Nesi: Washington Cuts Will Squeeze Rhode Island

WRNI’s Ted Nesi explains how RI has become over-reliant on the Federal Government for budget dollars:

[T]he share of Rhode Island’s state budget paid for by the federal government has jumped from 28% to 37% since the recession began; over the same period, the share paid for by state tax revenue (the ol’ General Fund) fell from 49% to 37%.
Put another way, state funds are covering $2.94 billion of Rhode Island’s budget this year while federal funds are covering $2.90 billion. In a $7.9 billion budget, that’s basically a rounding error – Rhode Island is leaning heavily on Washington to balance its books.

Follow the link to see Nesi’s illustrative chart.

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Dan
Dan
11 years ago

Rhode Island has been unsustainably living off of borrowed time and money to stay in the black each year? I’m shocked. The public unions and progressives told us that everything is fine.

Tommy Cranston
Tommy Cranston
11 years ago

On 10 News Conference Linc said “we’ll be OK” when asked about the pension deficits that will cripple the state. Rappleye and Taricani’s eyes popped out. They looked like they wanted to slap him and yell “wake up A-hole”.
That 26% “other” category-is that gambling or something else?

michael
11 years ago

Everything is far from fine, Dan, and public employee union members are well aware of that.
Tax rates are what is at stake for you. A percentage of your worth. Our livelihood is in peril. The stakes are a little higher on our side of the fence.

Dan
Dan
11 years ago

My heart bleeds for all of the pidgeon-holed $100k firemen and EMTs out there, Michael. God forbid they should require more than a “fire science” associate’s degree in order to maintain their corporate attorney salary lifestyles.

Dan
Dan
11 years ago

Michael, if public union employees are so concerned about solvency and sustainability, perhaps they should be policing their own a bit more diligently. Commenter Tom Kenney insists that there is no disability, pension, sick leave, or overtime abuse whatsoever going on in the Providence Fire Department. I’m not sure how he performs his duties being blinder than Ray Charles. Where was the outcry over their recent “demotion” scheme to get extra COLA? When was the last time your union has even questioned a disability pension by someone observed out and about doing yard work or grocery shopping? When was the last time you told an associate, “Gee buddy, you’ve already made $60,000 in overtime this year. We’re all in this together. Maybe you should ease up a bit?” These conversations never take place in your union hall because your ethos has always been that you all deserve such compensation and more for your choice of work – all market forces be damned.
You’ve earned your living by the government sword. Wouldn’t it only be fitting to die by it now that the big fat chickens your union hand picked for themselves over the years have all come home to roost?

michael
11 years ago

We would never use this forum for anything but entertainment. There is a lot of things going on that you will never know about.

Dan
Dan
11 years ago

“We would never use this forum for anything but entertainment. There is a lot of things going on that you will never know about.”
Maybe that’s the problem? Why aren’t we hearing about all the wonderful things your union is doing to get the state on solvent footing again?

michael
11 years ago

Wage freezes, pension and health care give backs, giving up firefighter manning to staff rescues, vacation reductions, cuts in fire prevention and support staff, I don’t know, Dan, seems like we’re trying. What have you done, Dan? Anything? What have you sacrificed, Dan? Anything? I didn’t think so.
The contributors here asked for people to support what I think is the best forum you have for controlling government spending. They were looking to fill one full time job to keep up with trends and do the work that backs up the words here, unlike certain commentators who just throw things out like yesterdays rubbish. They failed, apparently. If I’m wrong, my apologies, but it appears that you big mouths want everything for nothing, up to and including your own champions who take the time to fight a good, albeit misguided, fight.
And I never got a fire science degree, it’s not required. High school only. Plus a ton of other training, nothing as glorious as an advanced degree of course, but enough to give me the know-how to do the job required, and do it well.

