October 26, 2014
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My take on the news
Rocky Point a triple whammy for Warwick
Lonnie Barham

ROCKY POINT AND TAXES: Converting the remaining 80 acres of the old Rocky Point amusement park to a state park is a great move, but why should Warwick taxpayers have to foot the bill for more than their share of the cost? Warwick's taxpayers will share in the $9.6 million price the state will pay the Small Business Administration for the property. But, not only will Warwick taxpayers lose a valuable parcel from their tax rolls forever, they are now being asked to lose another million dollars in taxes already owed on the property.

The company that owned Rocky Point when it closed owes Warwick $2 million in back taxes. That amount is overstated since it is based on the property being assessed at $25 million. The real tax owed is closer to $1 million. The state Department of Environmental Management negotiated the purchase price with the SBA expecting the unpaid property tax to be forgiven. Did anyone ask Warwick or its taxpayers what they thought about losing a million dollars in tax revenue? Warwick taxpayers are already saddled with the airport and too many other tax exempt properties to be asked to forego even more taxes that are already owed, especially when Warwick taxpayers will foot the bill for additional police, fire and other municipal services related to the new state park.

It’s already a triple-whammy for Warwick taxpayers – they contribute their share of state tax money to the purchase of Rocky Point, they lose valuable property from their city tax rolls, and they will pay more taxes to support the increased cost of municipal services once the park is completed. To ask these taxpayers to also forgo taxes already owed is just too much! The SBA or the state should pay the back taxes to Warwick.

FATHER-DAUGHTER DANCES: Enough is enough! Where are we going with political correctness when it demands we dismantle traditional, benign institutions that have served our culture so well for a century or more? Yes, there were problems with the "Norman Rockwell America" we so nostalgically recall - such as racism and poverty, but father-daughter dances were not among those problems. In a society headed toward more fatherless households, father-daughter dances were meant to promote fathers' involvement with their daughter' lives and to strengthen family bonds. And it worked! Even though the dances were billed as father-daughter events, fatherless and male role model-deprived young girls were not turned away; mothers and older sisters were frequent escorts. Western society and culture as we know it could be headed for extinction if we continue to voluntarily destroy the iconic institutions that have defined us as a culture.

CICILLINE AND DOHERTY ON MEDICARE AND SOCIAL SECURITY: David Cicilline wants Medicare and Social Security to remain exactly as they are - no changes, and that funding to revive the unsustainable programs should come from more taxes on the wealthy. Brendan Doherty wants to make minor structural changes to both programs that will keep them self-funding for generations to come and that will change nothing for current beneficiaries or for those who will retire in the next ten years.

Most of us have children or grandchildren who, under current Medicare and Social Security, will have no benefits or greatly reduced benefits when they retire. Changes have to be made to the programs now if our progeny are to enjoy benefits similar to those enjoyed by current retirees.

Will Cicilline's plan to tax the rich fix the programs? No! Experts of every persuasion say depending only on increased taxes to bail out the programs will increase taxes on the middle class as well as the wealthy. Such taxes could easily be repealed by a future congress - putting both programs back where they are today, almost broke.

The only sane way to fix both programs is to make structural changes for anyone retiring ten or more years from now. Phased in changes will return the programs to self-funded solvency for our children and grandchildren.

Seniors are not selfish and greedy; they want future retirees to enjoy the same benefits they enjoy. They and all Rhode Islanders should support the Medicare and Social Security fix that will actually work - the one proposed by Mr. Doherty and other sensible politicians.

ROMNEY AND THE 47 PERCENT: Mitt Romney realizes that retirees who pay no taxes now but paid taxes throughout their lives before retirement do not fall into the “victims who feel entitled” category he mentioned when speaking of the 47 percent of Americans who pay no income taxes. His point was that far too many Americans are content to live on government handouts funded by those who pay taxes. When he said he doesn't care about that segment of America, he was talking about not caring about their votes; he knows he won't get them. Instead of voting for a fiscal conservative like Romney, they’ll vote for the candidate who promotes redistribution of wealth, who wants to take more from those who pay taxes to take care of those who don’t, and who firmly believes in a big spending government - Barrack Obama.

IRAN’S THREAT TO ISRAEL AND AMERICA: In a reference to President Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Natanyahu recently said, "Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines (limits) before Iran don't have a moral right to place a red light before Israel. "  Mr. Netanyahu is convinced Iran is close to acquiring nuclear weapons and that Israel may have to preemptively destroy Iran's nuclear facilities to protect itself.

Iranian Rear Admiral Habiboillah Sayyari said Iran aims to put Iranian warships in international waters off the U.S. coast "within a few years", while Iran's deputy navy chief, Admiral Abbas Zamini, said that Iran has already begun to design its first nuclear submarine. It's just what we need! An Iranian navy with nuclear missiles and nuclear submarines capable of delivering those missiles from under the sea just off our coast.

Mr. Obama has been reluctant to support Mr. Netanyahu on Israel's security concerns and has even refused to meet with Netanyahu during his visit to the U.S. this week; perhaps Mr. Romney will better understand that it is in the best interest of the U.S. to help protect our only true friend in the Middle East.


Comments
2 comments on this item

Social Security: We only pay tax on our first $106,800 of income. Incrementaly raising that amount,as recommended by Simpson/Bowles, would insure it's solvency in perpetuity. The real problem is S.S.I.. When you you see ads from lawyers to help you get on S.S.I.,you can see where the problem really lies.

Israel: Netanyahu is obviously playing politics with us. As Romney said in his infamous speech,pandering to wealthy Jewish contributors,he'll kick the ball down the road for another four years,regarding a two state solution for the Palestinian problem. We obviously will not allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons,President Obama has made that clear.Romney is a great Monday morning quarterback,but falls terribly short when suggesting policies prior to events. He is a prisoner to the right wing of his party,and doesn't know how to get out of the corner he has painted himself into.

Great post about the warwick taxpayers getting the shaft on rocky point. But, the city council only cares about complaints from the unions. I have been pointing out what a bad deal this is for us. But, the people of Warwick don't pay attention and get what they accept.

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