Saturday, January 14, 2017

Connecticut and its Deficit

No the Connecticut state budget deficit has not gone away.  Nor will it likely go away in 2017 or 2018.  Approximately 40% and more of the state budget goes to state employees benefits and salaries and debt interest payments in 2017.  For state that has a population of 3,587,860 it has short and long term debt obligations of $60 to $80 billion dollars.  These are not new figures nor should they be surprising.  State government is a tool of the politically connected.  If you are politically connected you are able to procure a state job that allows you a high salary along with high benefits with a pension that is unsurpassed in the real economic world (of which Connecticut state government is not part of).  Just look at the deals recently made between two Senators and a Representative. Add to the mix a total lack of accountability in the job and you have a taxpayer funded totally ineffective and bloated state government that in reality does little to represent its citizens.
How did Connecticut end up with this deficit?  Years and years of inflated and needless programs, projects and employees have taken a toll on the state.  $4 billion dollars of tax increases has not even put a dent into the never ending deficit.  The Utopian State Income Tax, a tool of tyranny, did little to solve any deficit problems.
And the solutions presented by state departments to address cuts in their budgets naturally tries to impact as much pain on those who need their services the most.  Taxpayers must accept these supposed solutions while the same state workers who offer them in some cases do not contribute a penny to their pensions and will never take a pay cut or a cut in their benefits.  Those in need remain in need while our state government laughs at them.  Just like serfs in a serfdom.  Politics as usual.
What is the solution?  Real reform.  Cuts in salaries, pensions and benefits.  It is a simple process.  In private industry it is a real solution.  In Connecticut state government it is a fantasy.
Connecticut Taxpayers need to say no to our current government.  Republicans need to become more vocal and offer solutions by leading by example.  Not by cutting deals that still protect their political elite.  And Dan Malloy should resign as he has done little other than run Connecticut into the ground with his non conservative failed economic policies of higher taxes to infinity.
No the Connecticut state budget deficit has not gone away.  Nor will it likely go away in 2017 or 2018.  The legislature if it is truly a governing body needs to resolve it today.  Their excuses have grown stale.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Tired of being a Connecticut State Representative or State Senator?

Tired of being a Connecticut State Representative or State Senator?
Just get elected. Then need more cash and a pension?
Not to worry just cut a deal and your troubles are over.
No more financials worries for these three former State Representative and Senators.
Former State Representative Stephen Dargan, D-West Haven scored himself a mere $92,500 payoff in his new job in the State Board of Pardons.  Mr. Dargan was now able to triple his former salary and more importantly dramatically increase his lifetime pension.
Former State Senator Rob Kane, R-Waterford scored himself an even better position than Dargan becoming a Republican state auditor for a mere $150,000 a year.  Mr. Kane was now able to quintuple his former salary and more importantly dramatically increase his lifetime pension.
Former State Senator Eric Coleman, D-Bloomfield scored himself an even better position than Kane becoming a Judge for a mere $168,000 a year and only has to work five years before mandatory retirement.  Mr. Coleman was now able to more than quintuple his former salary and more importantly dramatically increase his lifetime pension.
Entitlements for our elected and appointed officials here in Connecticut.
What fiscal crisis?  Not for these three men who place their political self interest above the good of the state.  After they are entitled to it.  Politics for pay seems to be their game and the game of all of our elected officials.
All at the expense of the remaining Connecticut Taxpayers left here in Connecticut.
There is no pension crisis in Connecticut unless you are not an employee of the State. 
Reform of Connecticut's pension system.  All talk-no action.
Want a plan to correct it?  Kick it down the road to 2032.
This is yet another example of Connecticut's horrifically and fiscally inept government in action.
It is time to take back Connecticut in 2018.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Connecticut's Economy 2017

