Connecticut Public Financing Program “Safe”, For Now … But…


As CT Newsjunkie reported late yesterday,

“By the end of the day Thursday, both House and Senate Democrats who proposed suspending Connecticut’s landmark public financing system in 2016, had withdrawn their proposals.

Senate President Martin Looney, D-New Haven, made the announcement early Thursday afternoon and House Speaker Brendan Sharkey and Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz agreed to find the money elsewhere later Thursday afternoon. The news of the reversal came part way through a press conference held by ConnPIRG, Common Cause, lawmakers and other defenders of the clean election system.”

As reported in yesterday’s Wait, What? post entitled, Connecticut’s Democratic Legislative Leaders call for suspending elections to save money…,

The Democratic leaders of the Connecticut General Assembly proposed suspending Connecticut’s public financing system, thereby allowing legislators to transfer about $11 million toward the $254 million budget deficit in this year’s state budget.

Their plan would roll back the campaign finance system that Connecticut adopted after former Governor John Rowland resigned in disgrace and was sent to prison.

Instead of keeping Connecticut’s Clean Election Program in place, Democratic leaders would return the state to the “Wild West” campaign fundraising system that favored incumbents and ensured that campaigns for the legislature were primarily financed by political action committees, lobbyists and those who benefit financially from state contracts.”

Former Governor Jodi Rell joined in condemning the Democratic leader’s move to end the Clean Elections Program but correctly noted that Governor Malloy and the General Assembly had already undermined some of the most important aspects of the historic effort to keep dirty money out of Connecticut politics.

In a statement Rell observed,

“The Democrats have effectively eviscerated the spirit of the law since 2011 and now they are looking to overturn the actual letter of the law altogether.”

Meanwhile, faced with a state budget deficit in excess of $254 million, the Senate Democrats issued their own proposal yesterday. (See CT Newsjunkie’s The Democratic Divide and CT Mirror’s Senate Dems break with House, go own way on deficit.)

As the CT Mirror’s Keith Phaneuf explains,

Senate Democrats issued their own deficit-mitigation plan Thursday, pressing for a retirement incentive plan opposed by House Democrats and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy as damaging to the state’s overburdened pension system.

The retirement incentives were offered in place of suspending the state’s public financing of campaigns, a measure included in a list of spending cuts they jointly proposed Monday with House Democrats.


An estimated $163 million would be saved over this fiscal year and next, Senate Democrats say, by paying incentives to encourage senior state employees to retire.

Of course Connecticut has learned the hard way that while retirement incentives “reduce” the state payroll by persuading state employees to retire early, it does that by moving employees from the state payroll over to the pension fund, which is already extraordinarily underfunded.

In addition, since some state employee positions must be refilled in order to maintain some of the most critical state services, early retirement programs never save as much money as initially proposed.

For Connecticut’s most vulnerable citizens, early retirement incentive programs disrupt the level and quality of vital services they receive.

In addition, while the budget cutting plans issued by Governor Malloy, the House Democrats, the Senate Democrats and legislative Republicans differ in various ways, all target the University of Connecticut, Connecticut’s State Universities and the state’s Community Colleges for even more devastating cuts ranging in size from a low of $12 million to Governor Malloy’s high of $28 million.

Malloy has already dealt Connecticut’s public colleges and universities with the biggest budget cuts in Connecticut history, which in turn have led to massive tuition increases and reduced educational opportunities and programs.

Want to know the truth about CT’s Fiscal situation – Read OFA’S 2015 Fiscal Accountability Report


Getting honest, accurate information about Connecticut’s fiscal crisis is not easy.  One of the most important sources of information is the annual Fiscal Accountability Report issued by the Connecticut General Assembly’s non-partisan Office of Fiscal Analysis.

Fiscal Accountability Report

OFA has become a bastion of “truth-telling” – even when others, including some legislators, would prefer they weren’t.

The one overarching message is that “kicking the can” down the road is simply no-longer an option.

You can find the report at:

Many other useful reports and documents can be found at:

Hello Connecticut?  Ah, our Fiscal House is on Fire


In “Fiscal flood warning: Nothing but red ink forecast in CT,” the CT Mirror’s Keith Phaneuf reports;

Nonpartisan fiscal analysts issued projections Friday that Connecticut, already coping with a significant budget shortfall in the current year, is facing a far worse problem just over the horizon: nearly a $2.3 billion gap in state finances over the next two fiscal years.

The legislature’s nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis is projecting a $552 million deficit in the next fiscal year, which begins July 1, 2016. And finances are on pace the following year to run $1.72 billion in the red….

It was only 48 hours ago that Governor Dannel Malloy was quoted in the Hartford Courant claiming;

“…a shortfall of “a couple of hundred million dollars” needs to be kept in perspective, the Democratic governor said.

“These numbers aren’t that big, folks,” Malloy told reporters Thursday at a news conference at the state Capitol.  “We’re talking about a $20 billion budget. That’s 20 thousand million dollars. We’re talking about finding a couple of hundred million of dollars in cuts. It’s a relatively small number versus the entire expenditure.”

He added: “I know it all gets reported as a crisis. This is not a crisis.”

Here at Wait, What?, the blog post about the budget read,  Making Sh*t Up – the New Normal in American and Connecticut Politics.

