Joe Biden’s recent announcement that he intends to tap Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo to serve as Commerce Secretary raises an alarm for entrepreneurs and business owners across the country.
At a time when American families and businesses are coping with and recovering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commerce Secretary will play an oversized role in ensuring livelihoods that were upended are put back on track. Tasked with promoting business interests and American industry, Raimondo’s background and anti-business policies make her a questionable choice for the post at the department.
As governor, Raimondo’s tenure has been marred by a series of scandals and a record which has had an adverse effect on Rhode Island’s business climate and made the state less competitive. Perhaps the appointment of Raimondo to head the federal agency tasked with spurring America’s economy out of the pandemic is shortsighted. Recently, Raimondo has received criticism that her economic record is “unraveling,” and she was previously called out for making Rhode Island employers struggle to “survive in one of the worst business environments in the country.” Interestingly, for somebody who wants to be Commerce Secretary, Raimondo was even caught trying to fudge economic stats multiple times.
Here are a few highlights of Raimondo’s dubious record on jobs and the economy in Rhode Island:
Worst State In The Nation For Business. With Raimondo at the helm, Rhode Island was named the worst state in America for businesstwice, according to CNBC’s “Top States For Business” survey. In CNBC’s most recent survey for 2019, Rhode Island was not only ranked dead last, but also ranked as having the third worst overall economy in America. CNBC came to this conclusion by reviewing a number of different criteria, many of which fell under Raimondo’s purview. “The state’s issues have been remarkably consistent throughout. State finances have been in poor shape, sapping Rhode Island’s ability to tend to basic things like maintaining its aging infrastructure. The tax and regulatory climates have been rough, and economic growth has been sluggish.”
Worst State To Start A Business. For budding entrepreneurs and those looking to start a business, the Ocean State was clearly not one of the most desired locations to pursue this endeavor. A 2019 WalletHub study ranked Rhode Island as the worst state in America to start a business, while Forbes reported that the state was the worst in the nation for entrepreneurs under Raimondo.
One Of The Worst Economic Outlooks In America. As Raimondo plans to depart Providence for Washington, D.C., she will be leaving her successor with a challenge to right the ship of a state that has the eighth worst economic outlook in America. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Rich States Poor States report took a look at 15 different policy variables to determine which states have the brightest economic futures ahead of them, and Rhode Island ranked 43rd.
“Raimondo’s track record of failure on jobs and the economy is as lengthy as a CVS receipt and one worthy of scrutiny,” said RGA Deputy Communications Director Mike Demkiw. “Her policies contributed to making Rhode Island the worst place in America for business, a sad distinction for somebody who wants to head the federal agency tasked with representing American businesses and promoting economic growth.”
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