Connecticut’s new state budget – A commentary on our times

(cross-posted from Pelto’s Point at the New Haven Advocate)

As Democratic legislators circle the wagons to vote for Connecticut’s proposed budget, not one of them admits that while the Republican’s alternatives are wrong, this budget could have – and should have – been better.

This “Democratic Budget” unfairly targets state employees, fails to force the super wealthy to pay their fair share and makes record cuts to our colleges and universities.

After reading the coverage of the debate in the State Senate last night you’d think this budget was a “victory” and it is not.

The most telling statement of all comes in the form of the press release put out by the Senate Democratic leadership who validate and celebrate their
budget vote by pointing out;

“No wonder the budget framework has been endorsed by business leaders from across the state, including the Fairfield County Business Council, Bridgeport Business Council, and the CEO’s of some of Greater Hartford largest companies, such as Aetna, UTC, and CIGNA,” said Senator Williams and Looney.

Has it come to that?   The proof that something is good public policy is because America’s biggest CEOs say it is…

A final note.  The Democrats seem particularly proud that they are not only maintaining but actually expanding municipal aid as a way to support local services and keep local property taxes under control.  What they fail to point out is that since the additional funds are based on the expanded
real estate conveyance tax this budget will give the wealthy town of Greenwich $12.5 million dollars more while Manchester, a struggling city of comparable size, will receive about $1.5 million more —- 10% of what Greenwich will get.

A budget that coddles those making more than $2 million dollars a year while placing an even greater burden on the middle class and increases
municipal funds for Greenwich over Manchester at a rate approaching 10-1 is not a good and fair budget.

Even if the CEOs of America’s biggest companies say it is.