I noted a couple of days ago URI economic professor Len Lardaro’s witticism at Democrat Governor Gina Raimondo’s suggestion that the state government’s revenue shortfall is a consequence of the Donald Trump presidency. Lardaro also appears as a stronger-than-others voice of sanity in Patrick Anderson’s Providence Journal article on the same subject:
Leonard Lardaro, economics professor at the University of Rhode Island, said overall revenues falling short by 1.6 percent is “not a crisis,” but may be a sign that the recovery, tepid as it was, may be giving way to a stall in growth.
“The second half of last year was not a terribly favorable one for Rhode Island,” Lardaro said. “The biggest problem is our labor force has been declining since the last recession peak. Rhode Island for a decade should be in crisis mode.”
If anything, Lardaro understates things. As I’ve written before, employment (Rhode Islanders working) has essentially flatlined since the start of Governor Raimondo’s first full fiscal year in office, and job growth (jobs in the state) has slowed down. New York Times proclamations notwithstanding, there is no “momentum” in the Rhode Island economy. And there’s no surprise that revenue growth isn’t materializing.
Why is everybody so hesitant about stating the obvious: that Governor Raimondo is just making things up? Is it partly because of glowing political profiles across the nation are a signal to local journalists and commentators about how they should be presenting our governor? I rather think that pressure should go in the other direction, with the national press looking locally to make sure that they’re not falling for some spin about one of our own politicians.