GROW JOBS & THE ECONOMY
Lip service for way too long.
How To Get To 25
Watch this space...
It was 2007 when RI unemployment was last under 6%. Seven years later, it's at 7.9%, and there are still 50,000 Rhode Islanders out of work. RI is one of the worst-performing state economies in the nation.
With 50,000 Rhode Islanders (and likely more) out of work. Unemployment levels have been staggering for several years now, and little has been done about the problem except talk about it.
Moves last year by the General Assembly – built in part on Republican ideas – to re-organize and re-focus state economic development under accountable leadership -- was a step forward, even if gubernatorial politics forced a delay until 2015.
But whether jobs or economic development, the chatter has not been matched with action. Lack of political courage and numerous competing forces (unions vs. business, government vs. business and sometimes big business vs. small business) have combined over time to gut meaningful legislation that would help the economy.
When we do act - "The Year Of Economic Development" - it is often counterproductive.
These are the things that lead voters to question the value and effectiveness of government, and keep Rhode Island’s economy in intensive care.
The legislature reduced corporate taxes during the last session; however, this change was revenue neutral. In other words, the overall tax rate was reduced, but the amount businesses pay to the state did not change. This creative taxation looks good on paper, but the underlying fact --RI is a high tax state-- did not change.
Restoring Rhode Island's once-vibrant economy will be a long-term process, one measured in years rather than months. We need to get started.