Letter: Troubled by Canning's opinions on issues

Troubled by Canning's opinions on issues

To the editor:

I read Christine Canning's Sept. 2 op-ed column as to why we in Western Massachusetts should elect her to serve as our state senator. I was troubled by several issues that she discusses, which I believe to be either inaccurate or exaggerated.

For example, referring to Massachusetts as Taxachusetts. I did some research and found there are seven states with higher per capita taxes than Massachusetts. They are in order of highest: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California, Wisconsin, Rhode Island and Minnesota, followed by Massachusetts, Maine and Pennsylvania.

Most of the states with the lowest tax burden such as Alaska, Wyoming, North Dakota and others, receive much of their revenue from what is considered out-of-state revenue. For example taxes on energy companies.

In addition I would ask Ms. Canning if she has checked the quality of the education systems in states with a low tax burden? Many of those states have some of the poorest rated school districts in the country, whereas Massachusetts has some of the highest rated school districts and as a state is at or near the top.

I do not like to say this, but some of her statements have some similarity to Donald Trump. Ms. Canning states what she believes is wrong in our commonwealth (and I do not disagree with her on some issues), however she does not lay out a specific plan to address the issues. She states she will fix it! Sound familiar? And for better or worse she will be working with a Democratic majority of senators who may or may not chose to listen to her ideas, although would I hope there can be a "reaching across the aisle."

I disagree with her position against taxing liquor and cigarettes. The use of these items is a choice made by individuals. If individuals choose to use either or both it is a choice. No one is forcing one to smoke or drink alcoholic beverages. Cigarettes are a known cause of cancer and heart attacks. This is known and people still continue to smoke, and over use of alcohol has its own set of health issues. I do not smoke, but I am more than willing to pay taxes for my glass of wine!

Susan Wismer, Pittsfield


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