Wednesday, 15 July 2009


Raise taxes! (This time, For the ANIMALS!)

Boston Globe:

The Franklin Park Zoo, a Boston institution that has drawn generations of city and suburban families, might be forced to close its doors and possibly euthanize some of its animals as a result of the deep budget cuts imposed by Governor Deval Patrick, zoo officials said Friday.

Without more state funding, those zoo officials said, they will run out of money by October and have to close both the Franklin Park Zoo and its smaller counterpart, the Stone Zoo in Stoneham.  They would lay off most of their 165 employees and attempt to find new homes for more than 1,000 animals, the officials said.

The zoo officials, in a written statement that echoed a letter sent earlier to legislative leaders, said they would be unlikely to find homes for at least 20 percent of the animals, “requiring either destroying them, or the care of the animals in perpetuity.”
The Legislature had originally provided $6.5 million to the zoos – which accounts for more than half of their budget – but Patrick, using a line-item veto, cut the state funding to $2.5 million.
The total operations budget for the zoos last year was $11 million, about 60 percent of which came from state funding.  The remainder came through admissions, food and gift shop sales, memberships, and fund-raising.
(OK, anyone who hasn’t recognized the usual “We’re gonna lay off all the cops and firemen and close all the schools and let your trash pile up and EVERYBODY’S GONNA DIE unless you let us raise your taxes” whining[1] might as well stop reading right now.  The rest of us will continue...)

Via Alice H, who, in a post titled “But I thought liberals *loved* animals,” notes:
I’ve figured out what is bothering me so freaking much about this.  The MassHealth program has a FY2010 budget of $10.318 billion.  The cost of shutting down the zoos is $9 million over three years, the cost of keeping the zoos open is $13 million a year (from state funds - I’m certain they’re receiving some sort of private donations).  Now I’m not usually a person to argue that an animal’s life is worth more than a humans, but I’d be willing to bet that at least one half of one percent of the people sucking up MassHealth dollars are perfectly capable of getting up off their lazy asses and getting a job and finding healthcare on their own, but choose to rely on the state to do it for them instead.  That one half of one percent would pay for five years of life for animals who did nothing to humans other than stand around and get captured.
Actually, it’s even worse (or better), because the state’s share of the zoo budget is $6.5 million, so all they’d need would be savings of... let’s see: 6.5/10318... about 6.3x10-4 ... times 5... say .3% (from one year’s MassHealth operations) to pay the state’s share of funding the zoos for five years.

Or if MassCare is Sacred, how about this:  What’s the total cost (pay +benefits +pension contributions) for the typical Massachusetts bureaucrat?  Would you accept $100k (a typical unionized industry figure for an employee with a $60k base salary)?  Well then: If we need to find $6.5m, that’s 65 employees.  Bet I could easily find 65 timeservers in state govt. who could be shoved (nicely) out the door and long gone before anybody (especially the taxpaying public) noticed.  If we started chopping now, we could probably wrap things up before lunch!

And to answer Alice’s question, of course liberals love animals.  Just ask them!

But they love using your money to build their empires and pay off their clients even more.

[1] Except this time, “It’s For The ANIMALS!”

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