Topics

City/Town Government

The Choice Between a Free and Natural Society and Institutionalization

A Washington, D.C., housing program is teaching us the lesson that either we must be willing to differentiate between neighborhoods or we must institutionalize the world.


Talking Open Public Forums on Matt Allen

The latest activist-generated controversy in Tiverton caught Matt Allen’s attention, and he asked me to join him on his show earlier this week to talk about it. Open post for full audio.


Dave Talan and William Ricci: In Providence, Keep the Water System, Fix the Pensions

Two Providence residents offer Mayor Jorge Elorza alternatives to selling off the city’s assets to back-fill pension obligations.


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Civil Rights

The Choice Between a Free and Natural Society and Institutionalization

A Washington, D.C., housing program is teaching us the lesson that either we must be willing to differentiate between neighborhoods or we must institutionalize the world.


Talking Open Public Forums on Matt Allen

The latest activist-generated controversy in Tiverton caught Matt Allen’s attention, and he asked me to join him on his show earlier this week to talk about it. Open post for full audio.


Emily Cuellar: Pro-Life Hispanics in Providence to Look Elsewhere for Leadership

Another Hispanic woman from Providence expresses her disappointment in Mayor Elorza’s abortion testimony.


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Congress

“Choice” is Clear in Upcoming Furious Healthcare Debate

A federal judge recently ruled that Obamacare is unconstitutional because the individual mandate, repealed in the 2017 federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, is no longer in force. Even though existing federal health-care laws will remain in effect during the appeals process, states should not panic and codify Obamacare into state law, as it is not certain how long federal subsidies will remain intact.

While the courts hear the appeals, and with Democrats winning back control of the U.S. House of Representatives largely on the health-care issue, another furious debate is about to unfold.

Democrats will probably introduce some kind of government-centric plan, while Republicans are poised to introduce their own free-enterprise solution. What we all want are simply more choices at lower net costs.


Dr. Prakash Chougule: Choose Flanders for Balance of Representation in Congress

It’s been almost three decades since we have had balance of power in Rhode Island’s representation of U.S. Senators in Washington DC. Senator John Chafee(R) and Claiborne Pell(D), both highly regarded and respected across party lines, made Rhode Islanders proud at home and in Washington DC.

Time has come for Rhode Island to do it again.


Political Monday with John DePetro: Intentions and Perceptions

For my weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, this week, about the performances of Cicilline in a Congressional hearing, Raimondo and Brown campaigning, and Captain Trillo.

Open post for full audio.


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Culture & Family

The Employment Situation In Rhode Island Is Getting Worse – Bucking National Trend

Happy Easter from everyone at the Center to you and your family! We hope you had a great holiday weekend.

We wish we had better news to deliver. Unfortunately, the employment situation in Rhode Island is getting worse, bucking the national trend. While state politicians crow each year about not implementing broad new taxes, the unfortunate truth is that by nickle-and-diming residents and by not implementing aggressive reforms Rhode Island will continue to lose ground, nationally.


The Choice Between a Free and Natural Society and Institutionalization

A Washington, D.C., housing program is teaching us the lesson that either we must be willing to differentiate between neighborhoods or we must institutionalize the world.


Power, Human Nature, and a Claim to the Throne

Although the TV show has lost some of the thematic depth of the books, Game of Thrones still raises deep questions about honor, power, and tradition.


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Economy

The Employment Situation In Rhode Island Is Getting Worse – Bucking National Trend

Happy Easter from everyone at the Center to you and your family! We hope you had a great holiday weekend.

We wish we had better news to deliver. Unfortunately, the employment situation in Rhode Island is getting worse, bucking the national trend. While state politicians crow each year about not implementing broad new taxes, the unfortunate truth is that by nickle-and-diming residents and by not implementing aggressive reforms Rhode Island will continue to lose ground, nationally.


Rhode Island Legislators Should Support The 6.5% Sales Tax Promise

The state of the State of Rhode Island is not competitive. Even as the rising national economic tide has lifted ships in all states, when compared with the rest of the nation, our Ocean State is severely lagging, and is in danger of sinking further behind if progressive policies continue to be implemented.

However, things do not have to be this way.


February 2019 Employment: Decreases Continue Past the Revision

With a painful downward revision behind the Ocean State, its employment and jobs numbers began dropping in earnest as the country generally edges toward further employment.


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Education

Harvesting Free Breakfast on the Government Plantation

Mandating school participation in free breakfast programs makes sure that somebody gets fed, but it also feeds the government bureaucracy.


