The Cover Provided by 1 Administration Crony

The long, front page piece in Sunday’s ProJo about current EMA PR guy Steve Kass reinforces every status-quoists talking point about cutting the fat outta the “administration” or “up top” before slashing the benny’s and pay of the average working man and woman at all levels of government. For the truth is that the shuffling of Kass around Governor Carcieri’s administration for the sake of, apparently, keeping him on the payroll to the tune of between $100-$200 K in salary and benefits is, quite fairly, viewed as putting the lie to the supposed “shrink government” / “big audit” bona fides of the Governor.
It doesn’t matter if one crony’s salary is a drop in the bucket compared to the smaller proportions that need to be cut from the wider array of “little guys.” Simply put, it looks like cronyism from here, there and everywhere. It’s one thing if the Administration damages itself by this inability to not live by it’s own rhetoric. But it’s much worse than that because such examples are hoisted up to undermine the legitimacy of the ideas that informed the rhetoric that was espoused. And that de-legitimization redounds to the people who actually believe in the efficacy of cutting government and making it leaner for the sake of fiscal sanity. So thanks for that.

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11 years ago

I have to give credit where it’s due. This is an excellent post by you.
The status quo people think that if we just somehow get rid of Steve Kass and his ilk, the costs of government will become sustainable. It masks our larger issues.

11 years ago

The same old Animal Farm story that plays out over and over again, particularly in Rhode Island. The pigs always end up playing cards with the humans in the farmhouse in the end and we taxpayers, looking in, are left unable to distinguish between the two species.
Doesn’t matter whether it is a public union leader, a governor, a mayor, a city councilman. It’s naivety to think we can hand somebody the kind of power we do in Rhode Island and it won’t be abused. It’s not a matter of electing the right people, because anyone who is in such a position will be the wrong person.
The only answer is limited government across the board. No, Republicans, you can’t pick and choose when it will be limited and when it will not be. The exceptions you carve out will always become the rule.
Look to New Hampshire as a good starting point. The most limited and libertarian government of any state, and it has virtually no corruption. Not a coincidence.

11 years ago

Maybe you should also look at Hawaii too! The last state constitution to be written based on the best of the other 49 state constitutions.
Hawaii constitution requires any excess fiscal year funds be return to the taxpayers. There is no carry over or creation of a slush general fund account. All accounts are verified as to funds in and funds out. Hawaii requires a two year balanced budget under state constitutional law.
The transparency of government in Hawaii is so intense there are almost check marks for date/time/ and how long each state or city employee goes to the bathroom!
The ethics laws in Hawaii are very very brutal! Politicians are not allowed to even attend Christmas parties because it can be construed as receiving favors. A State senator was turned in to police by his young sons for a DUI stop and forced to resigned office and a state representative was forced to resign because he was stopped for DUI plus a city council woman was publicly ostracized (TV and newspaper) for throwing a pen across the chamber floor!
The general excise tax in Hawaii is 4% (but temporally 4.5% on Oahu for new high-speed light rail funding) on everything (services and goods both for profit and non-profit) except prescription drugs because they don’t want state and local government showing preference to anyone. Business offset 4 cents on the dollars by offering discounts to locals (people who live in Hawaii full time).
RI needs to get some accountability written into the state constitution or else no matter what is done there will always be holes in the current State of RI government systems.

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