Rhode Island State Representative Blake Filippi wrote a brilliant and insightful article regarding the fact that the RhodeWorks plan will eventually toll passenger vehicles. This conclusion was drawn from a few obvious facts about the plan:
- If those who voted for RhodeWorks in the House of Representatives truly believed passenger vehicles would never be tolled, they would have passed Representative Filippi’s constitutional amendment to force a citizen vote on the initiative before it could be implemented. They did not, because the intent was always to eventually toll everyone.
- The U.S. Constitution’s “Dormant” Commerce Clause refers to the restrictions placed on states which prevent them from inhibiting interstate commerce. RhodeWorks is obviously in violation of this prohibition because it discriminates against interstate trucking in favor of local trucking.
Consider the implications of the precedent set if these regulations that discriminate against interstate commerce were to take hold across the country. There are much larger implications of tolling only certain trucks and in different ways that are far beyond the effects locally. If every state was to implement such discriminatory taxing on the movement of goods across state lines, the ability of the states to benefit from the production of the others would drop to disastrous levels.
This would weaken the spending power and productivity of the entire country. Not just families struggling to pay for the fruits, vegetables, and clothing shipped from the other side of the United States, but also those trucks that transit parts and equipment for national defense and our military.
These immensely negative effects of RhodeWorks are exactly why the Commerce Clause has always been part and parcel of the US Constitution.
Those who voted for truck tolls know this, yet they do not care. Why? The answer is clear:
Raimondo’s Dirty Little Secret
This is so obvious it is almost silly to state it, but the reality is the legislators who voted for RhodeWorks are either clueless or complicit in the reality that a lawsuit against the actions of Raimondo and most Democrats cannot face a legal challenge until the law is actually broken. In other words, the American Trucking Association cannot take legal action against the Ocean State until the first toll is taken, which of course cannot happen until the gantries are built, the money is spent, the special interests are paid off, and the debt is incurred by every family and taxpaying citizen in Rhode Island.
Gina Raimondo knows this, and hopes no one will make mention of it until it is too late.
The scheme is obvious:
1. Build the gantries and spend the $43+ million in tolling infrastructure.
2. Incur the approximately $612 million in financing debt and service reserve costs plus the millions in interest costs.
3. Force the American Trucking Association to sue.
4. Upon the truckers winning their lawsuit, plead ignorance and blame them when the cost is then shifted to passenger vehicles.
A perfect plan until one realizes the voters and the business people of Rhode Island have had just about enough of the mess many of the politicians and their cronies are making of our state.
VOTE THEM OUT ON NOVEMBER 8th.