Bold Plans For Funding

jay gonzalez rally

Jay Gonzalez at a rally with Sen. Elizabeth Warren and City Councilor Ayanna Pressley. (Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Wow, you gotta hand it to Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jay Gonzalez.

Trailing in the polls to Gov. Baker, Gonzalez has been prodded by the media, including yours truly, to explain how he plans to fund his ambitious spending plans for education and infrastructure. The Republicans have been taunting him about it.

And he’s been promising an answer.

Today, he’s delivering it, and it deserves an adjective that voters keep saying they want to see attached to public policy--bold.

The Globe reported last night that Gonzalez wants to slap a 1.6% tax on the endowments of our state’s wealthiest colleges and universities based on their average value over a five year lookback.

According to the Gonzalez campaign, that would mean $563 million from Harvard, $210 million from MIT, and another $30 million or so from BC, BU, Tufts, Wellesley and three other affluent schools.

A billion extra dollars could pay for a lot of teachers, help keep MBTA fares stable, and so on. The dough is a drop in the bucket for Harvard, with the largest endowment in the country at $36.4 billion, and chump change for MIT, sitting on a $14.8 billion kitty.

And it seems fair to ask these rich institutions to do more, after years of receiving public services while giving less than the voluntary payments asked of them by the cities they live in.

Of course, they’re already whining and moaning about Gonzalez’s plan.

And he may wind up alienating a lot of rich liberals who chow down at the academic buffet.

But he has managed to turn a key question back on Baker--what political risks are you willing to take to make ends meet?

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. Listen to his previous podcasts on iHeartRadio. 

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Keller @ Large

Keller @ Large

Jon Keller is a WBZ TV & Radio political analyst. Read more

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