To my way of thinking, there are few things that would be better medicine for the debate on how to fix Rhode Island’s economy than for WPRI’s uber-influential blogger Ted Nesi to delve into the state’s tax policy in the same way he did for the pension debate.
And lately, he has!
Note the the last three headlines on Nesi’s Notes (as well as a number of posts on tax equity last week and the week before):
- Study: Rhode Island taxes 13th-highest in the nation in 2010
- Charts: Regressive RI taxes getting (slightly) more progressive
- Study: RI taxes take most from poorest, least from the top 1%
While all of Nesi’s posts haven’t furthered the liberal legislative agenda, that really isn’t what progressives want from the mainstream media; we want to have an intellectually honest and respectful debate about the issues that affect the community – be they tax policy, civil rights or social justice.
Nesi has a tough beat because he has to cover politics AND the economy – and these two forces of nature often collide in odd ways. But if he devotes a fraction of the pixels to tax policy that he gave to pension reform (or even just Raimondomania!), progressives, and everyone else, will get a great deal of very valuable information by which to measure the success and/or failure of our tax policies, which I think people of all political stripes can agree is of tantamount importance to the state.
The zeitgeist here in the Ocean State is that Keynsian economics doesn’t exist. That’s what happens when there are very few progressive pundits and a great many conservative pundits posing as economists. Even self-described moderate Ken Block traffics in this talking point.
A little bit of sunlight from the mainstream media will go a long way to dispelling some of these myths.