November 11, 2008

Another Bum Who Should Have Been Thrown Out

Justin Katz

House Finance Committee Chairman Steven Costantino tells Steve Peoples, essentially, "Hey, it ain't us":

"I'm not sure this is structural," Costantino said of the deficits. "It's the economy."

Well, yeah, the economy is partly to blame, but if Rhode Island's legislature uses that as their annual excuse not to make structural changes, a release of economic pressure in other states may cause the state to deflate. Working and middle class Rhode Islanders have already been fleeing for years; just wait until they've had a taste of recession and ours is among the last states handing out the recovery sorbet.

Once again: slash taxes, erase reams of licensing requirements and unnecessary regulations, invest in infrastructure (without borrowing), and give salable tax credits to charities for softening the blow to those whom the state can no longer afford to support.

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What a lying sack of sh**!

That video posted here before the election shows newspaper clippings that the scum in the General Assembly has been driving RI's economy toward the crapper for decades now.

How does the current "national economy" explain Jack Welch of GE telling ABC's "This Week" a couple of weeks ago that GE left Rhode Island 15 years ago because of the taxes here?

The billions of dollars in unfunded pension benefits was racked up long before the national economy went into the dumper.

Like I said, what a lying sack of sh**!

Posted by: Ragin' Rhode Islander at November 11, 2008 10:46 AM

While the RIGOP are the masters of having no message at all, the Dems are the clear masters of the misleading message and the persistent misinformation campaign. What’s left of the GOP have to challenge these misleading statements when they are made lest they become accepted as truth by most of the idiots who show up to vote on election day.

One of the biggest failure’s of the RIGOP is their inability to educate the voters.

Posted by: Frank at November 11, 2008 1:07 PM

Is it true the the senate gop is deadlocked in their leadership fight? 2 to 2? what morons!

Posted by: BOB at November 11, 2008 3:10 PM

If Neutron Jack had his way, business would run without employees at all.
He's just another fatuous rock star CEO who has helped bring us this recession.

Posted by: rhody at November 11, 2008 3:12 PM

The bums who should be thrown out are the people who think RINO 'go along to get along types' like Scott Avedisian, Allan Fung, Lincoln Almond, Dennis Algeire, ect...are actually Republicans.

The real bums are the people of Rhode Island. Cynical, provincial, risk- averse, "I gotta get mine" minded bums are the people of this retarded little state.

Posted by: Rasputin at November 11, 2008 3:43 PM

FYI, Jack Welch retired from GE about five years ago. Jeff Immelt has been CEO since then.

Welch was recalling GE's experiences in RI about fifteen years ago.
Bob W

Posted by: Bob W at November 11, 2008 4:45 PM

""I'm not sure this is structural," Costantino said of the deficits. "It's the economy.""


Seriously, Mr. Chairman, you needed to hand out oxygen tanks before saying that. A good part of your audience could have asphyxiated from laughter.

Posted by: Monique at November 11, 2008 7:58 PM

Mark my words-a state property tax is coming within the next 5 years.

Posted by: Mike at November 11, 2008 8:12 PM

Let's see. 2009 state budget. 2.831 billion for grants and benefits (Poverty Institute). 1.549 billion for personnel (public sector unions). 1.297 billion for aid to local governments (unions again). 48% of this is funded with General Revenue (with the personal income and sales taxes budgeted for about 1,100 billion each). 29% with money from the feds, and 23% from other sources (user fees, etc.).

Let's call it a $350 million deficit (and counting) on this FY 2009 budget (and remember, FY 2009 ends at the end of June 2009). With another $450 million deficit -- so far -- projected for FY 2010.

Since local governments have already budgeted that $350 in FY 2009, cutting that would pretty much mean "see you in bankruptcy court" (anything Vallejo can do, we can do better...).

That leaves sticking it to the Poverty Institute or the Unions -- and that's just in FY 2009.

Oh, and did I forget to mention that the actuaries will be demanding a HUGE increase in state contributions to those now even more woefully underfunded pension funds?

The more you get into the math, the clearer it becomes where this must end up.

Of course, if Kate Brewster or Bob Walsh or AFSCME thinks differently, it would be more than interesting to hear their views. But thus far, all we're getting is radio silence...

Posted by: John at November 11, 2008 11:49 PM

"2.831 billion for grants and benefits (Poverty Institute)"

John, you lost me on that one. What is it? Can you give a link to the budget you reference and the page that number is on?

Posted by: Monique at November 12, 2008 7:29 AM

Sorry about that Monique. The number comes from the Exec Summary of the 2009 budget. The pdf is on the budget office's website. The organizations in parentheses were just to note the main interest groups supported by, and arguing for, the major budget line items.

But the conclusion still holds: closing the increasingly big budget deficits through higher taxes just hastens the decline. Closing them through major cuts to state aid to local governments hastens the arrival of multiple municipal bankruptcies, and/or a sharp increase in property taxes as Paiva Weed sees the light and removes the cap. Closing the budget deficit through personnel spending cuts means fundamental changes to the pension system -- i.e., big benefit reductions. And closing them through cuts to human services spending means big hits to the "urban constituencies" and all those not-for-profits whose administrators have lived for years off state spending.

Hence the great hope for the Deus ex Washington solution to be delivered by saints Patrick (not that one), Jimmy, Sheldon and Jack.

Time will tell. But it is getting very, very ugly. And the GA leadership can't bring itself to admit that.

Frankly, I still don't understand why the Don just doesn't say, "I'm sick of the abuse. I resign. Let Liz takeover, and let the voters of this state discover that "it's all the Republican Governor's fault" was always nothing more than a convenient big lie."

Posted by: John at November 12, 2008 12:02 PM

>>Time will tell. But it is getting very, very ugly. And the GA leadership can't bring itself to admit that.

Not in public. In public they are Sergeant "I know NOTHING; I see NOTHING!" Schultz.

They have to know (though they probably don't care except insofar as it could impact their positions of power, and given the results of the last election that doesn't appear to be a major concern).

So they'll let Governor Carcieri be the spear catcher, the public face that the gullible public in Rhode Island will intuitively associate with the problems (and thus "responsible" for them). Hence the General Assembly leadership's "no show" at last week's economic conference.

Meanwhile the General Assembly "leadership" will continue to huddle in the back rooms on Smith Hill with the union bosses and welfare "advocates," i.e., their actual constituencies, rather than their theoretical constituencies, i.e., people that they are elected to represent.

The Democrat General Assembly is comprised of craven leadership and "sheeple" rank and file. They aren't part of the solution. Rather, they are the problem.

Posted by: Tom W at November 12, 2008 12:17 PM

"I'm not sure this is structural," Costantino said of the deficits. "It's the economy."

What a blooming idiot! I guess Mr. Costantino also subscribes that there is no financial problem that more money couldn't fix?

There is no question that RI has a business image problem, the economy has turned sour and there are less people in RI to contribute to the tax roles.
All three add up to the $800M elephant looking for water and hay.

Picture if you will the role of Mr. Costantino and the merrymen of the General Assembly piloting the RI economy aptly named The Titanic. Would they claim credit for a smooth sail until the dastardly iceberg pulled a hard right and struck the Titanic?

Posted by: Roland at November 12, 2008 9:13 PM
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