Happy New Year.
It is now 2017.  A great deal has changed in Connecticut in the past year.  The Connecticut Democrat Party lost a great deal of seats in the State House and Senate in this past election.  The Senate is now evenly divided 18-18 however the Democrat Lieutenant Governor holds the tie breaking vote thus one can view it as a one vote Democrat majority.  In the House the Democrats hold a 79-72 majority however the Democrats have lost 35 seats in the past four elections.  The Democrat majority in my opinion will end in 2018 in all areas of Connecticut's Legislature.
2017 represents another year of economic problems with Connecticut's bloated state budget and government.  The sacred political patronage system is under fire as excessively high salaries, benefits and pensions for both management and union workers are being seen finally as an economic problem in paying for them each year and in the future.  I will remind everyone that Connecticut's short and long term debt is about $60 to $80 billion dollars with absolutely no plan to address it by either side of the political aisle.  We will hear the constant rhetoric of trying to do something but I am confident that nothing will be done and 2018 will start off will another $1 to $2 billion dollars budget deficit like the $1.5 billion dollar deficit we have today in 2017.  What is the plan to address the deficit?  Yet more and higher taxes?  To drive more businesses out of state?  Why are management pension so high?  Why do 25% of those receiving a state pension contribute nothing-zero to their pensions?  Why is the State Legislature so generous with Connecticut's remaining taxpayers monies to give it away like this?  And then tell Veterans that they no longer can have a military presence at their funerals?
This is the true economic problem of Connecticut's government.  It is only worried about protecting those who are hand picked for their highly paid, high benefit and pension, non preforming jobs.  The jobs that they need not be held accountable for in any way shape or form.  It has helped ruin Connecticut economically.
I will continue my quest to educate my readers and voters of Connecticut that we need a change in our state government.  We need to hold all elected and non elected officials accountable for their economic actions.   We need to bombard our Representatives and Senators with phone calls, letters, emails and question why they are making such poor decisions for our state.  It needs to start today.
Debt is cancer for our state.  The disposal and disregard of those most needy in our state is a shameless political act that has grown stale.  Enough is enough.
It Is Time To Take Back Connecticut In 2018.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Swick's Final Thoughts on 2016

This will be my last column for 2016.  I will be back with a special New Years Day column in 2017.
A great deal has occurred in 2016.  We have a new President Trump and Vice President Pence.  We have seen the beginning of the end for the Clinton dynasty.  In Connecticut voters continue their rejection of the Connecticut Democrat Party and their irrational economic tax and spend policies.  Connecticut continues to lose many businesses and continues to have a net migration of population out of Connecticut.  Connecticut continues to rank near last in most economic categories in 2016.  The state's pension system is an economic debacle broke with a ridiculous proposal currently to push to 2032 the bulk of its debt.  It was a year of the same stale economic rhetoric from Hartford's Omnipotent One Party Rule which mercifully is day by day losing its grip on power in Hartford.  The City of Hartford continues is economic decline with a brand new baseball stadium in disrepair with no games being played there along with the push for a "regional" sales tax to bail them out.  More of the same in Hartford.  There was the usual mix of Connecticut political corruption that just never seems to end.
Dan Malloy will continue as the Head of the Governors Association shaking down donors who will demand better results than what they got in this past election and spending the bulk of his time out of Connecticut in hope of getting a new job when does not get re elected in 2018.  The hope is once again that in 2018 the Republicans will prevail in taking control of the State House and complete control of the State Senate rather the current split 18-18.  And more importantly win the Governorship with a conservative candidate like Peter Lumaj in the upcoming election.
I also think about the hundreds of million of dollars that was spent in this last campaign.  Think about all of the people who could have been helped, the poor, the sick, college loans, etc. with it rather where it went, in the pockets of overpaid political consultants, a biased media and pollsters who have no clue what is going on in our country.  Also think about all of the money that is in the Clinton Foundation that does not get spent on "charitable" endeavors.  
Thus we will be entering 2017 with a new found hope in a new and dynamic President Trump and Vice President Pence who have already shaken up Washington and its stale political process.  We know the liberal media will each day condemn him however it looks like he will be ignoring them and take his messages directly to the citizens and taxpayers of our country.  What a refreshing thought for America.  In my economic opinion when all is said and done America will have entered a great period of economic growth and prosperity and our future will look great again.
I wish to thank all of my loyal readers who both and agree and disagree with my writings and thoughts.  I wish to also thank Capitol Report 2016 for being on their "The List" of columnists.  Without you this column does not exist.  I have always wanted what is best for my town of Wallingford, for Connecticut and for the United States of America whether you agree with me or not.  It can only be achieved through economic growth and prosperity,  a belief in spirituality, through productive and fair employment, through self reliance not reliance on an ineffective government and through a desire to see all in our country be successful and in good health.
Happy Hanukkah.
Merry Christmas.
Happy New Year.
Thank You.
See you next year.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Connecticut's Continuing Pension Crisis

