The Shape of the Governor’s Solutions
Governor Chafee isn’t giving many clues as to the decisions that he’s making as he builds his budget proposal, but some statements that he has been willing to make are telling with regard to his approach, to say the least:
Chafee did describe some specific priorities. He supports proposed federal legislation that would help the states to recoup taxes on sales over the Internet, he said.
As he has since he was mayor of Warwick, Chafee called for the federal government to reimburse state and local jurisdictions for the cost of such mandatory programs as special education.
The governor acknowledged that he’s had “limited success” since the 1990s in seeking federal financing of the federally required school programs. But Chafee said he will keep asking for the money. “I’m going to be like a terrier with a bone,” he said.
How apt the dog analogy is. Apart from begging for table scraps from the federal government, raising taxes is a bit like sneaking up and snatching sandwiches from unsuspecting children’s hands, a maneuver that many a domestic canine has mastered.
I’d love to be proven wrong, but one suspects that there will be no difficult decisions made by this governor. He’ll govern under the same principles of short-sighted budgeting, irresponsible spending, reliance on hand-outs, quick fixes, and illusions that have brought Rhode Island to its current state.