, Newburyport, MA


August 24, 2013

Want a tough job? Try being a mayor

“What’s new?” I asked Big Freddy as I joined him for coffee and whatever.

“What’s new is running for cover in Washington,” Freddy said. “It’s been coming on strong since the health care bill became law and they’re still trying to sort out how to pay for it. But it’s more than that.”

“I thought the economic downturn had been improving,” I said.

“Depends on who’s looking at what,” Freddy said. “Private incomes? It’s a mixed bag. Wall Street. More comfort areas.

“The haves have been doing better than somewhat, and the feds have been taking care of the have nots, but that’s changing.

“Wage earners are in the middle of the sink hole. There are more of them, and their purchasing power has been dropping steadily for the past six years.

“Cities and towns are making do as best they can in most cases, but they’re more dependent on state and federal government than they were when we were half our age. Most are struggling to keep up.”

“Budget overrides are never popular,” I said.

“Because cities and towns are where state and federal benefits and edicts hit the road,” Freddy said. “Laws are made from on high, but they have to be executed as required where we live.

“It’s like bad weather. Storms always come from someplace else but wind up tearing up a city or town thousands of miles away from where they came.”

“I take it you’re saying Washington’s the source of what we have to deal with locally,” I said.

“More than it was at the beginning,” Freddy said. “We send our choices for service in Congress to Washington. The unions, corporations, every organization needing a presence down there sends the best that money can find to do well for them.

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