Surprise: Budget Crisis due to Overspending
Overall, the State of Rhode Island spent $4.53 billion in 1998, a figure that includes federal money and is adjusted for inflation. The governor has outlined a conservative spending plan for 2008 that will cost taxpayers $7.02 billion — an increase of 54.8 percent over the last decade.
The governor’s office largely blames the General Assembly for the current fiscal crisis.
“Year after year, the governor has proposed reforms designed to bring state spending into line with underlying revenues. Year after year, defenders of the status quo hold rally after rally at the State House to condemn the governor’s budget plans. Year after year, the General Assembly acquiesces to the demands of the unions and the advocates. And year after year, because we haven’t made the tough decisions, the budget deficit grows bigger and bigger,” Carcieri spokesman Jeff Neal said.
Senate Majority Leader M. Teresa Paiva Weed, D-Newport, dismissed the criticism.
“That’s a simplistic approach,” she said. “No comment.”
Um. I don’t think it’s really that simplistic, Senator. Though your “No comment” is…and it speaks volumes.