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Real or Onion: Mass Hires Spending Czar

My friends and I play a silly game online.  We send each other news headlines on instant messenger under the headline of “Real or Onion.”  To win, you have to fool your opponent into mis-classifying the headline.  “Congressman Wants to Talk with Rodriguez” – it’s real, on right now.  “Genetic  Experiment Goes Horribly Right” – that’s Onion.

So, here’s today’s winning contestant: “Governor Appoints Spending Czar.” You and everyone else guessed Onion, right?  Sorry, it’s real.

The writers at Blue Mass Group, generally defenders of the governor, are as baffled as I am.  You can read the back and forth yourself – from “what the heck” to “it’s good project management” to “don’t we already have that?” and back.

The state has what, 100,000 employees and spends more than $50 billion dollars a year.  There are countless methods the state already uses to spend money.  I do not understand why we’d need a new, special person to spend more money.  It begs the question – what do the other state employees do?

This obviously isn’t the end of the world.  In the grand scheme of thing, this guy isn’t going to break the bank.  But it strikes me as tone deaf on the governor’s part.  Thousands of people are being laid off in Massachusetts this year, and the correct response is to hire someone with skill in spending money?

Real, not Onion.


Comment from Susan
Time: February 12, 2009, 11:34 pm

So who is the ideal candidate for this job?
a) the governor himself
b) shopaholics everywhere
c) the Turnpike Authority
d) those coupon-toting, “it’s also on sale” frugal men and women who are in front of me in line at Demoula’s, but also drove an extra 20 miles to save 50 cents
e) Carla Howell
(ok, it’s an easy quiz)

Comment from AMR
Time: February 13, 2009, 10:15 am

“The real estate developer chosen by Governor Deval Patrick to distribute billions of dollars in federal stimulus money has been receiving a state pension ever since he was fired from his job at a state development agency in 1995, according to state records.” (Boston Globe, 13 Feb., Page One)

Comment from Joseph Lawler
Time: February 13, 2009, 11:18 am

This is beyond parody.

Pingback from The American Spectator : AmSpecBlog : Daily Must-Reads
Time: February 13, 2009, 11:21 am

[…] Taxachusetts update: apparently, the state just wasn’t spending fast enough (Dan Dunn’s Podium) […]

Comment from Annie LaCourt
Time: February 13, 2009, 11:37 am

Sigh, I hate it when my guys screw yp. Anyways, I need a job and they should hire me. I understand how to get the best bang for the buck. My Dell rep will happily give me a reference!