Wednesday, October 29, 2008

We put it in quotes

Massachusetts libertarian Carla Howell tries to justify a bullshit number with tabloid journalism's techniques:

"We put it in quotes," said Carla Howell, chairwoman of the Committee for Small Government, which petitioned to put the question on the ballot. She was referring to yard signs that declare "41% in Mass. Government" and are accompanied by a message to cut waste, cut taxes, and "Vote YES on 1." The committee also put the phrase in quotes in 3.35 million copies of the official Massachusetts voter guide, which is printed by the secretary of the Commonwealth's office and includes proponent and opponent arguments for each ballot question.

Howell, a former Libertarian gubernatorial candidate, said she found it useful to be able to cite a number; the survey of 500 likely Massachusetts voters - conducted by the Republican pollster Fabrizio, McLaughlin & Associates - provided her with a tangible figure. But the actual percentage, 41, is not essential, she said.

"It could be low. It could well be that the state government is wasting 70 percent of our dollars, or more," Howell said. "It's the nature of government to be wasteful."

Survey the right know-nothings, and you can get any number you find useful. What other useful lies is she telling us?

The essential fact is this: You can support Question 1, but if you do, you have to acknowledge that you don't support local aid to cities and towns, you're against reasonable class sizes in public schools, and you'd prefer not to have full coverage from police and fire departments. Oh, and that banged-up suspension on your car? Prepare for it to hit lots more potholes. Better slow down.

Notice also, of course, the Republicans are helping with this irresponsible effort.


Anonymous said...

The Massachusetts budget IS 44 Billion
you can find that on page 312 of the budget at this offical government link:
'Total expenditures and other financing uses........... $ 44,907 (in millions)'

Once again that is the OFFICIAL State budget at the OFFICIAL website

lovable liberal said...

I say that Carla Howell is knowingly bullshitting us about one number, and you respond with a completely different number. Yeah, that's about par for the course.