Thursday, July 1, 2010

Grown up talk on the campaign trail?

This came to my Inbox, from the Governor. Yeah, we're tight.

Dear Friend,

Yesterday, we saw another example of the clear choice the Commonwealth faces in this election.

I signed a budget that faces our fiscal challenges squarely and directly. For the fourth consecutive year, our budget is responsible, balanced, on time, and accountable to taxpayers. To achieve that, over the last couple of years we have had to cut many worthy programs and services, eliminate thousands of state jobs, impose furloughs, reach agreement with employee unions on contract concessions, and otherwise find ways to share the burden of the economic crisis. But we have continued to move forward, with first-in-the-nation results in student achievement, health care, energy efficiency and job recovery.

The budget decisions have been painful, but we have faced up to them. Because we have been realistic and responsible in our approach, our high bond rating has been reaffirmed three times by all the independent rating agencies. And because we have focused on economic recovery and job growth as our long term strategy, we have seen 45,000 new jobs created on the last four months, business confidence improving, and home sales and retail leasing surging, so that our Commonwealth is coming out of this recession stronger and faster than much of the US and people are seeing a way forward again for themselves and their families.

Listening to some of the campaign rhetoric of my opponent yesterday, former Health Insurance CEO Charlie Baker, just makes the contrast between us even sharper. The simple difference is that he has not been straight with the public.

In particular, Baker proposes over $2 billion in additional tax cuts, on top of the budget cuts we have already made. Yet he refuses to explain what he would cut from the state's budget to make up for that lost revenue.

This goes beyond thoughtlessness: it's reckless.

You and I know what is behind Baker's cuts. It's teachers. It's firefighters. It's police. It's services for our most vulnerable. It's the strength of our communities. Baker is ignoring that reality. But governors have to confront reality, and the fact is Baker cannot cut an additional $2 Billion or more from this budget without devastating our schools and our health care, or jeopardizing the job growth and economic recovery that has begun to take hold.

You know how strongly I feel about generational responsibility, the notion that we owe the next generation every effort to leave a better, stronger Commonwealth than we found. That requires us to face our hard choices honestly, to make them wisely, and that we keep our eye on the horizon. Hope for the best AND work for it. That's what you can count on from me. And that's a difference.

Deval L. Patrick