Destroying Rhode Island No Joke

I knew Mark Binder in my previous life as a fiction writer (to which life, incidentally, I would very much like to one day return). I noticed that he surfaced as a Democrat Congressional candidate in 2004 but haven’t seen anything from him until a letter appeared in last Friday’s Providence Journal (but which is not currently online) Much of his fiction is outright humor or at least humorously tinged, but the disconcerting thing about his letter is that he doesn’t appear to be kidding:

Rhode Island is one of the best places to live on the planet. We have wondrous and varied landscapes (and weather). We have fabulous people, amazing restaurants and a wealth of artists. It is a small and diverse, easily accessible state of mind.
I think we should charge more to live here. This is a premium spot. Instead of cutting taxes for new businesses, we should raise them. People have to want to come to Rhode Island for more than the discount. Do you want to live in the Walmart State?
In the past, Rhode Island has used its healthy tax base to clean up the environment, to provide kindness to our neighbors in need, and to encourage the arts.
What’s left after we strip the tax base?
Houses. Roads (maybe).
Let’s pay more taxes and get better results.

Here’s hoping that this is a satire to lampoon a too common mindset.

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joe bernstein
joe bernstein
12 years ago

Unlike Patrick Kennedy I believe in paying my fair share of taxes.Emphasis on the word fair.I would rather make the state less of a magnet for a non taxpaying base.I’m not referring to laid off working people,but people who never worked and have no intention of ever working.And Rhody,don’t waste your time telling me how I’m obligated to a non working person who sports lots of bling,has money for pot,and has a big screen tv.I’ve seen this too many times personally to listen to the left wing advocates take on this any more.

OldTimeLefty
12 years ago

Whaddaya mean, “Return to fiction writing”. You’ve been doing a bang up job of it on this blog.
OldTimeLefty

Monique
Editor
12 years ago

“Do you want to live in the Walmart State?”
Mark, please peruse the Tax Foundation or some other website vis a vis the level of the taxes we pay.
We’ve paid to live in a Nordstrom state. Due to the poor management of our taxes, the result in terms of services provide and condition of infrastructure has been something much closer to a Walmart state.

Justin Katz
12 years ago

I put that line in just for you, OTL.

Phil
Phil
12 years ago

The recently completed tunnel project that enables the Narragansett Bay Commission to treat waste water along with the storm drain runoff thereby reducing the combined sewerage overflow (CSO). CSOs allowed untreated waste water to enter Narragansett Bay forcing large areas to be closed to shellfishing with negative econmoic consequences not to mention having shit in the water. The tunnel project was paid for with taxes that the voters overwhelmingly approved years ago. The steady commitment to cleaning the bay waters has been the result of years of politicans and taxpayers seeing the positive long range effects to the quality of life for Rhode Island and they were willing to pay for it. Commercial fishing will benefit as a result along with tourism and industries related to boating. I think this represents the opposite of destroying Rhode Island.

chuckR
chuckR
12 years ago

Phil
What the Bay Commission tunnel project represents is that it is impossible to have an adverse impact on Rhode Island with every single tax measure. That hasn’t stopped our solons (rhymes with morons) from trying. Even that tunnel wouldn’t be enough to contain the CSO from the State House when the lege is in session.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
12 years ago

Phil-there you go again.You mention something which I am more than happy to pay taxes for-infrastructure improvement and REAL environmental protection and ignore the point I raised about slothful bums sucking up the money earned by productive citizens-and in the process endangering the unemployment benefits of working people screwed by the economic downturn.
There was a drug case about a year or two back where the female kingpin of a distribution network was getting welfare,Section 8,and food stamps while owning a Cadillac Escalade,a Harley,and a having a houseful of expensive toys.A rare situation?Maybe in terms of sheer over the top aspects,but not really that far off what happens to a somewhat lesser degree all too often.
Have an answer for that?

