A Tale of Two Newspapers - And Three Politicians, Part 3

Massachusetts' public servants have forgotten how to serve.

The first article in this series pointed out that Mr. Obama desires that Joe Biden succeed him as President, but if and only if he agrees to have Deval Patrick, former governor of Massachusetts, as his running mate.  Having explained why Mr. Obama regards Mr. Patrick as a worthy successor to continue his policies of extorting money from businesses and giving tax money to his friends, this article explains some of the reasons why Mr. Obama can be confident that Mr. Patrick will carry on with his legacy of administrative incompetence and may even carry it to new heights.

General Incompetence

In addition to wasting money on green dreams, Gov. Patrick showed no ability to operate the state effectively.  Among his many managerial failures were:
  • Last winter, the public transit system shut down because of snow.  There were no such problems during the blizzard of 1978 because drivers ran the trains all night to blow the snow off the tracks.  This well-known procedure was evidently too complicated for Gov. Patrick's appointees to carry out.
  • The state has fallen billions of dollars behind on maintaining bridges.  Any Massachusetts driver can see that the bridges are rusting out because they aren't being painted.  There are about 7,500 bridges in Massachusetts.  We could keep track of the painting schedule with Excel or even a notebook, no database needed, but someone would still have to do the actual work of going out and painting them.  We don't even have to worry about jobs Americans won't do.  Massachusetts being a sanctuary state, there is an abundant supply of illegal laborers who, for all their other faults, are fairly skilled in painting, but even going down to the local Home Depot with a bus and a wad of cash is apparently beyond the powers of the state bureaucracy.
  • On May 27, 2015, the Herald reported that more than 8,500 elevators in Massachusetts hadn't had their state-required annual inspections.  More than half the elevators which were checked had certificates which did not agree with the inspection department's database.  Some had expired certificates even though the database showed them as having been inspected.
  • On Dec. 17, 2014, the New York Times reported that federal authorities were bringing murder charges against pharmacists at the New England Compounding Center whose contaminated drugs had killed 64 people.  The Center had failed state-required cleanliness inspections, but had continued to operate just as uninspected elevators continued to operate.
  • On March 5, 2014, Reuters reported that the Massachusetts Supreme Court had ruled that the state of Massachusetts shared blame for drug convictions which had been tainted by falsified tests in the state crime lab.  More than 300 people who had been convicted of drug crimes based on falsified tests have been released.  Some of these people are innocent and should never have been in jail; others are felons who should be in jail but now aren't due to government malfeasance.
  • Last year, more than 34,000 bus and rail trips were missed simply because state employees didn't show up for work so the vehicles sat abandoned in the yard.
  • The Herald reported on September 30, 2015, that a woman who ran a grocery store in Worcester, Mass. had been charged with defrauding the food stamp program for $3.6 million over a four-year period.  She'd buy food stamps for 50 cents on the dollar, then deposit them as if she'd sold permitted groceries.  When many such opportunities for welfare fraud were pointed out to Gov. Patrick, he dismissed them as "anecdotes."  The fact that food stamp recipients wanted 50 cents of unrestricted cash more than they wanted a dollar's worth of food stamps with which they could only buy restricted items suggests that the food stamp program is giving people far more money than they need to buy food.
  • The Massachusetts Obamacare web site didn't work any better than the Federal site even though Gov. Patrick chose the same favored contractor which had employed Mrs. Obama's college roommate and paid millions of dollars.  Between excess fees paid to contractors and ineligible people being signed up, some of the cost estimates run close to a billion dollars.  That's billion with a B.

Massachusetts taxpayers occasionally show signs of having had enough and elect Republicans.  Gov. Patrick's successor was Charlie Baker, a Republican with extensive experience managing a large health care system.

Getting Rich in the Private Sector

Both the Globe and the Herald noted that Gov. Patrick had to spend time in the private sector to make serious money.  Having routed hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to support failing businesses and to pay for unneeded construction projects, many business owners owed him big bucks.  Even the Globe would have thought it unseemly for these businesses to pay him his just rewards while he was still in office, so he had to become a private citizen for a time.  The Herald listed three semi-secret ways they planned to pay him:

  • Gov. Patrick got an appointment as a part-time professor of innovation at MIT.  This saves him the bother of setting up a tax-deductible foundation as the Clintons and Mr. Obama have.  Whomever wants to supplement his professorial pay can make a tax-deductible donation to MIT - it'll get lost amongst the rest of that august institution's billions.  Gov. Patrick will know, we won't know, and that's all that matters.
  • Bain Capital, of Mitt Romney fame, appointed him a "managing director" to seek investments in education, energy, and public health that support social good.  Suppose someone owes the Governor a lot of money due to past favors.  They can start a "social good" business, give him the founders' stock due the managing director, wait 6 months, and buy him out for a monster capital gain.  When the stock tanks, the investors writes it off.  This not only makes payments to Patrick tax-deductible, the Governor pays capital gains taxes instead of ordinary income taxes.
  • The builders who profited from his green scams tried to get the Summer Olympics assigned to Boston.  They promised over and over that the Olympics wouldn't cost the taxpayers a dime and then proceeded to hire Gov. Patrick as a $7,500 per day consultant to schmooze the international Olympic committee.  If a Democrat had won the governorship, this would probably have worked, and they'd have stuck the taxpayers for the usual billion or two that Olympics lose for host cities.

With that track record of incompetence, who could possibly be better qualified to carry on Mr. Obama's legacy?  As it turned out, the committee set up by construction billionaires to bring the Olympics to Boston failed because the voters elected a Republican to be Patrick's successor as governor.

Given the tendency of Massachusetts voters to compound their follies by continuing to elect Democrats, however, funding a committee to bring the Olympics to Boston was a reasonable bet.  It failed this time, but betting on Democrats to win Massachusetts elections is normally a sure thing.  The fact that Mr. Patrick, a two-term Democrat, was followed by a Republican, in Massachusetts of all places, should tell anyone all they need to know about Mr. Patrick's qualifications to be President of the United States.

The last article in this series explains how Mr. Patrick has imitated Mr. Obama in wasting public money by living high on the public purse.

Will Offensicht is a staff writer for Scragged.com and an internationally published author by a different name.  Read other Scragged.com articles by Will Offensicht or other articles on Economics.
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