Nothing says transparency quite like elected officials meeting behind closed doors to discuss tax policy. But since Beacon Hill is the least likely place to find open and transparent government, that's exactly what will happen.

A special little "working group" charged with reviewing Massachusetts tax policy and recommending ways to "modernize and update" the tax code will conduct six regional meetings at locations around the state to take public testimony on the matter before retreating behind closed doors to come up with its recommendations.

Senate President Karen Spilka YouTube

The working group, appointed by Senate President Karen Spilka (D-Ashland), who has already vocalized her support for a number of measures to raise your taxes, will be headed by Senator Adam Hinds (D-Pittsfield) who also co-chairs the Joint Committee on Revenue. Hinds tells the State House News Service the meetings will be closed to the public and the press in an effort to facilitate "honest conversation" among group members. Yeah, that's it.

Just in case you thought I was being overly dramatic in my presentation of this working group, the State House News Service says the folks who will draft the recommendations "include a former lieutenant governor and revenue commissioner, representatives of big businesses and labor unions, and several appointees who favor changes to boost revenue and make taxes fairer for low-income workers."

We are screwed!

Legislators are also looking into raising the gas tax, a graduated income tax masquerading as a millionaire's tax, new taxes to fight global warming and a host of other fee hikes and revenue enhancers, including new highway tolls.

It is very difficult to fight revenue increases in Massachusetts. The Commonwealth has been plagued by one-party rule and a lazy-ass electorate dedicated only to returning the same old politicians to office cycle after cycle.

Politicians are pretty much free to do what they want here without being held accountable for their actions. My only request is that they do it out in the open so we can at least see their cowardly faces as they fleece us one more time.

I would also be nice if the little sheep who continue to vote for these fools would have the courage to rise up against them just once.

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 and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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