NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

April 12, 2013

Don't make taxpayers part of the solution

(Continued)

In 2012, 45 percent of the operating budgets of MassDOT and the MBTA went to debt service. MassDOT is still paying salaries with borrowed money, borrowing $145 million in 2011 to meet operating expenses, according to a report from the advocacy group Transportation for Massachusetts.

Let these bloated, inefficient bureaucracies get their own financial houses in order before coming to taxpayers to be “part of the solution.”

If the Bay State’s political leaders had any kind of track record of honesty and believability, their arguments might be more convincing. But their promises have never been kept. Tolls on the Massachusetts Turnpike would go away once the road was paid for. They never did. The “Big Dig” was not going to divert money from other important highway projects and basic road maintenance across the state. It did, and continues to do so. Receipts from the gas tax have never been committed to fixing roads and have instead been diverted to the general fund.

Patrick and the leaders on Beacon Hill promise that, if we give them what they want, we’ll have great roads, highways and public transportation once more.

Given their track record, why should we believe them?

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