Where does the Democrat Party go from here? The Trump wave of support for a smaller government “of the people, by the people, for the people” that got him elected won’t disappear in four-years. The rise of Progressives—who are doubling-down on the big government policies which got them kicked out of not only Washington, D.C. but almost every State House (today Democrats control both the governorship and the legislature in only six states)—is O-V-E-R.
One idea for the Democrat Party is to pay attention to what’s going on in tiny Rhode Island, surrounded by a sea of blue-states. Here, governor Gina Raimondo is getting things done in a state where two-thirds of voters went for Hillary. You may recall the public sector pension overhaul and battle Raimondo spearheaded.
Raimondo is a reformer. She could turn the Ocean State into the Hong Kong of New England. The bar is pretty-low. Her work hasn’t gone unnoticed by Cato where she received a “B” in their latest governors report card. Allysia Finley had this to write in her excellent piece in the WSJ over the weekend, “An Island of Rationality in Blue-State New England”:
After fending off attacks from public unions—apart from which her pension reforms were widely popular—Ms. Raimondo was elected governor in 2014. One of her first acts was an executive order requiring that agencies quantify the costs and benefits for rules. She later rallied her Democratic legislature to overhaul the state’s labyrinthine Administrative Procedures Act, cutting the amount of red tape that businesses must chew through by about 2,700 pages or 10% of the regulations.
With health-care costs escalating due to ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion, progressives have urged Democratic governors to establish single-payer systems. Yet Ms. Raimondo resisted the pressure and convened a panel of health-care experts to recommend efficiencies. ObamaCare limits states’ ability to reduce eligibility or benefits, so savings must be achieved through technocratic improvements like better coordinating care. By encouraging home care for elderly patients and increasing managed care, Rhode Island has bent the proverbial cost curve and reduced its Medicaid projected costs by 10%.