January 21, 2010

The Uneducable Must Be Replaced

Justin Katz

With the legislature back in session, the press releases have resumed, and I'll tell ya: If all Rhode Islanders received them in their emailboxes and gave each a moment's thought, there might be more discouragement across the state. Those whom we elect don't seem to understand cause and effect and the 1,000-papercuts principle.

So, here we get Rep. Joanne Giannini (D, Providence) conspiring to ensure another incremental increase in the baseline cost of health insurance:

Legislation sponsored by Rep. Joanne M. Giannini would require health insurers to cover the cost of donor breast milk for infants who are severely allergic to formula and whose mothers are unable to produce milk.

"For women who, for whatever reason, are unable to lactate, formula is usually the solution. But for those whose babies are allergic to formula, donor breast milk is the only option, and although it is extraordinarily expensive, the child's life depends on it. That's exactly the type of extraordinary but critical health expenses that insurance should cover," said Representative Giannini (D-Dist. 7, Providence).

If the government is to the point of deciding every minute benefit that health insurance should offer, what need is there of a public option?

Then, we get Rep. Charlene Lima (D, Cranston) illustrating why Rhode Island's strategy of "targeted" tax cuts for businesses is an extremely diluted method, at best:

Representative Lima is calling for an immediate halt to the distribution of more [business] tax credits until the state has a system in place that complies with the requirements in the law that was passed allowing the tax credits. She is also calling for a temporary halt to film tax credits until it is proven that the state is getting enough value in return and making the tax credit dollars worthwhile to Rhode Island taxpayers. ...

To that end, Representative Lima will be submitting legislation today requiring any business applying for tax credits to sign a waiver of confidentiality and an affidavit stating they will turn over all financial records needed by the state to verify the benefit to the State of Rhode Island. Under the bill, before any tax credit can be issued to a business, those requirements must be met.

Additionally, any business already receiving tax credits would also be required to sign and comply with the waiver and affidavit or pay the state an amount equal to the tax credit previously given. Because the law already requires verification, any business not willing to turn over requested documents immediately would be breaking the law and would have to forfeit and reimburse the state for any tax credits given. Representative Lima said she will be asking the Attorney General to investigate any company unwilling to comply with the verification requirement.

So, the General Assembly passed targeted tax credits to attract and support economic development in Rhode Island, and because the government is having difficulty compiling data related to its targets, Lima wishes to shut the incentive down and hereafter require all businesses that wish to be developed to open up their books to the ravenous state. The next step, one supposes, is to have public battles over every bonus that a business receiving tax credits hands out.

What business would want to bind itself to a state in which this crew of clowns might swoop in on any given year and demand either financial documents or the return of tax credits already given? The state should stop with the "targeted" and stop with the presumed right to be invasive and just loosen its grip on the economy. Say it with me: cut taxes, eliminate mandates, lighten regulations across the board.

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Justin, do you get most of the Assembly's press releases? How about setting up a separate page to this site where you could post them as you get them. I'm guessing if you do get them, it's an electronic version and could just post it here. Then we could all see what's being put out and people can see the volume of it all.

Posted by: Patrick at January 21, 2010 11:01 AM

Let's hope that RI wakes up and throws out the likes of these two buffoons...

Murphy's Muppets need to go....

Posted by: Aldo at January 21, 2010 2:08 PM

Cut taxes, eliminate mandates, lighten regulations across the board.

Cut taxes, eliminate mandates, lighten regulations across the board.

Cut taxes, eliminate mandates, lighten regulations across the board.

Posted by: Monique at January 21, 2010 9:03 PM

AMEN Monique.

We've got the whole world's history to review and a high-tax, highly regulated environment will push business away. Couple those items with all the darn litigation and no one will ever have a job. I guess we (RIGA) will all feel better if we just keep attacking those who are left still working to give "to the greater good" by turning over everything they make. NO?

What a recipe for disaster!

Posted by: LetMeKeepMine at January 22, 2010 12:03 AM

What the Janus types at the Steak House apparently fail to appreciate is that as they, year after year, add more and more MANDATES to the coverage health care insurers must provide, THE PRICE HAS TO GO UP! Not THEIR problem, though, Harry Reid can reverse time, gravity, and basic economics with a thump of his magic twanger.

Posted by: Dick Tuck at January 23, 2010 7:03 PM
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