Heavy Petting in the Teacher-Student Relationship

Rhode Island law apparently allows for sexual contact (and “grooming”) between teachers and students, provided the act stops short of penetration.


Special Rules for Relationships in School

If Rhode Islanders, through their elected officials, wish to establish different norms for teachers in their schools, they should be able to do so, but due process should be the same in and out of government.


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Energy & Environment

Political Monday with John DePetro: Throwing Nickels and Dimes

My weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, this week, was about new fees for beaches and parks, Mayor Hurricane signs on against climate change, and a mysterious personage in RIGOP circles.

Open post for full audio.


Governor’s Budget: The “Rhode To Serfdom”

Instead of seeking to shape Rhode Island’s future with the proven ideals of a free-society, Governor Raimondo’s proposed 2019-2020 budget is a stunning departure from America’s core values and, instead, would put our state on a “Rhode to Serfdom.”

The Governor’s regressive budget points us 180 degrees in the opposite direction of where we need to head, and would stifle any opportunity for growth.


Alarm Versus Denial and Experience of a Hot Summer

Providence may have had a hot August, but that’s no exactly a sign of impending doom.


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Gambling

Donna Cook: Edwardses’ Effect on Taxes and Regulations

Tiverton resident Donna Cook notes that the General Assembly is too willing to impose difficulties on working Rhode Islanders while the Town Council is happy to put taxpayer dollars under its control.


Last Impressions Podcast Episode 16: The Light of the World

Awards, earned and maybe not yet earned; Fight Club; Twin River; and it’s my birthday.

Open post for full audio


Tiverton Casino: Live by the Government, Die by the Government

Thanks to efforts to restrict the development of a piece of land in Tiverton, a government casino and hotel became its best use.


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General Assembly

The Employment Situation In Rhode Island Is Getting Worse – Bucking National Trend

Happy Easter from everyone at the Center to you and your family! We hope you had a great holiday weekend.

We wish we had better news to deliver. Unfortunately, the employment situation in Rhode Island is getting worse, bucking the national trend. While state politicians crow each year about not implementing broad new taxes, the unfortunate truth is that by nickle-and-diming residents and by not implementing aggressive reforms Rhode Island will continue to lose ground, nationally.


Rhode Island Legislators Should Support The 6.5% Sales Tax Promise

The state of the State of Rhode Island is not competitive. Even as the rising national economic tide has lifted ships in all states, when compared with the rest of the nation, our Ocean State is severely lagging, and is in danger of sinking further behind if progressive policies continue to be implemented.

However, things do not have to be this way.


H5662 and Whom Rhode Island Representatives Represent

Appearing before the Tiverton Town Council on March 11, Democrat state Representative John “Jay” Edwards spoke some plain truths about labor unions and elected legislators.


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Government

Political Monday with John DePetro: Fees, Fraud, Fetuses, and Finding a Field of Candidates

My weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, this week, was about the many new fees and taxes in the governor’s budget, a progressive’s alleged embezzlement, the significance of an abortion poll, and the multiple candidates for RIGOP chair.

Open post for full audio.


Raimondo: Profligate or Puritan?

Is the governor a recklessly spending profligate or a moral puritan looking to punish her subjects for their moral impurities while bringing them to kneel before government?


Merry Christmas From The Center!

Merry Christmas! Imagine Rhode Island as a more attractive home and destination of choice for families. We could be a state that offers financial security now and opportunity for prosperity in the future. We could have a policy culture where individuals and business are successful in increasing the overall wealth of our state’s economy, and enhancing the quality of life for every Rhode Islander.


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Governor

The Employment Situation In Rhode Island Is Getting Worse – Bucking National Trend

Happy Easter from everyone at the Center to you and your family! We hope you had a great holiday weekend.

We wish we had better news to deliver. Unfortunately, the employment situation in Rhode Island is getting worse, bucking the national trend. While state politicians crow each year about not implementing broad new taxes, the unfortunate truth is that by nickle-and-diming residents and by not implementing aggressive reforms Rhode Island will continue to lose ground, nationally.


Governor Seeks to Punish Employers Via Proposed Medicaid Tax

Businesses should be applauded for hiring those most in need of work…not punished with more taxes, and certainly not made out to be the bad guy. It is misguided to think that if employees are not covered by their employer’s insurance plan, full or part time, and instead are enrolled in Medicaid, then the business should be punished.


Political Monday with John DePetro: RI’s Reluctance to Solve the Real Problems

My weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, this week, was about the governor’s focus on pre-school and post-secondary-school (avoiding the real problem) as well as the question of Deloitte’s continued employment by the state.

Open post for full audio.


