Nobody on the People’s Side

Governor Donald Carcieri was limited in what he could accomplish, given the degree to which the Rhode Island Constitution favors the legislature, but at least he offered a different view. This tidbit, from the end of the article to which I linked earlier, is apt to give a taxpayer the hopeless sense that there’s nobody on his or her side:

Asked at the time if the entire tax package was dead, House Finance Committee Chairman Helio Melo said that was not how he interpreted Fox’s statement.
More recently, Melo acknowledged the lawmakers were exploring many options, including: how much the state might raise by extending the state’s narrow sales tax to items already taxable in Massachusetts, and lowering the 7-percent rate by some amount, though not as much as the 6 percent that Chafee proposed.

Increasing taxes in the current national economy, with Rhode Island and Rhode Islanders experiencing pack-leading pain, should be a non-starter. I mean:

“It seems that almost every bit of data about the health of the US economy has disappointed expectations recently,” said [M&G Investments fund manager Mike] Riddell, in a note sent to CNBC on Wednesday.


“Interest rates are amazingly low and that, thanks to Ben Bernanke, is driving everything,” [market strategist Peter]Yastrow said. “We’re on the verge of a great, great depression. The [Federal Reserve] knows it.

Meanwhile, indications are that the current crew running Rhode Island are exceedingly unlikely to arrest the state’s death spiral.

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