NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

October 16, 2008

Why I'm voting yes on Question 1

To the editor:

After reading Carey Lambert's letter (Oct. 7) urging a "no" vote on Question 1, I am more energized than ever to vote "yes." His main argument, it seems, is that if we take away the revenue that the income tax generates, then the politicians, given a choice between essential services and their own perks, will keep the perks. That is a sad commentary indeed — not on the politicians, but on us. We are the fools who keep putting the same scoundrels back in office. In a one-party state, that ruling party — whether Democrat, Republican or Communist — is going to prove the truth of Lord Acton's dictum about the corrupting influence of absolute power.

Imagine if the colonists who staged the Boston Tea Party had harbored second thoughts: "If we deprive the British of this revenue, they will cut services. I'm all in favor of freedom, but ... ."

Well, there should be no "but"; it is time to take action to cast off our dependence and reclaim our economic liberty. As long as the spigot of state income tax revenue remains wide open, our state legislators have no incentive to make wise choices. There is plenty of money for services, favors and perks, which means there is too much money flowing out of our pockets and into state coffers. Mr. Lambert's "better start" entails a demand for "transparency and accountability" from state government officials, but without an accompanying decisive action, such a demand is as toothless as a U.N. resolution. Let's make a fresh start: abolish the state income tax and watch closely what the pols do. If any, even all, behave according to Mr. Lambert's prediction, vote them out.

It is time to take back our government.

John Lahoud

Byfield

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