Among the choices you and other Rhode Island voters have to make in November, five ballot questions come with a price tag. You will have to decide whether to authorize the government to spend another $364 million. The total face value of the bond questions is $225 million, but interest over the life of the bonds – which create a general obligation to repay, like any loan or mortgage – adds another $139 million – almost 62% more debt to be paid over the life of the bonds.
On the October 21 edition of A Lively Experiment on WSBE Rhode Island PBS, Libertarian Party of RI Chairman Pat Ford announced that the Libertarian candidates elected to the General Assembly in November will expand the practice of disclosing the true cost of borrowing.
Under the Libertarian proposal, voter literature would include full disclosure of the names of the securities and legal firms – and the fees paid to them – for issuing the bonds. Not only that, but expansion of voter information would also include full disclosure of the costs, progress, and status of government bonded projects approved by voters over the preceding five years.
“Every election cycle, there are bond questions asking for more money for new projects,” Chairman Ford said. “Voter information has gotten much better as far as explaining the spending proposals. But no one asks, ‘What happened with the money from two and four years ago?’
“It’s a case of out-of-sight, out-of-mind – and we really are out of our minds if we are only looking at the new borrowing right in front of us and not considering the balance already on the credit card,” Chairman Ford added.
Three Libertarian candidates are vying for seats in the RI House of Representatives: Daryl Gould of Warren for District 67 (Barrington-Warren), William Hunt of Warren for District 68 (Warren-Bristol), and Analee Berretto of Bristol for District 69 (Bristol-Portsmouth).
“Rhode Island is one of the most heavily indebted states – in the world,” Chairman Ford said. “This collective amnesia has got to stop.”