And If There Are No Gold Mines Under Kennedy Plaza, How About (Crazy Thought) Monitoring the Tax Dollars That We Distribute?

Thank you, Andrew.

Let me get this straight. A city that has no money, because it spends more than it takes in, is loaning money to an organization that receives all of its money from public sources — raising the question of how the “loan” will be paid back — …
… the Rhode Island solution to ProCAP’s problems seems to be to pile new debts on an already bankrupt organization that has no taxpayer-independent source of revenue with which to pay them back. Does Rhode Island’s governing class really think that this is legitimate, rational finance?

One of the creditors to be listed in ProCAP’s filing will be the City of Providence for health coverage loaned to ProCAP to the tune of $1,000,000. But if ProCAP gets

“96% of its…revenue from taxpayers”

will the taxpayers be paying themselves back for the health coverage loan???
This is grotesque.
Whether it’s disability pensions, welfare, medicaid or tax-payer funded quangos like ProCAP, THIS STATE NEEDS TO START EXERCISING SOME OVERSIGHT WITH TAX DOLLARS.
Here are some eminently reasonable, even minimalistic, questions to ask and answers to verify on a REGULAR BASIS before our tax dollars are handed out:
– Are you truly disabled?
– Do you qualify for this social program? Are you drawing benefits in more than one name?
– Are you actually the food stamp recipient or did you pay cash for that EBT card at half off?
How many staff members does it take to (fill in the blank) operate a heating oil program / administer a health program / oversee a youth program / tutor / steer people to govt housing programs? By this standard, is your organization overstaffed because you’ve decided (outrageously and unsustainably and possibly criminally) to try to end poverty by putting a bunch of people into do-nothing jobs at taxpayer expense???
When handing out tax dollars, our government, on both the state and local level, needs to do more than rotely fill out forms and then disseminate those funds on auto pilot. From the iron-pumping “disabled” firefighter (who highlighted the sky-high and patently unbelievable rate at which public employees retire “disabled”) to the absurdly over-staffed “community” organization to medical care and nursing home beds given to illegal aliens to local shops which purchase EBT cards for half the face value, it is clear that our elected officials have been scandalously careless with our dollars.
It needs. To. End. We need to spend as much – I’d settle for HALF as much – on the verification end as we do on the distribution of tax dollars. If that means less money for the distribution side for a while, so be it. The continued squandering of our tax dollars in the current fashion is a flagrant display of craven and depraved irresponsibility, both to the taxpayer and to those who truly need or have earned those dollars.

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11 years ago

“It needs. To. End.”
I concur with this statement not as a policy recommendation, which is perhaps the sense in which it was intended, but as a fundamental principle of economics. It has also appeared in the form of Herbert Stein’s Law, most commonly phrased as, “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop,” or “Trends that can’t continue, won’t.” Rhode Island’s chronic waste, corruption, overgenerosity in progressive social programs, corporatist tax deals, bailouts, and failed central economic planning cannot go on forever, so they will stop.
The most prudent advice is to not be physically or financially present in the state when it does, in fact, all come crashing down. Maybe 50 or 100 years after the fact, the state will again be suitable for human habitation. But not the year or decade in which it ends. That would not be wise. Entire generations have now existed and multipled in Rhode Island who have known nothing except an extremely generous government check that arrives in the mail each month. When those checks stop arriving, the unkept doors will slowly creak open on their rusted hinges, and what wanders forth into the post-apocalyptic landscape in search of government lifeblood will be a howling scourge unto the few producers left, holed up in their worthless, overmortgaged, unsellable suburban homes.
It’s not like anyone at this point can argue that they didn’t see it coming. Progressives, maybe…

11 years ago

“It has also appeared in the form of Herbert Stein’s Law, most commonly phrased as, “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop,” or “Trends that can’t continue, won’t.”
My personal favorite is, “When all is said and done, more is said and done.”

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