Because we don't have enough to worry about, what with a pandemic ravaging our elderly population, politicians holding us hostage in our homes while destroying the economy and our businesses, and our kids being forbidden to attend school, now Charlie Baker wants us to go broke, too.

Masslive.com says Baker has asked the Massachusets Legislature to approve a $1 billion supplemental budget for the balance of the fiscal year which ends on June 30. The money would be used to pay for a host of COVID-19-related expenditures such as PPE, maintaining surge field hospitals, contact tracing programs, incentive pay for frontline workers, and reimbursements for long term care for the elderly, among other things.

“The supplemental budget would also ensure that adequate state spending has been authorized to allow the commonwealth to continue to support our communities until additional federal reimbursements are provided,” Baker told reporters on Thursday. The administration says the supplemental spending would come at no net cost to the state because federal reimbursements would cover it.

"We need to spend first to get them to reimburse us,” said Baker.

Baker has driven the Massachusetts economy into the ground. His COVID-19 strategy has put us billions in debt, the burden for which will be borne by you and me in the form of new and increased taxes.

The federal government is already printing money it doesn't have, and Baker says run up the bill and let someone else pay for it. Baker seems to forget that federal reimbursements are not funded by the Keebler Elves. The money comes from the taxpayers – as in you and me.

Even liberal House Speaker Robert DeLeo has yet to endorse Baker's spending plan. The Ways and Means Committee will conduct a hearing next week.

Rather than continue to spend money that we don't have – which is the Massachusetts way – let's re-open the economy and start generating real tax revenue.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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