October 24, 2008

A CEO for Rhode Island

Justin Katz

Eleven "business and community leaders," and only one gives the right answer to the question of what 'can be done in the next 90 days to turn" RI's economy around. Here's Strategic Point Investment Advisors President and CEO David Brochu (emphasis added):

Governor Carcieri should announce the creation of a business advisory committee, made up of volunteers from the business community, to help new businesses form and enter the market. In addition, a new state office should be created to walk prospective businesses through the state's regulatory hurdles.

"We need to announce that Rhode Island is going to be the business incubator of the country," Brochu said.

In addition, Rhode Island should allow business owners to deduct passive losses, up to the amount of their investment, on their state tax returns. Brochu also called for an across-the-board tax cut of perhaps 10 percent until the unemployment rate falls to the national average, along with a 20 percent cut in state employment. In addition, he said, the state employees pension system should be terminated for people who are not already vested in it, with newer employees shifted to 401(k) plans. To pay for shortfalls in the state budget, including the underfunded pension system, the state should float a general obligation bond. "The bond issue will be greeted very well," he predicted. "The state will have cut its spending, get its pension system under control, and in two or three years, it's going to be in great shape."

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Excuse me but Governor Carcieri already has a group of business advisors which he meets at the Executive Development Center in Bryant University. He has incorporated the Rhode Island Economic Policy Council into an advisory council for the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation.

The Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation is the executive department that is charged with bringing in business, supporting and keeping business in State of Rhode Island and the director is appointed by the Governor.

Island Economic Development Corporation and its duties can be found at:


I thought you were for smaller government and not continued duplication of state government as Strategic Point Investment Advisors President and CEO David Brochu is suggesting.

Posted by: Ken at October 24, 2008 5:20 PM


Typically, when a writer italicizes something within a block of text, he or she means to emphasize that part of the text. In this case, the tax cuts are the part to which I was pointing.

Posted by: Justin Katz at October 24, 2008 5:51 PM


Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation with the approval of the Governor and input from the Rhode Island Economic Policy Council made up of business leaders has developed a 2008 Economic Growth plan which includes decreases in tax and regulatory burden on business addresses the current and future of Rhode Island.

Governor Carcieri, Executive Director, Saul Kaplan and the 25 business council members have things under control.

So I still am inclined to say it is a duplication of state government, effort and wasted money Strategic Point Investment Advisors President and CEO David Brochu is suggesting.

Posted by: Ken at October 24, 2008 7:08 PM

It's all about 401 k's folks. Unless state AND municipal workers are removed from the "retire in your 40's and get lifetime COLA's" scam the state will continue to sink like a rock.
Governor should call a special session to do this NOW.
Oh, and repeal the Caruolo Act and unfunded mandates too.

Posted by: Mike at October 24, 2008 9:23 PM

It's too bad that Carcieri is so intimidated by Laffey because he could really use his help. Laffey was on the money in this July commentary:


Posted by: Mike Cappelli at October 24, 2008 9:59 PM

Justin, really. How many more tax cuts for the rich are you going to advocate for before you acknowledge that they don't, and haven't, worked?

Posted by: Pat Crowley at October 24, 2008 10:00 PM

I'm not advocating for any more "tax cuts for the rich." I'm advocating for tax cuts for everybody!

Posted by: Justin Katz at October 24, 2008 10:18 PM

Welcome aboard, Justin. I've been insisting on tax cuts for everyone for ages.

Posted by: rhody at October 24, 2008 10:43 PM

Pat-there a lot of non-income related taxes that eat away at middle class and working class people-phone tax,auto tax,inventory tax(which kills small businesses),increased "fees" which are just taxes by another name,gasoline tax,etc.
Just what do you call "rich"?
There are born to the manor rich people in RI who probably don't pay much income tax because they don't work.I guess they pay tax on their interest,but it probably impacts them very little.
The proposed widened sales tax which would have extended to many services was pushed by Rep.Handy,an alleged "progressive"-what is progressive about a tax that affects every consumer?You think only "rich people"hire plumbers or landscaper/tree services"/and handy flat out lied to his peers in the House on the issue of diapers bearing a sales tax.The new tax would have been lower,but I'll bet you coffee for a year that it would have been nothing more than a teaser rate like on credit cards or some of those disastrous mortgages.In a year or so there would be a "temporary" increase in the rate"just to cover a budget shortfall"-see where I'm going with this?
I don't support a tax cut for millionaires,but I damn well am sick of tax increases on the working/middle class.
BTW I just don't believe Obama on his proposed middle class tax cut-he'll do a Clinton on us and go back on everything he is saying now.

Posted by: joe bernstein at October 26, 2008 12:33 PM
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