Menu Bar

Home           Calendar           Topics          Just Charlestown          About Us

Friday, November 30, 2012

RI – What Went Wrong: Tax Cuts for the Affluent

This is the third article in a series by Samuel Bell on

In the previous installment I discussed the devastation wrought by massive austerity, which was the principle cause of Rhode Island’s terrible jobs picture. The traditional justification from austerity apologists is that those public sector cuts were necessary, and Rhode Island was forced to make those layoffs. Of course, this argument makes no sense in Rhode Island not just because the cutbacks began before the second Bush recession but also because the government found the money for a huge income tax cut for the rich, cutting the top rate from 9.9% to 5.99%. This brings me to the subject of today’s column: taxes.

As I noted in the first column, the bottom fell out of the Rhode Island economy in late 2007, nearly a year before the second Bush recession began. Perhaps it is just a curious coincidence that this happened as the effect of the income tax cuts for the wealthy passed in 2006 began to kick in, but I suspect not. Indeed, there is considerable evidence that it was these tax cuts that triggered the collapse of our economy.

Read the rest of this article on, along with lively reader discussion, here.
You can see the entire series here.

I am the Rhode Island State Coordinator for the Progressive Democrats of America. My primary interest is Rhode Island's economy and what we can do to fix it.