I’ve noticed something happening that perhaps nobody else has. It seems that government is getting more stingy with social programs or with state employees.
For example Governor Carcieri recently said:
He said he would unveil a plan in the next two weeks to cut $50 million from the benefits of those workers who survive his staff-reduction plan. And he will propose another $50 million in cuts to social programs for low-income Rhode Islanders.
I happen to know that when it comes to state employees the most generous benefit they get is health care. But last I knew that only cost the state about $12,000,000 a year. So where does the other $38,000,000 come from? Take away vacation accrual? Sick time? How about longevity bonuses, yep those are out the window. But I can’t see that adding up to much. I can see involuntary pay cuts coming for state employees.
But the other $50,000,000 he wants to cut from social programs. Things like aid for dependent children (AFDC), or RITECare. They’ve already lopped off thousands of kids by setting the age limit artificially low.
As it is unemployment insurance will only cover you for six months. I can remember when it used to cover you for upwards of a year or more. I also remember when people on strike could collect unemployment. That’s all gone. I wouldn’t put it past this asshole Republican Governor to try to eliminate that even if it is federally funded.
Why have things gotten so stingy? It is a very simple explanation. Ideologues of the trickle down theory state that by cutting taxes for the rich/businesses the benefits will trickle down to everyone else. This has never happened. Blame Reagan for even getting that into the vernacular let alone what it has done to all of us.
In essence the you have two entities who benefit most from lower taxes. And one of them is one that I constantly rally against. Because corporate interests essentially own legislatures, they’ll get all the tax cuts they want. In Rhode Island the tax breaks for projects are getting ridiculous. We’re essentially paying for private buildings with public funds.
It has to stop. People talk about the slippery slope, well we’re a good ways down that slope right now. What ever happened to caring enough about the people you represent not to fuck them into oblivion. Because that is precisely what is happening in Rhode Island right now. And I note with some chagrin that the state of Michigan essentially shut down state government because of a budget impasse. Rhode Island is headed in that direction too.
So lets stop being stingy and demand that we repeal tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% of the population. Lets put their backs to the wall and make government afraid of us once again.