Fiscal Policy

Money pouring out of the Capitol Building dome.

Primer on the Insanity of the 14th-Amendment Solution

By Carroll Andrew Morse | May 21, 2023 |

Let’s go through all of the basics.  Most basic of all:  A debt remains real, even when you don’t have the money to pay it. And what makes a debt real? Basically, a debt is real when the parties who agreed to it and other parties around them agree that something bad will happen, if…

A house made of money

Ninety Million “Super” Contradictions to RI Officials’ Statements about Homelessness

By Monique Chartier | December 18, 2022 |

Addressing homelessness requires tracing the economic causes to their roots, including (for example) money provided to politically connected projects like the Superman Building rehab.

A credit card

The average Rhode Island taxpayer’s total debt-on-behalf-of-government is just shy of $900,000.

By Justin Katz | June 5, 2021 |

Here’s an eye-popping bit of information from Mark Tapscott, writing for Epoch Times: America’s national debt now exceeds $123 trillion, according to a new report, or more than four times the official figure of $28 trillion, as calculated by the U.S. Treasury Department at the end of March. Federal spending related to the CCP virus pandemic…

Budgeting for a Sequester

By Carroll Andrew Morse | February 28, 2013 |

Numbers between $17M and $25M are being reported as the cost of the sequester to Rhode Island state government spending. However, if a few state departments did nothing more than stay within their original FY2013 budgets, and the funding tentatively intended for their overruns could be intelligently redirected, the impact would only be about half…

The Governor’s 2014 Budget for Rhode Island in Historical Perspective

By Carroll Andrew Morse | January 17, 2013 |

Here is the recent history of Rhode Island state government expenditures updated to reflect the Governor’s proposed budget for 2014, made possible in part by the fast work done by the State of Rhode Island Budget Office to make the complete budget available on the website. As always, actual dollar amounts spent (or, in…

The Unmentionable Solution to the Fiscal Cliff

By Justin Katz | November 27, 2012 |

Watch public policy even for a short while and the trick becomes evident. Whether we’re talking my hometown of Tiverton, Rhode Island, (population 15,780) or the federal government, the maneuver is to claim increasing amounts of power and make sure that’s the one thing not on the table when something has to give. Thus, we…

Sequestration Cuts….aren’t

By Marc Comtois | September 15, 2012 |

Veronique de Rugy (h/t) explains the supposed “cuts” in sequestration: The sequester is an automatic budget enforcement mechanism triggered when the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction fails to enact legislation to reduce the deficit by $1.2 trillion over the sequestration period. Instead of simply passing appropriated funds to the agencies, the U.S. Treasury “sequesters”…

Rhode Island’s Decidedly Non-Austere State Budget History: (Third and Final Update)

By Carroll Andrew Morse | June 7, 2012 |

As the state budget goes before the full Rhode Island House today, here are a few graphics showing how this year’s spending fits into the longer-term pattern of Rhode Island state spending. This first graph shows a slight breather, in terms of current dollars, in the continuing growth in state budgets that has been occurring…

Ted Nesi’s Interview with David Skeel on the Basics of Municipal Debt

By Carroll Andrew Morse | March 2, 2012 |

3 points about Ted Nesi‘s WPRI-TV (CBS 12) interview with University of Pennsylvania Law Professor and bankruptcy expert David Skeel are worth immediately noting:In the first half of the interview, Prof. Skeel advances that same argument, based on current law, that we at Anchor Rising have been making from a wider historical perspective for a…

Balanced Budget Amendment Coming up For a Vote in Congress

By Carroll Andrew Morse | November 17, 2011 |

Part of the deal made earlier this year to increase the Federal debt-ceiling included taking votes in both the House and the Senate by December 31 on a balanced budget Constitutional amendment. The House is expected to take its vote by tomorrow. The main provisions of the the version of the amendment expected to be…