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.

7 responses to “Education Funding vs. the Restaurant Industry”

  1. jgardner

    You’ve presented a false choice, and you (incorrectly, IMO) assume that the revenue generated from this tax increase will only go to the schools. Education per pupil averages $15k (as of 2010) in the state of RI. If you figure 25 students per classroom (I couldn’t find a definitive source on that, but I feel like that’s a pretty good estimate), you’re talking $375,000 per classroom. If our public schools are struggling, and they are, it’s not for lack of money. There are private schools in this state that provide a superior education with less resources.
    Our problems are on the spending side of the equation, not the revenue side, and this 2% increase on meals will not fix any of that.

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  2. PinkHatLib

    So what’s the DEM policy on throwiing public school students in the river? Too bad we didn’t think of that one yesterday. Would have been a great counter protest if only I could find my tricorne.

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  3. RightToWork

    The problem is that every new tax or “temporary” tax increase is marketed as “for the chiiiildren,” but the revenue ends up just disappearing down the general fund sinkhole into 6-figure pensions, 5-6% COLA, disability fraud, emergency room treatment for drunks, drug abusers, and illegal aliens, overly generous welfare and unemployment benefits, government contractor waste, and so on ad infinitum. No tax is a major burden in itself, but cumulatively, they have a huge impact and are driving people and business away from the state.

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  4. donroach

    I agree that you’re presenting a false choice and choice that is done without a contextual perspective. Rhode Islanders will still go out if dinner costs $82 vs $80, but the question is will the $2 help solve the problem or be a bandaid?
    Many people think it will just be a bandaid, and count me among them. As jgardner stated, we have a spending problem. We don’t have a revenue problem, or if we do, is masked by the massive spending problem we have in the state. If the state addresses the spending problem, Chafee will likely receive more support for increases like this. Why? Because people will have faith their government leaders are running a clean fiscal shop.
    Do they have that faith today? Heck no nor should they with the capital city facing bankruptcy and sites such as yours supporting the man who led us there. People aren’t ignorant about all things and Rhode Islanders understand that the problem is spending. Address that and then we’ll talk about $82 versus $80.

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  5. nmtaxes

    First of all 2% on a meal does not amount to much but for a convention it adds up to thousands and we are competing with Boston, NYC, etc.
    Secondly if the General Assembly would guarantee that that money would to the city and towns for education only then maybe there would be less protest.  The GA and city and town governments have very little credibility.
    Thirdly I agree with jgardner, private schools provide a better education for a lot less money.  I think public schools need to be privatized.
    Bob you need to get your facts straight and stop sucking up to the unions.  I know you need to make a living but selling your soul is not the way to do it.

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  6. FisherOfMen

    After spending the better part of my adult life in the restaurant industry, I can tell you first hand that the industry, as a whole, has an unfair tax advantage. That is, the unabashed non-payment of payroll taxes through under-the-table payment to workers of both the documented and undocumented varieties. 
    This practice is standard and widespread “in the business.” I doubt you could find one restaurant in Providence that doesn’t employ at least one off-the-books employee, citizen or non-citizen, documented or not.
    I’ve worked in pretty high-profile restaurants in Providence where it wasn’t uncommon for my paycheck to bounce, while other employees walked out the door with envelopes full of cash.
    I wonder how many of the restaurant owners who are railing against this proposed tax – that would be levied not on them, but on their patrons – would submit to a thorough audit of their books and employee background checks for a reprieve on the proposed new tax?  Given my first-hand knowledge, my guess would be very few to none.

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