Thursday, November 5, 2009

Democrats Still Ignoring CT Government’s Red Ink

My prediction on September 24th was the Democrats in the Connecticut General Assembly were ignoring the state’s economic outlook when they proposed a budget over three months late. “The Democrats’ budget anticipates tax revenue that is unlikely to materialize during this global recession. What does that mean – our state budget is likely already running in a deficit – less than three months into a two-year budget. The Connecticut Office of Fiscal Analysis estimates 2012-2013 revenues will produce a deficit of over $6 BILLION!"

The Fiscal Year 2010 deficit is already $624 million according to the State Comptroller’s November 2nd estimates! This fact was entirely predictable when the Democrats ignored the reality of the record recession and assumed unrealistic tax and casino revenues. Thankfully, Governor Rell is committed to calling legislators back to the Capitol to address the ongoing budget crisis.

The Democrats’ budget just kicked the can down the road by failing to make any meaningful spending cuts. The Democrats’ budget relied on one-shot gimmicks, Obamabucks and over a billion dollars of new debt to balance the budget.

Late last month, Moody’s Investor Service downgraded the credit rating on Connecticut government’s debt, sending off alarm bells in the credit market and diminishing the state’s ability to sell bonds. Moody’s cited the new state budget’s overreliance on revenue from one-time gimmicks, borrowing, and wealthy tax payers whose income levels remain volatile.

When will the Democrats in Connecticut see the light? Connecticut government spending outpaced our taxpayer resident’s income by 64% since 1987! Connecticut government spending grew at such a rapid pace in the last 22 years that it far exceeded the growth of income for the resident’s who fund the government with their taxes.

Early in the 2009 legislative session I was excited to be appointed to a new commission created to identify potential improvements and efficiencies of our state government operations. I felt my experience with this process in local government could lend a unique perspective to the Commission on Enhancing Agency Outcomes (guvspeak acronym is CEAO). Now if we could just convince the Democratic majority leadership to seriously consider reinventing Connecticut state government’s operations we might actually reduce spending!

Residents of Connecticut expect more from their elected officials. Unfortunately, the Democrats hold a super majority in the Connecticut legislature and they still have their heads in the sand!