Keller @ Large: Beacon Hill: Do You Really Care?

BOSTON (CBS) – When you’ve been covering politics as long as I have, you do tend to get a little jaded. The posturing, the pontificating, the partisanship – after awhile it all merges into a constant, self-serving hum.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

But once in awhile something comes over the transom that reminds you what’s really at stake, and yesterday was one of those times.

It’s budget season up on Beacon Hill, and contrary to the insulting baby talk we get fed about how well things are going, the economy is still unable to sustain the financial needs of state government, requiring yet another year of serious budget cuts.

And I certainly hope the legislators and governor are seriously weighing whether or not they really need that extra deputy press secretary or non-essential line item, and don’t need to have their priorities refreshed by a letter like the one I got from Barbara, a woman with income at the poverty line whose son is academically gifted.

But his Adams scholarship only covers tuition, and the news that UMass is considering once again raising student fees has her feeling desperate.

You see, tuition is only a small portion of the cost of attending UMass – they always jack up the fees instead, perhaps because it sounds better than raising tuition.

“Why don’t they just up the tuition the $900.00 bucks, so at least the kids that earned this particular scholarship can get a little better break?” she writes.

And consider the letter I got from Dennis, a volunteer activist on behalf of schools serving kids and young adults with autism.

For the 3rd year in a row, he tells me, the legislature is considering freezing the already-low salaries of the teachers who work with these kids.

“Easy to cut special needs,” he writes. “Not enough people care.”

Which raises a question for the powers-that-be – do you really care enough about the people who really need our tax dollars to make sure every last one of them goes where it should?

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

More from Jon Keller
  • emom

    I believe most DO CARE where our tax dollars go. However, every year when the budget is on the table and ready to be sliced and diced, There seems to be a constant need to CUT vital services to those truly in need. Over the last decade we have lost funding to many services, Schools, seniors and emergency services being hard hit. Towns scramble slicing and dicing their budgets, to meet what the state is going to potentially give them… Every year its much of the same,, we have to CUT this to preserve THAT, We are OVER budget so we have to SPEND it down to MEET the states requirements… Never taking inconsideration that any budget that gets GINSUed will never be the same or come back… Town folks fight to not use prop 2 ½ yet it becomes inevitable… Its much the same when it come to the state house. They laid off state workers this year, all to preserve a struggling budget. More like to preserve their OVER INFLATED GOLD LINED POCKETS, and their raises they gain from all the cuts they have handed down. We hear that folks are struggling to survive, the economy is floundering , yet they say “WE ARE ON THE RIGHT TRACK”,,,, The right track , to where, over the edge and into the cavern of poverty … Its to much to handle for some, YET they say we want to preserve our future. Well isn’t our children our future, if so then why are the schools not getting the much needed help to assure that our children have the future they claim they are trying to preserve.. it’s a lot of baby talk from pompous ego inflated politicians. If they tell us there are major BUDGET CUTS and it comes down that they MUST cut yet more vital services , Be prepared to DISH out more TAXES for a brand new salary or a service that just might not be truly needed..
    I think the question should be not if WE as tax payers care about where our tax dollars go ,, that’s a NO – BRAINER,,,WE MOST CERTANLY DO. I think it’s a question of DOES EVEN ONE PERSON ON BEACON HILL CARE OR GIVE A DARN ABOUT US AND OUR FUTURE AS A STATE… They certainly do not care about where they spend OUR TAX DOLLARS…

    • Ron

      Right on emom

  • taxed to death

    emom, good comment and I absolutely agree.

  • emom

    Thank you

  • decol

    It should be pretty evident by now that our elected legislators take care of their own butts first, their compadres butts second,and then they make sure that their status quo stays intact just as it is. After that is all set, then they might think about helping us poor taxpayers,as long as it doesn’t cost their brother-in-law his job! Term limits are the only answer, but obviously none of them want to jump off the gravy train.Now ,excuse me while I go BARF!

  • BostonIrish

    emom-Bravo! And I agree completely!

