Following RI politics in the news, one would think pro-choicers dominate and really care about abortion, but the opposite is the truth.
What does it mean to say it’s “unfair” for the ultra rich to pay the same tax rate as the merely rich?
House bill 5137, deceptively named the Fair Housing Practices bill, which mirrors leftist-inspired legislation introduced in other states, is completely unfair to landlords.
The legislation claims it seeks to end discriminatory housing practices because in the progressives’ land of social-equity, making a legitimate business decision should be a crime. Under the proposed law, any Section-8 lessee applicant (those whose rents are subsidized by the federal government) who are not accepted as a tenant, must have been discriminated against, and the landlord must be punished.
While the ruling class appears to be looking to spread opportunity, its actions seem mainly to foster a system that preserves their advantage.
Gov. Gina Raimondo has sharply lowered her forecast of how much money truck tolls will generate this year because they are getting and running more slowly than initially expected.
The budget proposal Raimondo released earlier this month projects that tolls will generate $7 million in the current 2018-19 budget year, which is $34 million less than was expected when the budget passed last June.
If you’ve watched the toll discussion and rollout even casually, you will know that this development is actually not at all a surprise.
Is the Governor’s budget pointing our state in the right direction? On Monday, I attended the Martin Luther King Jr. Day breakfast hosted by the RI Ministers’ Alliance. At the breakfast, the Governor said that the country is moving backward, and that she is committed to moving RI ‘forward’ and in the opposite direction. What planet is the Governor living on?
Instead of seeking to shape Rhode Island’s future with the proven ideals of a free-society, Governor Raimondo’s proposed 2019-2020 budget is a stunning departure from America’s core values and, instead, would put our state on a “Rhode to Serfdom.”
The Governor’s regressive budget points us 180 degrees in the opposite direction of where we need to head, and would stifle any opportunity for growth.
Big government and labor unions were mechanisms society built when it really wanted something, but keeping such mechanisms after their purposes are fulfilled is dangerous and disruptive.
Is the governor a recklessly spending profligate or a moral puritan looking to punish her subjects for their moral impurities while bringing them to kneel before government?
Last week I wrote about the constraints that Massachusetts placed on its school districts nearly 40 years ago. Under the same constraints, South Kingstown spending (since the year 2000) would have trended very differently. Each year, SKSD is spending $10mm to $12mm more than if normal inflation been applied over the last 20 years. For now, ignore the additional factor that enrollment literally dropped by a third over the same time period.
A federal judge recently ruled that Obamacare is unconstitutional because the individual mandate, repealed in the 2017 federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, is no longer in force. Even though existing federal health-care laws will remain in effect during the appeals process, states should not panic and codify Obamacare into state law, as it is not certain how long federal subsidies will remain intact.
While the courts hear the appeals, and with Democrats winning back control of the U.S. House of Representatives largely on the health-care issue, another furious debate is about to unfold.
Democrats will probably introduce some kind of government-centric plan, while Republicans are poised to introduce their own free-enterprise solution. What we all want are simply more choices at lower net costs.
Decrying the “clickbait” promise of a nude photo of a progressive star, mainstream news sources are engaging in a clickbait of a more ideological sort.
Single women in Rhode Island and across the country are about twice as likely as single men to own homes, and the reasons should concern us all.
Some leading conservative commentators have been debating what it means to say that President Donald Trump does or does not have good character. This point, from Roger Kimball, seems much more broadly applicable:
I think it is also worth pondering the work that Jonah [Goldberg] wants the adverb “wholly” to do in the deflationary phrase “wholly instrumental.” Any meaningful definition of good character has to involve an instrumental element. Otherwise the character in question would be impotent. This is part of what Aristotle meant, I think, when he observed that “it is our choice of good or evil that determines our character, not our opinion about good or evil.” In dismissing the connection between character and potency as “wholly instrumental” Jonah flirts with an idea of character that is unanchored to the realities of life.
The idea of character with which Goldberg flirts, according to Kimball, is a particularly progressive one. So many policy debates, these days, wind up with those on the left wanting the government to do something as a statement of morals and those on the right pointing out that the thing that they are proposing government should do will not solve the problem and, usually, will have harmful effects, particularly on our civil rights.
