The most recent edition of the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council’s “How Rhode Island Expenditures Compare” series shows that overall, Rhode Island stands pretty much where it has been for years, among the states in which government, both state and local, spends more than the average across the 50 states.
This year’s report reveals that while some categories show that the growth in Rhode Island spending lags national trends, one was far and away ahead of the curve during the decade from fiscal 2004 to fiscal 2014. Interest on public debt on a per capita basis as a category increased 87.4 percent over that decade, vaulting Rhode Island from No. 15 in the nation to No. 3.
The report does not say what kind of spending those interest payments were going toward, but it does raise the question, would you support more indebtedness to support certain kinds of public investments?