A message in a bottle at the beach

Rhode Island Republicans need a new policy strategy.

By Justin Katz | January 30, 2023 |

Two stories in the news recently have been nagging at me in combination over the past week.  The first is the Republican response to Democrat Governor Dan McKee’s State of the State address, as delivered by Senate Minority Leader Jessica de la Cruz.  Here’s the part that resonates particularly oddly: Where McKee called for cutting…

A behind the back cash bribe

Rhode Island’s privileged class may begin getting more than half off its property taxes.

By Justin Katz | January 27, 2023 |

Once upon a time, the common wisdom was that government work couldn’t compete with the private sector for pay but made up for it in benefits and job security.  Whether that was ever true, I don’t know, but it has long been the case that government workers in Rhode Island get the best of all…

Liquid pouring into an invisible glass

Politics This Week with John DePetro: The Defining Problem (and Opportunity) of RI

By Justin Katz | January 25, 2023 |

John DePetro and Justin Katz find evidence of the missing ingredient in RI politics everywhere.

A house made of mone

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.

Don't Think, Don't Ask, Pay Tax, Vote for Us

We really should rethink this whole income tax thing.

By Justin Katz | April 25, 2022 |

Socialist Rhode Island state senator Sam Bell (Democrat, Providence) has gotten a good deal of richly deserved negative pushback over truly terrible legislation he submitted in the state General Assembly (which is not to say that some of the correspondence he’s received hasn’t gone too far).  As the cosigners on Bell’s legislation back away from…

A water drop and ripples

Something as reasonable and helpful as temporarily eliminating the gas tax has no chance in RI.

By Justin Katz | February 23, 2022 |

Well, we have to thank Rhode Island Republicans for trying: The Rhode Island Senate Republican Caucus is proposing the state eliminate gas tax for the remainder of the year. “We want to direct the influx in tax revenue back to residents and provide relief from the crushing pain at the pump,” Senate Minority Whip Jessica…

RIPEC state revenue and spending infographic

RIPEC’s recommendation to slow spending is based on obvious facts.

By Justin Katz | February 17, 2022 |

Perhaps the key detail to be found in the report and interactive tools that the Rhode Island Public Expenditures Council (RIPEC) just released is to be found at the top of its associated infographic.  As shown in the featured image of this post, although Rhode Island is the 18th state in the country for per…

A water drop and ripples

What does the BBB Act stand for, anyway?

By Justin Katz | January 27, 2022 |

From Preston Brashers’s report, the three Bs appear to stand for “Build Bureaucracy Bigger”: The Build Back Better Act has several provisions that make Congress less accountable for U.S. tax policy and give unaccountable bureaucrats more control. The act would (1) give the IRS more regulatory authority, (2) task IRS agents with finding new revenues,…

A water drop and ripples

Property taxes shouldn’t interfere in the price mechanism for real estate.

By Justin Katz | January 27, 2022 |

As I’ve written before, when considering a state’s mix of all the different taxes, I’m not as bothered by high property taxes as other folks on the hawk side of the taxation spectrum.  That said, the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council (RIPEC) makes a good point that differentiations between different types of property should be…

A water drop and ripples

Here’s a great response to demands for student debt cancelation.

By Justin Katz | January 12, 2022 |

Robert Wiblin gets to the economics of student debt cancelation in a dead-on way with this comment: Cancelling student debt is good but we could do more. The government should also tax non-college grads in order to fund a $5,000 annual gift for all college grads as a way to show appreciation for how smart…