Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Signs Of The Times

 Mother Aetna Heaves A Sigh

Connecticut’s House on Monday withdrew its tax infused budget shortly after three large companies – Aetna, General Electric and Travelers– hinted ever so gently they might move some operations out of state if lawmakers did not reconsider the Malloy-Sharkey-Looney budget. Reconsideration followed almost immediately, as legislators knees began to buckle.

Standing tall was taxaholic House Majority leader Joseph Aresimowicz, a Berlin progressive.

"Making upper-income wage-earners pay their fair share is great in my book,'' said union supporter Aresimowicz. “I guess [additional taxes on the rich mark] the difference between a weekend on the yacht and a regular trip to the grocery store — they can take a weekend off from the yacht.''

Previously asked whether he might veto a tax increase proposed by his own party, Malloy teased, “That sometimes can be viewed a little incendiary. But I also think I’ve been very clear in the past. I put out a [no new tax] budget back in February . . . we think that’s the appropriate framework.”

The veto by Connecticut’s Big Three saved Governor Dannel Malloy the trouble of formally vetoing Connecticut’s progressive budget.  Malloy spokesman Mark Bergman said the Governor spoke with business executives in recent days about the budget, according to a report in a Hartford paper, and one cannot help but wonder what the conversation might have been like.

Governor Malloy: Well… er… ah… um .. I want you to focus on the politics of this thing. I pledged several times during the campaign – Thanks, by the way for your generous, laundered campaign donations -- not to raise taxes. So, I… um …er… feel your pain. But it’s just not possible for me to buck [Senate President Pro Tem Martin] Looney and [House Speaker Brendan] Sharkey or other half-crazed progressives in the General Assembly. So, er… ah… um.. I wonder if you might help pull on the oars and suggest that high taxes might not be a smart move just now?

 Mother Aetna: Sure.

“If you don't like the weather in New England now, just wait a few minutes” – Mark Twain 

Shut out of budget negotiations for the second time since the governor’s office passed to Democrats, Republicans this year decided to hold an infrequent public hearing on the budget. To this end, a number of people on the receiving end of the Democrats' progressive budget --  business leaders, dry cleaners, home builders, veterinarians and taxpayers across the state -- lined up to testify against the $2.4 billion tax package offered by the Democratic majority. Among them was Jim Brown, Vice President and General Manager of William B. Meyer Inc., a Stratford-based moving company, who pointed out, "We are an outbound state, meaning the van line moves more people and families out of state than into state.”

When one of the Republican legislators mentioned to Mr. Brown that some analysts were ascribing the outbound character of the state to New England’s wintry weather and its impact on the fragile aging baby-boom generation, Mr. Brown cracked a wry smile and responded that the weather in New England had been wicked and wintry for millennia. In Heaven, where he reposes with Huck Finn, Mr. Twain also cracked a smile.

Connecticut’s Twenty-Second-Chance Society

At the Gold Roc Dinner in West Hartford, where Capitol Hill politicians sometimes go to catch an early breakfast, a patron munching on an omelette called the attention of her companion to a front page, top of the fold story – “Suspect Has Long Record: Hartford Police Have Arrested Alleged Shooter 21 Times.”

“Did you see this?

She read the lede to her companion:
  “The man wanted by city police in the shooting and wounding of a Hartford pastor and another man 15 minutes apart on Memorial Day weekend has a lengthy criminal history, according to judicial records.

 “Aaron Johnson Taylor, 25, has more than a half-dozen convictions since 2008, including felony convictions for carrying a pistol without a permit, violation of a protective order and first-degree escape.”

Mr. Taylor, a newly released convict still on the loose, is armed with the same easily obtained illegal weapon he used to shoot the minister. Post-Sandy Hook gun laws have had little effect on gun crimes in Connecticut’s cities. The public has been warned that Mr. Taylor is dangerous: Do not plant flags on lawns in his presence. The public has not been told if Mr. Taylor is a member of Mike Lawlor’s get-out-of-jail-early-release class of 2015. Mr. Lawlor, Mr. Malloy’s Under Secretary for Criminal Justice Policy and Planning, has not been eager to share with the general public recidivism data on his pupils.

Welcome to Mr. Malloy’s all carrot and no stick Twenty-Second Chance Society.
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