Saturday, March 24, 2018

Connecticut Taxpayers Beat Up Again This Week

It was another bad week for Connecticut Taxpayers.  Again most of the 52 weeks in the year are bad for Connecticut Taxpayers.  Connecticut Taxpayers who have no union representation and little if any representation in Connecticut state government suffered several major blows in trying to keep their incomes protected from the enormous Connecticut tax burden that is imposed on them seven days a week, fifty two weeks a years, 365 days in the year.
This week it was learned although I believe most legal Connecticut Taxpayers knew this already that Connecticut Taxpayers worked the longest in the country until May 17, 2017 to pay their local, state and federal tax burden for 2017.  Connecticut ranks 50 out of 50 states, the longest time in the country for the third year in a row according to the Tax Foundation report which was quickly dismissed by State Revenue Commissioner Kevin Sullivan. 
This week it was also learned against great public outcry that the first steps in creating one of the most expensive toll road systems in the country moved out of committee.  These tolls will be paid mainly by Connecticut Taxpayers who drive in the state.  Our new utopian electronic toll system from what I read from the bill will make Connecticut one of the most expensive toll roads in the country along with having one of the highest administrative costs to run it.
This week it was learned that Connecticut Taxpayers will be paying for the city of Hartford's short and long term debt of $550 million dollars at a rate of between $24 and $36 million dollars a year. This along with the already $270 million dollars a year Hartford receives each year for a total of roughly $310 million dollars will be given to the city for an infinite amount of years.  The gift by Governor Malloy to his future handpicked successor for Governor Mayor Bronin is a classic political backroom pay off deal that does nothing to make Hartford more efficient in its spending nor renegotiate the incredible sums of Connecticut Taxpayers monies that is being spent on city employee management and union salaries, benefits and pensions.  Hartford should have gone bankrupt.  This will create a massive burden for Connecticut Taxpayers in the future.  It will also set the precedent for New Haven, Bridgeport and Waterbury to demand and receive even more Connecticut Taxpayers monies to further their liberal political agenda, political patronage and the sheltering of illegal immigrants in their cities.
This week it was learned that the current budget deficit of anywhere from $50 to $250 million dollars has still not been resolved.  One must remember that Connecticut's short and long term debt along with its unfunded liabilities is between $60 and $80 billion dollars with absolutely no plan to pay it off.
Why should all of this matter to Connecticut Taxpayers?  It is obvious that our appointed and elected Connecticut government officials feel comfortable in the complete destruction of Connecticut's economy through their massive tax plans and payoffs to keep the current and corrupted political system in place. 
Why should all of this matter to Connecticut Taxpayers?  It is obvious the Connecticut Democrat Party is proud to run on this horrific economic record for election and re-election in November.  It is business as usual for the Connecticut Democrat Party in their pay for play economy while the Connecticut Republican Party is crucified for their objections to the unqualified liberal activist Justice Andrew J. McDonald, to become chief justice of the state Supreme Court. 
Thus another week has passed in Connecticut.  Another week that Connecticut Taxpayers got beat up again.  Another week of living in Connecticut: A state with true taxation without representation.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Connecticut's New Tolls:Protest Against Bills #389 and #5391

Connecticut's government really can never get enough money to run a streamlined and efficient operation.  If one looks at the total disrepair of its bridges and roads an argument can be made as to where did the $2,266,955,203.52 the Connecticut Department of Transportation spent in fiscal year 2016-17 actually go to?  Examining the very complex DOT budget is a difficult task with money being channeled in many different ways in general terms.  Thus it is nearly impossible to see the money flow that is actually used to maintain our bridge and road system in the state.  Taxpayers do know Connecticut has one of the highest budgets for transportation in the country along with one of the highest administrative costs to run this department in the country.
Now Connecticut Taxpayers are trying to grasp two new legislative raised bills that enact tolls that are estimated to produce $1 billion dollars in toll revenue, 72% which would be paid by Connecticut residents.  The raised bills are: # 389 "AN ACT ESTABLISHING THE CONNECTICUT TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY."  To establish the Connecticut Transportation Authority to develop and implement electronic tolling systems., and raised bill #5391 "AN ACT CONCERNING TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE." To require the Commissioner of Transportation to conduct studies and satisfy other requirements pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act for the purposes of developing electronic tolling systems on the highways of this state.  This Transportation Authority would have the ability to install tolls, collect toll revenue, borrow money, own and lease land, and manage maintenance and construction on tolled highways.  The new authority would have a 15 member board of directors that is appointed both directly and indirectly by the Governor.  The hope for the Connecticut Democrat Party is that they can pass these bills in this current short session, enact immediately the Commission, and make 15 Democrat political patronage appointments to run the Commission.  It is a socialist's dream Commission.  Political appointees telling Connecticut drivers and Taxpayers how much they will be paying for tolls.  State politicians seen to have forgotten how much already Connecticut drivers and Taxpayers pay in gasoline/diesel taxes, tire taxes, road use taxes and other miscellaneous taxes for the privilege of driving on our horrific bridge and road system.  There seems to be little result in the monies being used to maintain our current bridge and road system thus why we are going to be taxed more with no guarantee that the money will actually be used to maintain our bridge and road system?  To me it is a way to extract another $750,000,000 or more tax monies from Connecticut Taxpayers in now new tolls and still not have any guarantees that our bridge and road system would be improved and or maintained.
Connecticut Taxpayers need to protest again raised bills #389 and #5391.  Why should Connecticut Taxpayers allow yet a new politically motivated agency to be formed that will only further the economic demise of this state along with increasing its costs of living?  Enough is enough.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

