2008 Massachusetts Ballot Initiative ("Question 1") to End the Income Tax

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Carla Howell on CNN

Massachusetts Group Calls for End to State Tax
Aired August 5, 2008 - 19:00:00 ET

BECK: ...First, let me -- let me put this in a way that Frankenstein and politicians can both understand. Low taxes good. High taxes bad. The people in Massachusetts just seem to get that, and I never thought I would say that, but they have figured it out in Massachusetts. I swear, it slipped through a worm hole earlier today.

Citizens have now gathered in Massachusetts 125,000 signatures to get an initiative on the November ballot that would eliminate the state income tax. It would repeal 5.3 income and wage tax. It would also cut the state capital-gains tax that can get as high as 12 percent.

So how do they plan on replacing the 12.5 billion dollars in lost tax? They don`t. This is a crazy notion. This is Massachusetts. They have this crazy notion that they can cut their government`s allowance, and the political geniuses will then have to think a little harder and a lot smarter before they go spending anybody`s money. Wait a minute, hang on. Oh, yes, Frankenstein. Remember, low spending good. Overspending bad.

Carla Howell is the president for the Center for Small Government and chair of the Committee for Small Government, a group behind the initiative. What the hell are you doing? It`s Massachusetts. I mean, this makes sense to me but not in Massachusetts. This doesn`t -- does this have a chance of succeeding?

CARLA HOWELL, PRESIDENT, CENTER FOR SMALL GOVERNMENT: It made a lot of sense to 885,000 voters when we ran this ballot initiative to end the state income tax back in 2002. This year there could be a lot more who say they`re fed up, they`re going to the polls and voting yes on Question One in Massachusetts to end the state income tax.

BECK: OK. I mean, you should be canonized if you can pull this off in Massachusetts. But let me just -- let me just say this. You -- you`ve tried this before. It didn`t succeed. But since that time, people have been leaving the state -- it`s like New Jersey. People are leaving the state in droves. Who`s left there? All the people who are like, "Oh, the income tax is insane here." Who`s left? It`s like you and the Kennedys.

HOWELL: We lost some good people. That`s for sure. But really there are still quite a few people here. There`s 3,400,000 workers and taxpayers in Massachusetts who stand to benefit tremendously if we end the income tax. They`ll each get back an average of $3,700 every year when we end the income tax.

BECK: OK. So how are you seriously going to sell this to one of the most socialist states in the union? I mean, you know, next to California. You just put in universal health care, that Romney-care, which is just a nightmare mess now. How are you going to convince people to take less from the government and give less to the government?

HOWELL: Most people don`t need to be sold. It`s a matter of just letting people know that it`s on the ballot, to make sure they go to the polls and vote. I have absolutely no doubt that a majority of people, even in Massachusetts are in favor of this. There`s no question in my mind about that. It`s a question of whether they`re going to go to the polls and vote on November 4. I hope they do.

BECK: So what is the -- what is the opposition like for this? I mean, seriously, in Massachusetts you`ve got to be a pariah in the power centers. You know what I mean? You`re in the state with the Kennedys.

HOWELL: Well, the opposition is going to be substantial. They`re going to spend millions of dollars trying to defeat our initiative. But the good news is that, first of all, most people want to end the income tax. You don`t even have to sell them on it. But also there`s been a lot of publicity in Massachusetts about government waste. Unbelievable story after story of government waste.

BECK: Give me some -- give me some of the waste.

HOWELL: And people are fed up.

Well, the Big Dig they said was going to cost $2.3 billion. It ended up being ten times that amount. It`s now over $22 billion.

The government employee pensions are absolutely out of hand -- out of control. A lot of people in the private sector aren`t even getting pensions anymore except for what piddling annuities they can expect, maybe, from Social Security some day, whereas the government employee pensions are guaranteed. They`re retiring in their 40s and 50s. Some of them are double dipping, getting a pension and then working for another government agency and collecting two salaries.

BECK: Oh, my gosh.

HOWELL: And people are disgusted with this. They just signed off another $3 billion in spending for more government employee pensions. That`s just one example. There`s been a long list of them, and people are getting fed up. And they should.

BECK: Carla, I have to tell you, I think while our government is still ready to go off the deep end with bigger government, socialized programs, everything else, I have a sense that more and more states are starting to say, "You know what? I don`t think so."

I think the cure, as it always does, the cure is going to come from the local and state as the people just try to fix their own state and say, "This is insane. I`ve seen this enough." And then the government`s in real trouble if they don`t follow what`s happening in these states.

Best of luck to you, Carla. We`ll follow up.

Link to transcript

Rally for Yes On 1

On October 4th, Supporters for voting YES on Question 1, which would END the income tax in Massachusetts, had a rally at Faneuil Hall in Boston.

Keith McCormic

Carla Howell (part 1 of 2)

Carla Howell (part 2 of 2)

Chuck Ormsby

Michael Graham WTKK (part 1 of 2)

Michael Graham WTKK (part 2 of 2)


Carla Howell: Vote YES on 1

Rhode Island's Governor says Rhode Island should consider ending their Income Tax!

Dr. Charles Ormsby on why you should vote YES to end the Income Tax in Massachusetts (part 1 of 2)

Dr. Charles Ormsby on why you should vote YES to end the Income Tax in Massachusetts (part 2 of 2)

Carla Howell on Neil Cavuto

What would you do with $3,600?

Show Us The Tax Money!

Carla Howell on WBZ with John Keller

How Could I Live Without Filing Taxes?

Rich Aucoin on WGBH

Radio Interviews

Click any link to listen to the interview.  Or right-click any link to save the MP3 file.

Carla Howell debate on Jim & Margery - WTKK 10/31/2008
Carla Howell on Jay Severin - WTKK 10/31/2008
Carla Howell on Jay Severin - WTKK 10/30/2008
Carla Howell on Howie Carr - WRKO 10/30/2008
Carla Howell on Jay Severin - WTKK 10/28/2008
Carla Howell debate on WCAI with Peter Meade - WCAI 09/30/2008
Carla Howell on Michael Medved - NATL 08/15/2008
Carla Howell on Jay Severin - WTKK 09/16/2008
Carla Howell on Plymouth Radio - WATD 09/23/2008
Barbara Anderson on Howie Carr - WWBZ 09/16/2008
Carla Howell on Bax and O'Brien - WAQY 09/30/2008
Carla Howell on Michael Graham - WTKK 10/03/2008
Carla Howell on Nightside - WWBZ 10/06/2008

Radio Ads

We're running End the Income Tax radio ads!  Yes, thanks to your donations, we're bringing our message to Massachusetts voters.  Listen to the radios ads below and consider making a donation to allow us to run the ads more frequently.  Every dollar helps!

Why vote YES to end the state income tax?
What percentage of your tax dollars are wasted?
Have you asked these questions about Question 1?
Why are the teachers unions trying to take away your tax cut?
Voting NO will cost your family $3,700 per year.

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