As a MA Certified Teacher and someone who has coached and worked in the MetroWest School Systems, I am absolutely concerned about government revenues and the proper funding of needed programs.
But, elected officials, (like my 2012 State Senate Opponent) defiantly keep ignoring the 800 pound gorilla in the room:
Politically speaking...."It's the debt, stupid." (To borrow a version of President Clinton's famous motto).
My goodness, media outlets keep broadcasting our recent volatility with the stock market as if the Allies liberated Europe on V-E Day or Actress Lindsey Lohan got into trouble yet again on some reality TV Show.
Not so fast.
The Dow Jones (and also the under reported jobs numbers) are the WRONG, metrics to judge our collective fiscal health, and when any news reader takes to the airwaves to announce these numbers - he/she hopelessly under-states the weakness of the American and Massachusetts economy.
The cost of living, the lack of credit, and plummeting home values are combining to make ghost towns out of many main streets across Massachusetts. Too often for young and old, married with kids or single adults - they all simply wait to collect their pensions, finish their schooling or job training, and then they bolt the Commonwealth for much greener pastures.
And let's face it, only a select group of crony and connected groups have truly been bailed out:
-Chase, Bank of America, Citibank, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, etc.
-The CEOs of failed, start-up companies, (like Evergreen Solar or Solyndra), who have received millions to try and change consumer behavior in emerging markets not yet commercially viable.
Beacon Hill has yet to perform their number one duty to Massachusetts residents: Tell us the truth.
The truth is there may have to be another massive rescue plan akin to what the European Union finally came to terms with in the Greece debt crisis. Call it an "era of fiscal austerity" irrespective of market indexes or unemployment rates, led by substantial banking restructuring and large scale, state spending reform. Only then will the free market and small businesses be allowed to grow.
We have wasted years getting to the business of climbing out of this fiscal hole, and toxic assets still sit idle on the big banks' balance sheets. That is true from Concord, MA to Lenox; from Acton to Marlborough.
Under the now infamous Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), according to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, in his winter 2011 testimony, only $2 billion out of $700 billion (that is .3 of 1 percent) handed over to the big banks three years ago has actually been spent on homeowner loan modifications!
The Secretary even used the phrase "under performing" and remarkably conceded that under the toothless law, the banks are not compelled to help a single U.S. or MA homeowner in distress.
So, programs widely marketed by incumbent politicians as a "rescue panacea" are mostly bank voluntary and ripe with fraud and incompetence.
If the government statistics above are not telling enough, just ask any Massachusetts Realtor who has been brave enough to have stayed in the profession.
Candidate for State Senate