Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Guv Carcieri's Budget Follies

I actually had some time today to ready the latest issue of the "Rhode Island Policy Reporter." This issue focuses on the current budget and has excellent, readable, and understandable info. Tom Sgouros is an excellent writer. He is also an excellent speaker. I heard him speak this Fall in Newport about public education. He did an outstanding job and also brought a copy of his education report.

Reading it brings to mind reporter Joe Baker's recent weekly column in "The Newport Daily News." "Don't Let Facts Get in the Way" in which he examines the Guv's and the Republicans' mantra of "let people keep more of their money," and that R.I. is a magnet state for the poorest who flock here to take advantage of our "overly-generous" benefits.

This reminds me of the "shared decision making" which was the all the rage in schools a few years ago (the fads are never-ending in education, each one promising that it has "The Answer"). My friend, Newporter Eileen Brown referred to it as "They make the decisions and then they share it with us." It's all just conversation mimicking as irrefutable fact.

While the Guv has no proof of the "magnet" label, nor does anyone else, the part about keeping more of your money sounds attractive, doesn't it? But how it really translates (and there is proof of this) is that the rich get to keep more of their money while the rest of us are lucky to see a few hundred bucks, if anything.

Joe uses an opposing argument (actually far more valid) that all these budget crunches across our district, state, & country are the result of a carefully crafted Republican plan. You know it. The "starve the beast" crap. Cut federal funding/responsibility so that government services just no longer exist. Privatize schools and everything else. Eliminate those bad Unions and keep that cheap immigrant labor coming in.

"What's good for business is good for America." Free markets, capitalism reigns uninhibited & unregulated (history evidently taught us nothing here), and less government is better. Oh, and keep us at war constantly (distract like crazy), side-track us on religious issues, and "spin" like there's no tomorrow.

"So with even less money coming in to state coffers, something has to go. And when you have to go about cutting back on programs that help the poor, it's a much easier sell if you paint it in such a way that makes those folks look like leeches living off the blood of hard-working taxpayers."

Those poor people, immigrants, Union people are the real cause of ALL our problems. Hey, I thought that the "Big Audit" was going to put us back on track and save us all millions, billions, trillions. "... almost all stories about government should begin: "Look out! They're about to smack you around again!" (Molly Ivins) Cut taxes for the rich & screw everyone else - that's what it's all about, Alfie. "He might be a lousy but photographic guv, but he's OUR lousy and photographic guv." (Eileen) And, don't I know it, there have been plenty of Dems to help him out.

But read Joe's article - he's a better writer. You have less than a week, though, before it disappears.

Erin Go Bragh!


Just another brick in the wall said...

All too true, but I do have 1 question were can I get this "Rhode Island Policy Reporter." I would love to know more. I think your writing is great and should keep up the good fight!

Anonymous said...

I'll graciously accept any compliments, so thank you!

The RI Policy reporter is:

He's a good writer & speaker also.

Visit often & please comment or write me at Contact (top left of blog). Sometimes it gets lonely.