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Tax-Cutting Activist Barbara Anderson, R.I.P.

Barbara Anderson has died at age 73. She was the leading tax-cutting activist of Massachusetts for over 35 years, as the executive director of the Citizens for Limited Taxation and Government, whose 1980 Prop 2 1/2 ballot question imposed limits on Massachusetts cities and towns’ property tax increase rates. Since then, several communities have overridden Prop 2 1/2, and raised their property owners’ taxes significantly. The latest property tax victims were in the People’s Republic of Brookline.

Howie Carr has this column on her and gives some details on her work over many years (in addition to Carr’s usual wisecracks, of course). For several years, Barbara Anderson would appear on the Jerry Williams Show on the radio, and she, Carr and Williams appeared together weekly as “The Governors.” It was a weekly anti-Michael Dukakis-fest and great talk radio. Those were the days, as Archie and Edith would say.

Here is a YouTube video of a discussion on politics shortly after the 2014 elections, with Barbara Anderson and two other Massachusetts political activists. It’s an interesting discussion, including Barbara bringing up the fact that every tax hike is a pay cut (and every tax cut is a pay raise!).

Sadly, in these later years, Barbara was diagnosed with leukemia, and one of her causes was fighting for the right of the people to die with dignity. She was advocating for the very controversial “doctor-assisted suicide” bill, which is still in consideration in Massachusetts. There are those who want to end their lives, maybe elderly or very sick, and they need help doing it, but don’t want their doctors to be unjustly arrested and thrown in jail because of it. It is indeed unfortunate that there are those who would deny someone her right to end her own life by her own control and direction, and who instead would force her by law to stay alive, in pain and with increasing suffering. Shame on those people.

Here is Barbara Anderson’s very last column from the Salem News. It is a column which she wrote knowing that she was in her last days. R.I.P., Barbara.

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