Things are getting surreal in Rhode Island. I have in mind, at this moment, a Providence Journal article about some kind of well-funded experiment in public transportation that Democrat Governor Gina Raimondo plucked from the recent Brookings Institution report and lavished with $1.5 million:
“It is not extremely convenient to get from Boston to Providence by train,” [Rhode Island Commerce Corporation spokeswoman Melissa] Czerwein said by phone. “Something like this would help create more interchangeable connectivity between the [Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority] and Amtrak. The hope is you would be able to get back and forth more quickly and conveniently.”
Beyond that, travelers will have to wait and see.
Czerwein could not say whether the $1.5 million in the budget is seen as going toward discounts themselves or development of the app, or whether the discounts would be open to anyone traveling between the two cities or select businesses for which Commerce wants to provide an incentive.
They don’t know what the money will be used for. They don’t know who, exactly, it will target. They just know that when they take your money and use it as they want, good things happen.
Add this to the outrages under the Raimondo-Mattiello administration. This little piece of her plan take the equivalent of almost 50 times the annual per capita income of the state and might give it to some folks who work for a quasi-public agency to play around with developing an app that nobody investing their own time and money has thought it worthwhile to develop. Or they might use the money as a slush fund to give to preferred companies. (Cough, 38 Studios, cough.)
They want money with no real plan and, therefore, no means of accountability. They want to take money from all of us to give to high-paid semi-government employees, perhaps to hand out to the high-income residents of a different state. How could anybody, Left or Right, support this kind of behavior?
Honestly, we’re still the better part of a year away, but the upcoming election is beginning to have the feel of a last chance… a really, truly, I-mean-it-this-time last chance. If Rhode Islanders don’t wake up enough at least to send a message and rattle the State House’s cage a little bit in November, we’re done.