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Mass. morphs from limited taxation to a push for more revenue

A homemade "Yes on 1" sign was posted outside of a home on a residential street in Malden on Nov. 7.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

We’re seeing the cost of austerity

In his praise for tax-cutting (“RIP, Citizens for Limited Taxation,” Opinion, Nov. 16), Jeff Jacoby ridicules the opponents of Proposition 2½ for warning that if taxes were cut too far, “sick people would die for lack of hospitals” and “children would wallow in ignorance.”

But here we are. Sick people are giving up and leaving after interminable waits in the emergency department, and others are sleeping in hospital hallways for lack of rooms (“Short of staff, ERs swamped, stressed,” Page A1, Nov. 6). K-12 student test scores have been dropping for years, even before the pandemic (“Student test scores tumble,” Page A1, Oct. 24). Fortunately the passage this year of Question 1 will give the state some funding to address the latter problem.


Ken Olum


Here’s to a progressive income tax

Congratulations, Massachusetts: By approving the “millionaires tax,” we’ve finally joined the vast majority of states with progressive income taxes. As I noted in my recent book, “The Lost Tradition of Economic Equality in America, 1600-1870,” the idea of progressive taxation goes back to the period of the Founders, urged by Thomas Jefferson and others, in order to prevent the individual accumulation of excessive wealth and the corruption of American politics. Of course it will also provide, in Massachusetts’ case, critical funding for schools and transportation needs.

I was surprised to learn, when I returned to this area after 25 years of living elsewhere, that the increasingly reactionary state of Missouri that I’d left had a more progressive income tax. So I was happy to vote for Question 1 and glad to see it passed, and I look forward to living in the stronger Commonwealth that will result from the measure.

Daniel Mandell


The writer is a professor emeritus of history at Truman State University.