The Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance made the following statement today in response to news that Massachusetts has the highest unemployment rate in the country at 17.4%.
This is the highest unemployment rate for the state since 1976. Over the past several months MassFiscal has consistently warned lawmakers on the economic dangers of raising taxes and asked them to instead focus on ways to help the economy recover and get workers back on the job.
“The last time Massachusetts workers faced such extreme job loss was in 1976. Elvis was still alive and Star Wars hadn’t yet been released. Voters were frustrated enough to vote for Jimmy Carter for President and his big-government, pro-tax policies led to four more years of continued job-loss and economic misery. Ultimately, it paved the way for eight years of Ronald Reagan. You would think that reason enough for lawmakers to avoid any tax increases with less than two weeks before the legislative session is set to expire, but sadly it’s not,” stated Paul D. Craney, spokesperson for Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance.
“Massachusetts is now suffering from the worst unemployment numbers in the country. Usually when we come in #1, Beacon Hill leaders call in the duck boats and throw a parade. Instead, the State Senate passed a new tax scheme which allows cities and towns to circumvent Proposition 2 ½. The House is eager to see their regressive gas tax hike go through, and the Governor’s office still reaffirms its support for a regional gas tax scheme called TCI, despite the fact that not a single other state wants to join,” stated Craney.
“With only 11 days to go, it’s time for State House leaders to end their pre-Coronavirus fantasies of higher taxes and more spending. They have an opportunity to help get people back to work and they can start by getting in touch with reality. People are hurting. They are out of work at a level we haven’t seen in generations. Now is the time to put aside big government impulses and think about the people who are out of work. There’s only 11 days left in the session, but Beacon Hill leaders are still more than capable of exponentially compounding our misery,” concluded Craney.