Kuhner's Corner: Charlie Faker Must Go

RINO governor should be dumped from Mass GOP

By: Jeffrey T. Kuhner

Gov. Charlie Baker needs to be kicked out of the Massachusetts Republican Party.

There is nothing remotely “Republican” about him. Now, he plans to raise our gas taxes—breaking his pledge not to.

Wednesday night, the state House overwhelmingly passed, 113-40, a transportation bill that promises to rake in an extra $600 million a year in revenue. The heart of the legislative package is a massive tax hike: 5 cents per gallon on gas, and (shafting truck drivers) 9 cents per gallon on diesel.

Some of the additional money will go toward addressing crumbling infrastructure, such as repairing roads, bridges and highways. But the bulk of the new revenue will be funneled toward propping up the failed MBTA.

“When it comes to our transportation system, revenue can’t wait,” said Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo. “Revenue can’t wait any longer.”

This huge tax increase comes at a time of record revenues on Beacon Hill. Massachusetts’ state government coffers have never been more flush with taxpayer cash. The problem, however, is that public spending is out of control. The state budget this year is projected at over $43 billion—a record. Hence, Massachusetts doesn’t have a revenue problem. It has a spending problem.

Moreover, the state last year put away $1 billion in the budget surplus fund. It is on track to add more than another billion dollars this year. If DeLeo and the corrupt Democrats need more revenue for transportation, then take it from the rainy day fund. But they won’t.

This is because the MBTA is a giant black hole. The T’s pension legacy costs alone amount to billions of dollars. Furthermore, Massachusetts spends over $2 billion a year on welfare and healthcare benefits for illegal aliens. Throw in the extravagant costs to subsidize the state’s hackerama and it’s no wonder Beacon Hill is chronically starved for cash.

Baker ran on opposing tax hikes. In the lead-up, however, to the House gas tax bill he remained silent. In fact, he signaled his openness to signing it. Yet, he said yesterday he will veto it if it comes on his desk. What changed? Why the dramatic turnaround?

The reason is obvious: The huge—and growing—backlash among fed-up taxpayers. A tax revolt is brewing. Baker, realizing that the Democrat-controlled state legislature has more than enough votes to override his veto, is trying to shift the blame for the gas tax increase onto Beacon Hill.

It won’t work. Baker doesn’t want a 5 cents increase; he wants 17 cents. The RINO Republican is pushing the Transportation and Climate Initiative, known as TCI. It is a cap-and-trade regional compact whose goal is to make using fossil fuels—i.e., oil and natural gas—so expensive it will force millions of commuters to abandon using their vehicles to drive to and from work and instead take public transportation. In other words, TCI is designed to so jack up what drivers pay at the pump, they will have no choice but to take the MBTA or the commuter train.

According to Baker, this is the silver bullet to combat man-made “climate change.” Its central element is to massively raise gas taxes 17 cents per gallon this year alone; and then have similar huge hikes of 17 to 25 cents every consecutive year afterwards. The ultimate goal is to have drivers pay $6 a gallon to tank up their cars—literally, doubling the price of gas. Baker’s model is California, which has implemented a similar TCI system.

That New England states—Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont—are abandoning TCI has not deterred Baker. He is determined to plow ahead, hoping to cast himself as a “Green Republican.” In short, he desperately seeks to impose crushing new gas taxes on middle- and working-class families.

Gas tax hikes are inherently regressive; they hurt middle- and low-income residents the most. TCI will not only gouge the besieged middle-class. It will badly damage Massachusetts’ economy, wiping out tens of thousands of jobs and driving up the cost of nearly everything—food, water, milk, clothes, housing, heating, energy and of course, driving.

It’s time for Massachusetts Republicans to stand up to Charlie Faker. The big news this week is that Baker’s RINOs suffered major defeats in Tuesday’s GOP primary. He no longer controls the state Republican apparatus; pro-Trump conservatives, led by Chairman Jim Lyons, do.

Baker is a tax-and-spend liberal Democrat posing as a Republican. He supports TCI, sanctuary cities, open borders, abortion-on-demand, gun control, same-sex marriage and the culture of rampant government corruption in Massachusetts. In fact, he has said his number one priority is to ensure President Trump loses in November. There is a word to describe him: traitor.

The Massachusetts GOP should make it clear to Baker that his days as a member of the state Republican Party are coming to an end. If he signs TCI, he should be expelled from the party. Take away that “R” next to his name. He doesn’t deserve it.

-Jeffrey T. Kuhner is host of “The Kuhner Report” on WRKO AM-680 in Boston. His daily show airs 6:00-10:00 am EST. He can be reached at: jeffreykuhner@iheartmedia.com