Saturday, April 21, 2018

The Economic Costs Of Connecticut's New Tolls

Information on new taxes and user fees is always at a premium for Connecticut Taxpayers.  Our elected officials love sending out Connecticut taxpayer funded newsletters and pamphlets before an election hailing all the great things they have done over the years.  For example, Democrat Representative Mary Mushinsky 85th District who has been in office 37 years stated two years ago in her brochure that the state budget was actually balanced (when it was not and has not been).  Mushinsky and her fellow Democrat legislators will vote in favor of new tolls for the state over the next few weeks with little details being given to the public.
The details of the new tolls (as much as I can could understand from the bill and its amendments) should shock any Connecticut Taxpayer.  Connecticut drivers would have one of the most expensive tolled roads in the country along with the highest costs of administering those tolls.  In other words it would be a Connecticut Democrat Party dream come true of this new tax that would cost Connecticut Taxpayer drivers anywhere from $2000 to $5000 a year for the privilege of driving in our state.  Any where from 72 to 112 tolls could be placed along all of Connecticut's roads at a cost of between 10 and 20 cents per mile.  Congestion pricing would take place during peak times.  In my own personal example of my daily commute from Wallingford to Milford if I were to take my normal routes of I91/95 or the Merritt Parkway would cost me around $6 a day for my round trip or an additional $30 a week, roughly $1500 a year.  When I drive to Gateway Community College in New Haven  to teach my weekly class 32 times a year that drive will cost me another $4 round trip or additional $128 a year bringing just my basic commute to work up to $1628 a year not counting any other driving my wife and I do during the year.  My rough estimate based on our current driving patterns will cost another $1000 a year or more bringing my costs of the new toll tax to over $2600 a year.  If I choose not to get an EZ pass and or an automated toll reader for my vehicles I will be charged 50% more for the same tolls.  I wonder how much we will paying to buy these units for our vehicles?
Any road service company in the state will pay thousands more to service vehicles and road calls.  Any transportation company will have massive costs added to their services thus raising the costs of what they charge companies in the state.  UPS and Fed Ex will be adding toll surcharges to their home and business deliveries.  The general cost of living and doing business in Connecticut will increase by around $1 billion dollars yearly.  This figure is derived by $600 million dollars or more in the new toll tax being paid for by Connecticut Taxpayer drivers and businesses along with approximately $400 million in those same costs being passed along through higher prices for all goods and services bought and used by consumers and businesses due to the new toll tax. Businesses will not be able to absorb this new toll tax due to all of the other taxes and high costs of doing business in this state which include high electric costs, high workers compensation costs, and high fuel taxes that they pay already  It will be a vicious cycle of inflation and a much higher cost of living in the state represented by this new toll tax.
The costs to run this program according to the CDM Smith report would be an astounding $157 million per year with installation costs being in the range of $450 to $600 million dollars (all work would have to be completed by union contractors thus increasing the costs of this project).  Who pays for this is unknown as I can not derive this from the bill.  
The next question will be where will all of this new toll tax money go to?  I do not think it will go to road and bridge improvement as other taxes set out to do the same (Connecticut's secret gross earnings tax on gasoline for example) even though this new toll tax is being viewed as the cure all for improving our decaying and deplorable road and bridge system in our state.  The costs to administer this new toll tax are enormous and have to be met before any new revenue is derived. However in my opinion there is no guarantee that any of this money will end up improving our road and bridge systems but will be diverted to the state's general fund slush fund as has been the norm for years now.
Connecticut is an economic decline due to its high taxes.  The new toll tax should further its economic decline even more so than before.  How much more can Connecticut Taxpayers absorb in the cost of living in this state?  How much more can Connecticut businesses absorb in the cost of doing business in this state?
Why would anyone want to vote for any Connecticut Democrat candidate in this upcoming election based on this toll tax?  Connecticut voters really need to understand the economic costs of keeping the Connecticut Democrat Party in power any longer when examining this new toll tax.  Connecticut's economic path is no longer economically sustainable.


Saturday, April 07, 2018

Connecticut's Esty Crisis. Hypocrisy Rules.

Hypocrisy seems to be a prevalent theme in Connecticut politics in 2018.  Hypocrisy
seems to be a prevalent theme in Connecticut politics since the failed state income tax Weicker Administration of 1991.  It seems to me that for the 27 years and counting there is and has been a sense of no rule of law that needs to govern our elected officials at any level of government be it local, state or federal.  For example some of Connecticut's large cities are economic nightmares, poorly run and corrupted.  Hartford has been run into the ground for years its reward comes in the form of a Democrat $500 million dollar plus Connecticut Taxpayers bailout so that its inexperienced Mayor may be handed the Governors position in the coming election.  Drive over to Bridgeport (if you dare) and see a convicted Democrat Mayor get elected again to be Mayor of the city he stole from only to restart the same political machine he had before. He then has the audacity to run for Governor demanding Connecticut Taxpayers matching funds for his campaign.  Sanctuary cities are abundant in our state with little respect or regard given to the legal law abiding taxpayers of those same communities.  
Our state government exhibits a completely irrational means of governing that favors only its management and union employees with an unsustainable salary, benefit and pension package being forced down Connecticut Taxpayers throats.  The political patronage system on both sides of the aisle is alive and well in our state.  More inefficient spending, new and higher taxes are Connecticut's theme of political rule.  Short and long term debt along with unfunded liabilities are the norm passing Connecticut's economic problems down to future unborn generations.
Now we introduce the hypocrisy of United States Representative Elizabeth Esty who has led the news over the past week(much to the dislike of in your face at all times Democrat Senator Richard Blumenthal who lost his spotlight for a few minutes).  Esty has broken the law although you would have not known that as her cover up continues unabated.  Her crime was that she covered up was one of Tony Baker her former chief of staff accused of abusive and threatening behavior to a co-worker.  Baker's Democrat political reward was that he "resigned" from his $132,000 a year Taxpayer funded position, was given both a Taxpayer funded $4580 buyout and a $5000 severance package along with a letter of recommendation to obtain a job at the gun control organization Sandy Hook Promise.  In private industry I believe that this situation would never have happened and Mr. Baker would have been arrested rather than rewarded as he was.  Esty is having a great deal of difficulty working her way out of this issue she created.  She is a hypocrite to the women she employs on her staff by not protecting her employees from harassment which is against the law.  Esty in her wisdom will not run for re-election placing a damper on the Connecticut Democrat political patronage machine and its lawless values.  I am sure she is making the proper political negotiations so that she will be able to continue to receive her salary and benefits until her term is up.  She will be cast as a victim and will be promised a high paying doing nothing job from one of her campaign donors or at some level of government.  
I truly feel sorry for her remaining employees who have to work for her in threatening conditions.  I am also appalled at the lack of ethics and morals in her office.  Esty should resign but won't.  I also believe the legal voters of Connecticut's 5th District may want someone new to represent them possibly an ethical Republican like Manny Santos or Dr. Petit rather than another corrupt Democrat in the Esty mold.  Hypocrisy rules in our political system.  It sickens me.  And yes it yet another example of the many that: It Is Time To Take Back Connecticut In 2018.