Basic Government Functions

Mike Stenhouse and Ken Block

There’s a direct connection between unreasonable costs for government and unreasonable taxation.

By Justin Katz | May 13, 2021 |

On his In the Dugout show, yesterday, Mike Stenhouse implicitly made that connection.  On the one hand, Ken Block was on the show to talk about firefighter overtime abuse in Warwick, while on the other hand, pollster Jim Eltringham addressed public opinion on a proposed Transportation & Climate Initiative gas tax.  Stenhouse also leveraged his baseball connections…

A mailbox

Why is Rhode Island so often on “ten worst” lists?

By Justin Katz | May 3, 2021 |

The Foundation for Government Accountability has published a short report titled, “Top 10 Examples of Outrageous Unemployment Fraud in 2020 — And How to Fix It.”  Most of the blurbs concern specific fraud rings or techniques, but Rhode Island’s entry is more general: Ocean State Drowns in Fraud As recently as October 2020, Rhode Island…

A room with pealing paint

Watch out for attempts to resell you, for more money, what you’ve already paid for.

By Justin Katz | April 29, 2021 |

A line from Joe Biden’s speech yesterday should be a discussion point about how we look at public policy and at education.  Eric Quintanar highlighted it for the Daily Wire: “Twelve years is no longer enough today to compete with the rest of the world in the 21st century. That’s why my American Families Plan guarantees…

Tax Foundation infrastructure user fees map

The problem with user fees (for RI) is that direct and comprehensible spending thwarts grift.

By Justin Katz | April 26, 2021 |

How about a fun, wonky post?  The featured image that you see is a Tax Foundation map ranking states by the percentage of their infrastructure spending that is funded by user fees.  In the Tax Foundation’s views, higher user fees are preferable: Both the federal government and the states raise revenue for infrastructure spending through…

Monkey hear no, see no, speak no evil statues

Politics This Week with John DePetro: Many Ways to Ignore Core Problems

By Justin Katz | April 19, 2021 |

For their weekly conversation, John DePetro and Justin Katz discuss Governor Daniel McKee avoiding the underlying problems at Zambarano, the media ignoring the underlying violence of BLM rallies, Providence ignoring the underlying issues with public safety, and the implications of fundraising results from Congressmen James Langevin and David Cicilline.

WPRI chart of mental health calls in Providence

Prevention isn’t in RI (government)’s interest.

By Justin Katz | April 19, 2021 |

Along the defund-the-police line, Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza recently released the results of a Walmart-family-funded study concluding that a “prevention-first approach” to public safety would “create a healthier, safer, and more just Providence,” but residents might wonder what “prevention-first” really means. Public Safety Commissioner Steven Paré has lauded Eugene, Oregon’s CAHOOTS program, which stands for…

Notebook Entry: “Secretary of Commerce vs. RICWFA paradox”

By Carroll Andrew Morse | April 5, 2013 |

A brief exposition of an entry put down in an actual dead-tree notebook, referring to a news-subject worth watching, at a time where there is certainly no shortage of subjects vying for public attention… Secretary of Commerce vs. RICWFA paradox — A group of Rhode Island leaders led by General Treasurer Gina Raimondo announced a…

How’s That Fraud Squad Doing? Let No One Be Exempted from Their Scrutiny

By Monique Chartier | March 24, 2013 |

Very good editorial, entitled “Waste-and-fraud report”, in today’s Providence Journal. Mr. Block came back with what was a first glance at the problem; he lacked the data to do a more extensive survey. But he found signs of serious fraud just below the surface — demonstrating that our elected officials and bureaucrats should better monitor…

Keep Christ in Christmas, but the Government Out

By Patrick Laverty | November 30, 2012 |

Ok, so there’s this green tree kerfluffle thing at the Statehouse. People are making a big deal over it and what name the Governor chose to refer to it. He even went on the Bill O’Reilly show last night to talk about it, and I think he did better than I expected. I wish he…

Big Storms and Big Government

By Carroll Andrew Morse | October 31, 2012 |

From Walter Russell Mead of the American Interest, in a blog post titled “Hurricane Sandy and the Perils of Nanny State Governance”…The problem with nanny state governance isn’t just that it’s intrusive. It isn’t just that it stifles business with over-regulation, and it isn’t just that it empowers busybodies and costs money. It’s that it…