Tuesday, March 04, 2003

It's been a while, but here's a little news from Boston:

We're getting used to Mitt Romney's brand of Republican politics. Like some past governors here, he's preaching the virtues of privatization -- for instance, he wants the successful Massachusetts Maritime Academy (which found good jobs for just about all of its graduates last year) to experience the benefits of operating as a free enterprise, so he's proposing to cut off all state support. The immediate effects would be to double tuition, and get the Navy to pull its loaner ships (which require state sponsorship), but what's that compared to the benefits of operating as a free enterprise?

This is part of a massive government restructuring program in which the administration claims to have found $2 billion in waste, fraud and abuse. The legislature hotly disputes that, --- but don't expect much comment from the state employees whose activities have been labeled as wasteful, fraudulent, and abusive. Per the administration's new regulations, most of them are forbidden to talk to the press.

Romney is also addressing another matter, restructuring the state's housing programs (a critical issue after years of skyrocketing rents). The state has mandated that towns put some cash into subsidized housing for quite some time, but some of them have a problem with that. Not that they couldn't afford it -- these are among the richest communities in the state -- but that it would add elements to the town population which the current residents find, ahem, undesirable. So, Romney is proposing to restructure the plan on a regional basis, which would allow wealthy town governments to build their share of affordable housing somewhere else, sparing their residents exposure to messy, smelly, poor people.

He's also proposing to cut back on construction of several new housing projects which the state is running directly. Since he hasn't spoken much about still having to cut programs of genuine value to meet his "no taxes" pledge, I gather that creating those new apartments is somehow wasteful...


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home