A Pat on the Back for the Undeserving

I suppose it shouldn’t be surprising that somebody is willing to cheerlead Rhode Island’s governing class. Here’s Donna Cupelo, admiral of the Rhode Island Commodores, a group of “top business and civic leaders”:

There was something different about this year’s legislative session, several Rhode Island Commodores said after attending an upbeat bill-signing ceremony with speeches by Gov. Donald Carcieri, Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed and House Speaker Gordon Fox. (The Commodores is a group of more than 325 top business and civic leaders.)
A sense of respect, commitment and cooperation among these elected leaders seemed more evident than ever and a “let’s get the job done” spirit produced some laws that will have a far-reaching impact on our state’s economic future.

From my seat in steerage, that camaraderie is indicative of nothing so much as the successful decision to keep back-room deals out of public view. And the consequence is a bad wind energy deal and a can kicked farther down the road, over which Cupelo blithely stumbles:

The board’s members are pleased that these leaders heeded the call to tackle the challenge of personal-income-tax reform by bringing Rhode Island’s top tax rate of 9.9 percent down to 5.99 percent. That will put our state in line with our neighboring states and improve our national ranking and competitiveness. We believe these changes are an investment in our future and will make Rhode Island more competitive as it aggressively pursues new jobs for our families and young graduates who are looking to make Rhode Island a permanent home.

Never mind that lowering the top rate, while eliminating the flat tax, actually resulted in higher taxes for those who will pay it. Never mind that the reform looks likely to penalize active and economically engaged residents who are striving to improve their lot. It’s an appropriately Rhode Island strategy, though: Working folks who haven’t yet achieved the easier sailing of upper middle class lack the time and resources to hire savvy financial advisers or to change their residence in order to procure the best tax deal may be sufficiently fooled not to react to the reality that they’re stuck in somebody else’s scheme.

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David S
David S
13 years ago

Yes indeed. A pat on the back of the undeserving. Step right up Governor Carcieri. You have been the advocate for the most undeserving. This state is different than others. We have extreme wealth and everybody else. Now there are economic differences between the everybody else- some are employed and own their homes and some are just scraping by. But in comparisan to the extreme wealthy the everybody else are kind of the same. Thats what drives the Mike’s and the ragin’s nuts- your the same as those Providence dwellers and other percieved lowlifes. No different. We are all caught in an economic trap that we can not control. But what about those among the extreme wealthy that can effect improvements and change? Where are they? Where is some manifestation of their civic duty? Why do you on this blog treat them like gods- just hoping for some small vision to give you hope? Where’s their money- their tangible link to their fellow citizens?

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