The federal government must step in to assist those in need during pandemic, not play political games (Letters)
The Republican and MassLive, September 21, 2020
With 11.3% unemployment, MA has one of the highest rates in the nation. Almost 1 in 12 Massachusetts adults with children say they can’t afford enough food for their kids, and 1 in 7 renters are behind on rent, according to a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Hardship is widespread, but Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and immigrant families have been particularly hard hit, with the crisis exacerbating long-standing inequities in health care, education, employment, and housing that stem largely from structural racism. Our community partners have shared countless stories about the persistent trauma facing kids and families in their communities. We must act now.
Commonwealth Magazine, August 14, 2020
Now is the time to take the reins to determine our own destiny. All of us can call on the federal government to provide our people and state governments with financial supports, just as it did in the Great Recession. The Legislature has options: it can use our state’s multi-billion-dollar Rainy-Day Fund, take advantage of borrowing, or raise taxes by asking those who have benefited most from our economy to pay their fair share. By raising taxes on unearned income like dividends and capital gains, for instance, Massachusetts can ensure a fair and equitable recovery for black, brown, and other communities who have historically been left on the margins. We all should have the resources we need to participate in our recovery — that is equity.
Government budgets are a statement of our collective priorities. Reducing inequality should be part of the economic calculus of how states and localities balance their budgets. This pandemic has shown how little cushion many of our communities of color and low-income people have to weather the economic slowdown. Without adequate revenue from the federal government and our wealthy neighbors and corporations, we can’t make the investments we need for a strong and equitable recovery.
This country was built upon racist ideas and policies that we must all work deliberately to undo every day. These policies, such as Jim Crow laws, …
Read the full statement by Marie-Frances Rivera, president of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget), in response to the Governor’s Reopening Massachusetts plan amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Testimony to the Economic Roundtable: We must ensure collective well-being and economic security in the Commonwealth
Read the full testimony from our President, Marie-Frances Rivera, for the Massachusetts Legislature’s April Virtual Economic Roundtable, originally scheduled for April 7, 2020.
We Must Provide Robust Economic Relief and Recovery for Vulnerable Populations and Children in Massachusetts Policy is the lever that we can pull to bring …
Had earnings for people at all income levels continued to grow in line with overall income growth as occurred during the three decades before the 1980s, 90 percent of Massachusetts households would have substantially higher incomes today. This fact sheet describes how much lower incomes are as a result of growing disparities, how much larger an income share is held by the top 1 percent of income earners, and how the top 1 percent pay the smallest share of their income in state and local taxes.
Beginning in 1998, a number of significant changes were made to the Massachusetts tax code–including a series of phased cuts to the state personal income tax. These cuts have reduced our capacity to fund essential services.