To Liveblog or Not to Liveblog
Well, I can find no evidence that there’s actually a Tiverton School Committee meeting tonight (except, you know, for the fact that it’s been on their calendar all year), so I guess I’ll give Governor Chafee’s budget address a try…
I’ll offer running commentary (if any) in the comments section; feel free to join.
Every time I see Chafee speak, I wish he’d invest in teleprompters and learn how to incorporate hand gestures without giving the impression that each motion is scripted in his notes.
His long preamble seems to be a preparation for exactly what we all expect:
1. The State House cost a lot of money to build, in its day.
2. We must keep investing.
Have to raise the sales tax. As reported:
Two-tiered. 1%, except for food, gas, prescription drugs, and medical devices.
Called on Congress to open up the Internet to voracious state governments.
Promises to repeal 1% sales tax if Internet becomes prey. (Anybody believe that?)
Also wants to expand sales tax to services and lower it all of 1%, to 6%… returning it to the level it was back before it was increased on a temporary basis after the banking crisis.
How does a broadening of the sales tax make us more competitive??
Sales tax increases get us halfway to closing the deficit.
Wants to cut Health and Human Services.
* Reform payment and service delivery.
* Open contracts.
* Increase oversight.
That’s not a cut… that ought to be done in any event.
Re internet tax: didn’t Amazon simply flee when we taxed them?
Will review operations throughout government.
Make departments accountable and efficient and then review.
Wants to move corporations to combined reporting, which considers non-RI income when taxing corporations and lower the minimum corporate tax to $250.
Reduce corporate tax rate from 9% to 7.5%.
Not if the federal government imposes the law.
Maintain funding formula increases in aid.
$10 million more for higher ed.
Transportation: “We need more funding for transportation.”
Can’t keep borrowing to fund (tell that to bond-issue voters).
Five-year plan (!) to shift driving fees to transportation fund.
So where’s that money coming from?
Proposes that the July raise for state employees to the pension system. Increased employee contribution rate… until a comprehension reform plan is in place.
$5 million more in aide to distressed cities and town.
A new local aid initiative providing another $20 million to municipal governments that are reforming.
Cities and towns: more revenue from the state …
His barber, Ernie, is on board with the increase of sales tax on his customers’ backs if the General Assembly becomes a responsible spender.
If more money comes in to government than expected, he encourages tax decreases.
“Ideally, we could lower our sales tax to 5.75%.”
If he had said that he was going to fix our highway funding problem during the election, I might have voted for him. I honestly never thought anyone would take that on.
Well, I probably wouldn’t have voted for him anyway, but still…
No relief of state mandates for cities and towns?! They wouldn’t need handouts from the state (okay, they’d need a lot less) if those mandates were lifted.
Chafee offered nothing that would significantly change anything. Its centerpiece is a sales tax. Its transportation initiative is a search for more revenue.
The budget’s cuts are all prospective and “good government” stuff that will never result in what he’s expecting.
He put no direction to pension reform, asking for more from workers (which they will no doubt strive to work into their base pay).
And he increased spending in some areas.
His solution for transportation funding is to collect more money.
Borrowing money to pay our highway expenses is literally the worst thing this state does. It will mean spending more in the short term, but at least people will finally know what they are spending, and can then start to see if what they are getting in return is worth it (I don’t think it is). He may be a dumbass, but he got this right.
Unfortunately, you’ve summed it up accurately, Justin.
I don’t fully understand this taxing multi-state corporations idea. It certainly comes across, however, like yet another policy to repel business (and jobs and tax revenue) from the state.
He got it partly right. Raising additional revenue elsewhere is not the answer. Returning to basic priorities is.
And the broadening of the sales tax is essentially a Modified Economic Death and Dismemberment *.
(* All rights reserved by Justin Katz)
“Every time I see Chafee speak, I wish he’d invest in teleprompters and learn how to incorporate hand gestures without giving the impression that each motion is scripted in his notes.” JK
I know. And yet his traits would be endearing if the politics were yours. It would be endearing in that it is so not like the typical politician…….
Thanks for the blogging
Biggest detached-from-reality moment of the evening: The Governor’s statement that we have a “predictable” funding formula for distributing state education aid, followed by a major applause of relief after he announced the formula would be funded — because no one could predict whether the state was going to distribute aid according to the “predictable” formula!
If Chafee’s thumbs were amputated,he’d be a mute.
“His barber, Ernie”
and I always thought he went to the same Supercuts as Ed Markey
What kills Rhode Island is the lack of “restricted funds accounts” (RFA)! If a program is collecting fees to be self-sufficient then those funds should be going into a RFA for use only by that program. My Federal program was almost self-sufficient except the GA would not approve a RFA for the program (4-years we tried) which was a requirement of the federal program thus we had to spend the income monies keeping income funds out of GA hands zeroing out our balance sheet and keeping funds out of the General Fund which the GA raids mostly for their own pet projects every year.
“Ken” has commented with not a single mention of Hawaii.:))
1. The thought that a Republican Congress is going to OK an internet tax and tolling I-95 is illusory.
2. The $60 million in welfare cuts are illusory.
3. No pension reform, no mandate relief.
The only funny part is the 3% whack to state “workers” and teachers.
If Carcieri had done this the Progressives would have burned his house down, along with the usual ethnic hate speech from the likes of sleazebag Matt Jerzyk.
Now, the unionists are silently taking it in the *** from the very progressive WASP golden boy they toiled to bring to power.
It appears to me that the Governor thinks his economic plan will come to fruition when the moon enters the seventh house, Jupiter aligns with Mars, and the impending planetary alignment creates a quantum singularity into which all our economic problems will disappear. That’s if the “Biggest Little” doesn’t collapse under its ever burgeoning debt load before December 21, 2012.
You forgot the passing of gay marriage and the arrival of more illegal immigrants. If those don’t happen, even planetary alignment won’t save us.