Bob Plain is the editor/publisher of Rhode Island's Future. Previously, he's worked as a reporter for several different news organizations both in Rhode Island and across the country.

6 responses to “Chafee Takes Economic Center Stage Tonight”

  1. DogDiesel

    But in offering the poorest communities relief from labor laws, he tried to do so in a way that would have hurt the same working class people he was hoping to help.”

    What relief from labor laws did he offer?

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    1. DogDiesel

      Wow! I even get a thumbs down for asking a question. It must be because everyone is so ‘tolerant’ on RIF.

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  2. Moderate

    “This idea [elimination of tax breaks] should be popular with small business.”

    HAHAHA.  That is very funny.  Small business most certainly (the ones that I know that employ most of the workers in our economy) do not support a tax structure that makes RI uncompetitive with MA.

    First of all, they aren’t tax breaks.  The lowering of the rate makes RI competitive with MA.  When we are not competitive with MA we LOSE BUSINESSES, WHICH LOWERS TAX REVENUES, WHICH MAKES IT HARDER TO PROVIDE NECESSARY SOCIAL SERVICES.

    Why am I yelling?  Because the policies you are proposing doom RI to also ran status as an economy and as a society.         

    Go call Fall River’s director of Economic Development and ask him how many RI-based businesses a WEEK he talks to about relocating out RI.

    This is not rocket science, and all of it is usually covered in Economics 101 and 102 in college.  For the life of me I don’t understand how you don’t see it, I really don’t.

    Bob, I have a genuine interest in showing you why the income tax thing is a really big deal to the RI economy – and show you how a rate significantly higher than the MA rate hurts RI businesses.  If you want the info, let me know.


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    1. Samuel Bell

      It is generally accepted that the “Moderate” party is–with the singular curious exception of urban planning–to the right of the RI Republicans.  But party names often don’t reflect the party’s beliefs.  For instance, the Liberal Party of Australia is conservative, and so is the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan.  And the Socialist party of France is not very socialist.  Many members of Yisrael Beteinu (Israel is Our Home) actually live in the West Bank.  Unless Mr. Block seriously pretends that he is not a conservative, there is no harm done.

      But to answer your question, Ken, the very fact that there are small businesses trying to move to Massachusetts belies the unimportance of income taxes because Rhode Island has lower income taxes than Massachusetts.  If you’re going to make the argument that only taxes on the extremely wealthy matter (which is, of course, silly), it is still nearly impossible to see how a 0.4% difference in rates, partially subsidized by the federal government, would have any noticeable effect.  No, the tax reasons businesses are going to Massachusetts have much more to do with the taxes that actually effect businesses.  This should be no surprise.  Rhode Island has extremely high property taxes, particularly on small businesses.  We also have a notorious network of fees, the most regressive type of business tax.  Add on our highly regressive unemployment insurance tax, which blows up when a business is struggling, and you have a highly anti-business tax code.  Additionally, the underfunding of regulatory agencies, coupled with a number of silly regulations, particularly in areas central to the tourism industry like the liquor and housing markets, does not make our state more friendly to business.  And how could we repair our business tax code?  With new revenue from ending tax breaks for the rich.

      Ken, if you would like to write an article on your income tax views (and Bob would be willing to print it), I would be happy to write a response giving the free market perspective.   

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  3. leftyrite

    Why do all of our politicians broadcast from the Wonder Room of the Holiday Inn?

    Brown University builds itself into a posh three-dimensional stage set, and the governor goes all Ramada on us.

    Broadcast from the reservoir, why don’t you?

    Broadcast, from De Pasquale Square, your decision develop a People’s Market, carts and all.

    Broadcast from the middle of Mount Hope Bridge that Wilson’s of Wickford will be revolutinary headquarters in the (figurative) War on the New York Yacht Club.

    The boldest twelve meters ever to fly the Bay.

    Broadast from Prospect Park as a loving, dutiful son of Rhode Island. 

    Broadcast a winning heart

    A winning spirit

    A will to fight on for the civil society. 

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