Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Governor Don Carcieri's incredible lack of leadership

Incredible! Unbelievable! Arrogant! Ignorant! Donald Carcieri! I understand that nobody likes a person that is just out there throwing names around with negative connotations. I'm sorry, but I'm mad. Donald Carcieri's latest attempt to attack state employees and demonize them is somehow worthy of a name of two.

Carcieri has called for Rhode Island government to shut down for12 days over the next 10 months in hopes of saving over $21 million at the expense of the state workers. Mr. "Business Man" should know that he will be taking $21 million out of the hands of small businesses around the state, as this loss of income for the employees represents disposable income. State employees will just have to put off buying that new refrigerator or TV or whatever. The employees will be cash strapped for the next year and will have to make significant sacrifices. They will continue to pay mortgage, taxes and other essentials, but will be severely limited in their disposable income. Restaurants, retail stores and other small businesses will enjoy the loss.

What's truly funny about some Republicans is that they continue to support Carcieri's position; after all, every Republican likes to scape-goat government. Blame the state workers! Go ahead - you brilliant thinkers that own small businesses throughout the state - go ahead and support Carcieri's handling of government. Your support is costing you money and many of you are just too stupid to realize it.

Of course, let's not forget that the biggest problem with the state today is the lack of revenue. Carcieri's plan just reduced revenue to the state by approximately $3.5 million (based on sales tax and income tax); but this is small compared to the financial loss to Rhode Island businesses. At every turn during the Carcieri years, our Governor chose the path of tearing apart state government. Carcieri has reduced the state work force to perilous levels. Federal money and Federal programs are being lost in this state because there are not enough employees in critical areas to get the job done. Carcieri does not care.

Carcieri has attacked the employee pension system with great success. With remodeled pensions, 3,000 fewer workers and no pay increases, you would think that Carcieri is saving all of us a lot of money. Think again! Go the the bottom line! Governor Donald Carcieri has just proposed a 9% budget increase for the next state fiscal year. Carcieri's budget request of $7.8 billion dollars is close to a $1 billion dollar increase over the previous year. While some of this represents stimulus money, Rhode Island can ill afford to follow this path. In Carcieri's new budget year, state employee salaries, benefit packages and pensions will represent approximately 17% of the entire $7.8 billion dollar budget.

Where the hell is the money going, Mr. Carcieri? How can you lock out state workers for 12 days at the same time you are increasing state spending by 9%? How can you raise state spending by 9% when the state is facing it's worst economic crisis since the Great Depression? Your leadership style is likened to Herbert Hoover on steroids. You have no clue. Carcieri's leadership and policy direction is killing the state.