Doesn’t RI have more fundamental financial needs than high-speed rail and an aquarium?
Sometimes RI’s most essential problem (the failure of its insider class to recognize reality) comes at us from all directions. One example is the call from Joseph Paolino to use the feds COVID gift to Rhode Island government “to change our economy.” How?
Let’s look at what our state really needs and invest in them — things like high-speed rail, like they have in Europe and Asia, that will get us to Boston in 20 minutes and New York in 90 minutes and reduce emissions. This is a real possibility that we’ve talked about for decades and now have the opportunity to make it a reality. Let’s invest in green energy, life sciences, education, affordable housing, and big community projects like expanding access to sewers and municipal drinking water in more rural areas like Jamestown, Scituate and Burrillville, to name a few.
The wish list grows from there: an aquarium in Providence, doubling the number of union teachers in the state. The state’s $1.2 billion windfall is a lot of money, but it’s not enough to everything Paolino lists.
Just catch up on basic infrastructure without raising new revenue. It’s that simple. Unfortunately, our insider class wants to be able to play with its big ideas at our expense.