September 4, 2008

How Unlike a Normal Young Man Is David Segal?

Justin Katz

Oh to have the financial liberty that David Segal makes evident through his priorities (emphasis added):

I can think of nothing that would attract young people to Rhode Island, and keep them around, at a higher rate than expanded transit, and expanded health care -- two services that have suffered the most, under the austerity measures that have been pushed by Chamber of Commerce, the Governor, and far too many characters in the Assembly.

From personal experience, as well as acquaintanceship with various "young people" throughout my thirty-three years, I'd hazard to suggest that those of us who are not full-time part-time legislators are more likely to be attracted to and remain in a place with employment opportunities aplenty than a tax hell with a unionized fleet of public designated drivers. And depending where one draws the line for "young people," I suspect that there isn't an age demographic with less reason to worry about healthcare coverage.

Me, I remained in Rhode Island owing to the gravity of a large traditional family, but inasmuch as Mr. Segal is more ideologue than practical provincialist, I don't imagine he'll be advocating for traditional family values as an economic foundation.

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I have met young Mr.Segal-he seems to really believe what he says,but the trouble is he seems to have absorbed an inordinate amount of socialist claptrap.He told me Guatemalans have a right to just come here whenever they want and we owe them that right because we overthrew Jacobo Arbenz in 1954 or so-the"duly elected government"-this stuff was tired old leftist propaganda when I was Segal's age.(and that is looong ago)-he doesn't seem to grasp the practical consequences of the legislation he proposes with regard to "immigrants"as he calls them.
Strangely enough he has submitted a bill or two that did make sense-in particular a reform of the probation system in RI.It is poorly thought out and a nightmare to administer,as I found out when I was an INS agent and worked very closely with RI Probation&Parole-the personnel there were excellent and hard working,but overwhelmed by an archaic setup and ridiculous case overload.
Segal has no idea what a person his age with children and a crappy job has to contend with.His support seems to be largely student/artist/aging hippie types.I think he feels cheated having missed the Sixties.
I wouldn't put him in a class with Steven Brown,who is old enough to know exactly what he's trying to do to this country.Brown is evil."Dr"Dan Weisman(a social worker with a Phd-he couldn't cure a hangnail)is his equally evil cohort at the RI ACLU.
Segal isn't even a Charley Bakst-he just lives in a world where he sees himself as some great emancipator to be.
That's no crime-it's the fact that he can get elected that makes me wonder if there is something in the water on the East Side.

Posted by: joe bernstein at September 4, 2008 6:40 PM

"expanded transit, and expanded health care"

Who pays for these goodies?

Posted by: Monique at September 4, 2008 6:53 PM

"expanded transit, and expanded health care"

Who pays for these goodies?
Posted by Monique at September 4, 2008 6:53 PM

Tee-hee. I guess when both your parents are millionaire doctors and you've already been feted to an elite prep school and Ivy League education you can devise ways to spend working peoples money to relieve your boredom.
as for who pays-well California Democrats, aided by a RINO governor are trying to raise the sales tax to a mind numbing 9.75%. But, only on a 3 year (begin laughter)"temporary" basis.
This is the real RI Future if slime like Jerzyk and Segal have their way.,0,7415714.column

George Skelton:
Capitol Journal
California needs a budget now, so save reform for later
Efforts to end fiscal irresponsibility are laudable, but the state is suffering.
George Skelton, Capitol Journal
September 4, 2008
SACRAMENTO -- The Legislature and the governor may have reached the point where the most responsible thing they can do is to be irresponsible.

Acting responsibly may be beyond their grasp. They may be incapable of passing a state budget that honestly balances the books, one that includes a combination of spending cuts and tax increases.

Now 66 days into the fiscal year without passing a spending plan -- a record -- it's perhaps time for the Legislature to produce another irresponsible budget that relies on borrowing and accounting gimmicks, one that digs the state deeper into its hole.

Yes, I'm serious.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger recently told me he'd veto such a "get out of town" budget. "I am very adamant about not creating more debt." That was commendable. But for many, the situation is becoming more dire by the day.

Hundreds of small business vendors who sell to the state aren't being paid. Many are struggling to keep their doors open. Same with nursing homes, community clinics, care centers for the disabled. . . . Also being stiffed are community colleges and some K-12 school programs.

In an economy short on cash, the state has held back $4.3 billion so far during the budget gridlock. And it's only going to get worse. If there's no budget in September, an additional $7.6 billion will be withheld, most of it from private enterprise.

Republicans are pushing for an emergency appropriation to pay Sacramento's victims. But, by law, the governor must request it. And he refuses, believing that would take the heat off the Legislature to compromise.

"The legislators are arguing and fighting, and I say to them, 'Get out of your ideological corners,' " Schwarzenegger told reporters Wednesday at a photo-op with local officials in Placerville, a Sierra foothill town represented by two GOP lawmakers he obviously was trying to pressure.

One later responded caustically in a prepared statement. "It is disappointing to see him travel from city to city to criticize members of the Legislature," said Sen. Dave Cox (R-Fair Oaks). "It is long past time to stay in the state Capitol, roll up our sleeves and do the nitty-gritty work of negotiating a budget."

Time also is of the essence if Sacramento is to avoid tossing bundles of money down a Wall Street rat hole.

The state normally borrows short term in September to even out cash flow. But if there's no budget, that borrowing could cost an additional $200 million to $500 million in interest. The politicians may have only another week or two to enact a spending plan and escape the lenders' gouge.

