Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Show Us The Money

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is in the middle of a ten-day trade mission to Israel and Great Britain this week.

Governor Patrick isn't the first Massachusetts governor who's traveled overseas in search of enhanced trade for the Bay State, nor will he likely be the last. We think it's appropriate to withhold judgment on Governor Patrick's travels for now, and to give Governor Patrick provisional credit for his efforts to improve the economy and increase jobs for Massachusetts residents.

However, we think it's also fair for Massachusetts taxpayers to hold Governor Patrick accountable for these travels upon his return. After all, according to the Boston Herald, taxpayers are paying about $150,000 for an overseas mission that (by our tally) will encompass nearly one percent of the Governor's term of office.

First, we think it's fair to ask what Massachusetts will receive following this investment of time and effort by the Patrick Administration. In other words, was the trip worth it? How many jobs will be created? How much additional tax revenue will we realize?

Second, we think taxpayers deserve to know how the fort is being held down while Governor Patrick is away. What is Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray doing this week? Who is covering for the dozen or so cabinet members and support staff accompanying the Governor on his trip, and what are they doing this week? If this is a trade mission and not a vacation, then all official duties should be attended to in these officials' absence.

Third, what, if anything, is Massachusetts committing to business leaders or foreign officials as part of this trip? In other words, what are we giving up in exchange for added business here? Perhaps this trip is merely to market our state abroad. Fair enough. But, if commitments are made for tax incentives, investments, infrastructure improvements, etc., we'd like to know what that those commitments are, and what they will cost. And (back to our first question), in either case, what we can expect to receive in return?


  1. 10 days / 4 years = 0.684931507%, not 1%.

    Gotta hate rounding!

  2. Yup, like we said, 'nearly one percent.' Or, in other words, about $14,000 - $15,000 of taxpayer money a day.

  3. Wow, where did you dig up the blog math nit-picker? Was that his value added?
    Anyway, I hope we do not get another "deal" like Evergreen Solar" to waste our money. It would be nice for Deval to present a trip report/post-mortem to the legislature upon return, including a long presser with lots of time for questions.

  4. Curious that the governor was in Israel today dealing with foreign leaders while the president was in Boston talking to school children.

  5. I think I'd be somewhere else if Obama was coming to town as well.....


By submitting a comment, you agree to be bound by our policies on comments noted in the sidebar.