Sunday, February 02, 2014

A Touch Of Tammany, The Real One Percenters And The Malloy Crony Capitalist Bank

“There’s an honest graft, and I’m an example of how it works. I might sum up the whole thing by sayin‘: ‘I seen my opportunities and I took ’em’” -- George Washington Plunkitt

 “Malloy has said the party's standard will be accepting donations allowed by law. State contractors are banned from giving to state campaigns, but they are allowed to donate to federal campaign accounts” – CTMirror

“The books are always all right. The money in the city treasury is all right. Everything is all right. All they can show is that the Tammany heads of departments looked after their friends, within the law, and gave them what opportunities they could to make honest graft  -- George Washington Plunkitt 

The figures –and the money – are now pouring into Democratic Party coffers. And as the tide of campaign cash drowns Republican Party hopes in the upcoming Connecticut elections, the Democratic Party in the Gimme State resembles nothing so much as Tammany Hall in the early 1900’s . Governor Dannel Malloy has become the party’s George Washington Plunkitt, although the Tammany Hall boss, who operated from a bootblack stand at the New York County Court House, was far chattier and much more frank than the current governor.


According to a CTMirror report, “Connecticut’s Democratic Party raised $2.1 million through its federal account in 2013, buoyed by a roster of $10,000 donors that include the owner of the 2014 Republican convention venue, the Mohegan Tribe, and executives of companies doing business with the state. The GOP raised $528,501.

“In end-of-the-year federal reports filed over the weekend, the Democrats reported raising $137,646 in December, with six donors, at least three of whom are involved in state projects, giving $10,000 each, more than the entire GOP monthly collection of $44,986.”

If money is the mother’s milk of politics, Tammany Malloy is its milkman. Welcome to the one party state, where all the books are in order, the bulk of campaign cash flows to the party in power, and both the media and large campaign contributors find themselves jostling in the same warm and cozy political pockets. Everyone – but taxpayers, considered for purposes of campaigning a voiceless minority party – benefits from supping on the distended teats of the progressive, crony capitalist state.

There is in Connecticut no Thomas Nast, the cartoonist in the age of Tammany who almost singlehandedly brought the big city New York political machine to a grinding halt. Connecticut must make do with timid and cowed cartoonists and commentators. The yellow journalist newspaper editors of old have given way to weak-tea publishers of cash poor newspapers and reporters content to co-operate with the reigning power, however ruinous to the public good its policies may be.

Last week, in preparation for the Democratic Party’s upcoming off year elections, Tammany Malloy, the ex-officio head of Connecticut’s one party state, pulled a surplus out of his hat.  It was a slender thing, only a spare $506 million budget surplus in a budget amounting to about $20 - $23 billion for fiscal years 2014-2016. Almost immediately, commentators and some politicians began to dispute the existence of the surplus; the seeming black ink was a mirage, some said. Others familiar with dictionaries pointed out that a surplus is by definition the amount of money the state has overtaxed its citizens and as such should always be returned to taxpayers in the form of adjusted appropriations.   Pretty much everyone agrees that the surplus will herald future billion dollar deficits.

The Office of Fiscal Analysis has estimated deficits of more than $1 billion for three years running starting in 2016 if the state continues to spend at the same rate. Tammany Malloy decided to slice and dice the purported surplus. He decided to return $155 million to taxpayers by way of a modest one time only gas and sales tax refund. In addition, he dedicated a portion of the one-time surplus,  $100 million, to prop up a massive hole in a pension fund raided by – let’s get this straight, shall we? – a General Assembly that has been dominated by Democrats sometime before many present General Assembly big spenders were in diapers. Connecticut’s pension liabilities are “three times greater than the average of all states in 2011.”  Connecticut's unfunded pension liability, Moody’s  Investors Service found, “was 189.7 percent of its revenue,” according to a comprehensive report on state pensions in the New London Day. The governor also injected $250 million of the one-time only surplus into the state's rainy day fund.


Tammany Malloy decided to slice and dice the purported surplus. He dedicated a portion of the one-time surplus to prop up a massive hole in a pension fund raided by – let’s get this straight, shall we? – a General Assembly that has been dominated by Democrats sometime before many present General Assembly big spenders were in diapers. Connecticut’s pension liabilities are “three times greater than the average of all states in 2011.”  Connecticut's unfunded pension liability, Moody’s  Investors Service found, “was 189.7 percent of its revenue,” according to a comprehensive report on state pensions in the New London Day.


Tammany Malloy intends to return a sliver of the supposed surplus to taxpayers upon whom he and Democratic leaders in the General Assembly had levied the largest tax increase in state history. The ratio of new Malloy tax increases to tax money returned is $2.6 billion to $273.4 million.

Thomas Nast would have mined that emaciated giveback for half a dozen cartoons. And any yellow journalist worth his spit in the early 1900s would have laughed such pretentious nonsense to shreds. What is the exact ratio of tax surplus money returned against Democratic campaign contributions from donors Tammany Malloy has stroked and cultivated during his one-party rule?

The well-financed one party Tammany Hall state apparently is here to stay. Blue journalists in Connecticut even now are plotting to co-operate with it. What Connecticut really needs -- in addition to tax relief, more modest spending, less crippling regulations, smaller and more efficient government, schools that produce scholars at about half the cost of public education, politicians determined to restore Connecticut to its former glory as an economic power house and cities that are not given over to gangs – is a new form of yellow journalism barking at the feet of the new crony capitalist Boss Tweeds.



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