STATEMENT: Brookings Report – Corporate Welfare Spending Looks Like Greenhouse Compact Two

January 19, 2016

Brookings Recommendations Do Little To Advance Equal Opportunity for Most Families or Business Owners, While Dishing Out Corporate Welfare to the Insider Few
Center to lead local-national task force to offer “UnLeash RI” alternative economic vision v. Brookings’ “Greenhouse Compact circa 2016”

Providence, RI — Calling it more of the same insider cronyism that has hampered the Rhode Island economy for decades, the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity blasted the recommendations in the Brookings Institution report, released today, as an extension of the controversial RhodeMapRI agenda that places misguided priority on targeted ndustries and locales, while doing little to aid average families or to improve the state’s dismal business climate.

Also critical of the process that has seen Governor Raimondo, the RI Foundation, and the Brookings Institution in an all too cozy quid pro quo financial scheme that advances a federal agenda, the Center also questions the philosophical underpinning of the report. Instead of trusting in the capacity of Rhode Island citizens and businesses to innovate on their own in a less burdensome free-market business climate, the Brookings report suggests that an elitist cabal – led by State Government, academia, crony corporate partners, and insider nonprofits – should centrally engineer the state’s economy.

“Instead of a centrally-planned government-centric economy that hands out more corporate welfare to targeted industries, our state needs broad-based reductions in taxes and regulations that will free-up every Rhode Islander and business to organically improve their quality of life and growth in a free-market economy,” commented Mike Stenhouse, CEO for the Center. “How can this crony plan possibly promote the Governor’s stated goal to advance equal opportunity for all Rhode Islanders?”

Gary Sasse, former state budget director and current director of the Hassenfeld Institute for Public Leadership, agrees that the report is just business as usual. “How is the Brookings report that targets specific growth industries any different? Will it turn out to be Greenhouse Compact circa 2016?”

Sasse will join with the Center and other national economists and think tanks to form a joint task force to advance the Center’s “UnleashRI” initiative. The initiative’s core philsophy is that freeing Rhode Island from over-reaching government intervention is the key to economic growth, as opposed to more government intrusion per Brookings. The UnleashRI task force, which will provide additional analysis on the Brookings Report and soon present its own recommendations, currently includes:

  • Stephen Moore, nationally renowned free-market expert and Chief Economist at the Heritage Foundation
  • American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), publisher of the annual report, Rich States, Poor States
  • J. Scott Moody – nationally renowned economist and CEO of Federalism in Action
  • Gary Sasse
  • Mike Stenhouse and Justin Katz from the Center

Sasse’s full statement, along with commentary from other task force members can be found at .