Drowning in Desire for Other People’s Money
“We’ve already been cutting, cutting, cutting,” said one of the few people watching Wednesday’s discussion, Russell Dannecker, fiscal policy analyst for the Poverty Institute at Rhode Island College. He cited a study by State Policy Reports that reports 29 states have proposed tax increases for the coming fiscal year.
Frankly, Rhode Island has to stop “cutting, cutting, cutting” around the edges and give some serious thought to wholesale excisions of programs. Information from the first link above illustrates why that is the necessary direction:
Among the highlights of Wednesday’s presentation:
- Collections from the state’s business-corporation tax plunged to $4.5 million from $14.8 million in the same period a year earlier, a $10.3-million drop.
- Sales-tax collections fell by $19.77 million, or 6.6 percent, to about $278.6 million.
- Net receipts from the personal-income tax (after refunds and other adjustments) fell by $14.3 million, or 4.5 percent, to $307.8 million.
The number 1 job of the state government must be to do whatever it can to help Rhode Islanders make money. The quick first step should be to cut taxes, and the larger step, still expedited, must be to slash regulations and mandates. We cannot afford to govern ourselves as we’ve been doing.