Laffey Still Fighting
He doesn’t say where he’s been or what his intentions are, but Stephen Laffey is clearly still paying attention to Rhode Island and its problems:
… Laughing and joking last year, our leaders signed off on the 2008-09 “balanced” state budget. That “balanced” budget was really a $600 million deficit. It was fraud because they knew it then. And they know it now.
With 11 months of data in for fiscal 2008-09, revenues are running more than $400 million behind the final revised $3.1 billion estimate for total general revenues. And the last few months are showing even more ominous trends. So an aggressive total revenue budget for fiscal 2009-10 would have been $2.7 billion. Instead, our leaders agreed to forecast $3.1 billion in revenue again, putting us all at least another $400 million in the hole. …
One of the worst things about public fraud is that it’s contagious. When Governor Carcieri raids the rainy day fund and gets away with it, what is to stop cities like Cranston and Warwick from doing the same thing? Nothing, since they did it, too — and got away with it.
Let’s be frank. This fraudulent budget now puts Rhode Island on the road to collapse. Only, unlike California, whose comptroller has put out a loud warning, the Rhode Island populace will have to wait to be “surprised” when Rhode Island is about to miss payroll. The similarities between Rhode Island today and Cranston in 2002 before I became mayor are eerie. The lies were plentiful then and near bankruptcy ensued.
Perhaps Mr. Laffey still intends to join us for the sing-along:
Do you remember the day
They sold us down the river?
Neither do I
‘Cause it’s been happenin’ so long
But here we all are
Long miles from where we started
So out with those words
They chained us for a song