Can RI Do Better Than Just Hoping for Change?
In a South County Independent op-ed, State Representative candidate Jim Haldeman (District 35, South Kingstown) asks how trusting the political leadership that has brought Rhode Island to the brink of economic disaster is a strategy that makes any sort of sense…
The incumbent General Assembly members in the [South Kingstown Town Council Candidates Forum] a few weeks ago described with pride how they held the line on taxes with some tough decisions on last year’s budget. Those decisions left us in the bottom five of all states by just about any independent economic study. The General Assembly has denied this reality for too long. The only revenue streams that can help us from the state’s budget problems will come from new and growing businesses. Yet they deter both with over-taxation and hyper-regulation.Mr. Haldeman is raising the question that voters in every Rhode Island community need to consider.
Industry-specific tax credits amount to tinkering on the margin and assume that bureaucratic experts in Providence will be able to identify, court and ultimately attract the most productive economy into Rhode Island. But when they do not, we pay the price in South Kingstown.
Clichés dominate popular descriptions of our economic condition. Suffice it to say, the problems that affect our national economy have been made worse by decisions made on Smith Hill. Our lawmakers have shackled our economy and our ability to weather economic downturns. They push our most productive away and punish communities like South Kingstown.