Some credit for progress is due to Rhode Island Moderate Party founder Ken Block. His initial presentation of the Moderate Party agenda was almost entirely process-oriented, but the newest version includes some items of substance. Here are a few examples from the Moderate Party website (h/t Ian Donnis)…
- Decrease or eliminate funding for programs found to be ineffective or too costly for the benefits they provide. A classic example of a well-intentioned but poorly executed spending program is the effort to build 6 houses in South Providence undertaken by the Neighborhood Coalition. These units were built for $345,000 each, and at the time this issue was reported on by the Providence Journal, one unit had sold for $147,000, with no takers for the other units.
- Bring spending on social services in line with Massachusetts’s spending on the same services, including duration of eligibility for these services.
- Induce businesses to locate to Rhode Island by bringing RI’s business taxes in line with Massachusetts’ business taxes.
- Adopting pension rules similar to the State of Texas called the rule of 85. This rule vests a worker with full pension benefits after 20 years of service, but that pension cannot be drawn upon until the worker’s age plus years of service equals 85. With this rule, a worker who begins work at age 25 cannot draw a pension until having worked for 25 years and reaching the age 60. This same worker could stop working at the state job at age 45 (20 years of service) take a new job and keep his or her pension benefits, but those benefits could not be drawn upon until age 65. This same worker could work 30 years, and at age 55 retire and begin collecting pension benefits.
- Employee health benefits are too costly to the state. Compared to private sector health benefits, state employees are not paying in enough to the system. Savings needs to be wrung out of the system through better negotiated contracts (with more than one health care provider!)
Conservatives cannot effect change without appealing to a broader coalition of voters, and frankly, the broader coalition of voters needs the conservative bloc to fix what it broken with our state.So what do the readers of Anchor Rising think, an interesting possiblity, or a duplication of political effort?