Saturday, June 24, 2017

Connecticut's Spending Problem

In 1991 Connecticut's Omnipotent Governor Lowell P. Weicker lied to Connecticut voters and force fed a state income tax on Connecticut Taxpayers to close at that time a $1.5 billion deficit based on a $7.5 billion biannual state budget.  At that time Connecticut's population was approximately 3,301,000 people.
In 2017 Connecticut's Omnipotent Governor Dan Malloy lied to Connecticut voters and force fed two of the largest tax increases on Connecticut Taxpayers over the past six years to close multiple budget deficits.  He also stated in his last reelection bid there was no deficit.  In 2017 we have a $5 billion deficit based on a $40 billion biannual state budget.  At this time Connecticut's population is approximately 3,591,000 people, a gain of roughly 290,000 in 26 years.  Today Connecticut continues to lose population as one of the few states in the country in this situation with 19,581 residents moving out since 2013. 
If one does the math Connecticut state spending has increased by $32.5 billion dollars since the enactment of the state income tax or roughly 435% in spending.  Connecticut's population increase in the same time frame is less than 1%.  Connecticut now has in 2017 short and long term unfunded liabilities along with short and long term debt of $80 to $100 billion dollars with no plan whatsoever to pay this off.
One can argue clearly Connecticut's government and its politicians have a massive and uncontrollable spending problem.  One can argue that Connecticut's government and its politicians control a vast empire of preferred and above market equilibrium salaries, benefits and pensions for both state management and state union workers.  This is the largest increase in state budget spending over the past 26 years fueled by unrealistic and unsustainable salaries, benefits and pensions for both state management and state union workers.  Yet in 2017 we hear no mention in cuts for salaries, benefits and pensions for state management workers, for example full pensions for state judges after five years of work. 
Thus when will cuts in spending for salaries, benefits and pensions for both state management and state union workers take place?  Why and on what does Connecticut's government and its politicians spend an additional 435% since 1991?  The infrastructure of Connecticut has declined dramatically since 1991.  Looking at the DMV for example we see a massive decline in service with enormous waits for basic services and screwed up registrations.  Travelers in the state are not even afforded the use of an indoor bathroom when stopping at our rest stops after 3:30pm.  I wonder if the state capitol workers use portalets when the state legislature is in session to save money?
2017 is once again a turning point for Connecticut.  We hear the same rhetoric from the Connecticut Democrat Party, more spending and more taxes.  No solutions.  Tax the rich will solve all of the state's problem until all of the "rich" move out of state.
Connecticut Taxpayers represent the serfs in the serfdom known as Connecticut again in 2017.  We support the excesses of Connecticut's state government ruling elite.  It has to stop now.  But can it?  It has become boring to watch the total disregard that Connecticut's elected officials have for Connecticut Taxpayers.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Connecticut Does Not Have A Budget


Oh well Connecticut doesn’t have a budget.  A special session has to be called and paid for by Connecticut Taxpayers to resume the secret and public budget negotiations that apparently now include the Republican Party members of the Legislature.  The situation is critical, as Connecticut’s debt grows daily.  Thus what is the solution?
Governor Malloy who crafted two of the largest tax increases in the states history has stated he is ready to run the state without a budget.  All this does is increase the states short-term debt, as it must borrow more money to pay for the day-to-day operations of the state.  Is he crafting now the third largest tax increase in the states history?
There are the constant discussions with labor union for more concessions.  I have heard little as to any concessions from management state workers to help out in this crisis.  For example why our Judges entitled to a full pension after serving for five years?  Why hasn’t the management pension structure been discussed?  Why hasn’t the management salary and benefits structure been discussed? 
Why does the only discussion fall upon raising existing taxes and or creating new taxes for Connecticut Taxpayers?
The Republican proposal addresses some of the issues that the state is facing economically.  It receives little analysis from the states media and seems to be brushed over as not a realistic solution.  The Connecticut Democrat Party now wants bipartisanship on the budget after seeing how their solutions have failed the state and is very worried about their chances for perpetual reelection in 2018.
Thus there continues to be a stalemate.  One side wants more and new taxes versus an overhaul on both union and management salaries, benefits and pensions that are no longer sustainable.  Each side fighting for their stale rhetoric while Connecticut Taxpayers continue to flee the state.  Connecticut is failing while our elected officials posture themselves for their next political payout.
Thus what is the answer?  Connecticut Taxpayers are longing for some coherent leadership to emanate out of Hartford.  For this Legislative session we again see the name calling, union talking points, passing the blame, economic illiteracy and largesse for both union and management workers that define our state government.
I guess again nothing changes for Connecticut Taxpayers who fund this debacle.
It Is Time To Take Back Connecticut In 2018.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Connecticut's Taxpayers Are Serfs In A Serfdom

