It is—and isn’t—about the money. The million dollar tax credits, which, according to Inspector General Gregory Sullivan, were handed out to companies “as favors” amount to a corporate pittance, a sort of nicety, the equivalent of an annual fruit basket sent to friends of Mitt & Co., courtesy the taxpayer. But when you consider the intended use of the tax credit, namely to encourage development of blighted neighborhoods, the pettiness and greed the wealthy among us are capable of begins to seem boundless. A Representative from Healey’s AMG insists, of course, that their tax credit was awarded in “full compliance of the law,” but as Henry Ward Beecher once preached: “all ambitions are lawful except those that climb upward on the miseries or credulities of mankind.” Loopholes can’t justify such abuses. Legal or not, the assumptions undergirding this application of the law are obscene.
Meanwhile, Mittney’s taking a little time off his national tour to reform the way we pay for healthcare in Massachusetts, itself an enormously ambitious project. There’s no question something needs to be done to ensure that quality healthcare is available at reasonable rates to rich and poor alike. But Romney’s assumptions about those he says abuse the current system rankle. In his opinion, “about 200,000 of the state's roughly 500,000 uninsured make enough money to afford private insurance,” and are thus apparently, at least potentially, bilking the State. But what does the governor really know about scraping by on minimum wage? Even twice the minimum is not a living wage in Boston, a city where, as John McDonough of Health Care for All has observed, “you've got families… paying over their income for rent." And that’s the problem with this administration. Mittney and his Material Girl either never knew or have forgotten what it’s like to be barely making ends meet. But in their shameless, desperate pursuit of personal glory they would both do well to recall some words of wisdom on the subject: “ambition,” Oscar Wilde once wrote, “is the last refuge of failure.”