Deval Patrick signs budget which includes a 25% sales tax increase, preserves $70 million in health care for immigrants

They don’t call the Bay State “Taxachusetts” for nothing.  Obama’s pal, Deval Patrick, has done more than his share to keep it that way.

BOSTON — Gov. Deval Patrick has approved a new state budget that hikes the Massachusetts sales tax by 25 percent, largely preserves education spending, and makes deep cuts to other state services.

The increase in the sales tax allowed the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority earlier today to vote to avoid a planned toll hike scheduled to take effect July 1, relying instead on $100 million from the tax increase.

In signing the $27 billion budget, Patrick issued $147 million in line-item vetoe

At the same time, he submitted a separate $269 million supplemental budget to fund other initiatives, including $70 million for health care for 30,000 legal immigrants.

I have a suggestion.  Lets take the $32 million dollars slotted to help preserve the legacy of the Kennedys and use that towards health care for immigrants.  It would combine two of Ted Kennedy’s pet causes after all.  Surely, he would rather have that money spent on the downtrodden instead of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, right?

Oh and that sound you hear in the distance is the ringing of cash registers in tax-free New Hampshire.

BREAKING: Supreme Court Overturns Sotomayor – again


WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court has ruled that white firefighters in New Haven, Conn., were unfairly denied promotions because of their race, reversing a decision that high court nominee Sonia Sotomayor endorsed as an appeals court judge.

The wise Latina got it wrong.  Again.

Justice for Ricci and a blow to racial preferences.

Updates to come.

Update #1: Both the AP and NYT headlines read that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of white firefighters.  WRONG.  A Hispanic was also discriminated against when his test was tossed.  Also of note is the glaring omission of Sotomayor’s name in their headlines.

Update #2:  copy of decision in pdf

Axelrod dances around Obama’s no tax-hike vow

Who can forget Obama’s campaign pledge not to raise taxes on families making less than $25o,ooo?  It was part of every stump speech, all of the debates and was oft repeated by his surrogates.

Now Obama seems to be backing off of the pledge as proposals to tax health care benefits to pay for health care reform are considered.

Under persistent questioning from ABC’s George Stephanopoulos Sunday, Obama senior adviser David Axelrod declined to restate the vow and left open the possibility that the president might sign health care reform legislation that taxes high-cost, employer-provided insurance plans which some middle-class families currently receive tax free.

“The president had said in the past that he doesn’t believe taxing health care benefits at any level is necessarily the best way to go here. He still believes that, but there are a number of formulations and we’ll wait and see,” Axelrod said on ABC’s “This Week.” “The important thing at this point is to keep the process moving, to keep people at the table, to the keep the discussions going. We’ve gotten a long way down the road and we want to finish that journey.”

When Stephanopoulos asked why Obama hadn’t drawn a “line in the sand” over his tax pledge, Axelrod suggested that kind of ultimatum is at odds with the president’s effort to being a new tone to politics.

“One of the problems we’ve had in this town is that people draw lines in the sand and they stop talking to each other. And you don’t get anything done. That’s not the way the president approaches this,” the White House adviser said.

What makes this especially odious is that while Obama is hedging on his campaign promise not to tax below the $250,000 level, he is considering adopting something that he vilified John McCain for daring to propose.