BOSTON (CBS) – The House and Senate leadership plan for funding transportation is a far cry from the plan the governor’s been pushing for the past few months.

The legislature threw out, for now at least, most of the governor’s grand ideas for expanding commuter rail service to Fall River and New Bedford, for instance, and for dramatically expanding early-childhood education, which somehow got lumped in with transportation.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

Good ideas, no question, but very expensive ones.

Gone is the huge income tax increase, along with most of the governor’s other ideas for raising revenues.

Broad-based tax hikes are not a good idea, said House Speaker DeLeo, when “we’re really not quite out of the economic problems we’ve had.” Added Senate President Therese Murray, using the buzzword the governor and his allies prefer to the more accurate “taxing and spending”: “We need to make investments in a way that does not bankrupt the current generation.”

The governor wouldn’t say much on camera, but did issue a statement saying in part: “My principles continue to be whether the financing is enough, dedicated and fair.”

Fair. That’s an interesting word, subject to varying definitions depending on who’s doing the defining.

To the governor and his allies, it’s only fair to raise taxes for services and subsidies.

To DeLeo and Murray, it’s unfair to risk damaging the economy that funds the services and subsidies we already have.

And to others, it’s unfair to be talking about new taxes in a state where we don’t always spend the dollars we have wisely.

The problem is, everybody’s got a fair point, if you’ll pardon the expression.

And now it’s time for all involved to cut a truly fair deal.

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


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