Answering Rep. Martin
According to the ProJo, Freshman Rep. Peter F. Martin, D-Newport witnessed yesterday’s Gaspee Tea Party march through the halls of the State house. He asked some questions:
“It’s democracy in action,” Martin said, adding that the budget outlook is messy. “Do they have any answers? If they have answers, do they have any methods to implement them? What services and programs are they willing to give up?”
The answer to your first two questions is the same: Spend less. As for the services and programs we’re willing to give up? Wrong focus. What services and programs are you, the politicians, willing to give up? Your reaction to legitimate taxpayer frustration betrays your ignorance of the alternatives that are out there. It’s also a cop-out to look to those who elected you for answers. They elected you because you said you had the answers.
Most people–though maybe not your constituents–want government to leave them alone and only utilize basic government services, most of which are provided at the local level. At the state level, there are some over-arching, systemic problems that need to be addressed: pensions, health-care, tax policy, etc. You and your fellow legislators were elected to address these big problems, not to just submit feel-good resolutions or glad-hand at ballparks. I’ve got a soft spot for all of that, but there’s some real work to do here.
I realize the House Leadership keeps Freshmen legislators like yourself in the dark. Perfect attendance is nice, but maybe it’s time to be proactive, get out of the State House and look for some answers yourself. That’s why you were elected.