The Boston Globe recently reported there's an expected $1.5 billion shortfall in fiscal year 2016.
This is an alarming figure, and as both the Republican Governor and the Democratic Speaker of the House have ruled out any tax increases, we can expect yet another round of cuts to our already slashed budgets and agencies.
Already we hear many voices rail against "living beyond our means" and the need to tighten belts further. But this narrative always leaves out an important piece of the story of our structural deficit -- we've lost $3.3 billion in FY2015 ALONE because of tax cuts enacted 1998-2002:
Given the massive reduction in our revenues, it should not be a surprise that we are repeatedly facing budget shortfalls. But now that we've lived through this cycle -- and are seeing the disastrous results of underinvestment and austerity -- we need to reject the simplistic and false narrative of "overspending" and talk about how we've been underfunding.
Why is it always more cuts -- to programs and investments that have already been cut -- but never restoring lost revenue? Especially when our tax system is so unfair?
>> Income Tax Cuts and the Budget Deficit in Massachusetts - MassBudget - http://bit.ly/1FXrMUo
>> State may face $1.5 billion shortfall - Metro - The Boston Globe - http://bit.ly/1FXroVS
>> Worried about state budget cuts? Next year may be worse | masslive.com - http://bit.ly/1LGri5f