A new MassINC poll shows strong support in Massachusetts for socking it to the "rich" with new taxes; however, most respondents oppose tax increases that would impact them directly.

Remember the old "millionaire tax" that was ruled unconstitutional by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court? It's back, but this time as an amendment to the Commonwealth's constitution. The band of thieves up on Beacon Hill needs to vote to approve the thing one more time this session to place it on the ballot and let you decide whether to change the constitution to allow the state to raise taxes on your neighbors.

The idea is to assess a four percent income surtax on household income above $1 million. How's that for class warfare? And you get to pull the trigger when this appears on the statewide ballot next year. Opponents say this could be devastating for many small business owners and would speed up the mass exodus already underway from Massachusetts.

In the poll, 72 percent of respondents support the new tax while 20 percent oppose it. Meanwhile, 71 percent oppose raising the five percent state income tax, 72 percent oppose raising the 6.25 percent state sales tax, and 66 percent oppose raising the gas tax.

The left appears to have little trouble selling the familiar message that the rich are not paying their fair share of taxes. It's an easy sell when you pit the haves against the have-nots. It's cynical and devious, but it's par for the course in Massachusetts. The millionaire tax has been a dismal failure in states such as Connecticut, where it has already been tried.

For those who think this is a good idea, wait until the millionaire tax stops raising the revenue these spendthrifts need to support their spending habits. Could a half-millionaire tax be next?

Responsible Massachusetts voters should just say no to the millionaire tax and tell the legislature to reduce spending instead.

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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