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Healthcare

Rhode Island Needs A Freedom Agenda. (And It’s Coming This Week.)

The Ocean State is doomed to lose a US Congressional seat because of its hostile tax, educational, and business environment. The state’s current thinking chases away the wealth, families, and businesses that are needed for all of us to be truly prosperous. The far-left big government policies that have reigned in our state for far too long will continue to only make matters far worse. Instead, we need a change of direction.


Projo’s Reversion to the PolitiFact Approach on Abortion Legislation

When it comes to articles on abortion, the Providence Journal helps advocates to distract from the substantive issues.


David Aucoin: Legalizing Recreational Marijuana in RI

Rhode Island should look to warning signs that legalizing recreational marijuana represents a cliff that we shouldn’t go over, for the sake of our families, writes David Aucoin.


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History

“Publick Occurrences” – The Fundamentals: Patriotism & Faith

As part of the recent Providence Journal sponsored “Publick Occurrences” panel discussion at RI College, I’d like to share some thoughts I prepared, but did not have the chance to put forth. The event’s premise – “Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?” and the polarization of public discourse – leaves us two factors to consider:


Cable Street and the Facially Fascist

Comparing the Battle of Cable Street with today’s Antifa attacks would be a good lesson in critical thinking, if our education system were keen on teaching that skill.


Abraham Glazer: My First Visit to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

A visit to the Holocaust Memorial Museum teaches lessons about evil and humanity, especially in contrast with the memorials to humanity’s highest ideals elsewhere in Washington, D.C.


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Immigration

Progressive Cranston Action Network Holds Pro-Illegal Immigration Rally Outside Cranston City Hall

Under thirty people rallied in front of Cranston City Hall on Monday evening to protest Mayor Allan Fung’s campaign promise to side with Rhode Island families over prisoners who have illegally immigrated to the United States when elected Governor.


Political Monday with John DePetro: Hidden Rhode Islanders, Hidden Candidates

For my weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, this week, the topic was a Census immigration question and a quiet gubernatorial debate.

Open post for full audio.


Binding Up the Immigration Issue with Heartstrings

Jorge Garcia’s story brings out the battle between illegal aliens and fluffy animals.


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Infrastructure

Chris Maxwell: National Academic Board Finds No Data to Support Raimondo & RIDOT’s Claims of Truck Damage to Highways & Bridges

The National Academy of Sciences’ Transportation Research Board (TRB) recently met to assess whether changes to truck size and weight (TS & W) should be implemented. The nation’s scholars, engineers and infrastructure “wonks” came away from the conference with a consensual determination that there was not enough data to support changes and that further studies were needed before any revisions were made to either decrease or increase the allowable dimensions and weight on America’s highways and bridges. In fact, the group spent significant time developing a plan for future research on the TS & Weight issue because there are information gaps and inconsistencies in studies.

So why are DOT leaders around the country yelling “fire in the theater” as they pin the trucking industry with the ills of our infrastructure?


Yet More Bad Toll Numbers from Raimondo & RIDOT

Surprise surprise surprise! WPRI’s Ted Nesi reports that

Gov. Gina Raimondo has sharply lowered her forecast of how much money truck tolls will generate this year because they are getting and running more slowly than initially expected.

The budget proposal Raimondo released earlier this month projects that tolls will generate $7 million in the current 2018-19 budget year, which is $34 million less than was expected when the budget passed last June.

If you’ve watched the toll discussion and rollout even casually, you will know that this development is actually not at all a surprise.


Political Monday with John DePetro: When Economic Development Is in Fane

My weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, this week, was about new and old buildings in Providence and accountability on voter rolls.

Open post for full audio.


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Legislation

Heavy Petting in the Teacher-Student Relationship

Rhode Island law apparently allows for sexual contact (and “grooming”) between teachers and students, provided the act stops short of penetration.


Special Rules for Relationships in School

If Rhode Islanders, through their elected officials, wish to establish different norms for teachers in their schools, they should be able to do so, but due process should be the same in and out of government.


Political Monday with John DePetro: The Politicians’ Special Interests

My weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, this week, was about friction in the RIGOP, no friction for union-driven legislation, and fingers in the air over Biden’s body language.

Open post for full audio.


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Media

Knowing How Your Opposition Is Messaging

Public discourse and human nature can lead opposing sides both to believe in their own honesty and the other’s conspiracy of lies, but we can and should try to discern the truth.


A Conspicuous Omission in the Pitch for Free Tuition

If the public is supposed to track the actions of our representative government using the news media’s reporting, why does it seem journalists’ phrase policy in the government’s preferred way?


