‘Am I wrong? Am I missing something?’ Part II
has bugged me since I wrote it and people emailed in the other day. For the record: I was wrong. It’s sort of like one of those psychiatric ink-blot tests. One person sees one thing in a scribbled mess; another person sees something else. If you’re looking at the state budget from the perspective of Deval’s budgets
(not including the larger FY 2011 budget he proposed earlier this week), the fact is they haven’t ‘skyrocketed.’ If you’re looking at it from the perspective of state spending in general over the past five years (and that’s the way I initially and sincerely looked at the proverbial ink blot), state spending has indeed ‘skyrocketed,’ despite a recession and spending cuts. … I guess we could say “we’re both right” – and that would technically be true. But it would be a cop out. The original BMG piece was written in the context of Deval’s budgets (setting aside what Baker meant about skyrocketing spending). So I was wrong. I should have written in response to the ‘Am I wrong?’ question: “No, you’re not wrong about Deval's budgets.” And then responded to the ‘Am I missing something?’ question: “Yes. Step back. Look at the ink blot from a different, longer-term perspective.” … But I didn’t say that. So I was wrong. …
There. Got that off my ink-blot-analysis chest.