RI’s Bad Decisions and Burning Money Instead of Tobacco


My op-ed in today’s Providence Journal places the match of Rhode Island’s experience of the tobacco settlement money (a one-time-fix turned bad debt) on the pile of bad decisions that the state government has made in the past decade or so:

According to a review by ProPublica, Rhode Island has just refinanced some of the resulting debt, with the expectation that “the deal would shave $700 million off a $2.8 billion tab due on the bonds in 2052.” In that regard, it’s a bit like the state’s pension reform, which was marketed as salvation but merely shaved about $3 billion from $9 billion of unfunded liability.

The people who operate Rhode Island’s government are racking up quite a list of these liabilities.


[Note: This post was posted incorrectly under “Liveblog.”  For the correct post, including comments, go here.]

  • Tommy Cranston

    Tobacco money is burned up. Gambling is likely to take a BIG hit starting next year. Productive people keep leaving the state as welfare leeches keep coming in. The pension and OPEB, state and municipal, are about to explode despite the half-hearted "reforms". Oh, and the "free" Medicaid money changes from a coach to a pumpkin on 12/31/16.
    Get out of the damn state if you can, as soon as you can.