I have taught economics for many years now.  I continue to be amazed at the lack of basic economics understanding by Connecticut's elected governmental officials and governmental workers.  Especially when it comes to who actually pays for Connecticut's government, its programs, salaries, benefits and pensions.  Thus I feel and many will agree with me that Connecticut's Taxpayers are serfs in a serfdom.
The bulk of the costs of operating Connecticut's government fall directly upon its Taxpayers.  Connecticut's Taxpayers pay a very high rate of taxes in the form of a high state income tax, high and far reaching sales taxes that are implemented on a massive amount of goods and services, a high gasoline tax in both per gallon measurement and on a supposed gross earnings basis, high property taxes if one owns a house, car or boat and numerous fees of all sorts on all types of vendors, professions and activities.  The list of what Connecticut's Taxpayers pay for and on seems endless.  Connecticut's government also receives federal funding for some programs that to me is just a redistribution of the large array of federal taxes that Connecticut's Taxpayers pay each year to our federal government.
Thus the one-two-three punch and impact of local, state and federal taxes that Connecticut's Taxpayers must pay each year for the authorization to be allowed in live in a town or city here in Connecticut is excessively high given what our state government provides for Connecticut's Taxpayers.
For example Connecticut's Taxpayers must endure a massive bureaucracy when dealing with its Department of Motor Vehicles.  Waits of hours on end are a norm for this inefficient state agency that Connecticut's Taxpayers must pay for.  The upper level management of Connecticut's DMV is an example of how Connecticut's political elite and patron age system works with high paying jobs being anointed for those who are ill qualified for their jobs.  The DMV is one agency that could and should be privatized to save Connecticut's Taxpayers money.
The state along with its cities and towns must submit to an antiquated system of binding arbitration for union contracts that are not agreed upon in negotiations.  Thus an impartial arbitrator is authorized to resolve the disagreement between the cities and or towns and the union by ordering a final and binding decision that cannot be changed.  This has created a situation whereby many cities and towns must fear any and all union contract negotiations since if they can't come up with an agreement it goes to arbitration and those same cities and towns normally lose.  Thus they will agree to anything these unions ask for and agree to the contract thus avoiding the costs of binding arbitration.  This drives up the costs of local and state government here in Connecticut.  It should be eliminated immediately.
Connecticut controls the beer, wine and spirits market to prop up small "Mom and Pop" liquor stores  in the state at the expense of the consumer who pay much higher prices for their beer, wine and spirits as compared to other states.  Why does this still exist in 2017?  Due to this retail industry having a strong lobbying group in Hartford that forces the basic laws of supply and demand to be eliminated for the consumer who must pay high prices.  These price controls should be eliminated and the free market should be allowed to occur when a consumer wants to buy these products.  If small stores that are not run economically efficiently go out of business the markets correct themselves.  Doesn't this occur in other industries in Connecticut?  Why is this market so special?
Connecticut has an amendment that was legally voted upon for a constitutional spending cap.  Connecticut's Democrat Attorney General ruled this legal amendment non-binding and illegal.  Why? 
Connecticut's Taxpayers must pay for a bloated salary, benefit and pension system to support Connecticut state government union and management workers.  Depending upon the position one can get a high state pension for life after as little as five years of working.  Some state positions pay a pension for those workers who have not contributed one penny to their pensions.  Some positions allow for you to add the reimbursements of miles driven to your pension calculation.   I ask is this fair and economically rational to burden Connecticut's Taxpayers in this manner?
Connecticut's unfunded liabilities and short and long-term debt is $80 to $100 billion dollars owed with no end in sight.  Connecticut's Taxpayers are burdened with this debt with no solutions being proposed.  Connecticut's Taxpayers must accept this without question.
There is a massive decline in Connecticut due to the nurturing and enhancement of a political ruling class that consists of our elected officials and union and management state government workers especially since the enactment of the state income tax in 1991.  Since 1991 Connecticut has been in a perpetual decline with losses in business, jobs and population at a frightening pace due to excessively high taxes.  And the spiral still continues in 2017 with an ineffective state legislature and Governor whose only concerns seem to continuing to enrich the political hierarchy and state union and management workers.  26 years of a self induced economic debacle due to our elected officials making poor economic decisions on a daily basis.
Connecticut's Taxpayers are serfs in serfdom.  Connecticut's Taxpayers must pay an unlimited amount of taxes and are bonded and enslaved to their meager properties to support the manorial system of Connecticut's political ruling elite and its union and management workers.  Connecticut's Taxpayers end their bondage to the state by moving out and in many cases never coming back.  Connecticut's Taxpayers are sick of supporting a ruling elite minority who hide and disregard the laws and constitution of Connecticut for their personal enrichment. Talk is cheap and we continue to hear the cheap talk of Connecticut's ruling elite over and over again.  Connecticut's Taxpayers are serfs in serfdom.   I want my freedom again.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Connecticut's Economic Mess Continues