Political Monday with John DePetro: Fees, Fraud, Fetuses, and Finding a Field of Candidates

My weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, this week, was about the many new fees and taxes in the governor’s budget, a progressive’s alleged embezzlement, the significance of an abortion poll, and the multiple candidates for RIGOP chair.

Open post for full audio.


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Musings & Announcements

The Employment Situation In Rhode Island Is Getting Worse – Bucking National Trend

Happy Easter from everyone at the Center to you and your family! We hope you had a great holiday weekend.

We wish we had better news to deliver. Unfortunately, the employment situation in Rhode Island is getting worse, bucking the national trend. While state politicians crow each year about not implementing broad new taxes, the unfortunate truth is that by nickle-and-diming residents and by not implementing aggressive reforms Rhode Island will continue to lose ground, nationally.


Middendorf Pillar Of Freedom Award Winner: Daniel Harrop

On Friday, the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity was proud to present its prestigious Middendorf Pillar of Freedom Award for 2018 to Dr. Daniel Harrop at the second annual Ocean State Freedom Banquet.


“Publick Occurrences” – The Fundamentals: Patriotism & Faith

As part of the recent Providence Journal sponsored “Publick Occurrences” panel discussion at RI College, I’d like to share some thoughts I prepared, but did not have the chance to put forth. The event’s premise – “Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?” and the polarization of public discourse – leaves us two factors to consider:


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National Security

Media Language and a Virtue-Signaling Lie

A small example of political “news” can illustrate the language by which journalists promote partisan and ideological positions.


An “Adaptive” System of Leaks Depends on Trust and Consequences

Journalists who support leaks have a point about their value as a safety valve for government abuse, but that safety valve requires that the consequences for breaking the law be real.


Never-Trump Right Gets Us to the Hub of the Matter

When it comes to Don Junior’s meeting with a Russian lawyer, it seems a lot of the key questions, the “and so”s, are being left out of the arguments.


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On a Lighter Note

Finding a Word for the New Ennui

What do adults call this feeling of boredom with all the tasks that must be done?


Harry Potter and Muggle Fly-Over Country’s Conservative Stories

The Harry Potter novels are in some regards liberal wish fulfillment, not only that magic exists, and not only that the elect can be whisked away to an exclusive world, but also that we can ignore the obvious and profess progressive beliefs.


Last Impressions Podcast Episode 19: The Tides of Liberty and Attraction

What is government for? What turns me off about libertarianism, and what turns some men on about lesbianism? And a poetic response.

Open post for full audio.


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Pensions

Fire the Providence School Bus Drivers’ Union

Justin says, “Fire the Providence School Bus Drivers”. Maybe. Fire their union, the Teamsters? Absolutely.

What Teamsters Local 251 are trying to do to the drivers – whose best interest they supposedly represent – borders on criminal. It WOULD be criminal if they had a fiduciary role with regard to their members’ retirement.


The Circling Pension Comet

The government pension problem hasn’t gone away; it’s just gone quiet for a while, during which time, politicians are working to ensure that nobody ever notices it again.


The Next Pension Crisis Approaches

Beware the gathering clouds of state pension fund “endangered status.”


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Political Theory

The Choice Between a Free and Natural Society and Institutionalization

A Washington, D.C., housing program is teaching us the lesson that either we must be willing to differentiate between neighborhoods or we must institutionalize the world.


Knowing How Your Opposition Is Messaging

Public discourse and human nature can lead opposing sides both to believe in their own honesty and the other’s conspiracy of lies, but we can and should try to discern the truth.


Power, Human Nature, and a Claim to the Throne

Although the TV show has lost some of the thematic depth of the books, Game of Thrones still raises deep questions about honor, power, and tradition.


Back to top



Politics

Political Monday with John DePetro: Looking for Reasons… Perks and Incompetence

My weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, this week, was about unprosecuted cases under Kilmartin, the Globe moving in, the politics of abortion in the RI Senate, the value of trips to China, and the First Gentleman’s interest in free breakfast.

Open post for full audio.


Knowing How Your Opposition Is Messaging

Public discourse and human nature can lead opposing sides both to believe in their own honesty and the other’s conspiracy of lies, but we can and should try to discern the truth.


Political Monday with John DePetro: The Politicians’ Special Interests

My weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, this week, was about friction in the RIGOP, no friction for union-driven legislation, and fingers in the air over Biden’s body language.

Open post for full audio.


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Regulation

The Employment Situation In Rhode Island Is Getting Worse – Bucking National Trend

Happy Easter from everyone at the Center to you and your family! We hope you had a great holiday weekend.