The Connecticut Democrat Party Record For The Upcoming Election

In the upcoming Connecticut state election on November 6, 2018, the fight to take back Connecticut concludes.  In this election there is a strong possibility and probability that the Connecticut House and Senate will be controlled by the Republicans and we will have a Republican Governor.  The Connecticut Democrat Party has controlled the House since 1992.  Since 2008 the Connecticut Democrat Party has lost 34 House seats with a current split of 80 Democrats and 71 Republicans.  The Republicans lost the February special election in the 120th District that they held for 40 years by 63 votes with only 19% of the registered voters voting in the election.  In my opinion if the local Republican party had done their work they probably could have gotten 64 more Republican voters to the polls and the seat would have remained Republican.  I do not see this seat as staying Democrat for long. 
The Connecticut Democrat Party has controlled the Senate from 1996 to 2014.  In 2016 the Senate became split with 18 Democrats and 18 Republicans with Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman casting tie breaking votes on legislation. 
Let us now examine the record of the Connecticut Democrat Party in particular the past seven years of complete control of our state government in both chambers and as Governor.
In the past seven years Connecticut has had two of the highest tax increase in the states history.
In the past seven years Connecticut has had continuous budget deficits.
In the past seven years Connecticut has seen his unfunded pension liabilities increase dramatically.
In the past seven years Connecticut's union and management employees salaries, benefits and pensions costs have increase dramatically.
In the past seven years Connecticut has seen its short and long term debt along with its unfunded liabilities increase to $60 to $80 billion dollars.
In the past seven years Connecticut has had a massive loss of businesses that have moved out of state.
In the past seven years Connecticut has had a massive loss of citizens move out of state especially younger people.
In the past seven Connecticut has had many corporate taxpayer funded deals turn bad with Connecticut taxpayers footing the bill.
In the past seven years Connecticut has consistently dropped in all economic categories as compared to the 49 states in our country.
In my opinion and the opinions of others the Connecticut Democrat Party has failed miserably in running our state.  They have basically run it economically into the ground. 
This is the record they are running on for November.  They have taxed the economic vibrancy out of Connecticut.  They have developed and nurtured an elite political ruling class that can enjoy the economic spoils they created funded by the remaining Connecticut Taxpayers. 
Are you better off than you were in 2016?  2014? 1992?  Probably not.  Then why continue to vote for any Democrat in the November election?  Why would you based on the real record they have?
I think and many others think that we need a change in leadership in Hartford quickly before the state goes bankrupt due to economic incompetency and political patronage.  Vote Republican in November.

Saturday, March 03, 2018

Connecticut's Next Governor Republican Peter Lumaj

If you do not know already those remaining legal and illegal Connecticut voters will be going to the polls in November to elect a new Governor.  Mercifully Dan Malloy will no longer be Governor in January and he will be able to collect his Connecticut Taxpayer funded pension for life and or broker a sweetheart high paying job where he can continue to brag what a great job he did in Connecticut and continue to condemn all Republicans at all levels of government.
Republicans have a crowded field that are really not be covered by Connecticut's biased media.  Connecticut's biased media looks for a ritualistic condemnation by Republicans of President Trump before they will embrace any state or local Republican.  Thus is rather difficult to gather unbiased information about Connecticut Republican candidates since the media's only concern is to promote and gush over Democrat candidates for Governor such as ex felon Mayor Joe Gamin and Hartford's taxpayer funded bailout Mayor Luke Bronin.
There is a Republican candidate for Governor who I support and I urge my readers to support also.  Peter Lumaj who escaped from communist Albania when he was young and came to our country as a legal immigrant exemplifies what is great about our country.   He is a self made man who understands the horrors of communism.  He has worked hard in his life and is successful contributing greatly to his state and country.
His candidacy for Governor exhibits a breath of fresh air and fresh ideas in the broken arena of Connecticut's politics.  Mr. Lumaj's platforms can be found on his website
He has ideas that to me represent a new beginning and hope for Connecticut and its Taxpayers.
Some of his ideas include the selling of the Governor's Mansion, elimination of pensions for statewide constitution office holders, making the Office of Public Auditors  a non-partisan office, eliminate the Citizens Election Program (which in my opinion is a complete waste of money), eliminate the Early Release criminal Program, reform the costly collective bargaining process for state and municipal workers, and make Connecticut a Right-to-Work state.
Mr. Lumaj wants to enforce the unenforced state spending cap along with actually making our government transparent.  His bold ideas are far reaching and progressive.  He actually has a plan for the renaissance of Connecticut.  I appreciate his economic proposals of cutting state spending while also cutting taxes that are essential to get Connecticut economically vibrant again.
It is time for a change in the Connecticut political regime.  It is time for Connecticut Republicans to unite behind Mr. Lumaj and his platforms.  I will be discussing his ideas more in future columns.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Connecticut's Department of Economic and Community Development Failures

