Coming to a State Near You?
Could be that New York Governor David Paterson is offering a taste of things to come in Rhode Island:
Gov. Paterson’s proposed $121 billion budget hits New Yorkers in their iPods – and nickels-and-dimes them in lots of other places, too.
Trying to close a $15.4 billion budget gap, Paterson called for 88 new fees and a host of other taxes, including an “iPod tax” that taxes the sale of downloaded music and other “digitally delivered entertainment services.”
Two significant differences are that New York is a much bigger state than Rhode Island, making it more difficult for residents to skip state lines to make purchases and receive services, and that New York does not have the nation’s highest unemployment, meaning that there’s less incentive to stay in Rhode Island.
As a state, we can’t afford mere attempts to weather this storm. We have to turn things around completely, and that’s not going to happen unless the government pulls back. If, instead, Rhode Island officials attempt to get their hands into more pockets (or more deeply into the same pockets), they’ll only exacerbate the problem.