THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING
ANOTHER LOOK AT MASS. MODEL FOR ECONOMY

Democrats have been party of fiscal responsbility

August 23, 2011

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IT’S NICE to have a Senate Republican hold up Massachusetts as a model of fiscal responsibility, as Scott Brown did in his recent op-ed (“Look to Mass. as a model for growth agenda,’’ Aug. 13).

It may seem churlish to point out that this fiscal balancing act was carried out by an overwhelmingly Democratic Legislature and Mitt Romney, a Republican who increased fees and taxes (and who benefited from an enormous windfall resulting from a prior capital-gains tax increase). This model was continued under the completely Democratic administration of Deval Patrick. Both cuts and revenue increases were employed under both governors. The result, as Brown points out, was an increase in our credit rating, which has remained triple A even during the current recession.

Clearly liberal Democrats are quite able to balance budgets, working with or without reasonable Republicans. Nationally the Democrats have been the party of fiscal responsibility in Washington for the last 20 years: Clinton left a budget surplus, which George Bush turned into a massive deficit. Given that mainstream Republicans are unwilling to disown their right wing, the way to end congressional gridlock is to vote in a solid Democratic majority nationally. Indeed, as Brown suggests, Massachusetts can serve as the model.

Richard Frenkel, Swampscott
The writer is a member of the Swampscott Democratic Town Committee.