Spin, spin, spin

Spin, spin, spin

The Boston Globe is spinning the results of the Massachusetts ballot questions last night and putting a liberal interpretation on the questions and their results. On the ballot question to repeal the state income tax, 47 percent of voters wanted to repeal it. But of course, that would be disastrous and would never work.

    Eliminating the state income tax would take an estimated $9 billion annually out of state coffers and force an immediate 40 percent slash in state spending .... As a result, advocates said, extra money would flow into the market and create between 300,000 and 500,000 jobs, more than enough to completely wipe out unemployment in the state.

    Most mainstream economists doubt that scenario. Instead, they say, the state would be forced into an immediate fiscal emergency that would decimate the programs upon which so many people depend.

Yeah, people like all the ex-politicians with state hack jobs and all the current politicians funneling pork into their districts. You can’t go a day without hearing about some city or town talking about replacing nearly new schools with brand new ones. Building schools is a politically safe way for legislators to show they are effective—after all who wants to stand up “against education.” After all, it’s For The Children.

And as for those mainstream economists, they’re called mainstream because they’re liberal and they support the reporter’s bias. Reagan proved that tax cuts do stimulate the economy. Sending money back into people’s pockets and not into government coffers where it’s often wasted in inefficiencies creates jobs. The Reagan tax cuts sent us on an almost two decades long boom.

    Libertarian promoters of the measure tout it as a way to bring revolutionary change to state government, and force a full-scale rethinking of everything the government does. ... Critics contend that abolishing the income tax would plunge state government into chaos and force far higher broad-based taxes, such as sales and property taxes, to make up for the loss in revenue. They also say it would spark a raft of legal challenges to force the state to fulfill its constitutional duties of funding to K-12 education and Medicaid.

It’s not just Libertarians who think lower taxes would revolutionize government and not just Republicans either, if 47 percent of voters wanted it. The fact is that the state government got along very well with a lot smaller budget until about 10 years ago, but once you feed the government monster its appetite never gets smaller.

By the way, I loved the headline: “Repeal barely beaten back.” No bias there. It just conjures the image of lower taxes as a ravening monster or violent army. Objective reporting.

On the question that would place English immersion in school over bilingual education, voters chose immersion by 70 percent to 30 percent. But of course, according to the Globe the voters were too dumb or selfish to vote the right way. And the story paints it as a a battle between English ideologues and those who want to do what’s best For The Children.

    Massachusetts voters last night overwhelmingly rejected bilingual education and replaced it with all-English classes, defying educators and politicians who had warned the contentious measure would spell disaster for thousands of students struggling to learn English.

Hearltess bastards. Not that the people might have a principled understanding that not giving kids a solid foundation in English impairs their future in a mainly English-speaking country or creates a cultural split in our country by preventing assimilation. No, according to the Globe Question 2 Yes voters didn’t understand the question:

    ’‘I think people just saw this as a quick fix, and I don’t think they ever got into the details of this plan,’’ said Antonioni, a Leominster Democrat.

But don’t worry, because the legislators are preparing to defy the will of the people again:

    Yet even as Unz’s supporters basked in their triumph, lawmakers vowed a top-to-bottom review of the ballot initiative. State Senator Robert A. Antonioni, cochairman of the Legislature’s education committee, predicted ‘‘potentially significant change,’’ although he stopped short of calling for a repeal.

Also notice that Globe paints the referendum primarily as the work of out-of-stater Ron Unz, a guy who parachutes in to disrupt a system that was working so well, when in reality it was a local group that started the process and then asked for Unz’s support. By the way, what was newsworthy about reporting that Question 2 supporters ate fajitas and antipasti during their celebration dinner?

    Yesterday, opponents of Question 2 - who pounced on the measure’s uncertain impact in California and its seizing of authority typically left to local schools - gathered at downtown bar Jose McIntyre’s.

The reporter doesn’t even try to hide his bias here. He asserts that the impact in California was uncertain and that the authority is seized from schools. In fact, test scores in California are going up, especially in heavily Spanish speaking areas. And it’s funny that people are always asking politicians at the state and national level to do something about education, yet when the people do something, they’re seizing power.

    ’‘For some people it’s really hard to study for all of their classes in English,’’ said Lau, a native of Puerto Rico. ‘‘It’s unfair to force them.’’

My dad grew up in a bilingual home; as far as I could tell his mother never spoke English, yet he fared pretty well in life after taking English only classes in school. My friend Paul’s dad spoke French until he was 9, but when he was immersed in English in school, he succeeded as well. It’s a matter of will on the part of parents and teachers to give their kids a head start in life. But all too often we’re seeing identity politics trump everything else, where what cliquish, exclusive group you belong to, especially if it’s a minority group, is more important than being a productive member of society and this culture.