Even the stuff state lawmakers are proud of is wrong.

Sometimes I have to wonder whether I’m one of only a few people in the state who read about the policy doings of legislators and the governor and see the wall-to-wall violations of good government… and propriety.

The waves of borrowed cash that the federal government has injected into the veins of our incompetent and corrupt system for distribution have kicked up a disgusting mire:

Including money going directly to cities and towns or specific uses, Rhode Island has received $2.6 billion total from the American Rescue Plan. Of that, the $119 million is being drawn from a $1.1 billion largely State Fiscal Recovery Fund the state can use with relatively few strings attached. Rhode Island is one of the few states that haven’t tapped their Recovery Fund accounts.

For just about every other person who engages in commentary on these matters, the outrage is that the state has taken so long to get the money out, but the real outrage, as far as I can see, is the very idea that anybody would hand a collection of politicians, bureaucrats, and their special-interest satellites all this money with the instruction simply to spend it.

Has America gone crazy?  Even a glimmer of common sense would scream out that this is something that you just don’t do.  Even if you couldn’t write an editorial articulating the reasons, you know that it’s just wrong.

Well… for certain subsets of the variable “you.”

The examples that Patrick Anderson lists in his above-linked article are both pitiful in their limited scope and varied in the ways that they are objectionable.

Bonuses for childcare-workers sound nice, but the history reveals the problem.  A few years back, the state threw struggling labor unions a bone by beginning to allow them to unionize independent contractors whose only commonality (other than occupation) is that their clients receive government subsidies.  Now, they’re an organized special interest, and the public has no way of knowing whether the money is really justified or just a gimme to make the union look good.

Grants to small businesses might help, here and there, but spreading them out in relatively inconsequential amounts ensures that, for most of the recipients, they won’t act as a boost to the next level of operation, but just a little bit of a cushion in the near term.  And the fact that one-fifth of the money will be distributed not based on need, but purely on the skin color of the business owner, continues the Democrats’ gross racism.

Meanwhile, a supplement to a recent affordable housing bond does nothing to address the underlying causes of the problem and locks valuable property into this wrong-headed approach for decades.  Meanwhile, it raises the question of why the state isn’t doing things that any family would do with a massive windfall of money, like paying off debt.

Rhode Island’s civic problems may be too pervasive to fix until they lead to calamity, but if there is to be any hope, we need to stop and listen to our common sense as often as we can.


Featured image by Bermix Studio on Unsplash.

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