Dan
Dan
11 years ago

“Wage freezes, pension and health care give backs, giving up firefighter manning to staff rescues, vacation reductions, cuts in fire prevention and support staff”
You must have misheard me. I asked what your union is doing, not what the city is doing to stay above water as the unions fight back, kicking and screaming.
“What have you sacrificed, Dan? Anything?”
Exorbitant amounts of hard-earned money without ever once using the services for which I was paying hand over fist. Although the word “sacrifice” implies willingness, and there was nothing voluntary about what went on there.
“If I’m wrong, my apologies, but it appears that you big mouths want everything for nothing, up to and including your own champions who take the time to fight a good, albeit misguided, fight.”
Misguided fight? The state is bankrupt. It is borrowing and begging for money from the feds to pay its bills. Let that sink in for a minute and then tell me how it is misguided to reduce $100k salary/employee w/pension and benefits staffing costs for a mostly manual labor public service job. I actually want nothing for nothing, in other words private services for which I voluntary contract. But I think 99% of the people you’re talking about would settle for good public services at a reasonable price, which they don’t have right now. Hence the outrage.
“I never got a fire science degree, it’s not required. High school only.”
I was just being generous since the fire science degree is the first thing those like Tom Kenney throw out there when I point out that high school grads are being paid salaries most people have to spend 7-9 extra years of study and $100-200k in loans getting a PhD, law or medical degree to earn.

michael
11 years ago

Just what I thought. Nothing.

Dan
Dan
11 years ago

I’m not even sure what you’re talking about, Michael. What would count as a valid “sacrifice” to state fiscal responsibility in your book? Do I have to make a personal donation to the RI general fund?

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
11 years ago

“Wage freezes, pension and health care give backs, giving up firefighter manning to staff rescues, vacation reductions, cuts in fire prevention and support staff”
Welcome to the “Dreaded Private Sector” (DPS). Next week, why don’t you try out a little 15.6% “self employment tax”.

michael
11 years ago

“Exorbitant amounts of hard-earned money without ever once using the services for which I was paying hand over fist. Although the word “sacrifice” implies willingness, and there was nothing voluntary about what went on there.”
This just about finishes any rational dialog I thought I might have had. You have never once used these services? You live in a society that thrives because of these services. Educated people, law abiding people, people who buy things, and need lawyers and doctors and can pay for them because we live in a civilized society, ruled by laws and governed by elected officials that we put there!
I’d like to see how long you would last when the government fails, and it’s you against the masses, and your degree is worth little more that toilet tissue. There would be no market that needs a lawyer. A firefighter on the other hand, one who happens to know a thing or two about medical procedures just might be pretty valuable.

Dan
Dan
11 years ago

Right, because society would crumble without full-time public firefighters. Could your self-aggrandizing get any more ridiculous? It’s like you’re part of a religious order and you’ve set yourself up as holyman. I bet you think that repealing auto insurance requirements would turn the roadways into a Mad Max scene as well. Oh, but NH has no requirement and everything works out fine…hmm… maybe society doesn’t fall apart like a house of cards the moment some marginal public service is privatized or made voluntary.
I’m astonished more than anything at your lack of imagination and critical thinking, Michael, because I do think you’re an otherwise intelligent and curious person. The first step to breaking out of that mental box you’re in is to realize that things don’t HAVE to be exactly like they are right now and that many of our collective decisions are hazy forks in the road rather than hard lefts to avoid driving over a cliff. To think that all of our institutions arose out of necessity is narrow-minded fallacy.

michael
11 years ago

Every time I go to a grocery store, and see aisle after aisle of fresh food, strawberries in winter, dozens of turkeys on the night before Thanksgiving and enough food to feed an army, or see the lines at the restaurants, and see every person under thirty with a two-hundred dollar “device” in their hand that connects them to the world, I can’t help wonder what the heck is everybody complaining about?
Opportunity abounds. I happen to be part of a public sector union at the moment, but before I was I had plenty. I’ll have plenty when I’m done, regardless of if there is a pension left, or healthcare. From the look of things universal healthcare is around the corner so you wont have that to use against us anymore.
Look around you, quit the petty jealousies and get on with things.

Phil
Phil
11 years ago

michael
It’s time to raise the income taxes on the country’s wealthiest citizens so that we do not see essential services such as the ones you help provide be diminished. The rate should approach at least 70% for the high income earners as it did in the 70’s. Oprah can still give away her stuff on TV after she’s paid her taxes. The Gates’ can mess with education and foreign aid all day AFTER they pay their taxes. A more just and verdant world? Blow me , pay your taxes. You want the benefits of living in this country ..pay your taxes.

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