When a mob of Brown University students brought their politically correct disease down the street to Rhode Island’s State House, they made it near impossible to resist writing a parody song about their symptoms.
Some sympathetic skepticism from Dan Yorke suggests that Justin has work to do persuading people to be concerned about developments in government in Rhode Island (and across the United States).
With the realization that it’d be impossible to parody the Saga of the Dancing Cop, here’s a song to mark this moment of loss for quirky Rhode Island.
The events in Ferguson, MO have drawn widespread public attention to the increasing militarization of local police departments. It’s a topic that has been discussed amongst civil–rights minded folks for the last decade or so and has both national and local impact.
Justin liveblogs another commission hearing on eliminating the state sales tax, this time concerning the state’s economic modeling of the proposal and alternatives from the Center for Freedom & Prosperity.
Justin liveblogs from another meeting of the legislative commission to study the elimination of the sales tax.
In this podcast excerpt, I discuss with the Heartland Institute’s Donald Kendal and John Nothdurft the findings of the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity’s new report on renewable energy that confirms a very poor cost-benefit return to Rhode Islanders of renewable energy. (Listen to the full podcast of our conversation here.)
Because 98% of Rhode Island’s energy is generated by natural gas, our state already has a comparatively small carbon footprint. Further reducing it to hit purely arbitrary renewable production targets would cost state ratepayers and taxpayers $141–190 million per year in production expenses alone – four to five times the EPA’s recommended cost standard.
Rhode Islanders also cannot afford the cost to the state economy in the form of lower employment levels or in the $670–893 million per year extracted in unnecessarily higher electricity rate payments by private sector businesses and families. When will the status quo learn?
Based on these findings, the Center has strongly recommended that lawmakers reject all proposed new energy mandates and, instead, repeal those that are currently written into law. The EPA’s own cost standard highlighted in the Center renewable energy report demonstrates that state officials can set aside all renewable energy mandates with a clear conscience.
In this episode of our debate series, “What’s Really In Your Best Interests?” I explore the recently publicized and controversial topic of legislative grants. Are lawmakers the only people at fault, or is there a larger, more fundamental problem at play? Legislative grants hand-out your taxpayer dollars to organizations in an arbitrary, yet highly politicized process.
Much of the media attention has focused on lawmakers who have applied for such grants in a corrupt process to gain favor with voters. In looking at the other side of the coin, however, I recognize the ten lawmakers in the General Assembly who have not applied for a single legislative grant this year in this video. Cheers to them!
The reasoning of Plato and the facts of poverty illustrate that all of our knowledge and technology have not prevented Rhode Island’s slipping toward being civic invalids.
Although Rep. John Carnevale’s case is an extreme one, his eligibility to register to vote in Providence hinges on his “intention,” and we shouldn’t give government agents and judges authority over that.
In this video, I wonder what would happen if the people of the Ocean State had a say in the budgeting process. In Tiverton, electors in town have the ability to submit budgets directly to voters. For the third year in a row, a budget that I submitted for the financial town referendum to set Tiverton’s upcoming budget won a strong majority of votes. That makes three years with tax increases under 1%.
By design, Rhode Island politicians at the state level leave the public no time to digest the budget and express their preferences to their representatives, and most of their representatives have no intention of bucking legislative leaders anyway.
Imagine, though, if Rhode Islanders really did have a say, like we do in Tiverton. What do you suppose the result would be?
Watch this new video to learn more now.