  • JOE21212

    Why do people simply talk about the fact that our legislators are selfish and uncaring but then refuse to vote them out of office at the next election? The term “career politician” should be considered absolutely synonymous with the term “arrogant, complacent, insincere ego-maniac”.

  • emom

    Politicians seem to believe they KNOW what’s best, Have all the answers, Think we can not Think for ourselves, Constantly are telling us HOW TO DO things or HOW WE SHOULD LIVE, Then they tell us what they feel is BEST for our TAX dollars that we have fork over.. Over the last 6 months we have been told that there is a huge need to raise revenue,,, AHHH NO DUH ,, Like we haven’t a clue.. So because of that they have decided to Increase varies taxes across the state some seem to be pointless,, Gas tax is already so high so what do they do raise it more, booze tax, sales tax, excised tax, then our property tax seems that goes up every year. Now we hear a cell phone tax,, LIKE REALLY they already add absurd charges as is and we cant even get a straight answer to what they are truly for,,, MISCILLANEOUS charges sure a likely story… Then they propose a SWEETS TAX,, Yeah your next can of soda, candy bar, pack of sugary gum and those breath mints will cost you a bit more… Next they will tax what you read… all because of the e-readers.. Kindles and other internet reading devices…. They want to increase the bottle bill, WHY , because there is so much TRASH,, I mean well if you want folks to do something to HELP the environment then Why not give them something that is USEFULL, a recycling can.. Maybe just maybe they will be of more use than a stupid bottle tax that really does not serve a purpose … WHERE DOES IT GO ANYWAY.. 3 guesses……… then they wanted to create more tolls. What so they can pay for those over paid sarcastic employees that scream they don’t make enough…. Or how about all these politicians getting caught STEALLING ,court fee’s. lets see, have any clue to HOW its being paid for… HHHMMM do you. Try the endless layoffs that are created in the public sector ,,,Teachers, fireman, emt’s, police. Well there you go, revenue for some relative of some lazy politician , you know the brother of his mothers uncle . Then all those that use, abuse, steal, lie and cheat to get public assistance. FREE GAS sound familiar. Yeah they so care,, oh let me play my mini violin……………// EERRRRRRRRR… ouch sorry its off key and BROKE….
    .Oh look at their faces , look at their eyes , look how sorry they look, Oh look I think I see tears and what’s this a FROWN….. Oh my I do believe they care ,,, Oh my the do , look there are tears , so many tears of sadness…………………………………… WHAT YOU BELIEVED THAT LINE , That’s what they want you to BELIEVE.. Who do they think they are Santa Claus.. Yeah more like scrooge or how about the GRINCH …………… the only tears they will have or even show, are tears of pure JOY, when they are endlessly raising taxes and collecting what we worked so hard for…The frowns are from not having enough taxes, the only time they seem to care or even show they care …is when the CHA – CHING bell goes off every time someone pays a tax of some kind ever second of the day…
    Yeah caring is not even a good thing for any politician. Its more like a RASH for them if they don’t scratch it then they kill us with kindness of the tax kind…. CARING UNHEARD OF IN THE . POLITICAL WORLD……

  • emom

    The problem with voting politicians in or out of office, is because of the Lie’s we get from all of them.. Think about it. They tell us they want to help, they have a plan to create jobs, lower the deficient, and weed out corruptness.. BUT ALAS, we are duped. If there was a way to foresee the truth behind the lie’s , to forecast the next thought they utter. Then voting a politician “MIGHT” be slightly easier,,, The better way is to HOLD them all accountable for what they say in their campaigns ,,, What they promise, what their plans are and will be. A carefully detailed plan of what they propose, given that , then voting could be a bit easier,, And if during their time in office if they do not uphold to their promises, if there is major deviations from what they claim they will do , then the only recourse would be to TERMINATE them.. After all they are getting hired to do a very big job and when you are hired to do a job and you do not perform as you claimed when hired, well you will be terminated, FIRED, LET GO, AND NOT LAYED OFF. That is the easy way out… We need to treat the government positions as a company where we Hire employee’s to do a specific job…. And if and when you do not perform such a job well to our specifications. Well its BYE – BYE……

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