Skip to main content

The Surplus State

Is anyone surprised that the tax increases initiated by Governor Dannel Malloy and the Democratic dominated legislature have now produced a budget surplus of nearly a half billion dollars?

When the budget was put to bed months ago, Connecticut Commentary correctly characterized the surplus it produced as an artificial surplus:


“Mr. Malloy passed his budget through the General Assembly without being put to the inconvenience of discussing the matter with leading Republicans who, unlike union representatives, were wholly shut out of the process. The governor’s budget figures were such as to produce what I have called in the blog and in columns an artificial surplus of about a billion dollars. Real surpluses are produced when taxes are not increased but the state never-the-less realizes an increase in revenue owing mostly to increased business activity. Mr. Malloy’s artificial surplus is now flowing into a series of crony capitalist projects. Mr. Suzio is right about the UConn Health Center: It’s a budget busting black hole the state – which is broke, broke, broke -- can little afford to support. Attaching a non-profit, non-tax generating research center to the UCHC does not make the combination more profitable. This may be the first time in Connecticut’s history that a serviceable neck has been draped around an albatross.”


From its inception, Mr. Malloy’s budget -- a so called “shared sacrifice” plan -- was never intended to be revenue neutral.

Taking a page from former Governor Lowell Weicker, the father of Connecticut’s income tax, the current administration pegged taxes and putative “cost savings” in its budget in such a way as to produce a surplus. The Malloy administration already has distributed nearly a billion dollars of tax collections to the UConn Health Center, one of the state’s most absorbent tax sponges.

The latest figures leave state government with an additional half billion dollar surplus.

Mr. Weicker and succeeding governors folded their surpluses into the state’s spending program, which is why Connecticut’s budgets have increased threefold since the income tax was implemented. This governor differs from Weicker only in degree: his is the largest tax increase is state history.

Continuing surpluses will not be trimmed to assure no net increases in spending. They will be folded into future spending plans, and the surpluses will allow Mr. Malloy to continue to assert that relative to other states Connecticut is in “good shape.”

The state is unfortunate in having produced a string of governors who are incapable of making the proper distinction between the state – that is, the people of the state – and state government, their elected reopresentatives.

In all times, in all places, in all nations, the relationship between the people of the state and their government has ever been the same: The richer the government, the poorer the people.

The state of Connecticut, the surplus state, not at all well off; its government is flourishing.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Blumenthal Burisma Connection

Steve Hilton, a Fox News commentator who over the weekend had connected some Burisma corruption dots, had this to say about Connecticut U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal’s association with the tangled knot of corruption in Ukraine: “We cross-referenced the Senate co-sponsors of Ed Markey's Ukraine gas bill with the list of Democrats whom Burisma lobbyist, David Leiter, routinely gave money to and found another one -- one of the most sanctimonious of them all, actually -- Sen. Richard Blumenthal."

Dave Walker, Turning Around The Misery Index

Dave Walker, who is running for Lieutenant Governor on the Republican Party ticket, is recognized by most credible political observers as perhaps the most over qualified candidate for Lieutenant Governor in state history.
He is a member of the Accounting Hall of Fame and for ten years was the Comptroller General of the United States. When Mr. Walker talks about budgets, financing and pension viability, people listen.
Mr. Walker is also attuned to fine nuances in political campaigning. He is not running for governor, he says, because he had moved to Connecticut only four years ago and wishes to respect the political pecking order. Very few people in the state think that, were he governor, Mr. Walker would know less about the finance side of government than his budget chief.

Murphy Stumbles

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy has been roughly cuffed by some news outlets, but not by Vox, which published on April 16 a worshipful article on Connecticut’s Junior Senator, “The Senator of State: How Connecticut’s Chris Murphy, a rising Democratic star, would run the world.”
On April 15, The Federalist mentioned Murphy in an article entitled “Sen. Chris Murphy: China And The World Health Organization Did Nothing Wrong. The lede was a blow to Murphy’s solar plexus: “Democratic Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy exonerated China of any wrongdoing over the global pandemic stemming from the novel Wuhan coronavirus on Tuesday.
“’The reason that we’re in the crisis that we are today is not because of anything that China did, is not because of anything the WHO [World Health Organization] did,’ said Murphy during a prime-time interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper.”