State Senate’s Hard Left on Progressive Street

By capitulating to progressive-union pressure, and despite disingenuous claims that no broad-based taxes were imposed, Ocean Staters will once again bear increased burdens to pay for new taxes and regulations, more spending, and more union giveaways. Lawmakers chose to appease, rather than resist, the progressives’ job-killing, big-spending agenda.

It looks like Rhode Island Senate President Dominick Ruggerio (D, North Providence) and his leadership team observed the advance of the progressives within the Democrat Party and are moving to conform.  He and Senate Majority Leader Michael McCaffrey (D, Warwick) have published an op-ed that put any lingering proclamations about the senate’s “conservative leadership” to rest.

Like many progressive politicians, they try to capture some of the language of the political Right with sentences such as, “The COVID-19 pandemic is as much an economic crisis as it is a public-health crisis.”  But the policies are all Left and therefore at odds with the insinuation about helping the economy:

  • Socialized healthcare
  • Wealth redistribution in housing
  • Identity politics and regulation of business payrolls
  • Legalized drugs
  • More-progressive taxation
  • Higher energy costs in the name of climate change
  • Higher employment costs, harming employers and workers
  • Subsidies to decrease “small business” independence

Political leaders who can look at an economy in which nearly 20,000 people stopped looking for work during a pre-COVID-surge month when the nation was recovering and in which there are 36,000 fewer jobs than a year ago and conclude that this is what’s needed are not just pandering.  They’re dangerous.



  • bagida’wewinini

    Leadership in the. RI Senate understands that the voters have signaled their priorities in this last election and are indicating that in their Op-Ed. Do you have an issue with democracy?

  • Christopher C. Reed

    Dismaying to see the Senate take a turn toward “needlessly cruel to the disadvantaged” under color of helping them out.

    These are smart guys, it’s not as if they don’t know that if you force me to pay $15 an hour for $10 an hour work, I don’t pay $15 an hour for $10 an hour work. I just fire the poor schlub and put it on the rest of the crew. Or, if I’m Stop’n’Shop, a robot. And the apprentice who had one foot on the ladder just fell off. Nice.

  • Lou

    Would you mind providing a source for your claim that “nearly 20,000 people stopped looking for work”? It’s always interesting to note where in your post’s facts end and alternative ones begin. Especially when it comes to “unemployment”.

    It’s unfortunate that your have chosen to characterize the linked column with dog whistles without a hint of explanation. Words such as Socialized, redistribution, Identity politics, drugs, progressive taxation, Higher energy costs, Higher employment costs and Subsidies appear nowhere in the article. Do you think that’s an accurate characterization of what you claim to have read?

    • OceanStateCurrent

      You can follow the links in the post, Lou. Labor force dropped by 18,400 month over month.

      • Lou

        Thanks. So you view the statement “available for and actively seeking employment — was 37,800, down 20,800 from September” in conjunction with a declining unemployment rate as a negative? Have you considered that they “stopped looking for work” because they found a job?

        • OceanStateCurrent

          You know, as a general rule, it’s good to understand the subject matter BEFORE spending months making snide remarks about somebody else’s “alternative facts.” Here is the statement from the state Department of Labor and Training:

          “The Rhode Island labor force totaled 541,300 in October, down 18,400 from September and down 15,600 from October 2019 (556,900).”

          The “labor force” is all people who are actively looking for work PLUS people who are employed.

          Trusting that you’ve got the numbers correct for those who say the are “unemployed” (available for and actively seeking employment), that number went down by 17,000. The fact that the labor force went down by more suggests that 1,400 new people began working or looking for work but were swamped by the 18,400 who stopped.

          • Lou

            “swamped”? Why would you discount the possibility that 1,400 people (or .2% of the labor force) of an aging population retired or moved away over the course of a year, especially during a pandemic? Your assumption that anyone has “stopped looking for work” is not supported. Do you actually know anyone that has “stopped looking for work”? If so, bring them on “In the Dugout”, I’d love to hear their story. (Has Mike been seen since the election?)