They Must Have Some Thoughts, Mustn’t They?
From a Providence Journal editorial on the General Assembly’s annual avoidance of structural change:
And this series of cuts may be minuscule compared with the ones Rhode Island may face soon. Ms. Mumford estimates that the state may confront a $1.2 billion deficit in the coming months, given overly optimistic forecasts of tax revenues in a bum economy. Former Cranston Mayor Stephen Laffey warned that “the deficit could be north of $800 million and is leading to insolvency.” As painful as the state’s 12-day shutdown will be, the savings from that measure — $17.3 million — pale in comparison with such eye-popping potential deficit numbers.
And Rhode Island faces the question of what to do when the hundreds of millions of federal stimulus dollars that have been used to sustain government budgets run dry.
Do you suppose most legislators have some sort of a strategy list, such as:
- First, hope for things to work themselves out.
- If that doesn’t work, trim some blatant fat.
- If that doesn’t work, raise taxes.
- If that doesn’t work, cut social services.
- And so on.
Or are most of them just winging it — trying not to think about the inevitable.?