Connecticut has a massive amount of economic problems.  One of the biggest problems it has is its poor economic environment for business and industry.  A great deal of business and industry has moved out of the state since the state income tax was enacted. More businesses have moved out since Connecticut has one of the worse infrastructures in the country, highest workers compensation costs in the country, regressive anti business worker laws that include a high minimum wage along with ridiculous labor laws that in many cases entrap the remaining businesses in the state.  I will also point out that Connecticut also has one of the highest Unemployment Compensation taxes that it charges its businesses along with having one of the highest unemployment rates in the region at 4.5% compared to the national average of 3.9%.  Connecticut still has yet to come out of its recession if it is compared to the other New England states especially when looking at Massachusetts and its unemployment rate of 3.7%.
Connecticut has a Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) that using taxpayer funded state bonds along with taxpayers monies budgeted to supposedly invest in existing Connecticut business and attract new businesses to the state to help create jobs and tax revenues.  If one examines the DECD public annual report they would shocked to see how much is being spent with in my opinion poor results as far as job creation.  Their annual report is one of the most complex pieces of economic literature that I have tried to read in a long time.  For Fiscal year 2016-17 the state allocated a mere $382,704,969.99 to their budget.  Some of the companies that have received credits and taxpayers monies include Bob's Furniture Stores, ESPN and Irish airline Aer Lingus.
In the last information I could find on the finances of Bob's Furniture Stores who is owned by Bain Capital (Bain manages $75 billion dollars worth of businesses worldwide) their sales were somewhere between $900,000,000 to $1,000,000,000 nationwide.  The DECD awarded Bob's a $11,000,000 Urban and Industrial site Reinvestment Tax Credit in 2016.  I can not figure out what type and or how many jobs may have been created for this $11,000,000.   Lowes Home Centers  have received $15,944,575 in credits since 2004.  ESPN (who is laying off many employees) has received $10,000,000. in credits since 2014. 
All of this data in credits can be obtained from the DECD annual report
Thus we live in a state that no matter what cost per job is the state will pay it.  One could also argue that the state has wasted an enormous amount of taxpayer's monies paying out these amounts and it really has done little to stimulate Connecticut's economy.
This week brought news that Connecticut Taxpayers's will subsidize Irish airline Aer Lingus a mere $4.5 million dollars for flying out of Bradley Airport since their target passenger goals were not met according to their agreement with the state.  Irish airline Aer Lingus has revenues of $1.86 billion euros and saw a 15% increase in their profits by $269 million euros last year.
I wonder if there is any oversight to the failures of Connecticut's Department of Economic and Community Development.  For example the individuals who negotiated the Aer Lingus deal?  Why isn't Commissioner Catherine Smith held accountable for any of this?  After all she earned in salaries and fringe benefits in the last fiscal year $213,340.40.  according to the CT Transparency website.
Connecticut state government really does not get much right does it?  And as usual Connecticut Taxpayers pay the bill for this corporate welfare.  Remember that next time you watch ESPN, buy furniture at Bob's or fly Aer Lingus.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