I’ve actually been surprised, in the past, when intelligent, well-meaning people have responded to my observations about a foreseeable side effect of some policy by saying, “That’s not the intention at all.” Well, I know it’s not the intention, but it is almost certainly a consequence. If your policy will not resolve the problem it targets, and if it will have harmful side effects, and if this is reasonably foreseeable, advocates are choosing evil, in Aristotle’s construct, even though their opinions might be good.
In this light, modern liberalism is a game of hedging bets. If you can pretend that the actual consequences of a policy are not obvious, then you can get credit for good intentions whatever may happen. To the contrary, we have the concept of “gross negligence” in the law for a reason. Deliberately failing to consider the consequences of your actions is not an alibi. “How was I supposed to know” is only a defense if one really could not have known.
Character is good when a person fully considers an act and makes a choice that is good (not evil) with as much information as is available. Whether that type of character is resident in the White House, I am not confident. After all, choosing good because it is expedient is not necessarily an indication of good character. However, an electorate that chooses somebody who will do good because he is forced to do good is still the more moral choice for us than a candidate who will do evil while claiming to believe that it is good.
Rep. Ranglin-Vassell’s quick retort about racism when called out for imperiously telling others to keep their mouths shut is a lesson Rhode Islanders ought to observe as progressives become a larger part of our politics.
In 1980, the State of Massachusetts recognized the limitations and threats of relying too heavily on expanding property taxes to fund our public education systems. Proposition 2 ½ was passed to limit the increases a town could levy through its property taxes each year. Named for the enacted cap of 2.5%, any town that needed to increase its levy beyond it could do so, but only through a town wide referendum. For the last 35 years or so, Massachusetts has tamed its property taxes and runaway school spending.
Rhode Island enacted our own, lighter version, of a tax cap. Unfortunately we chose 4% as our limit and waited almost 30 years to implement it. During the lead up to the cap, can you imagine what districts did? In South Kingstown, we ramped our baseline spending up between 6% to 12% each year despite losing about 100 kids per year from our enrollment.
The chart here shows how this played out over the last 2 decades.
A newly announced revision to the state’s system for rating public schools is wholly inadequate, easy to game, and ultimately a means of delaying necessary accountability and improvement.
The legislative sausage-making process in Rhode Island is in dire need of reform. Those reforms that should be codified through a constitutional amendment, so that Senators and Representatives will have greater capacity and freedom to represent their individual districts, rather than being compelled to back the personal agendas of Senate and House leadership. Now is the time to demand better government.
Our state needs less control by leadership over what legislation will advance, with more power provided to legislative committees.
Rhode Island’s latest standardized test scores are even worse than the news media is reporting, and the education commissioner gives no indication that he’s willing to name the underlying problem.
When state agencies put forward the “painful” actions they’d supposedly have to take if elected officials to catch their budgets up to their actual spending, taxpayers should look at the actual spending.
The political landscape changed little in Rhode Island and the need for new prospects to begin sprouting their way up from the soil is desperate.
On Friday, the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity was proud to present its prestigious Middendorf Pillar of Freedom Award for 2018 to Dr. Daniel Harrop at the second annual Ocean State Freedom Banquet.
Rhode Island remains trapped at the bottom of the pack on the Center’s Jobs & Opportunity Index. The Ocean State comes in 46th place amongst the worst in the country trailing behind our neighbors.
By plain logic, we can expect that the Warwick fire fighter sick-time deal is replicated throughout state and local government, which means we have to change the incentives of our public employment system.
From Ancient Rome to the modern day, spending on luxuries is like a valve for wealth, or a voluntary tax paid by the rich, as Edward Gibbon put it.
Fact checking Governor Raimondo’s use of the State Police’s 2015 report on the Cranston police department suggests she ought to be careful about accusations of political corruption.
If we apply just a little bit of reasonable perspective to the issue of school safety, filling them with paid guards begins to look like less wise of an idea.
The first-glance interpretation of WPRI’s latest poll could lead candidates to choose strategies that a deeper analysis proves flawed.
A crucial addition to Dan McGowan’s metaphor for lapsing school repairs.
Rhode Island does need an economy that capitalizes on cross-pollinated innovation, but that means getting government and faith in central planning out of the way.