Burroughs Adding Machine

Social justice, arts and politics, life in New York City

One way to look at the Massachusetts senate debacle

If you’re as much at a loss as I am with Martha Coakley’s performance and Scott Brown’s empty win, this video may help lick your wounds. The subtitles are perfect and absurd.

My favorite moment is when the actor playing Hitler pauses, takes off his glasses, and asks his advisors: “How do you blow a 30 point lead?”

Filed under: Massachusetts, politics, , , ,

Who will pay for the T’s “Little Dig” Silver Line tunnel?

On the heels of the Big Dig’s official launch of the Kennedy Greenway (reminiscent of Bush’s faux-announcement of the end of the war in Afghanistan?), the MBTA is pushing forward plans to build a new tunnel to connect the two Silver Line bus routes that currently serve Roxbury and South Boston. The Globe reports that the MBTA does not mention how it will pay for the expense, other than requesting more loans from the federal government. Rider advocate groups against the new connector claim that those who utilize public transportation the most–low-income riders–will bear the most burden of the cost.

I have mixed feelings about the results of the Big Dig: at times, I zip from Dorchester to Cambridge through the tunnels; at other times, including 9:00 pm on a weeknight, I’m stuck creeping along South 95 from downtown to JFK/UMass. It’s like playing Russian Roulette. Not to mention the facts we all know of shoddy contractor work and dangerous construction.

Will a $1 billion dollar tunnel connecting both Silver Lines be a good thing or another disaster for Boston?

Filed under: government, Massachusetts, transportation, , , , , ,

No income tax for Mass residents?

It’s a wild idea that I’ve been giving serious consideration to: abolishing income tax for Massachusetts residents. My friend Michael posted a link this morning to the article from the New York Times outlining both sides of the proposal. In my opinion, the journalist seemed to favor voting “no,” however, emphasizing the negative responses from the people he interviewed.

Those who are against the proposal fear the loss of income to the state would worsen our financial crisis.

Those who support the proposal seem to view their vote as mostly symbolic, expressing their anger at government waste.

How would saving “the average taxpayer about $3,600 a year” a loss of about $12.5 billion a year, “roughly 45 percent of the state’s budget of about $28 billion” actually affect Massachusetts? Would schools suddenly shut down, hospitals and police crumble? Or would those things that make our state function–unnecessary jobs and wasteful goods–be organically pared away?

My only caveat about this proposal–“Question 1” on the ballot–is the possibility of higher property taxes. Depressing.

Funny thing that I didn’t realize is that seven states do not impose income tax, among them New Hampshire. Makes you wonder, if these states can manage without individual income tax, why can’t Massachusetts?

Filed under: government, Massachusetts, politics, , ,

Writing

BIOGRAPHY

RECENT PUBLICATIONS
» "Pinays," AGNI, Spring 2016
» "Dandy," Post Road, Spring 2015
» "Wrestlers," Fifth Wednesday, Spring 2014
» "Babies," Joyland, August 2011
» "Nicolette and Maribel," BostonNow, May 2007
» "The Rice Bowl," Memorious, March 2005
» "The Rules of the Game," Screaming Monkeys: Critiques of Asian American Images (Coffee House Press, June 2003)
» "Deaf Mute," Growing Up Filipino (Philippine American Literary House, April 2003)
» "Good Men ," Genre, April 2003
» "The Foley Artist," Drunken Boat, April 2002
» "Squatters," Take Out: Queer Writing from Asian Pacific America (Asian Am. Writers' Workshop, 2001)
» "Deaf Mute," The North American Review, Jan 2001
» "The First Lady of Our Filipino Nation," The Boston Phoenix, 1999
» "Paper Route," Flyway Literary Review, 1996
» "Brainy Smurf and the Council Bluffs Pride Parade," Generation Q (Alyson, 1996)
May 2017
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Ricco Villanueva Siasoco is a Manhattan-based writer and non-profit manager. More

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