Connecticut has a dysfunctional government.  It is illogical and irrational.  Its only concern is to maintain a high level of salaries, benefits and pensions for both its union and management workers.  It is poor in providing functional and efficient services for Connecticut Taxpayers that Connecticut Taxpayers must pay for.  One can look to the inefficient and dysfunctional Department of Motor Vehicles as an example of the true ineptness of our state agencies.  Our state government nurtures a climate of political patronage and corruption funded on the broken backs of the overtaxed Connecticut Taxpayer.  And our elected officials in particular especially the elitist and omnipotent Connecticut Democrat Party are in total denial that there is anything wrong with this reality.
Our state is in and has been and will be for the near future in an economic catastrophe that the Connecticut Democrat Party has nurtured and promoted for years now.
And in 2017 we see no difference as the Connecticut Democrat Party wants still more spending and more taxes to resolve our now annual economic crisis.  The Connecticut Democrat Party really does not care about anything other than preserving the political status quo of patronage and corruption paid for by you and I the Connecticut Taxpayer.
Thus do we have any solutions to our economic mess?  None that I can really see any more as we are told constantly that we have a problem with taxpayers and businesses continuing to move out of state due to a poor business climate, a poor infrastructure, excessively high workers compensation costs and excessively high taxes yet we will continue to raise and create new taxes so that this trend just continues over and over again.  No answers are provided either by the elitists in Hartford to resolve our alarming debt crisis which is ballooning daily.  Our short and long debt along with unfunded liabilities is fast approaching $100 billion dollars with no end in sight.  And no plan to pay it off.
The 2017 legislative session is turning out to be just like every one since Dan Malloy took office.  More and higher taxes, more and higher state spending, more economic garbage thrown at Connecticut Taxpayers.  The carnage needs to stop at some point. 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Happy Tax Freedom Day Connecticut Taxpayers Sunday May 21, 2017

Tax Freedom Day for Connecticut Taxpayers is May 21, 2017.  This is the day that Connecticut Taxpayers stop working to pay all of their local, state and federal tax burdens.  The date that we stop paying our taxes is dead last in the country as Connecticut Taxpayers have the highest tax burden in the country.  With the high taxes Connecticut Taxpayers pay now they will also be dealing with even more and higher taxes in 2017 as the state has a $5 billion dollar budget deficit along with an estimated $68 to $100 billion dollars of unfunded liabilities and short and long term bond obligations.  I am not able to obtain a "real" number for our unfunded liabilities and short and long term bonds obligations since it seems to be a secret in Hartford.  Therefore I estimate this number as best as I can. 
Economic reality is harsh for Connecticut Taxpayers since they are despised by the Connecticut Democrat Party for questioning the excesses of state employee salaries, pensions and benefits for both union and management workers.  These costs are out of control and part of our debt issues. The elitism political game that the Connecticut Democrat Party plays along with along with the total disregard for allowing the minority the Republican Party to be part of the legislative process has nurtured the economic demise of our state.
Thus in a state desperate for real economic solutions to its massive debt, lack of jobs and net migration of people out of Connecticut, the Connecticut Democrat Party turns to the norm new and higher taxes to solve this yearly crisis.
Look for a much longer Tax Freedom Day for Connecticut Taxpayers in 2018.
Look for much higher and new taxes in 2018.
Look for more people moving out of Connecticut in 2018.
Look for more Connecticut Democrat Party political appointments to high salary, pension and benefits jobs in 2018.
Look for more state credit downgrades in 2018.
Look for much more state borrowing in 2018.
Look for much higher property taxes in 2018.
And finally look for?  What I no longer know.  Connecticut has become a ruined state economically compliments of our state government led for too long by the Omnipotent  Connecticut Democrat Party.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Connecticut's Debt Downgraded-Oh Well Let's Borrow More!

