Voices From The Street: October 22 Issue

James Shearer

This past week, Gov. Patrick announced that there was a budget shortfall of oh say $600 million or so. Naturally, Joe Taxpayer will have to pay for it with severe cuts to cities and towns already under the knife, (pun intended). Patrick may even cut some 2,000 state jobs before Christmas. Talk about a lump of coal in your stocking.
“Painful as it is,” Patrick said at last Thursday’s press conference, “We have to adjust.” What do you mean we Governor? You mean us, you don’t have a damn thing to worry about. You and your family seem to be doing pretty well, living comfortably and cozy in Milton. You’re not in danger of losing your job (well not yet anyway), you won’t have to tell the wife and kids that there may not be food or shelter for them this year let alone presents under the Christmas tree. You do not know what us regular folks are dealing with sir, so PU-LEESE spare us the ‘we’ crap.
For my fellow regular folks keeping score at home, this is the 4th (count ‘em) 4th time this year that we have been subjected to this bullshit and Governor, it stinks. In my opinion, this is just another disappointment in a litany of disappointments since Patrick took office. When he was elected almost three years ago there was so much hope, so much promise (sounds familiar, I know, but Obama still has time). Yet all we’ve gotten is broken promises (anyone remember the 5-year plan to end homelessness? Anyone?), and budget cuts. Oh and there was that casino thing, and Patrick even backed away from that, unwilling to take on someone who was a bully and a common…er…wait, innocent until proven guilty right? RIGHT.
So what happens next you ask? You know what happens next, cuts across the board and the hardest hit will no doubt be the agencies that serve the poor and homeless. Shelter beds will be cut or close altogether. Cities and towns will have to do away with things like elder services and daycare, food pantry’s will either have to cut back or close altogether. Vital services like police and fire agencies will have to take a back seat.
All this just in time for what portends to be a very nasty winter season. Gee thanks Governor. You know the drill about how it all went down—the hastily called press conference where the Gov. with his co-defendants behind him wring their hands and tell us how painful this is for all of them. Then they all go back to their cushy, pricey homes, sit by nice warm fires, bake cookies, and drink $100 dollar bottles of wines, (and lest we forget that when they drive to dinner they do so in state owned vehicles) and generally make merry while we worry about grandma having to eat dog food and keep her faulty heater on.
I expected more from Patrick I really did, but like the cold-hearted gentleman he replaced, he hasn’t done much of anything. Now I know there will be people that will right me and tell me how mean spirited I am and how Patrick has done so much. To those people I say don’t kill a tree by writing, instead show me what he’s done. I personally don’t see much change, oh and then maybe I do…. Yes things have actually become WORSE!
I have one burning question for Patrick’s defenders—what the hell happened to all of that stimulus money? Didn’t Massachusetts supposedly get a rather large sum because of the Gov.’s connection to you know who? What happened to that?  Wasn’t there supposed to be enough to sustain us for a bit? What happened to all the job creation and boost to the state economy we were hearing about?
I want an answer and all of you should too, but you know we won’t get one, at least not a straight one. And you know what folks, the fact is that in all likelihood this guy will get reelected. Watch, it will be a tight race until you know who shows up to press the flesh for his old buddy, and all the liberals will forget and forgive Deval’s shortcomings. Then he’ll get four more years that is unless someone in his own party grows a set and challenges him. Hmm…oh who am I kidding.

James Shearer

James Shearer is a writer and co-founder of Spare Change News.

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