Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Charlie Baker butchers bureaucracy

By Dmitriy Shapiro

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Year after year, our university faces enormous budget problems. The buildings have unrepaired leaks and our programs are vastly underfunded. To many, it may seem like the politicians in Boston have forgotten us.

In a state where Democrats pay so much lip service to public education, one might think we would receive more funding than large public universities in conservative states such as Texas or South Carolina.

Unfortunately, this is not the case. 

Our lack of funding does not only occur here at the University of Massachusetts, but affects every level of Massachusetts public education. Even worse, state agencies such as the Registry of Motor Vehicles are notoriously inefficient and require lots of red tape and unneeded fees to get anything done, many of which don’t need to exist and don’t in many states that are fairing far better in this economy.

Taxes on businesses are some of the highest in the country and a majority of the people we educate at the high level our prestigious Massachusetts institutions allow for go to other states with better business environments.

If this picture is bleak, another term of Governor Deval Patrick, who has so far been ineffective, would only further destroy hope for the future of this state.

Deval Patrick is seeking reelection and leading, according to the polls, even though his administration has been a complete failure. The Democrats’ love of big government and the complete lack of checks and balances from Republicans, who hold only 13 percent of the seats in both houses, have caused our government to spend its inordinately high tax revenue, giving Massachusetts the nickname “Taxachusetts.”

If you believe that these policies aren’t debilitating then you also believe that corporate executives are incredibly stupid and don’t know what to do with their investment. There are whole colonies being set up in Southern, Midwestern and some Western states that are populated solely with Northeast, eastern Midwest and Pacific Coast expatriates. The companies are leaving these “old” places of business in search of the greener pastures provided by state governments that offer them incentives;  the skilled workers of America are forced to follow.

This wouldn’t happen if Massachusetts was able to provide these firms with the same benefits and be competitive for industry, since we already have a structural advantage with our highly educated population. As we have seen, Governor Patrick will spend more time pandering to union thugs, bloating government agencies with political patronage and begging the president for more bailouts. All the while distracting the efforts of the legislature and occupying the voters’ time with such sham proposals  as casino legalization – something that will not make a drop of difference in our unemployment rate. It is time for Massachusetts to follow the break with tradition started when we elected Scott Brown to the United States Senate and dismiss Governor Patrick’s administration.

Lawyers like Governor Deval Patrick, make up a large percentage of politicians and might be effective as legislators, but being a governor is an executive position, which I believe should require executive experience. Deval Patrick lacked executive credentials before becoming governor and having been in the business of law, had no legislative experience either.

The way the state is being run through diplomatic deals shows this tendency. Conversely, Republican nominee Charlie Baker and his running mate, Richard Tisei, have both extensive legislative and executive experience. Charlie Baker’s takeover as CEO of failing Harvard Pilgrim Health Care in 1999 and its miraculous turnaround through restructuring is the greatest testament to his executive skill. From the very beginning of the campaign, both he and Tisei stressed the need to restructure Massachusetts’ government.

Inefficiency is caused by pervasive redundancy in the state bureacracy. Baker and Tisei vow to put an end to this and privatize certain jobs the state currently does, which could be better handled by private firms due to economies of scale. Some may say that cutting government jobs will cause higher unemployment. On the contrary, these private firms will be able to hire more employees, even the same ones that may have been let go from their nice government jobs. The state will then reap the benefits of streamlining, enabling it to pay off its debt.

Therefore those at our university who are concerned about losing their jobs in these cuts have no reason to fear. In universities such as ours, elementary, middle and high schools throughout the state, where funding currently gets lost in wasteful programs and to bureaucrats’ salaries at the capital; buildings could be rebuilt, research will be funded, professors and teachers could be paid more and students would have all of the after-school programs that are such an important part of our country’s education system.

Baker and Tisei have promised to cut taxes that are currently preventing businesses from making Massachusetts their home. Making Massachusetts a haven for firms and start-ups again, which include those from the growing medical and “green” technology fields, would improve our unemployment rate and allow us to keep the highly educated citizens whom the state has already spent resources educating within our institutions.

Charlie Baker and Richard Tisei are Republicans and although they are sympathetic with many of the complaints of the Tea Party, their positions are focused on improving how the Massachusetts government works. Their ideals resound with all Republicans, Tea Party or otherwise, independents and those Democrats who feel the pain of this economy and feel that our state is on the wrong track with Patrick’s Administration. Charlie Baker and Richard Tisei are highly educated, loyal Massachusetts citizens, not the clowns that are pushed through by the Tea Party, like Christine O’Donnell of Delaware or Carl Paladino of New York, among many others. Charlie Baker’s election as Governor of Massachusetts will put checks and balances back into Massachusetts’ runaway politics and create the environment that will get the state out of debt and bring it back to the foreground as an economic competitor.

Dmitriy Shapiro is a Collegian columnist. He can be reached at [email protected].

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