation of education and state if you really want genuine educational reform.
The Pioneer Institute also promotes public pension reforms, but not abolishing the idea of government pensions altogether. Unlike in the private sector, in the government sector there should be no further payments to government workers after their terms of employment. Such retirement plans are the responsibility of those employees, not the taxpayers. (And frankly, that should be the case in the private sector as well, in my view, as individual workers should prepare their own retirement plans which employers should not have to deal with.)
The Pioneer Institute also proposes to lower the corporate tax rate and play with tax credits. No, eliminating the corporate tax is the truly free-market reform. But as Laurence Vance wrote recently, lowering taxes is always a good thing (if the politicians must continue their thieving schemes, that is). But, as Vance points out, conservatives (which is not to say that Charlie Half-Baker is a “conservative” — far from it) just don’t seem to have a philosophical objection to taxes. They agree with progressives that the State has some kind of legitimate claim on Americans’ income.
So, despite his rhetoric during his recent campaign for governor to not raise taxes or fees, I am sure that this new governor Charlie Baker will follow what Howie Carr predicts the new “blue-ribbon commission” will advise: “Taxes, taxes, and still more taxes. . .” Why? In the name of the “hackerama,” of course. After all, Gov. Charlie Half-Baker will want to get reelected, won’t he?
And the commuter rail, subways and streetcars will nevertheless continue to break down. That’s the predictably destructive nature of government monopolies that I wish “reformers” could grasp. Maybe some day.