Poor Rhode Island is a wee state with a huge unemployment problem, horrible taxes, and anabysmally high cost of living. Fortunately, it's also got a governor with a can-do attitude who sees one very obvious way to dig the state out of its current budget mess: just get state workers to take two and a half weeks off, unpaid, over the next year or so.


The shutdown will force 81 percent of the roughly 13,550-member state work force, excluding its college system, to stay home a dozen days without pay before the start of the new fiscal year in July.

The closures come as the worst recession in decades has eliminated hundreds of millions of dollars in tax collections and pushed unemployment to 12.7 percent, the second-highest jobless rate in the nation behind Michigan.

Jesus! At least Michigan has the auto industry to blame. What's Rhode Island's excuse? Have consumers suddenly lost their taste for bribery and quahogs?

Anyway, of course the unions are bellyaching about these furloughs, and the governor is saying "tough titty," which means there will be lawsuits and misery for many months to come.

RI gov to shut down state government for 12 days [AP]

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