Credit Schwarzenegger and Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata (D-Oakland) for fighting the valiant fight and insisting that the state kick its addiction to borrowing.

They recently resisted behind-the-scenes efforts by Republicans in both houses and Assembly Democrats to devise a no-tax budget that relied on widespread borrowing, dipping into various state money jars, including local government and transportation accounts. That borrowed money would have to be repaid within three years at steep interest rates.

But the only practical way to avoid such borrowing and fill a $15.2-billion deficit hole is to raise taxes.

Schwarzenegger has proposed a temporary one-cent sales tax increase to raise roughly $4 billion. Senate Democrats have agreed. Assembly Democrats earlier proposed $6.7 billion in tax hikes on the wealthiest income earners (couples above $321,000) and on corporations.

But Republicans won't talk taxes -- at least not enough of them to pass a budget when an inane two-thirds majority vote is required. That means at least two Republicans in the Senate and six in the Assembly. The Senate seems doable; the Assembly practically impossible.

"Democrats have to realize we're not going to raise taxes," Assembly Republican Leader Mike Villines of Clovis told me. "Once they realize that, then we can negotiate a fair budget -- not a perfect budget."

Democrats already have given significantly on program cuts, although not enough for Republicans.

Assembly Democrats have agreed to pare schools $2.2 billion below what they normally would receive. Senate Democrats have signed off on the governor's $3.3-billion reduction.

Democrats have agreed to cancel state cost-of-living adjustments for welfare families and the impoverished aged, blind and disabled.

Everybody wants to raid public transit money.

Republicans advocate selling future lottery profits to an investor for $2 billion. "That's legally questionable" without voter approval, notes Assembly Budget Committee Chairman John Laird (D-Santa Cruz).

Schwarzenegger and Democrats -- but not Republicans -- seem within striking distance of a compromise on budget reforms aimed at preventing future deficits.

What's the answer for a budget deal? I asked Laird. "I don't know. We [Democrats] have proposed to do a little of everything. Republicans don't buy it."

This is an abysmal impasse, the worst I've seen.

One major problem is Republican lawmakers feel they owe nothing to Schwarzenegger. They view him as unreliable politically and philosophically. So the governor can't deliver any GOP votes. Hasn't so far, anyway.

Maybe they'll all surprise us and act responsibly. But it needs to be soon. Even an irresponsible budget is better than none as fall approaches.

Call it a season and wait until next year. The team's bound to get better.

Posted by: Mike at September 4, 2008 8:49 PM

I have met Segal several times and he has been wearing the same clothes each time.I would guess he shops at walmart(gas station pants) Is he homeless or does he only like to spend other people's money?

Posted by: observer at September 4, 2008 11:59 PM

I believe Mr. Segal to be "thrifty" personally ... too bad he isn't nearly as thrifty with other people's money.

PS From what I've heard from my Dem friends on the East Side (and in the small portion of East Providence within his district), Mr. Segal has a real chance of losing his own party's primary next Tuesday. That'd just be terrible! ;)

Posted by: Will at September 5, 2008 2:30 AM

NOTE TO ALL, especially Mr. Segal and his friends, the second post above from Observer was not made by me, your usual oberver. Someone else is posting using the name "Observer". I thought that wasn't possible, but I guess I'm wrong. Justin, can you look into it when you get a chance.

Posted by: observer at September 5, 2008 6:21 AM

It's hilarious when these youngin's with an entry level job and an apartment want to start increasing social services and give away the store to teachers unions and the like. Where does the money come from? They have no idea. Not from them. They don't pay property taxes, they don't have kids in the schools seeing how poorly they are taught.

"If you're not a liberal in your 20s, you don't have a heart. If you're not a conservative in your 40s, you don't have a brain."

Posted by: James L at September 5, 2008 10:13 AM

Mike - Scary article about California. Can there be any other moral to the story than: get your spending under control?

Posted by: Monique at September 5, 2008 12:57 PM

It sounds like Mr. Segal missed his true calling as a "community organizer".

Seriously, it's obvious that Segal doesn't understand the challenges faced by blue collar workers or middle class families, but those aren't the groups that he represents.

His base of support comes from the wealthy left-wing intelligensia, limousine liberals, students and the coffee shop artist-types that populate the East Side of Providence. Segal is emblematic of the left-leaning, privileged enclave that he represents. And frankly, that's what a "representative" is supposed to be.

For all I know, RIPTA service may be a major issue among college students who have no where to park. However, I certainly don't believe that increased RIPTA service will draw young people to RI.

Segal's comment that better healthcare would draw young people has been proven incorrect. Young people are usually the single healthiest demographic and care less about heathcare issues than just about any other group.

So I have no problem with Segal getting elected on the East Side, but his comments do convey the naivete that you might expect from someone with his age and experience.

Posted by: Anthony at September 5, 2008 2:08 PM

Based on my experience for a year on the 22 RIPTA Route -

Take away the state-sheltered drunks, state-employed zombies and the Providence school kids taking the bus for 1/2 the distance I walked to school as a kid, you're left with about 3 people actually taking the bus for a productive purpose each morning.

The drunks, who, by the way make up for about 70 - 80% of the riders in the AM between 5:30 and 9:00, ride for free, as part of their "public assistance". No doubt there's a discount for the students too. (As an aside, I'll give the drunks credit for one thing, they were much more likely to give up their seat for an senior than the students.)

So take away the free rides, cut state payroll and make Cicilline use his own school buses... the resourceful people who are left will find a way to stay productive... and you don't need RIPTA!

Posted by: George at September 5, 2008 4:41 PM
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