SEBAC 2017-Ten More Long Hard Years For Connecticut Taxpayers

It is sort of like a prison term for those remaining legal taxpaying citizens of Connecticut.  Ten more long hard years of unbalanced budgets, more and higher taxes, more and higher short and long term debt.  It is the SEBAC 2017 agreement which was negotiated behind closed doors between the omnipotent Connecticut SEBAC Labor Union and pro Union Democrat Governor Malloy that should help bankrupt the state over the next four years.  An analysis by Conservative Republican State Senator Len Suzio of Meriden and confirmed by the nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis (OFA) shows a much bleaker side of this union agreement.
Let us look at the supposed savings in wages for the next four years.  The first two years of the agreement there are no wage increases. The state union employees will pay a 1% increase in their health care premiums over a three period raising their premiums from 12% to 15%.  The state still pays the rest of the ever increasing health care premium.  They will also increase their contribution rates to their pensions ending up paying a mere 2 to 4% in the third year of their agreement for their over generous and economically unsustainable pensions.  Union employees have to take three unpaid furlough days that may average a loss of $850 per employee that first year only. That is the end of their "concessions".  However there are "step increases" which are regular annual wage increases for every full-time employee that average 3% each year that are guaranteed.  Even though these increases are suspended for the first two years they increase on average between 6-7% in year 3 of the agreement and 13-14%. in year 4 of the agreement.  However the second year of the agreement each union employee gets a $2000 to $2850 one time payment obviously to make up for the the two year wage freeze and the three unpaid furlough days.  There are also annual longevity payments (I have never received one in any job that I have had since I started working many years ago, have any of my readers received one?) that are paid to state union employees with 10 to 15 years of service, they receive $1,000 each year and those with more than 15 years get $2,000 each year.  This agreement continues through the first two years of the supposed wage freeze thus the state still pays this money out. According to the analysis of the nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis (OFA) a union employee who earned $74,000 in the first year of the agreement will earn $84,000 by the fourth year of the agreement due to the step and wage increases.  How much was given back by the union employees?  In my analysis around $1000 at the most given all the wage increase and payments made during this four year period (an average of $250 per year).  Thus the $10,000 average salary increase adds a mere half-billion dollars to the state payroll over the coming years.  How is this wage agreement saving any taxpayers monies in the next four years?  It is impossible because the other part of this secret agreement is that there can not be any union employee layoffs over the next four years. 
Why is this agreement not the central focus of the Gubernatorial campaign?  Why was this agreement not voted upon by the State Legislature?  Connecticut State Employee Unions own the state government.  It is legal collusion in its purest sense that helps to continue the further economic decline of Connecticut's economy.  Connecticut Taxpayers and Legal Connecticut Voters need to wake up to this embarrassment that is our state government in this upcoming state election.  This supposed money saving agreement secretly negotiated between the Connecticut Democrat Party and SEBAC is a farce.  There is no credibility as far as I am concerned in our state government.  And the remaining legal Connecticut Taxpayers continue to be economically raped by the ruling political elite and corresponding state employee labor unions through agreements like this.  Enough is enough.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Connecticut's Lack Of Fairness To Its Remaining Taxpayers

In his last State of the Union address, Governor Dan Malloy embarked upon a typical liberal Connecticut Democrat progressive and utopian vision of tolls everywhere, much higher and new taxes along with the same rhetoric of affordable mandated health care, higher minimum wages along with a much lengthier paid family leave law.  He threw in the usual cuts in municipal aid to "wealthier" towns to give more more money to the Democrat run economically failing cities such as Hartford, Bridgeport and New Haven.  The broken down XL Center gets yet more money to prop it open.  He harped on these liberal concepts as part of a "Connecticut Fairness" plan which ties in with the Connecticut Democrat Party plan of a "Values Agenda" (whatever that may be). Not a word was mentioned in his speech about the budget deficits nor the massive amount of short and long term debt along with unfunded liabilities the state has in 2018.
Malloy thus has spent both terms as Governor raising taxes and forcing an even more failed liberal agenda upon the remaining Connecticut Taxpayers left in the state.  Does he realize how bad the state's economy is and that we are still yet out of the recession?`
But the question must be asked after listening to this speech is "How is this budget fair to Connecticut Taxpayers?" In my analysis all this new budget does is once again raises taxes, makes driving in Connecticut especially expensive with a seven cent increase in the gas tax tax along with congestion price tolls on all highways and secondary roads in the state and expands taxes elsewhere.  The new budget keeps up social welfare programs for those in the state here illegally along with a much higher minimum wage (which will eliminate more jobs in the state).  Why does "Fairness" apply in this budget only to those who are politically connected such as state labor unions, the ruling political hierarchy and those here in the state illegally?  What happened to "Fairness" to those who are legal citizens of the state and pay an excessive amount of state taxes to live here?  Are they not entitled to any benefits of state government?  And how has this Connecticut Democrat Party liberal agenda worked so far in the state since the Malloy Administration began in 2011?  Haven't we seen an enormous amount of businesses and citizens move out of the state since 2011?  How many tax increases has the state had? Why is the short and long term debt along with unfunded liabilities of the state now $60 to $80 billion dollars, a massive increase since 2011?  What is the plan to pay off this debt? 
Fairness does not exist in the Connecticut Democrat Party in 2018.  This budget is a cesspool of higher taxes and failed programs that can only further the economic decline of the state.  It is economic garbage.  Yet this is the liberal agenda that the Connecticut Democrat Party will be running upon throughout the state in the upcoming elections this November.  And this why all Democrats need to be voted out of office on election day from top to bottom.  Dan Malloy's policies have failed completely since 2011.  The Connecticut Democrat Party's policies have failed completely since 2011.   Enough is enough.