RI Families & Businesses: Crony Deals For A Few Dozen Companies Will Not Get It Done

Rhode Islanders do not want more of the same special interest deals that have dragged down our economy for decades. We do not want state government controlling major industries via a complex system of socialized tax giveaways. Instead of greater tax burdens on families and increased mandates on small businesses, broad-based relief that opens the door for more and better businesses to create more and better jobs is what we need if we want a better quality of life for Rhode Island families.

Does anyone trust that an elite cabal of political cronies should centrally engineer our economy? Or do we place more trust in the great people of the Ocean State to be able to unleash their suppressed capacity in a fair and free-market economy with family friendly ideas, via major tax and regulatory reductions across the board? The top down ideas being demonstrated by Governor Raimondo’s corporate welfare deals are not the answer for restoring our economy. They are a mistake, Rhode Island’s forgotten people deserve so much more.

According to the Rhode Island Family Prosperity Index, “startups aren’t the only thing when it comes to job growth. They’re the only thing.” The only way to incentivize enough start-up activity to make a difference in our state is to create a business climate that is attractive enough to make thousands of entrepreneurs want to invest here. Crony deals for a few dozen companies will not get it done. Average Rhode Island families have been ignored while corporate welfare handouts have benefited the well-connected insiders. It is time to remember the forgotten people of our state.

A well-planned “shock” to the status quo is, indeed, warranted for the Ocean State. I am looking for state leaders – either lawmakers or civil society leaders – who will work with me to begin this very serious and important conversation. Unless we adopt the proven family friendly ideas that can turnaround our state, we will continue to see the negative trends continue. Your voice is strong. This is not the time hang back on the sidelines and wait for change. By working on the issues, you can demand the big reforms like sales tax that must happen now to restore prosperity to Rhode Island.

[Mike Stenhouse is the CEO of the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity. Check out his conversation with NBC 10’s Frank Coletta about the Family Prosperity Index here.]

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