Tuesday, June 11, 2019

UTC Flies The Coop

Martin Looney
United Technologies (UTC), yet another home grown Connecticut institution, has flown the coop – this time for Boston, Massachusetts, the state’s chief corporate poacher.

The day after the announcement had been made, the state’s Democrat spinmeisters were busy putting a happy face on the event. We discover from a Hartford Courant piece that pretty much everyone in the state was surprised by the announcement. Political cuckholds are always the last to know when their best laid plans are torn asunder.

State Representative Vincent Candalora, who has been inveighing against the Democrat Party’s war on the middle class during the recently concluded legislative session, made a sensible point. Perhaps, Candalora said, UTC’s decision to shake the dust of Connecticut from its feet and move to Boston may in some way be related to unfunded pension liabilities “and other polices that he says hinder economic growth.”

Candalora modestly proposed, “This deal [UTC’s rude but business savvy departure] is cooked but I hope we have a governor that is now going to open up his eyes and stop talking in soundbites and start really looking at how these proposals impact the state.”

Democrat Senate President Pro Tem Martin Looney, a big city progressive, “rejected that narrative. He said UTC’s corporate move is further evidence of the struggle Connecticut faces in trying to compete with major league cities such as Boston and New York,” the Courant advised. And then Looney offered a sport analogy: “It’s unfair in some ways to compare the attractions of Boston to what we have in Connecticut.  It’s like asking why, if you have two athletes of equal athleticism... the 6-foot 9-inch player regularly out rebounds the 6-foot player. It’s a matter of size.”

It is not a matter of size. Massachusetts and New York were always larger than Connecticut.

Even so, within the memory of Looney, a senator-for life of 26 years standing, Connecticut was yet able to compete favorably with the two larger rivals, because the state’s policies were different – one might say more modest – than those of its competitors. Connecticut’s budget was small and manageable, and it was a low tax, low regulation state that provided a restful harbor for companies buffeted by strong–armed government. Connecticut lost its competitive edge as the state more and more came to resemble New York and Massachusetts in its approach to governance, and it was politicians such as Looney who leveled a playing field that had given Connecticut an edge over both.

Looney has forgotten over the years much more than he knows and now relies upon fanciful “narratives” that, for him, are politically advantageous. According to Looney’s view, what Governor Ned Lamont really needs to compete with Governor Andrew Cuomo is more state revenue, a reinvented state government that will consign municipal governments to the trash bin of history, and go-along-to-get-along reporters in the state’s media who are finding it increasingly impossible to “see the thing right under their noses,” the most indispensable virtue of a good journalist, according to George Orwell.

Looney added in a Washington Post story, “It’s a matter of Boston being a magnet of all kinds. I think if we were looking at a move to Springfield, Worcester, or Chicopee we would have more reason to be concerned or to be self-reflective.” Why think about these things? Defense industries such as Pratt&Whitney, Sikorski and Electric Boat are immovably anchored in the state. Really, who cares about the movement to Boston of 100 UTC executives? Democrat business experts in the General Assembly and the governor’s office have everything well in hand. Stop thinking; it will only distress you. Go back to sleep, please.

Following UTC’s announcement that it was merging with defense-giant Raytheon and moving some one-percenter executives to Boston, Senator and former Attorney General of Connecticut Dick Blumenthal marshalled his adjectives, according to a story in The Hour: “But U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal said the merger ‘raises sweeping and serious questions and doubts about its impact on the Connecticut workforce and economy, as well as our national security and defense,’ and promised aggressive scrutiny by Congress, the Pentagon, the Department of Justice and other executive branch agencies.

“’I will demand answers immediately and publicly,’ he said. ‘As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I am troubled by the possible impact on cost and competition of defense products, which may significantly affect American taxpayers ... Of paramount interest to me is that the company match increasing defense and commercial contract commitments with additional jobs in Connecticut. I will be fighting to protect Connecticut jobs and workers every step of the way.’” This is not the first time abound the block between Blumenthal and UTC.

The so called “mansion tax” supported by Lamont and progressives in the state’s Democrat dominated General Assembly – a 2.25 percent penalty tax levied on the state’s redundant rich when they sell homes valued at $2.5 million and move out of Connecticut – was supposed to prevent millionaire executives from bailing on their fare-share tax obligations.  Blumenthal’s opposition may be the last unsuccessful attempt to cage the millionaires before they settle in Massachusetts, formerly Taxachusetts.

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