A story in one paper notes:
"The bipartisan budget talks began in late June, even before the last fiscal year ended on June 30. Recently, five days of negotiations led to only $9 million in cuts each year in a state budget of more than $18 billion a year, Rell said.Five days of negotiations have produced $9 million in cuts. The expression “an elephant giving birth to a mouse” comes to mind.
“The biggest sticking point is that the Democrats want to raise taxes and fees by $1.8 billion, which Rell has strongly rejected. She has countered with a package that would raise taxes and fees by more than $500 million, including pushing the state's cigarette tax to $3 per pack, up from the current $2 per pack.”
The Democratic grand design, apparently, was to run out the clock on the fiscal year, move negotiations from the public square to private negotiations, beat up the governor through leaks to the media suggesting she was unwilling to negotiate in good faith, and have their way with her.
It didn’t work, not yet anyway.
Speaker of the House Chris Donovan, the 9 million dollar man, held a news conference preceding Rell’s at which, according to the report, he appeared to be unusually animated:
“Before Rell spoke, House Speaker Christopher Donovan of Meriden held an impassioned news conference on Friday, strongly criticizing Rell's proposed cuts in health care. Donovan is known for his low-key style, and budget watchers said he was clearly more energized than usual on Friday.
"’The Democrats refuse to make these cuts,’ Donovan declared as he stood in front of fellow legislators and citizens who would be affected by Rell's plans.”
Let’s do the math.
Democratic leaders -- Donovan in the House and President Pro Tem of the State Senate Don Williams -- want to raise taxes and fees by $1.8 billion dollars. After 52 days and multiple bi-partisan meetings, the Democrats have agreed to cut spending by $9 million dollars. Now, $1.8 billion is $1,800,000,000; and $9 million is .5% of $1.8 billion.
So then, after 52 days of sweaty negotiations between the governor and a thimble full of Republicans, Democratic leaders Donovan and Williams have agreed to reduce spending by .5%; the rest of the deficit is to be collected in tax payments from mini-millionaires, itching to flee, but for now huddled against the storm in Connecticut’s wealthy communities.
President Barack Obama, Donovan and Williams’ nominal leader, also has his eye on the wallets of millionaires and mini-millionaires. The federal deficit over the next 10 years is about $10 trillion, $2 trillion more than the accountants in the administration had figured.
What this means is that any new program proposed by Democrats begins with an additional add on cost of $1 trillion a year. But not to worry: Obama and the Democrats have promised that no one making under $250,000 will absorb the insupportable costs of, say, the president’s new Health Care plan, which begins $1 trillion in debt for each of the next ten years and will, according to independent number crunchers in the congressional budget office, cost much more than the propaganda for the plan initially suggested.
In the meantime, millionaires and mini-millionaires, across the nation and in Connecticut, have suffered a reversal of fortune. Their reduced conditions have put a serious crimp in state revenues. A large part of the deficit Williams and Donovan have tearfully struggled to discharge during their absurdly prolonged secret negotiations with the governor has been owing to the reduced circumstances of the mini-millionaires from whom they wish to collect 99.5% of the deficit, the remaining .5% to be recovered from budget cuts.
Wonderful! Just wonderful! Connecticut’s thoughtless, irresponsible, spendthrift legislature hard at work in the vineyards of demagoguery!
Across the state, some people – none of whom work in Connecticut’s dwindling media -- are beginning to ask: Can we have an election right now, please?