The State’s Spending Practices

Former state representative Carol Mumford deserves a hear, hear for her op-ed in yesterday’s Providence Journal:

Those who believe that Rhode Island is a poor state would be surprised to know that during most of my 10 years in office, the state’s revenue increased at the approximate rate of 3.5 percent a year. While our revenue increased at this modest but steady rate, our expenditures increased approximately 7 percent to 11 percent a year. That says it all, doesn’t it? No matter what the income, those people or entities that live beyond their means find themselves in the situation Rhode Island faces today. …
On another note, those who believe our state population figures are static at about one million should look closely at the composition change. The Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation testified before House Finance that in the last decade those who are considered affluent in Massachusetts have doubled in number. The number of people who are considered affluent in Rhode Island has decreased by 50 percent. The affluent did not lose their assets; they fled. An examination of the latest “Kids Count” figures shows that the number of poor children in Rhode Island has mushroomed. The population numbers remain static, but many who used to pay the bills are elsewhere.

But how can that be? An opposition analyst assures us rich taxpayer interests have won battle after battle at the State House, and welfare benefits are difficult to procure.

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Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
14 years ago

I am wondering about RI v. Mass. comparisons. One thing is evident from the census. Both states are losing white population at about 1% per year, that is 10% in a decade. So, why aren’t high earners declining in Mass? Perhaps the medical and technology industries in Mass are attracting more skilled immigrants. I have been in hospitals where unaccented English is almost not heard, even the doctors joke about it and pretend to speak with Indian accents.

14 years ago

Besides the over-spending, these paragraphs stood out:

“Years of overestimating revenue and underestimating entitlements brought us, at one point, from the 2008-09 “enacted” budget to the 2009-10 “proposed” with a probable deficit of $1.2 billion. Yes, that is correct. To maintain the ’09 current service level, there was a budget gap of gigantic proportion.
The state hints that the revenue gap is $600 million plus, but we revised FY ’09 and have yet to accurately predict revenues with the May Revenue Estimating Conferences. My guess after 10 years on House Finance is that the gap will total $1.2 billion. That number includes the state’s payment to the Rhode Island state employees pension system.”

Isn’t this fraud?
Laffey hinted at this in one of his commentary pieces.
I believe private sector individuals go to jail for this type of fiduciary irresponsibility.

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