Yorke: We’re Screwed

Justin wisely warns that we should pay attention to what our legislators are (or aren’t saying) when it comes to Rhode Island’s “looming financial crisis.”TM For his part, Dan Yorke has blogged his prediction for what’s going to happen. For some reason (heh), Dan predicts that the state’s political class will fail to properly address our dire circumstances:

our state government doesn’t have a clue how to fix this 600 million cumulative deficit. they will first talk about “coming together” and “eliminating the partisanship”. that will last about a week. with all the advance warning these people have had, nobody has generated an idea with a price tag attached.
by early spring there will be a revenue anticipation bond crafted to cure the current fiscal deficit of 150 mil and the 450 for
fiscal 09. it will be paid for by the new taxation proposal. the governor will veto it and the assembly will override. it’s all they know how to do.
we will then fall more miserably into the bottom of the competitive barrel. we will get no real relief and no return on our high tax investment. more folks will leave. and it will remain this way through 2010 when the next statewide election is held.
then the blank will hit the fan. we’ll be bottomed out as the rest of the country is rebounding. the electorate will wake up, finally.
the question for each of us is: can we make it till then? it’s an individual decision .

Seems like a few commenters hereabouts have offered up this scorched earth remedy. Looks like you’re not alone. Oh, and Dan would like to here if you plan on sticking it out in RI or not. Go on over to his blog and chime in.
Meanwhile, the House Republicans have a plan, issued today:

House Minority Leader Robert A. Watson (R) East Greenwich, today announced that the Republican caucus will propose six new initiatives in the first sixty days of the 2008 legislative season designed to move Rhode Island State Government toward physical wellness. The ambitious plan calls for a new element to be proposed every ten days for the first sixty days of the legislative season.
“The House leadership has not provided any real answers,” said Watson, instead they have abdicated their role in fixing the mess they created – we aim to change that.”
Outlined in detail below, the Republican plan calls for:
· 10% cuts in the ’09 budget for all departments in the first 10 days – Saving $310 million (from usable revenue)
· 5% cuts in the current year for all departments in 20 days – Saving $180 million (from usable revenue)
· Fully implement Separation of Powers in 30 days – Honoring the constitution
· Find real property tax relief in 40 days – Savings to be determined
· Free local school departments from unfunded mandates in 50 days – Savings vary from community to community
· Have all legislators pay 10% of health insurance costs in 60 days – Savings vary depending upon plan

Welp, they’re trying, which is much more than can be said about the Democrat leadership. At least there are some hard numbers. As such, items 1-3 seem like stronger plays. I don’t know how we’re going to effect 4 and 5, so we’ll have to take a wait-n-see approach with those As for #6? Well…why only 10%, guys?

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