Connecticut's traveling Governor Dan Malloy never ceases to amaze me with his economic illiteracy and irrational and costly economic plans.  The newest piece of economic garbage comes in the form of addressing Connecticut's pension crisis.  Connecticut's pension funds are severely underfunded and in many cases former state employees are able to able add their overtime, mileage costs, etc. to their final pension amounts.  Thus Connecticut's pensions are broke with taxpayers footing the bill.
This new Malloy plan that does nothing to increase workers contribution levels nor cut back on pension payouts.  About 25% of all state employees contribute nothing toward their pension benefit. Most others pay 2%.  For comparison purposes 7% is the national average of contribution. The beauty of Connecticut's political spoils system is that Connecticut taxpayers must be forced to pay incredibly large pensions to non union state managers, commissioners, judges, state elected officials who in most cases do not contribute a penny to their lifetime payout.  This is not addressed in Malloy's proposal.  Nor what is addressed is why the actual pension liabilities have been pushed down the road to 2032 a time when most Connecticut's political elite will be receiving their pensions in a low taxed state like Florida.  The complexity of this proposal astounds as me as I (as an economist) am having trouble as to how explain it.  It looks like the state will increase its funding somewhat to their pension liability in the hope that their rate of return will increase.  If it does not increase then most of the debt will be pushed back to 2032 and at that time some new plan will be presented.
My plan is simple.  All 25% of those state employees who do not contribute to their pension will now start to contribute 7% of their income from dollar one with no cap.  Their pensions would be capped at a 30% level of highest income.  This is still generous.  The other state employees who now only contribute 2% of their incomes would see an increase to 7%, all new state employees would be placed in a self funded retirement plan.  All life time medical benefits would end for any state employee just retiring, they can either be offered the state exchange health care plan or a similar type of Medicare plan that we in the private sector must accept.
Remember Connecticut is broke.  It ranks last in pension unfunded liabilities.  It has run out of ways to tax its remaining citizens.  Connecticut taxpayers need not fund a lifetime of excesses for those who have political connections in Hartford.  It is time to take back Connecticut's bloated pensions.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Connecticut's Never Ending Fiscal Crisis. Connecticut's Bloated Pensions.

It is funny that Connecticut's fiscal crisis never ends.  It continues unabated day in day out, year in and year out.  New and higher taxes for many years now has not solved the state's continuous budget deficit.  State spending continues to keep going up.  More and more fiscal line items magically drop off the state budget and become off budget items. Excessively high salaries, benefits and pensions are embraced and never cut back.
Thus you have short and long term debt along with unfunded liabilities that have put Connecticut's debt at $60 to $80 Billion dollars.  With no plan whatsoever to pay this off.  Each Connecticut taxpayer owes over $13,250 on this debt.  What is the plan to pay this off or cut spending?
Connecticut's out-of-control spending was casually mentioned in this past election.  In a political miracle the State Senate is now evenly split between the Omnipotent Tax and Spend Democrats and the Republicans 18 to 18 with Democrat Lieutenant Governor Wyman casting the politically expedient tie braking vote.  The Democrats continue to lose seats in the State House and hold a small majority at this time.
Connecticut has one of the most bloated pension systems in the country that is horrifically underfunded.  Most Connecticut Taxpayers can only dream of getting a lifetime of a $100,000 plus a year pension along with virtually free medical benefits that they see many former state employees get.  These same Connecticut Taxpayers must be satisfied with their meager Social Security benefits that they have paid for all their lives.  They can not work for three years as a Judge and then be eligible for a lifetime state taxpayer funded pension.  They can not add their mileage expense to increase their lifetime state taxpayer funded pension.  They can not add their unused sick time (what is that anyways?) to their lifetime state taxpayer funded pension.  They can not be like Connecticut Senator Blumenthal and his lifetime state taxpayer funded pension of over $50,000 a year due to his reign of economic terror as State Attorney General.  Blumenthal by the way is worth over $105 Million dollars.  Does he still really need that lifetime state taxpayer funded pension and could he go without it and help the state in its time of fiscal need?   Of course he will get every penny out of state taxpayers that he feels he so richly deserves.
It is a sickening excess that Connecticut Taxpayers must pay for year in and year out.
Connecticut Taxpayers have had enough.
Connecticut continues to be a vast economic wasteland whose elected officials only concern is their financial gain.  It is proven time and time again.
Reform Connecticut's bloated public pension system today.  Find real budget cuts that cut the waste and bloated nature of Connecticut's government.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Have a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving.

To all of my loyal readers:
Have a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving.
We will Take Back Connecticut in 2018, rest assured.
I leave you with this powerful Psalm today.
Psalm 145:1-7
I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever. Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—and I will meditate on your wonderful works. They tell of the power of your awesome works—and I will proclaim your great deeds. They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.