Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tax and Spend and the Cult that is Republican

Governor Carcieri released the State budget on Tuesday and I'm almost speechless. If any of you radio talk show cultists think that Carcieri is for the common man, then you need to get an immediate appointment at Butler Hospital. This proposed budget lays the groundwork for economic ruin in Rhode Island. I know that "cult" is a strong word here and I do not wish to offend any of my Republican friends. A cult can be defined as a small group that venerates a person or ideal. Seems like most cults are always after your money. I know it sounds funny because we're used to hearing Democrats accused of this behavior; but in this case, it's the Republican after our money. I hope I make my case below.

Let's go to the bottom line. A proposed $7.62 billion budget compared to last year's $6.92 billion is a 10% increase. While there is a need to budget for the economic stimulus, this budget reflects this and then some. His budget will force over 1000 additional state employees into retirement which will seriously impact the operation of government for a decade. I want to remind folks that state employee costs in this year's budget were approximately 20% of the total. State employee salaries, benefits and pensions only cost approximately $1.4 billion now. In the new budget, the state employee burden will decline to approximately 17% of the bottom line.

When this proposed budget runs into huge deficits, Carcieri will scapegoat employees again. This is what he likes to do. He will lay the blame for future deficits squarely on the backs of working people. Last year's budget costs every man, woman and child in Rhode Island $7000 annually (Federal dollars are considered here because our state also budgets Federal dollars; but that is another stupid story to tell). Next year's budget will cost $7,600 for each person.

Now; how does Carcieri's plan get to the bottom line? Let's take a close look and keep in mind how each decision will affect you, your family and your children.

The plan to lower taxes: Reduce the corporate income tax and phase out by 2014. Gee; who's going to make up the difference? Top personal income tax will drop from 9.9% to 5.5%. Gee; who's going to make up the difference? The estate tax bottom will increase to $1 million. Gee; who's going to make up the difference?

The plan to raise revenue: Increase the cigarette tax. Gee; who buys cigarettes? Raise the fee to reinstate a suspended license. Gee; what demographic does this go after? Impose a 2% tax on health care insurers. Gee; who's going to be paying for this?

The plan to lower expenditures (which is an oxymoron because expenditures increase 10%): End the 3% COLA on July 1 for all retirees. Gee; sounds like more scapegoating of public employees here and how will the State be able to function with a seriously depleted workforce? Eliminate all revenue-sharing monies for the State's cities and towns. Gee; I wonder who's going to pay for this reduction? Abolish the Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Elderly program. Gee; I wonder what's going to happen to all of these elderly people? Gee; I wonder why he's lowering any expenditure when he's proposing to raise the budget by 10%?

You know why? He has to have mechanisms to pay for all of the tax breaks to his wealthy friends and to the corporations in this State. So who is Carcieri trying to impoverish? The answer is clear; the common man, middle income citizens, the poor, you and me.

Are people going to let him get away with this? This to me embodies the sick ugly cult that is today's Republican. Republicans tend not to be about "we the people", their more about personal greed. Nothing speaks to this better than the proposed budget of Donald Carcieri.

To the cultists that follow Rhode Island talk radio. Wake up! Carcieri is not for the common man. If you need a ride to Butler Hospital, let me know.

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  1. Wow! I'm impressed with some Republican comments to the Carcieri budget. They are starting to sound like Democrats. Bob Watson admitted that the budget was an outright attack on the middle class. Good for you Bob.

  2. Carcieri is a disaster and hates all public employees