OldTimeLefty
12 years ago

I agree with Phil’s take on CSO’s, and with joe bernstein when he says that he is against “slothful bums sucking up the money earned by productive citizens”. I am pro clean bay and anti slothful bums.
However, Phil has defined his argument while joe just spews invective.
Be precice and be nice joe. Your good ideas get swallowed up by your inane rhetoric.
Applying your logic we should shut down the capitalist system because of Bernie Madoff and his fellow Ponzites. “A rare situation? Maybe in terms of sheer over the top aspects,but not really that far off what happens to a somewhat lesser degree all too often”.
OldTimeLefty

OldTimeLefty
12 years ago

Justin,
Glad to oblige
OTL

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
12 years ago

OTL-Unlike you I don’t pretend not to have garbagemouth on occasion(ok-a lot),but I made a specific reference.Let me say that a system which allows a drug kingpin to collect welfare,etc while openly flaunting wealth and a creep like Madoff to run a scheme which could have been uncovered quickly by competent regulators is in severe need of being fixed.
I don’t want to (a)eliminate capitalism(b)eliminate help for the truly needy or disabled.
If we made a serious run at the fraud and waste,you would be amazed at the savings and what constructive uses those savings could be put to.
You can be pretty good at the invective yourself.Admit it.I did,and I’m unrepentant.

rhody
rhody
12 years ago

Joe. I didn’t even post here. To what do I owe the gratuitous, unnecessary callout? You sound like that other regular here who obesses about me and a certain form of sex.

Will
12 years ago

“I think we should charge more to live here. This is a premium spot. Instead of cutting taxes for new businesses, we should raise them. People have to want to come to Rhode Island for more than the discount. Do you want to live in the Walmart State?”
How can one meaningfully argue against the clearly irrational? Raise taxes to 100%, that way we’ll get all their income! It’s not like they could, um, move. Incentives, disincentives, cost vs. benefit, fuhgetaboutit!
I really want to think he was being sarcastic, but considering his past political history, that’s probably too much to hope for. Ugh.
PS The Walmart I shop at is in Seekonk, MA. 🙂

OldTimeLefty
12 years ago

joe,
Keep working on it. Take some ex lax and it will all come out in the end for you. I tried to agree with you and to get you to refine and define, but it seems to be a Sisyphean labor. Let’s stay at it and remember that we love one another, even through our violent agreements.
Your Pal
OldTimeLefty

Phil
Phil
12 years ago

Sorry Joe. I must confess that when I wrote my comments I had’nt read yours. I agree with you that we have no obligation to those that cheat the system that is in place to help people deal with circumstances that none of us would want for ourselves. I would not want to trade places with someone with mental disorders or other physical disabilities to collect some assistance paid by taxes. I think we are a better place for providing that type of assistance even though indivual circumstances can be maddening.
I offered the example of the tunnel project to counter Justin’s assumption that taxes leads to destruction. You should be on his case also having worked a career that was paid by taxes. Are we better off as a result of your efforts? Do you think that anti big government and high tax ideologes resent you and your (I think well deserved) pension?
One other thing about environmental projects like the tunnel in Providence. It is possible that one of this blog’s only sponsors would agree with me on this matter of controlling CSOs. RISC was formerly called the shoreline coalition. A group of wealthy landowners who wanted to protect the view through leaded windows of their waterfront mansions were willing to pay for cleaning the bay but not for helping people especially in the cities. I don’t think that they were fond of supporting education in the towns were they were forced to pay taxes either. I don’t think their advocacy as a group old or new is good for Rhode Island but we can agree about the bay.
OldTimeLefty Good to hear from you again. That’s just one more thing that some here will disagree with me about.

ettubloge
ettubloge
12 years ago

I haven’t heard (read, I guess) this way of thinking since I left RI.
If there is anything good that comes from govt expenditure, then it obviously could not exist without it. And if there is a public good from an expenditure, then multiples of the expenditure must result in multiples of improvement. And if you do not wish to be coerced into paying for any program, then get out of the State.
Socialists are just so GOOD. Boy, I miss that way of thinking.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
12 years ago

