The Rhode Island Lack-of-Blame Game
Whether by ignorance or deceit, there’s a curious omission from the Providence Journal’s coverage of Governor Carcieri’s plan to bring the state government’s budget out of deficit. It’s not in the summary article by Cynthia Needham and Katherine Gregg. It’s not in the article conveying state workers’ anger, by Richard Dujardin. And at best, it receives a vague allusion in Barbara Polichetti’s article about municipal mayors/managers’ anger, when East Providence Mayor Joseph Larisa says, “We understand why this is being imposed.”
Inasmuch as the alerts of Dan Yorke and Matt Allen are broadcast fleetingly over the radio, one has to dig deep into the comments section of the middle link, above, to find it stated by somebody calling him or her self TPaine:
If the General Assembly continues to be spineless cowards, then it is up to the governor to get the budget in line. Since the General Assembly removed the Governor’s power to remove items from the budget (something 38 OTHER governors have) last decade, the tools at his disposal are blunt and heavy. Blame the General Assembly that you all elected. You reap what you sow.
So far, five out of six people have given the comment a thumbs down.
The bottom line is that the General Assembly handed Carcieri the requirement to find some $68 million in “unspecified cuts.” The governor’s authority to actually make cuts has a limited scope, while the Democrats in the GA have the entirety of state expenditures at their disposal. The gnashing of teeth that we’re hearing, today, is orchestrated and loosely conducted by a design that directs heat away from the den of Rhode Island’s corruption. With another $65 million that apparently must be found to make up for the final deficit of the last budget year, that heat is reaching furious temperatures.
In conversation after the recent picnic hosted by the Rhode Island Republican Assembly, I half-joked that the RIGOP should forswear all state-level races in the next election cycle. Focus resources at the national and municipal levels, but let the Democrats own the hollow center. Based on the electoral results, last time around, the broad failure of the state’s mainstream media to explore beyond the scripted political outline, and the absence of substantial healthy skepticism among the general public, one can only prescribe an emulation of God’s lesson for Jerusalem in Ezekiel 16:43: “Because you did not remember what happened when you were a girl, but enraged me with all these things, therefore in return I am bringing down your conduct upon your head.”
When a structure is rotted to its very foundation and the owner refuses any expense beyond minimal cosmetics, the only remaining possibility is to allow its collapse, clear the rubble, and rebuild something new.