We wish we had better news to deliver. Unfortunately, the employment situation in Rhode Island is getting worse, bucking the national trend. While state politicians crow each year about not implementing broad new taxes, the unfortunate truth is that by nickle-and-diming residents and by not implementing aggressive reforms Rhode Island will continue to lose ground, nationally.


Rhode Island Needs A Freedom Agenda. (And It’s Coming This Week.)

The Ocean State is doomed to lose a US Congressional seat because of its hostile tax, educational, and business environment. The state’s current thinking chases away the wealth, families, and businesses that are needed for all of us to be truly prosperous. The far-left big government policies that have reigned in our state for far too long will continue to only make matters far worse. Instead, we need a change of direction.


Prove Us Wrong, Supporters of Abortion Bills 5125 & 5127: Exclude the Third Trimester

Sponsors and proponents of the two abortion bills pending on Smith Hill can easily prove their critics wrong. Just add one sentence to the bills.


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Science

The Humorous, the Grotesque, and the Fanatical from Pro-Choice Advocates

Planned Parenthood’s promotion of a higher minimum wage presents a multi-layered lesson on what it means to be “pro-choice.”


The Environment in Which We Train the Future’s Leaders

On the American campus, Catholics are forced out of their jobs in the name of presenting a diversity of ideas while hoax papers are published because academics really do believe that identity politics can tell us about the physical universe.


Who Will Manipulate in Favor of Free Will?

If the demon behind social media is “persuasive technology,” how do we petition for the aid of the corresponding angels?


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Sports

Political Monday with John DePetro: The WooSox Debate the Chicken

For my weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, this week, about the merits of a political system that lost the PawSox and the wisdom of debating chickens.

Open post for full audio.


The Biggest Part of the PawSox Issue Is Not Being Discussed

Rhode Island politics have been messing things up for Rhode Islanders for decades, but by messing things up for the PawSox, they’ve finally gotten something right.


Political Monday with John DePetro: Grants and Debates

For my weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, this week, about the complaints about (a lack of) debates, a vote-buying grant scheme, and some PawSox chat.

Open post for full audio.


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Taxation

The Employment Situation In Rhode Island Is Getting Worse – Bucking National Trend

Happy Easter from everyone at the Center to you and your family! We hope you had a great holiday weekend.

We wish we had better news to deliver. Unfortunately, the employment situation in Rhode Island is getting worse, bucking the national trend. While state politicians crow each year about not implementing broad new taxes, the unfortunate truth is that by nickle-and-diming residents and by not implementing aggressive reforms Rhode Island will continue to lose ground, nationally.


Harvesting Free Breakfast on the Government Plantation

Mandating school participation in free breakfast programs makes sure that somebody gets fed, but it also feeds the government bureaucracy.


Rhode Island Legislators Should Support The 6.5% Sales Tax Promise

The state of the State of Rhode Island is not competitive. Even as the rising national economic tide has lifted ships in all states, when compared with the rest of the nation, our Ocean State is severely lagging, and is in danger of sinking further behind if progressive policies continue to be implemented.

However, things do not have to be this way.


Back to top



Unions

The Employment Situation In Rhode Island Is Getting Worse – Bucking National Trend

Happy Easter from everyone at the Center to you and your family! We hope you had a great holiday weekend.

We wish we had better news to deliver. Unfortunately, the employment situation in Rhode Island is getting worse, bucking the national trend. While state politicians crow each year about not implementing broad new taxes, the unfortunate truth is that by nickle-and-diming residents and by not implementing aggressive reforms Rhode Island will continue to lose ground, nationally.


The Strange Message of Striking Against Your Own Employer

In what other relationship would you attempt to embarrass and harm the other person… and seek the support of public officials and RIPTA.


Special Rules for Relationships in School

If Rhode Islanders, through their elected officials, wish to establish different norms for teachers in their schools, they should be able to do so, but due process should be the same in and out of government.


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Welfare

Harvesting Free Breakfast on the Government Plantation

Mandating school participation in free breakfast programs makes sure that somebody gets fed, but it also feeds the government bureaucracy.


Governor Seeks to Punish Employers Via Proposed Medicaid Tax

Businesses should be applauded for hiring those most in need of work…not punished with more taxes, and certainly not made out to be the bad guy. It is misguided to think that if employees are not covered by their employer’s insurance plan, full or part time, and instead are enrolled in Medicaid, then the business should be punished.


Political Monday with John DePetro: RI’s Reluctance to Solve the Real Problems

My weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, this week, was about the governor’s focus on pre-school and post-secondary-school (avoiding the real problem) as well as the question of Deloitte’s continued employment by the state.

Open post for full audio.


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