Oh well!  Connecticut's Debt got downgraded again by Fitch Ratings, Inc.  No big deal to drop now to A+ from AA-- meaning that the state will pay higher interest rates to borrow money.  No big deal since it is now only the fourth downgrade since last May.  No big deal that the Moody's Rating Agency has given Connecticut a "negative" outlook.  All this means for Connecticut Taxpayers is that is will cost more money in interest payments for the massive debt Connecticut has.  It is difficult to obtain actual figures as to how much short and long term debt and liabilities the state has.  I estimate it to be a mere $60 to $80 billion dollars.  That is an incredible amount for a state as small as Connecticut.  However given our current Omnipotent One Party Rule in Hartford it is not surprising.
Connecticut with the blessings of Governor Malloy borrowed another $1.5 billion dollars in bonds yesterday for all sorts of pet projects both current and past further increasing Connecticut's massive debt load.  It was refreshing to see Sen. Scott Frantz of Greenwich and Rep. Chris Davis of Ellington disagreeing with this additional borrowing only to be ridiculed by Governor Malloy.
Some new projects that will be funded with your tax monies include:
from http://www.ct.gov/opm/lib/opm/Agenda_May12_2017.pdf
$121.2 million for upgrades to state office buildings, courthouses, prisons, and vocational-technical schools; Connecticut Valley Hospital; the Veterans’ Home and Hospital in Rocky Hill; and for a new parking garage at Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport.
$78.3 million for transportation project planning and maintenance.
$34.7 million in grants and loans for business expansion-which businesses are unknown by reading the agenda.
$19.8 million for improvements to the business district in Hartford’s North End.
$19.1 million for affordable housing and emergency mortgage assistance programs.
Connecticut continues to run a deficit and is in a fiscal crisis.  Our elected officials response is continue spend money.  To continue to borrow money at a higher cost.
Fiscal conservatism does not exist in our state.  Face it Connecticut is bankrupt and will be for the foreseeable future.  Thanks to our ruling political elite.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Connecticut Taxpayers Have Faced Grim Reality For Years Now

Connecticut Taxpayers are a strong lot.  Connecticut Taxpayers keep being punished over and over again.  Connecticut Taxpayers are despised by the Connecticut Democrat Party for not paying enough taxes especially those who supposedly make a great deal of money.   Connecticut Taxpayers were told that the two highest tax increases in Connecticut's history were going to solve all of the economic woes of the state.  Connecticut Taxpayers were told there was no budget deficit in the last Gubernatorial campaign.  Connecticut Taxpayers are shouted down when questioning why their taxes go to support illegal immigrants in the sanctuary cities that are propped up financially by the state.   Connecticut Taxpayers question why it is illegal to have a free market system to purchase their wine and beer in the state so that prices could go down.  Connecticut Taxpayers are detested by paid state lobbyists for questioning their role in running up the costs of state government through their pet state funded projects and laws.  Connecticut Taxpayers are further insulted by having to pay for a program to fund candidates running for election every two years so that there is more "equity" in our elections.  Connecticut Taxpayers have to use the Freedom of Information Act to find out in many cases how much the state is spending on certain items and projects.  Connecticut Taxpayers voted for a Constitutional Amendment to have a balanced budget which in turn is ruled "illegal" by a Democrat Attorney General.  Connecticut Taxpayers must support a bloated salary, benefit and pension spoils system that benefits a ruling management and union elite.  Connecticut Taxpayers when wanting reform in that same bloated salary, benefit and pension spoils system that benefits a ruling management and union elite are shouted down and ridiculed.
Connecticut Taxpayers have been lied to over and over again since the enactment of the Utopian state income tax.  Connecticut Taxpayers hear the same rhetoric every year, new and higher taxes will solve all of Connecticut's problems.
Connecticut Taxpayers have faced a grim reality for years now.  Their elected officials only concern is themselves and the political spoils system they protect.  It did not change in 1991 nor will it change in 2017.
Connecticut Taxpayers will be facing another round of tax increases in a few weeks.  And Connecticut Taxpayers will be hearing about the new budget deficits that still have yet to have been addressed at the end of 2017.  Connecticut Taxpayers will be told they are not paying enough in taxes in 2018.
And the story line remains the same.  Thus Connecticut declares itself economically, politically and legally bankrupt in 2018.  Then and only then will the political spoils system that rules Connecticut with an iron hand declares full and ultimate victory over Connecticut Taxpayers.