If you live in the USA, tomorrow is not just All Souls’ Day. It is election day. I hope every American reader of 7WD will vote tomorrow. This is a privilege that not enough of us exercise, to the detriment of the common good. Now that our nation is a bit more sane, perhaps some good will come of tomorrow’s elections?
I live in one state and spend lots of time in another. Both Massachusetts and Rhode Island have ballot questions in addition to candidate elections. The crack team of politicos at 7WD has been huddled in meetings, and we are prepared to offer opinions on the ballot questions in MA and RI.
Massachusetts ballot questions:
- Sales Tax on Alcoholic Beverages. Vote NO. Let’s keep the sales tax on beer, wine, and liquor. These “vice taxes” on non-essential goods promote healthy behavior and generate vital revenue.
- Comprehensive Permits for Low- or Moderate-Income Housing. Vote NO. Let’s keep the current state law which makes it possible to build affordable housing projects in many places. If this question passes, it will be much easier for NIMBY forces to prevent the construction of affordable housing throughout the state.
- Sales and Use Tax Rates. Vote NO. Proponents of this measure want to slash state revenue by cutting the sales tax by more than 50%. While it sounds nice to have a lower tax, there simply isn’t any way that essential state and local services would be provided without this revenue. The supporters of the “yes” position have never said how the state would be able to offer services if this passes. This one is the most important of the questions. Please vote NO and urge your neighbors to do the same.
Rhode Island ballot questions:
- Amendment to the Constitution of the State (Changing the Official Name of the State). Vote NO. This one is a bit whacky. If it passes, the name of the state would change to “State of Rhode Island” from its current long and historic form, “State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations”. Supporters say that the word “Plantations” is racist. However, that word predates by nearly two centuries the association with the American South. Anyone who bothers to read the history will learn that, in fact, the “Providence Plantations” had passed anti-slavery laws in the 17th century while “Rhode Island” maintained slavery. This is, at the risk of sounding like a Fox News commentator, political correctness run amok. I hasten to add that the name of Rhode Island contains a bit of irony anyway. The island for which the state is named long ago changed its name, so the state is named after something that no longer exists. It’s like the local directions: “go to where the Dunkin’ Donuts used to be and turn left to the spot where the Ann & Hope was”. Sigh.
- Bond questions (2, 3, and 4). Vote YES. The next three questions authorize the state to issue bonds to finance higher education improvements, transportation work, and the purchase of lands to ensure open space. Especially on the transportation front, these expenses are appropriate. If Rhode Island roads get much worse, I’m going to have to drive to work in a Humvee.
The only political endorsement on candidates you’ll get from 7WD is in the Rhode Island gubernatorial race. Vote for Lincoln Chafee, and not just because he follows me on Twitter. He is a rare politician with integrity, who speaks the truth as he sees it, even if it won’t score him points. His record of service and bipartisan respect speaks for itself. Plus, he won’t tell the President of the United States to “shove it” when he doesn’t get his way.