The high cost of empty promises

Last year, the Massachusetts legislature thought it would be just nifty if they offered free dental care to poor pregnant women and new mothers. It was part of the whole feel-good, nanny-state mentality that embodies much of what Massachusetts does.

But then, it came time to actually put their money where these women’s mouths were, and that was when things changed. When confronted with the fiscal reality, the legislature decided that it was more work than it was worth, so they just chose to ignore it. Even though it was written into the law, they decided that they just wouldn’t implement it, saving themselves the effort and money to follow through on their promise.

Surprisingly, some people had actually believed the legislature when they made the initial promise. And even more astonishingly, they’re suing the state to get them to actually follow the laws they passed.

This is Massachusetts politics in a nutshell: an idea that sounds good runs amok, everyone jumps behind the idea, then when it comes down to brass tacks, the lawmakers weasel out of it and toss their promises on to the trash heap. And then people who actually thought that the promises of lawmakers meant something get angry and take action.

But in the end, one thing stays the same: they’ll keep re-electing the same lawmakers who screw them over time and time again, until they come to their senses and flee the state.

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