A Week of Thoughts
A couple things about this story where the Institute for International Sport can’t account for a few hundred thousand dollars that it got from the state in the form of a legislative grant. When Kathy Gregg is calling, chances are that it isn’t going to end well for you. Second, if this money was given to them in 2007 for the purpose of erecting a building, why did it take until 2012 for the issues to be discovered? Who was checking on the status of the deal since then? Is the state only paying attention now because of the current fiscal crisis? The Assembly needs to be equally protective of taxpayer money regardless of the financial times.
One of the issues in Providence is that so far, the city hasn’t been able to match all the savings and income with what was budgeted. Why was the city allowed to pass a budget on such intangible things like moving the retirees over to Medicare and banking on $7M in additional income from the tax-exempts? This sounds like a little bit of irresponsibility on the side of the budget makers.
I wish Tim Wakefield a happy retirement. He seems like a nice enough guy, but how would I know? Why is it that when professional athletes or celebrities are maligned in the press, we hear, “You don’t know the real me” but then when they’re praised, the subject of the praise accepts it all?
Why do some people keep claiming that the government can simply force insurance companies to not charge people for birth control? Let’s look at this another way. What if the government also decided that it’s in the country’s best interests to have people eat oranges. So Congress decreed that every American should get one free orange per week. No, Congress isn’t going to pay for them, the grocery stores must make them free to their shoppers. Do you really think the grocery store would simply absorb that cost or would they increase the price of everything else to cover the cost of the free oranges?
On to the topic of people like Warren Buffett and Mitt Romney and John Kerry paying very low income tax rates. The reason for this is because these people mainly derive their income from investments. The capital gains tax rate is 15%. So if all of your income is from capital gains, you pay a 15% tax rate, minus other offsets. Is this a bad thing? They’re investing in companies and taking risk. Plus, how did they get the money to invest in the first place? Quite often, they did that through regular work, and they invested their income that was already taxed at the top tax income tax rates. So basically, these people earned their money, paid taxes on it, then invested in businesses, reaped the rewards and were taxed a second time on that. Now, many are suggesting that we should tax them at an even higher rate on that second set of taxes? Is that what Sheldon Whitehouse wants to do with his so-called “Buffett Rule”?
Why is it that a few years ago when Bush was in office and gas prices spiked, it was the “Texas Oil Man” and his friends in Texas controlling the market and personally benefitting from it. The day he left office, the price was $1.79. Today, gas prices are around $3.60. Does the person occupying the Oval Office still have much to do with the price of gas or were those Bush detractors actually full of hot air?
This week in the Providence Journal was a story where the former mayor of Central Falls, Thomas Lazieh asked the state’s receiver, Robert Flanders to leave. If I’m not mistaken, current Mayor Charles Moreau asked the state to appoint a receiver. I guess it is true that you should be careful of what you ask for.
Also in the Journal was a story that the local hospitals aren’t interested in the I-195 land that is now available for sale. I guess this shouldn’t be too surprising, as the mayor of Providence has been rattling his saber about getting more property tax or PILOT money out of the hospitals. At this point, they have no idea how that’s going to turn out, so if they do have money in reserve, it would make sense to sit on it and see how it turns out. Plus, as mentioned by Buddy Cianci this week, if they were to make a multi-million dollar offer for that land, it’s much harder to go back to Providence and claim to not have money for property taxes.
This week, Jack Reed supported a bill that would extend the payroll tax cut but also reduced the amount of time that RI’s unemployed can receive benefits by 16 weeks. Why is it that if a Republican supports something like that, they are destroying the working man, but if Jack Reed supports it, not a word is spoken?
Providence is now requiring all of its property owners that receive the homestead exemption to prove that their vehicle(s) are registered in Providence. This makes sense as some around the state have noticed the high incidence of Florida and dealer license plates. Does it really make sense to see so many Florida plates in RI in the middle of winter? Even if they are snowbirds, shouldn’t they be in Florida now?
It looks like Providence College student and Maine resident Christine Rousselle might have been on to something with her article about the welfare abuses she witnessed while working at Walmart. New efforts in Maine have cracked down on these abuses and other overpayments of about two million dollars.
Earlier in the week, I wrote about a bill that would essentially put an end to the need for political parties and brought back up the idea that voters could basically sabotage a primary. This week, Ted Nesi suspected that David Segal may have paid pollsters to check his viability for a second run for Congress. If Representative Brien’s bill were made law, I could see this as a primary that maybe Republicans would be interested in. It seems that there will be no primary opponent for Republican Brendan Doherty, so why not jump over to the Democratic primary if the choice was between Cicilline and Segal. As damaged and poor a candidate that Cicilline is, for some reason voters still like him. Segal is more of an unknown and he’s very much on the liberal side of most issues. When voters are presented with a very young and very liberal option in Segal against a widely respected candidate like Brendan Doherty, the result could end in the Republican’s favor. As for Brien’s bill, I’ll say it again, be careful of what you wish for Dems.
One nice part about finishing my weekly thoughts is that now I can go read the similar article on Nesi’s Notes. I usually try to abstain from reading his (who started doing this about the same time as I did) until I’m done, to avoid any heavy borrowing.