Monday, August 26, 2013

"Tech tax? What tech tax?"

"Tech tax? What tech tax?"

What do you bet, that's what every Massachusetts Democrat is going to say leading up to the 2014 elections next year?

The reason is simple. We predict Massachusetts Democrats will repeal the tax next year – right around the time signature papers are due, and in plenty of time to take (bogus) credit for "cutting taxes" right before the general election.

Can't you see the headline in the Boston Globe right now:

"Legislature votes to cut taxes."

Now, let's be honest here. Massachusetts Democrats are absolutely the ones to blame for the tax in the first place. And, the tax is a really bad idea; it's a job-killer. Some Democratic legislators have already gone on-record saying they're against it, which is like a canary in the mine.

Here's what will happen:

GOP leaders are already talking about a tax-repeal campaign, which would require a large expenditure of money and resources to get going. While the GOP prints up signs protesting the tech tax, Mass. Dems will be waiting in the background, counting the tax dollars as they come in.

Then, magically, Dems on Beacon Hill will have an epiphany next spring. First, they will try to convince voters that the economy isn't doing too bad. This is a good election year message for the party in control by itself, but it also will serve as the basis for Dems to claim they can repeal the tax.

And, so – alacazaam, alacazoom.... Some lucky Dem who's facing a tough race will propose an amendment, and the tax will suddenly go "poof" with the blessing of leaders, who have been planning that all along. Democrats will claim they cut taxes and get credit for it, albeit improperly. The GOP, meanwhile, will be stuck with an obsolete initiative as the cornerstone of its campaign... and a bunch of useless signs.

Don't get us wrong. The GOP is absolutely right to call out Democrats for enacting the tax; we support them 100%. The Democrats badly over-reached on this one. But, even so, this may not be the Holy Grail for 2014 the GOP is making it out to be. And, it's no surrogate for having a much bigger, bolder, broader vision to serve as the basis for a reform campaign next year. The GOP should be careful not to put all of its eggs in one tax basket.

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