Liveblog: Governor Carcieri’s State of the Crisis Address

The comments section of this post is devoted to liveblogging the governor’s speech presenting his “supplemental budget.”
A lot could be riding on this speech. If the governor doesn’t step up to the plate and show indomitable determination to resolve some long-standing problems — perpetuated by powerful interests — the state could be in for a long, cold spiral.
So, will the governor see his shadow tonight?

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Justin Katz
12 years ago

I’m glad to see that the governor isn’t giving the speech with an audience. Something too friendly comes out in that sort of setting with him.

Justin Katz
12 years ago

“High taxes and excessive spending made us weak and vulnerable.”

Tom W
Tom W
12 years ago

Can’t wait for the reflexive cliche machine afterwards from the “progressive” / union folks:
“on the back of hard working state employees”
“the most vulnerable amongst us”
“tax cuts for the rich”

Will
12 years ago

I liked the restaurant analogy. Would you go to a restaurant with high prices, mediocre food, and poor service? Welcome to Rhode Island!

Justin Katz
12 years ago

We could do without the “what we’ve been doing” stuff. We need to look forward, especially from a governor who isn’t running for reelection.

Andrew
Editor
12 years ago

In other circumstances, the “since we began keeping records” would be funny.

Will
12 years ago

“Prosperity has a way of hiding bad policies and practices.”
Amen.

Justin Katz
12 years ago

Changes to pensions:
* Minimum retirement age of 59.

Justin Katz
12 years ago

* Eliminate cost of living adjustments

Justin Katz
12 years ago

* Move to defined contribution pensions

Will
12 years ago

Eliminating COLAs!
Defined contribution plans for new employees!

Justin Katz
12 years ago

Great point: Even a scaled back pension would be very attractive from a private sector perspective.

Will
12 years ago

Local aid … here it comes!

Tom W
Tom W
12 years ago

We should be going for a pension freeze for all current participants and imposition of a defined contribution plan.
But even with these relative modest / benign proposed changes, I’m enjoying the mental image of Bob Walsh and Pat Crowley rolling on the floor frothing at the mouth as they listen to this …

Justin Katz
12 years ago

Good to see he’s using this highly visible platform to educate Rhode Islanders about various factors (our cost of public services compared with the nation) that most of us around here already know.

Justin Katz
12 years ago

“Better share our resources…” uh-oh.

Marc
12 years ago

The Gov. is proposing a lot of consolidation statewide and at the county level.

Justin Katz
12 years ago

A new committee to study consolidation.
If it’s inclusive (I’m thinking George Nee and Bob Walsh), then it could be a bad thing.

Will
12 years ago

I’m liking the education of the general public aspect, as well as the comparisons to other states. We can’t tell people how to get out of the muck, if they don’t know how they got into it in the first place.

Tom W
Tom W
12 years ago

>If it’s inclusive (I’m thinking George Nee and Bob Walsh), then it could be a bad thing.
Consider that inevitable.
Think Murphy’s pension study commission …

Justin Katz
12 years ago

Now say: “We should not be relying on what the federal government will or will not give us.”

Will
12 years ago

Good thing bringing up the magic Obama stimulus money.

Justin Katz
12 years ago

Tom:
That’s one way the governor sets himself up. He puts his weight behind a commission or panel and then allows the opposition to play prominently under his banner.

Will
12 years ago

Long lasting consequences for Rhode Island’s Future. Nice touch. 😉

Tom W
Tom W
12 years ago

>That’s one way the governor sets himself up. He puts his weight behind a commission or panel and then allows the opposition to play prominently under his banner.
Yep.
Kind of a variation on John McCain’s destructive “bipartisanship.”

Tom W
Tom W
12 years ago

Did I hear a reference to God?
Quick, call the ACLU!

Will
12 years ago

Public employees pensions.
Local aids to cities and towns.
Social service spending.
I call that the trifecta!

Justin Katz
12 years ago

Cianci on channel 6 just highlighted the retirement age as something that will really “eat at the unions.”
Can you imagine! It will be a sticking point to wait until fifty-nine years of age to retire!

Will
12 years ago

No “broad based tax increases,” of course doesn’t mean no tax increases at all. Important nuance.

pitcher
pitcher
12 years ago

For the minimum retirement age, even 59 sounds pretty generous. Hell, let’s go right to 62. Social Security says the full retirement age is 67, let’s be generous and go 5 years earlier than that. How about that, “you can retire and collect your pension in RI FIVE YEARS EARLIER than the Social Security Administration says you’re at your full retirement”
Choke on that unions.

Will
12 years ago

But if they have to wait until 59, how will they get that big head start on their second career? LOL

Justin Katz
12 years ago

Tim Williamson already told Dan Yorke that taxes are going up.
Carcieri better scream to the moon when that starts to take shape.

Andrew
Editor
12 years ago

Will,
The only “major” tax increase being proposed is a cigarette tax increase. See the next post for details…

Justin Katz
12 years ago

I have to say: after liveblogging the presidential debates, this felt like a matter of minutes.

