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.