Governor Carcieri looks less than politically nimble with his abrupt backtracking on the furlough issue. While hitting state workers with a one (or 1.75) percent pay cut may play well with part of the public, the General Assembly seems unlikely to go along, so it may come to nothing other than an empty symbolic stance.
Although Governor Carcieri publicly projects a sense of optimism, the state -- to at least some extent -- has gotten bogged down in budget problems and the ongoing federal probe of State House influence-peddling. Despite all this, the governor struck a characteristically upbeat tone during a taping today of WPRI-WNAC's Newsmakers
In a short piece to be published in this week's Phoenix, Brian C. Jones takes a look at the budget math of how Governor Carcieri has proposed taking about $15 million in state child-care subsidies from thousands of low-income families -- about the same amount of state revenue eliminated with last year's upper bracket tax cut:
The bill has come due for about a decade in which state spending has grown at more than twice the rate of inflation. While Governor Carcieri and the General Assembly have their work cut out in trying to make sense of Rhode Island's structural deficit, it's curious that the governor did not budget any more money for drug treatment.
It's become somewhat of an article of faith for a surprising number of people that Rhode Island is a welfare magnet. This kind of thinking helped to propel last year's state tax cut for the affluent, and it animates a considerable amount of discussion on talk-radio and elsewhere. Well, guess what? Brian C. Jones makes the case that Rhode Island is not a welfare magnet