The odd position of charter schools should bring us back to fundamental questions about government and our objectives.
We need to work out the gray line at which a girlfriend “goading” her boyfriend to suicide can be an act of incitement (with a nod toward the GOP-baseball assassin).
Lieutenant Governor Dan McKee’s op-ed overstates the significance of his “legislative package,” not the least because it leaves out three of five bills.
If the powers who be don’t provide more revenue for a suitable learning environment for children, what are unions and insiders willing to do?
Governor Raimondo’s executive order “reaffirming” progressives’ environmentalist agenda will have a net-negative effect on the environment.
Lincoln Chafee’s declarations of intelligence community “lies” regarding Russia and Iraq help illustrate an excellent point (although that wasn’t his intent).
Perhaps nothing is more telling about whether Americans see a state as providing sufficient opportunities for prosperity and a better quality of life than whether or not they are flocking to or fleeing from its borders. No other measure paints a more realistic picture of whether or not a particular state is an ideal place to raise a family or build a career than how people “vote with their feet.”
At the Center, we know that that the high levels of taxation and over-regulation imposed in the ever-growing state budget is the main culprit in causing Rhode Island’s stagnant performance.
In Rhode Island, holding a school district’s funding level is a “cut,” even when it just means foregoing new hires and activities and eliminating unpopular classes.
To be fair, the flap over the General Assembly’s requested increase is at least partly a misunderstanding, but it points to a more outrageous issue with state budgeting.
Both the proven failure of a budget-centric approach and Governor Raimondo’s dismal public policy track record should give the General Assembly real pause when considering her reported request for one hundred new state hires – and other initiatives, past and prospective.
We know that that the high levels of taxation and over-regulation imposed for the sake of the state budget are the primary culprit in causing the Ocean State’s stagnant performance. Put another way, overspending by a government that primarily seeks to perpetuate and grow itself, actually works against the best-interests of the very people it is supposed to be serving. Instead of seeking to grow prosperity, government seeks to grow itself.
Despite the false hopes expressed by lawmakers based solely on a reduced unemployment rate, Rhode Island families are hurting. The Ocean State suffers under the worst business climate, and 48th rank on our Center’s Job’s & Opportunity Index. Furthermore, Rhode Island was the only state in New England to see its labor force decline in size in recent years, as hundreds of thousands of people have chosen to leave our state since 2004. This is not a recovery.
As we talk about taxes and “fair shares” and “fair shots,” we should get back to basic questions like, “Who pays taxes?”
Below is a statement that StopTollsRI.com (for which I am spokesperson) placed on its Facebook page last night. The R.I. Trucking Association and the American Trucking Association have announced that they would wait until all 30+ toll gantries were installed before they would challenge the legality of truck tolls in court. This alarming development first came to light Thursday night in testimony before House Finance. See Mike Collins’ testimony starting at approximately minute 1:52:40.
Tolls have taken a dangerous turn for Rhode Island residents and taxpayers. It is now imperative that state legislators and General Assembly leadership step in for the good of the state and end the truck toll program.
Losing the PawSox seems mainly to be a worry of RI’s decision-making elites, but the best thing Rhode Island could do is to make it clear that it has decided to get back to basics and get itself onto a better path.
Should the hopes, dreams, and aspirations of Rhode Island families be limited by an arbitrary, politically-driven budget number at the bottom of a spreadsheet? Unfortunately, our state is now suffering the consequences of such an approach, fueled by the progressive-left’s big-spending agenda.
Many Rhode Islanders are simply not going to believe the PawSox deal is not a subsidy; advocates should look for new, innovative ways to prove that it isn’t.
With employment and energy, central planners can’t (and shouldn’t) try to micromanage the world. They’re just going to hurt people.
If our welfare system is leading people to make life decisions based on the sense that taxpayers have them covered, we may be creating unhealthy incentives.
To put families first, not government, we have to link government’s welfare to taxpayers’, not the other way around, and that means property values should be linked to property taxes.
The massive budget shortfall is proof that the state government’s corporate welfare strategy has failed. Rhode Island’s current corporate tax-credit economic development strategy is highly inefficient as it creates relatively few jobs at an extremely high cost per job to taxpayers. This targeted ‘advanced industry’ approach does little if anything to improve the overall business climate, which is necessary if organic entrepreneurial growth is to occur on its own. A 3.0% sales tax would disproportionately help low-income families.
One would think that central planners would figure out that they’re really just building a system to protect their own social group’s interests, but the rest of us should figure it out even if they won’t
The overheated partisan rhetoric over the American Health Care Act (AHCA) has everybody talking about a fictional piece of legislation as if it’s what the House actually passed in Washington.
As with employment, so with healthcare: Governor Raimondo uses selective statistics to create a false impression of her government’s activities.
If the final federal healthcare law that eventually emerges from Washington, D.C. is similar to the version that passed the House of Representatives in early May of 2017, Rhode Island lawmakers will find themselves in the middle of largely reshaped federal and state healthcare landscape. Soon they may be faced with multiple important questions; and they will also realize that they will be newly empowered to make state-specific decisions for the people of Rhode Island.
In case you (especially my fellow tea-totallers) hadn’t heard: in 2013, RI removed the sales tax on wine and spirits.
Coincidentally, that was also the year, at the urging of then-Senate President Teresa Paiva-Weed, the state removed the sales tax on art; more specifically, “original and limited edition works of art sold in the State of Rhode Island” were made exempt from state sales tax.
Imagine the parking lots of Rhode Island retailers filled with cars with Massachusetts license plates. New research from the Center, based on government data, shows that it is very possible. In the two years following the removal of sales tax on wine and spirits, the same level of economic stimulus, as projected by the Center by cutting the state’s overall sales tax, actually occurred! Now, there can be no doubt of our findings. The new research one-pager proves that Rhode Island would experience an ECONOMIC BOOM under a 3.0% sales tax.
Automation ultimately will hit a wall of the freedoms and options that people are willing to give up for the sake of ease, unless we let government to pick and choose winners.
Tax cuts, budget deficits, and labor unions are topics that all come back to priorities, and the greater incentive of insiders to make sure that theirs dominate.
A universal basic income would thwart human fulfillment and artistic beauty.