Anyone who drives a car or consumes anything delivered by a truck has an extra something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, and that something is the Boston Herald. The Herald’s work editorializing against the regressive carbon gas tax scheme known as the Transportation and Climate Initiative and vigorously reporting on its faults over the last two and half years was critical to the scheme’s demise earlier last week. Without the local media coverage provided by the Herald, residents would have been hard pressed to find any accurate information on the potential 12-state scheme. Other Boston-based media outlets refused to cover the negative economic impacts and only covered the idealistic and virtuous aspects of TCI.
The TCI gas tax scheme could never have delivered any emissions reductions without inflicting significant economic harm on ordinary Massachusetts families. TCI was championed by Gov. Charlie Baker as a way to drive up fuel costs in order to lower demand, as well as to collect more money from taxpayers without calling it a tax. Motor fuels are considered inelastic, so TCI’s architects knew their actions had to be aggressive to change consumer behaviors. Gov. Baker’s former head of climate change famously said the quiet part out loud during a Zoom meeting with the Vermont Climate Council that went viral. The unelected bureaucrat described the need to “turn the screws” on people such as “the person across the street, the senior on fixed income,” and to “break the will” of ordinary people to achieve their arbitrary climate goals. The TCI scheme was designed to create a revolution, not an evolution, in the market.
The Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance was laser-focused on stopping the scheme before it could start. We took a lot of heat for being the loudest voice against the environmental lobby and Gov. Baker, but our efforts to resist the scheme in Massachusetts and organize others to do the same in the other 12 states paid off. Oftentimes, our work involved pointing people in the direction of the great work being done at the Herald and I am sure they felt similar pressure as they continually reported on the truth of the issue. The Boston Herald news reporters were often the only ones asking Gov. Charlie Baker any hard questions about the TCI scheme and for that, they should be commended. Along with Boston Herald columnist Howie Carr, the Boston Herald consistently delivered to its readers important information about the scheme.
Others in the coalition should be applauded as well. This includes Chip Ford at Citizens for Limited Taxation, the Beacon Hill Institute, the Committee to Stop the TCI Tax, the bipartisan group of petitioners who sought to bring the TCI repeal forward as a ballot question in 2022, Chris Carlozzi at the National Federation of Independent Business, MassGOP Chairman Jim Lyons and everyone else who worked so hard to stop this manipulative tax scheme. Without them, TCI would still be moving forward.
Massachusetts is the birthplace of the Thanksgiving Day holiday and motorists across the mid-Atlantic and New England can now be thankful that we are also not the birthplace of the TCI gas tax scheme. We hope they remember that this is due to the hard work of a lot of people, with a special thanks to the staff and reporters at the Boston Herald for speaking truth to power for the benefit of the everyday people of our great commonwealth.
Happy Thanksgiving, Massachusetts!