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State Budget Watchdog Steps Down, Parses Baker's Budget24:29
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For the past 20 years, when reporters in this town needed straight talk and clear analysis about taxes, spending and the state budget, they called Michael Widmer.

At then end of last month, Widmer stepped down as the long-time president of the business backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. Boston Globe columnist Rene Loth wrote, "few people have dispensed as much clarity and common sense on complicated fiscal issues" as Michael Widmer.

Michael Widmer speaks at a hearing on health care in 2006. (AP/Celina Fang)
Michael Widmer speaks at a hearing on health care in 2006. (AP/Celina Fang)

Over the years, he's been a frequent guest and an indispensable fiscal guide for journalists. H joins Radio Boston to talk about the current budget challenge, and his long career.

Guests

Mike Widmer, former president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.

Noah Berger, president of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.

More

WBUR: Baker Leans On Revenues, Spending Cuts To Balance Budget

  • "With five months left in the 2015 fiscal year, Gov. Charlie Baker on Tuesday filed a corporate tax amnesty proposal and sought to slice $514 million in spending as part of a budget-balancing plan to address a $768 million deficit."

Commonwealth Magazine: The Tax Man Goeth

  • "The Connecticut native plunged into state government in the 1970s as a member of the reorganized Executive Office of Health and Human Services under Gov. Frank Sargent and later worked briefly for Gov. Michael Dukakis."

The Boston Globe: State’s Taxpayer Advocate Sums Up Without Division

  • "Over the past 20-plus years, few people have dispensed as much clarity and common sense on complicated fiscal issues, and few organizations have commanded as much respect as both taxpayer advocate and civic glue."

This segment aired on February 4, 2015.

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