So Deval Patrick wants to lay off 1,000 — or maybe even 2,000 — state employees. He put out a hit list of sorts, a breakdown of the departments and services that us taxpayers would have to learn to live without.

The vulnerable, of course, are on the chopping block. Programs for the elderly, for the abused woman, for the disenfranchised child: hacked. Probation, parole, prosecution: cut to shreds. Parks and beaches: too bad.

I want my tax dollars to go toward public safety and at-risk kids and protecting people who need us. So that’s why I was surprised, well, maybe not so much, that Deval Patrick did not offer up a single cut in his own office.


Big deal he offered, like managers of other state agencies, to take a nine-day furlough. He still has 67 “staff assistants” assigned to his office, according to state payroll records. There is no real job title for the “staff assistants” but we are sending plenty of money to the Governor’s Office.

There are no cuts to the Office of Immigration and Refugee — a bureaucracy that staffs 27 people whose sole function is to make sure that illegal immigrants in this state are not being discriminated against. There are no cuts to the Commonwealth Corps — the bureaucracy that oversees the idiotic idea of letting state employees “volunteer” on taxpayer time.

Everyone understands times are tight right now. But many will find the idea unacceptable that people who are paying the most taxes are the ones suffering the most. There are no cuts to the free welfare car program. There are no cuts to public housing spending. Convicts will still get the swine flu immunization first, along with hormone shots delivered to men who want to become woman behind bars.

— The Michele McPhee Show can be heard on 96.9 FM WTKK weeknights 7 to 10 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m. to noon.

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