$300,000,000 OBO

Mark Patinkin’s hypothetical auction summary for Rhode Island (as in auctioning off the state) had me laughing out loud yesterday:

Founded 371 years ago by a difficult cast of characters expelled from neighboring states, it was the first of 13 colonies to renounce the crown. It later became the last to ratify the Constitution. This is not inconsistent, as Rhode Islanders do not like to be told what to do. The state was once famously described by writer H.P. Lovecraft as “That universal haven of the odd, the free and the dissenting.”
Unlike the pantywaists in Boston who merely tossed tea in their harbor to protest taxation, Rhode Islanders once burnt down an entire British tax ship. Oddly, now that locals are in control of the state treasury, Rhode Island may be the most heavily taxed state anywhere.
Hopes for saner tax policy rest with the General Assembly, an evenly balanced body that is 85-percent Democratic. The Democrats, however, are independent thinkers who guarantee they will only vote what “they” feel is right. In this case, the word “they” means “unions.”
The upside for the high bidder is that unlike other states, which are increasingly crowded, studies predict that 74 percent of the local population will soon move to Florida (otherwise known as Flahridder) because it has no income tax.

Yup. It’s a state of “friendly people,” too, as he explains.

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16 years ago

“But unlike larger states, Rhode Island’s size offers the opportunity to be governed efficiently. This opportunity has not quite been realized on account of the state having 39 cities and towns, and almost as many school districts. But a commission is now studying consolidation and should offer proposals to the General Assembly by the year 2020. The proposals will then be referred to committee until 2040.”
I think he’s a little optimistic in his timetable. Maybe he can get it moved up if he can get Steven Alves to make some nasty phoencalls or Tim Williamson to throw some people through some windows.

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