The battle against the blue model is heating up in deep-blue Rhode Island. Via Meadia has already covered the struggle at the state level, but the fight is increasingly trickling down to the municipal level as well. The New York Times is reporting that Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, a Democrat, is planning to embark on one of the largest rounds of cuts the city has ever seen.
Insisting that it’s the only way to avoid bankruptcy, Taveras is planning to cut cost-of-living benefits for thousands of city pensioners—a move which will save the city an estimated $16 million in the coming year and will reduce its pension liability by $236 million. This is only the most notable of a group of pension cuts that could save the city a further $26 million next year.
Crucially, these cuts are unlikely to come with tax increases. Despite the ardent wishes of state unions, Taveras is shying away from this favorite blue solution to financial problems:
“[I]f we can’t reform our pensions, I don’t see how we can move this city forward. You could raise taxes, but I don’t think you can raise taxes enough to cover the cost of this.”
The unions would like everyone to think that we are witnessing a war by evil, hard hearted Republicans against the blue social model. Wrong.
The model is inexorably collapsing of its own bloated weight. Democratic mayors and governors are acting in ways that not even the most radical Republicans did ten years ago. They have no choice: reality can only be resisted so long.