The Flawed Thinking of a #10kPaysTheWay Policy

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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.

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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.



  • Still Waiting in Kansas

    “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.”

    Is it really that easy?

    • Justin Katz

      In a place as far gone as Rhode Island, it sure is.

  • Say What?

    Data compiled by the Pew Charitable Trust found that 10 states that receive less than a dollar back for every dollar they send to Washington: Delaware, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, Connecticut, Illinois, Ohio, Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island. And here are the states that get more than $2 back for every $1 in taxes paid: Mississippi, New Mexico, West Virginia, Hawaii, South Carolina, Alabama, Maine, Montana, Alaska, Virginia, Arizona, Idaho, Kentucky and Vermont. You don’t have to be a political scientist to see the blue state/red state pattern here. Red state voters may talk a good game about small government and low taxes, but in reality they are socialist moochers.

    • Justin Katz

      Well… on the revenue side, much of that is from national or multinational corporations that collect revenue across the country but for federal tax purposes account for it in the state of their HQ. On the spending side, much of the difference can be attributed to military and various other bits of federal spending that aren’t “mooching.” Ever see a map of what percentage of each state’s land is owned by the federal government?

      Add in adjustments for progressive taxation, relative poverty, and costs of living, and the point isn’t quite the slam dunk you make it out to be.

      • Say What?

        “much of that is from national or multinational corporations that collect
        revenue across the country but for federal tax purposes account for it
        in the state of their HQ”…does that change or diminish the fact they are paying more than they get back?

        “bits of federal spending that aren’t
        “mooching.”…I love it when you talk like that!

        Tell us how the tax code adjusts for geography “adjustments for progressive taxation, relative poverty, and costs of living.” and why it’s relevant regarding a discussion of Federal Taxation.

        • Mike678
          • Say What

            Glad to see you are moving away from using the extremist websites for your information. But how’s your reading comprehension coming? The article has the same talking points that Justin uses and comes to the same conclusion: Red state voters may talk a good game about small government and low taxes, but in reality they are socialist moochers.

          • Mike678

            Pearls Before Swine troll….

  • Rhett Hardwick

    Considering costs to live in RI, I am amazed at the low value of the “bribe”. Just shows to go ya that our Politicians are out of touch.

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