Tom W
Tom W
12 years ago

>Can you imagine! It will be a sticking point to wait until fifty-nine years of age to retire!
As someone who doesn’t expect to be able to retire at least until seventy, if ever, largely because the taxes I pay to fund THEIR pensions keep me from being able to put enough away for my own retirement, no I feel no sympathy for them at all.
For example, my annual property taxes alone equal FOUR annual IRA contributions.
Then there’s self-employment tax (FICA); corporate (LLC) tax; income taxes; sales taxes; gas taxes; phone taxes …
It’s enough to drive one to drink. Of course, booze is taxed too!

Will
12 years ago

Thanks Andrew for the update. That was really the only non broad based one I could think of, too. Gasoline taxes would be considered broad based.
I know the written stuff they’ve distributed is a lot more detailed than what he said tonight, which was meant to be more thematic than policy wonkish.

Will
12 years ago

By the way, I think the reason why he chose 59, is that opposing it on its merits would be too difficult for General Assembly members to explain away. In truth, it ought to be well into the 60s.

donroach
12 years ago

I’m very interested to see how effective the governor is at getting his budget through the Assembly.
I may be wrong, but I’m guessing that this can only go one of two ways.
1. The Assembly capitulates, trying to grab one or two moral victories.
2. The Assembly raises taxes.
I’m less inclined to think it’s the second option. Gordon Fox just introduced a bill yesterday to provide a tax credit to owner-occupied units in Providence and in this economic environment how can you raise property or income taxes without severe backlash?
If the governor is able to get this through the Assembly how do cities and towns react?
Definitely should be an interesting six months.

Justin Katz
12 years ago

… in this economic environment how can you raise property or income taxes without severe backlash?

Put it off until just after an election.

Will
12 years ago

“2. The Assembly raises taxes.”
Let them. It will the their tax increase. The governor has drawn his line in the sand. It’s up to them ti figure out if it’s worth the risk to cross it.
“If the governor is able to get this through the Assembly how do cities and towns react?”
By cutting spending further. Most of them have been on notice for a while now. They’ve know this was coming. I think it they are able to get real relief from unfunded mandates, especially as it relates to education, they won’t be quite so bothered by it.

Mike
Mike
12 years ago

The speach was lousy. As I read the actual plan it is much, much more impressive. The union/welfare crowd will be literally tearing their hair out.
For the first time in 6 years we get something REAL from Carcieri in terms of reform.

Will
12 years ago

The speech was good enough. Not lousy, but not over-specific with details. He came off as calm and reasonable. I imagine that the labor pains will be anything but calm and reasonable. This is going to send them over the edge. However, the real meat of his proposals, as you stated, are in writing, and they are wonderful. I imagine he’ll have more opportunity to talk about those details when he does his talk radio gigs all day tomorrow.

Mike
Mike
12 years ago

A small point but one which is making me giddy:
Cicilline is either going to have to deep six the hundreds of Hispanics (many illegal aliens) he has hired as bus monitors or pay for them out of his own budget.
Where’s Pat Crowley, Rhody, Phil, Bob Walsh, Old Time Lefty, Jerzyk and Donnis?
Carcieri got their tongue!
LOL.
Murphy will go along with 90% of this. The deal has already been made, believe me. You think it was an “accident” that not a single one of Carcieri’s veto’s was overridden yesterday?
Sleep tight union pigs-the chickens have come home………………………………..to ROOST.

Will
12 years ago

“Murphy will go along with 90% of this. The deal has already been made, believe me.”
I agree. Comparatively speaking, the Senate will be more of a challenge with Sen. Theresa “Naked Mole Rat” Paiva-Weed now in charge there, but I think it will ultimately happen. As long as the core of the proposals are adopted, the nibbling around the edges for political cover are largely irrelevant.

Justin Katz
12 years ago

Bingo, Will, with one adjustment.
It’s important not to forget the basics of Rhode Island politics just because we’re relatively happy with the governor’s plan.
Part of the “political coverage” built into our system as it stands is coverage to do the wrong thing. The House may pass this proposal having already arranged for the Senate to make fatal changes. On something else down the road, the Senate will take a political risk, and the House will kill it. Meanwhile, the governor’s new commission will contain a mole or two who’ll scuttle advancement in the governor’s name.
Maybe.

Pitcher
Pitcher
12 years ago

>>You think it was an “accident” that not a single one of Carcieri’s veto’s was overridden yesterday?<< Huh? Mike, they can't. Different session. Last session is in the books. They had until Monday to override the vetos. As for Murphy going along with 90% and then the Senate picking it apart. That's fine, but what the Gov sent was a balanced proposal. It closes the current deficit to $0. So if you take something away, you gotta put something back. If they're that good at finding other sources, we wouldn't be in this mess. If their idea is to raise taxes, they'll need enough votes willing to raise taxes to override the veto. Are there enough people in the Assembly who will go on the record and tell the voters in two years, "Yes, I am your Representative/Senator who raised your taxes!"?? Talk about a rock and a hard place. Go along with the Gov's suggestion and let him be the hero or do your own thing, raise taxes and possibly lose your seat to the next Mike Pinga or Ed O'Neil, a nobody who comes out of nowhere but whips you because you pissed off your constituents enough times.

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