April 28, 2007

Re: Poverty Rate Versus Tax Burden

Justin Katz

It's worth noting, as an addendum to Andrew's post, that the two metrics aren't merely correlative. A substantial portion of the tax revenue goes toward those sorts of programs that attract poor people to the state (see, e.g., here, here, and here). In other words, the option is more likely to be "all of the above," as more tax dollars go toward handouts, draining funds both from general public services (such as road upkeep) and from taxpayers' wallets, driving them out of state or into poverty.

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Ever notice the awesome silence from the Poverty Institute, One Rhode Island, Ocean State Action, Kids Count, Matt Jerzyk, Gordon Fox, Saint Theresa Paiva Weed, and the good Senator Alves on this issue? It speaks volumes. More and more public sector unions have (finally!) figured out what the game is about -- public pension checks or welfare checks (for TANF, RiteCare, subsidized daycare,etc. etc., etc.)-- but not both. The only really interesting question is when the teachers unions will overthrow their leadership over this issue. Maybe after the May Revenue Estimating Conference makes it clear the old game is over.

Posted by: John at April 28, 2007 10:31 PM

Good point John. I have often wondered how and when unions; public employee and other, managed to get catagorized with the Poverty Institute and RItecares of the world. By blindly endorsing Democrats and their relatively new agenda we (unions) have allowed ourselves to become pawns, used by our supposed leaders as examples of how their benovolance at taxpayer expense helps everybody. Worse, instead of dinstancing ourselves from these socialist causes, we are encouraged to embrace them. It is not easy or popular in the union halls to turn direction but I feel the beginnings of that turn. Conservatives need not be militantly anti-union. Unions need not be so against conservative ideals that we are blinded by reality. Change is slow, but there is a pebble in the pond of tranquility.

Posted by: Michael at April 29, 2007 10:37 AM

George Meany versus Bob Walsh. No contest.

Posted by: John at April 29, 2007 11:16 AM
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