Rhody-when you see me comment on someone’s sexual behavior,let me know-I am sure I haven’t because it doesn’t interest me.
I made the “gratuitous”callout because you normally find fault with my comments.I was just anticipating a Pavlovian response.
OTL-Ex Lax?LOL- I’m not the one who’s full of s**t around here.
Do we really have to go to that level?
I may say such things about David Cicilline or Steven Brown,but they are public figures.I attempt to treat you,Rhody,and Phil courteously because you people,like me,are just private citizens having a back and forth.
Phil-I was a public employee,true-I also paid a third of my health insurance premiums(and still do as a retiree-I have to carry a family plan because my wife’s former job didn’t let her take retiree health coverage.I get my coverage from the VA,so I’m paying family coverage for one person.
I’m not familiar with the group you referenced-I have heard of them under both names,but never looked into who or what they are.I have a nice view of the trees in my backyard.
And one more thing Phil-I actually think I did some good in my career-I didn’t sit in an office pushing paper_i put some people away and deported others who really were dangerous to society.I also was honest and didn’t ever once take a freebie,like some police chief I’m thnking of is fond of doing.

Tom W
Tom W
12 years ago

>Rhode Island is one of the best places to live on the planet. We have wondrous and varied landscapes (and weather). We have fabulous people, amazing restaurants and a wealth of artists. It is a small and diverse, easily accessible state of mind.
It also has collapsing bridges. Cratered roads. Poor public education. One of the country’s worst business climates – confirmed by the country’s second highest unemployment rate.
Mr. Binder has had too many hits from the RI Democrat bong.

rhody
rhody
12 years ago

First, there was Bush Derangement Syndrome. Then there was Obama Derangement Syndrome.
Joe, it seems, now suffers from Rhody Derangement Syndrome, which is amazing since Rhody is not an elected official or a public figure of any kind.
It’s not all about me, as Joe seems to think, but it’s treatable. Have a ‘Gansett and watch some hoops.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
12 years ago

Beer?I’ll pass.Hoops?Yech.
However now I can have Cicilline Derangement Syndrome(except he really is that bad-heh,heh)

Mike
Mike
12 years ago

Rhody is not an elected official or a public figure of any kind.
It’s not all about me, as Joe seems to think, but it’s treatable. Have a ‘Gansett and watch some hoops.
Posted by rhody at March 10, 2009 12:31 PM
Let me take that to the next step:
“Rhody does not live off the taxpayers”?
LIKE HELL HE DOESN’T

rhody
rhody
12 years ago

Mike, do you and your Latin Kings buddies have any evidence to back up the statement you just made above?
Bring it on. This should be good. It provides some laughs for me when a big talker starts writing checks he can’t cash with the facts.
Face it. You know nothing…except how to promise a bunch of threats on which I know you’ll never deliver 🙂

Mike
Mike
12 years ago

Rhody,
you brain-addled, pedophile apoligist, government teat-sucker.
Please stop slandering me saying I have “Latin King pals”.
I assurre you I have no black or brown “pals.”

rhody
rhody
12 years ago

Mike, you just said more about your own character in the above post than I possibly could.
Guess you’ll have to flee to one of those Scandanavian countries where you won’t have to fear dealing with people of color.
And then there’s always Utah – I won’t be going there. Beautiful scenery – ask Joe Mollicone.

Mike
Mike
12 years ago

Utah-not a bad idea. Good, God-loving white people. Freaks of nature like you and the “bottom” Mayor are reviled.
Vegas within driving distance.
Hmmmmm

rhody
rhody
12 years ago

Actually, I don’t care what the Mormon theocracy in Utah thinks. Mitt Romney and his minions may be the boss of you, but they sure aren’t the boss of me.
Just be warned…the mayor of Salt Lake City is a liberal.

Justin Katz
12 years ago

Seriously, Mike? You’ve reached the point of cartoonish bigotry. It’s so obvious, and Rhody seems mainly to be toying with you, that I’m not sure that banning is a necessity, but you really should pause and reevaluate your stated opinions for your own good.

Monique
Editor
12 years ago

“Raise taxes to 100%, that way we’ll get all their income! It’s not like they could, um, move.”
Saaay! A moving tax! Equal to all the taxes the soon-to-be-former Rhode Islander will save in the first five years.

OldTimeLefty
12 years ago

Justin,
You can no more ban Mike than Dr. Jekyl can ban Mr. Hyde. You’re both too tightly wrapped together.
OldTimeLefty

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