The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity has found its Bad Bill of the Week in Pawtucket Democrat Representative Carlos Tobon’s legislation proposing to pay wealthy people $10,000 each to move to Rhode Island:
“If we have to pay families, students, and businesses to move to or remain in Rhode Island, to survive our state’s oppressive tax and regulatory climate, then something is very wrong,” said Mike Stenhouse, the Center’s CEO. “Worse than the obvious face-value inanity of the bill, the ignorant belief of how an economy and family dynamics actually work is what is most troubling. The legislation openly acknowledges the negative economy in our state, yet, as with other progressive policies, it tries to band-aid the symptom rather than cure the core illness. ”
The bill is so incandescently wrong-headed that it’s difficult to know where to begin criticizing it, but among the more objectionable aspects of Tobon’s proposal is the explicit concern of losing a seat in the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. That is what motivates politician’s to take action. Decades of watching productive Rhode Islanders flow elsewhere for opportunity weren’t enough. Political clout is the real concern.
As of the July Census projections of states’ populations, Rhode Island was just 157 people away from losing one of its congressmen. That’s a 0.015% decrease in population, and we lose out. The next state in line is New York, which is currently on track to lose a congressional seat. But if the Empire State manages to add 0.015% to its population, then it will keep what it has at Rhode Island’s expense.
Numbers aside, suffice it to say that a state that has to bribe people in order to maintain its level of congressional representation — through either government welfare programs or direct hand-outs — is a state that has proven that it doesn’t deserve much clout in determining the course of the nation.
Rhode Islanders must get our own House in order. If we could just put into office people who don’t prioritize central planning and insider control, we could make our state a place that people aren’t as quick to leave and to which they want to move.