Enough Talk… Cut

Neil Downing notes that Rhode Island’s tax revenues are down in every category. Ed Mazze offers the same-old same-old:

Mazze, who is distinguished professor of business at the University of Rhode Island, and former dean of URI’s College of Business Administration, said that one thing is clear: Rhode Island’s budget gap for the current fiscal year will grow, and could reach $300 million or more.
So what does that mean? “Other than continuing to cut programs, which we will have to do, we’re going to have to look at taxes,” he said.
But before raising taxes, the state should take other steps to try to spur the economy, he said. These include quick-starting road construction and other projects for which funds were approved on Tuesday through bond referenda, he said.
The measures should also include cutting costs at the state and local levels, he said. Among the steps he’d like to see taken: consolidating local government, including school districts, to save money.
If these measures don’t work, he said, the state should consider raising taxes, but only until the economy rebounds. At that point, any tax increases should be scrapped, he said.
In the meantime, government leaders should put together projects “that we’re ready to roll on” as soon as the economy recovers, “so that Rhode Island is not the last state out of the recession,” he said.

If we raise taxes now, we will guarantee that Rhode Island is the very last state out of recession, because residents will have an excuse to flee for an early spring with the first hint of recovery elsewhere. Rhode Island needs to cut the government, get it out of the way, put the people and the businesses first.
Freeze all state-worker salaries and trim benefits. Plenty of Rhode Islanders need work if the unions can’t take it.
Pull back on government hand-outs. To help those in need, give exchangeable tax credits to charities, whether secular or religious.
Go through Rhode Island law and pluck out all unnecessary licensing and business requirements. Tone down all necessary regulations to the bare minimum.
The answers aren’t as complicated as the economic summit folks were trying to make them. They’re only difficult for lack of courage and willingness to listen.

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15 years ago

“The answers aren’t as complicated as the economic summit folks were trying to make them.”
Well, that’s right. Let’s look to successful states and see what they are doing (other than those with an abundance of natural resources). It’s a matter of cutting taxes and reducing regulations to the “bare minimum”.
And just straight-forward tax cuts, please. Respectfully, the suggestion for a two-tier/trade-off bracket is exactly what we don’t need. While it may cut taxes, it effectively adds yet another layer of regulation and a complication which directly translates into yet more precious time expended and a still larger accountant bill.

Tom W
Tom W
15 years ago

In the end it’s not about sound economic policy, but about power.
The Democrat General Assembly and its union / welfare industry puppet-masters could give a rat’s behind about the greater good and sound economic policy, for in the near term enhancing those would result in diminishing their own economic aggrandizement.
Until that changes, we can talk economic policy until we’re blue in the face. The fact that none of the Democrat leadership even pretended to be interested in yesterday’s confab by showing up tells the story.
The Democrats don’t care about us or our well being. If they did, they wouldn’t keep doing what they’ve been doing for decades now. Get over it.
They are parasites and will keep feeding off of the Rhode Island host, expecting to be able to keep up their feeding rate even as the host continues to weaken, and ultimately fatten up and exit before the host dies.
We either drive them out of office and so off of the host, or remain with the host as it goes terminal and brings us down with it.
Unfortunately, Rhode Island’s voters continue to vote for the latter option.

15 years ago

If RI continues looking at itself from within with same people that might be contributors to the current economic problem and continues trying to match what other larger neighboring states are doing that have greater resources, population, land mass at disposal and tax structure, I don’t think RI will be able to move forward. RI will never be or match Massachusetts or Connecticut. The Island of Oahu, birthplace and childhood upbringing of President Elect Obama, is about 60% land mass of the whole state of RI. It is the seat of state government and is the most populated and metropolitan of all the Hawaiian Islands and nicknamed “The Gathering Place”. Hawaii as a state is considered Democratic but has voted Republican in a number of elections so at times it’s hard to tell if the state is really true blue or red. It has a Republican Governor and Democratic General Assembly and is one of the most heavily unionized states in the nation. The state this year completed its “sustainability study” out to year “2050” which includes economic, education, environmental, job creation, protection of resources, alternate energy, local government, mass transit, population, objectives, goals and alternatives. Hawaii is not worried about competing against California, Alaska, Washington, Nevada or Arizona. The Governor had already put some freezes in place based on previous economic projections and studies and this year is requiring budget cuts, additional hiring freezes and department budget reductions. Last year Governor instituted some tax cuts. Because Hawaii has only one school district covering the 1,600 miles of islands The Department of Education of note was able to meet Governor’s 20% budget reduction without layoffs and program cuts. Hawaii teachers are NEA but are highly respected by local news media, government and population. City of Honolulu and City Council also… Read more »

15 years ago

In the end it’s not about sound economic policy, but about power.

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