Just last year, as the 1st term governor sought to convince voters to give him four more years in office, Malloy said there was not deficit and if re-elected he would not proposal or accept tax increase if re-elected;

“We won’t have deficits. We don’t have deficits.” – Malloy – CT Mirror – Feb 4, 2014

“We really don’t have a deficit.” – Malloy – CT Mirror – August 4, 2014

“There won’t be a deficit. And there won’t be tax increases, because I’m taking that pledge when I couldn’t take it before, because this is a budget I own.” Malloy – NBC Connecticut – Sep. 30, 2014

“I don’t believe there will be a budget deficit and I pledge that there won’t be one. I also pledge that there will not be a tax increase.”  Malloy. – FOX CT – Sep. 30, 2014

“State government will live within its means, and we will not raise taxes.” – Malloy – CT Mirror – November 24, 2014

But of course, despite the use of multiple budget gimmicks and tricks the State of Connecticut ended the last fiscal year with a $118.4 million budget deficit and this past summer when Governor Malloy signed the new state budget into law, the Read my Lips, “no-tax-increase pledge” was replaced with about $1.8 billion in additional taxes, over the biennium, including the elimination or postponement of $480 million in tax cuts that, during the campaign, Malloy had promised voters would take effect following his re-election.

Perhaps worst of all, as billions in new taxes took effect in 2011 and billions more in 2015, Connecticut’s wealthiest citizens sat back well protected thanks to the one promise Dannel Malloy did keep.

When addressing the Connecticut General Assembly in 2011, Malloy pledge not to raise the income tax rates on Connecticut’s wealthiest because he didn’t “want to punish success.”  (See Wait, What? posts Malloy’s commitment to coddle the rich!, Why doesn’t Connecticut have a Fair and Progressive Income Tax? and Foley and Malloy are just plain wrong on taxes.)

For the last five years, as Connecticut has continued to careen toward the fiscal crisis that is increasingly enveloping us, the State’s super wealthy have remained coddled and protected, paying far less than they would be paying if they lived in New York, New York City, New Jersey or Massachusetts and paying a far, far lower share of their income than the rest of us pay in state and local taxes.  In Connecticut middle income families’ pay about 10 percent of their income in state and local taxes while the wealthy pay about 5.5 percent of their income for the Common Good.

And now, as CT Mirror’s Keith Phaneuf reports, here comes the confirmation that the fiscal problems facing the state are as bad, if not worse, then expected.

Phaneuf adds;

The growing deficits are due to several factors, but one of the largest involves Connecticut’s single-biggest source of revenue: the personal income tax.

Receipts, both from paycheck withholding as well as from quarterly filings tied largely to investment earnings, have grown in recent years — but not at the pace they did before the Great Recession.

For example, income tax receipts this year already are coming in almost $190 million below expectations, according to nonpartisan analysts, and that trend continues into the next two years.

On the spending side, debt is taking a heavy toll on the state budget. Payments owed on bonding — which finances most state capital projects — are rising sharply. After borrowing more than $1.9 billion last year, Malloy announced this year he expected the state to bond more than $2.5 billion. Republican legislators and other critics have complained that the state increasingly is relying on its credit card to cover operating expenses, and not just capital projects.

Soft debt, particularly Connecticut’s poorly funded pension fund for state employees, also is draining the budget. The state’s required payments into that fund continue to rise sharply, a problem that several officials say is projected to continue until 2032.

And according to state Comptroller Kevin P. Lembo, more than 80 percent of this year’s pension contribution has nothing to do with benefits for current employees. Rather it reflects the state’s failures to save adequately in past decades for workers who’ve already retired, as well as unrealistic expectations for pension fund investment earnings.

The big post-election deficit also reflects some problems that Malloy and legislators deferred from the last term.

For example, the 2011 concessions deal the governor struck with state employees requires all workers to forfeit 3 percent of their pay to help fund their retirement health care. Connecticut agreed to match that payment, but deferred the start of that match — an annual cost of about $115 million — until 2017-18.

You can and should read Phaneuf’s entire story at:

Malloy continues to coddle Connecticut’s Charter School Industry

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The massive financial investment the charter school industry made in Malloy’s last gubernatorial campaign appears to be paying off yet again as Governor announces a new plan to cut state spending.

As the CT Mirror is reporting in an exclusive article entitled, Malloy pitches $350M in cuts; GOP wants mix of cuts, labor savings;

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy presented legislators Thursday with almost $350 million in budget-cutting options that would fall heavily on social services, education and municipal aid, according to documents obtained by The Mirror.

Details are scarce, but in classic fashion, Malloy is targeting the majority of his new budget cuts on health care, human services, education and Connecticut’s Public institutions of higher education.

Malloy’s list of “cuts” includes $2.3 million “less” for Connecticut’s privately owned but taxpayer funded charter schools…but such a claim obscures the truth.

According to the CT Mirror, the Charter School “cut is possible because fewer students enrolled in charter schools than the state budget provided. This happened because the State Board of Education approved a smaller expansion of charter schools than initially anticipated.”

However the real truth is that as a result of Malloy’s demand that charter schools get the money they wanted, the present Connecticut budget includes $8.6 million more for Charter Schools this year and an additional $13.1 million more in next year’s budget.

Lest people fall for the claim that Charter Schools are being “cut,” even if Malloy’s latest proposal is adopted, the Charter Schools – which refuse to educate their fair share of students with special education needs and those who aren’t fluent in English – will still be getting $6.3 million more this year and a total of $19.4 over the two year budget period.

While protecting charter schools, who proved to be among his largest campaign donors, Malloy’s new spending plan actually includes a variety of significant cuts to public education programs including a $15 million cut in the school transportation grant which will simply shift the burden for those costs onto local property taxpayers.

In addition, while protecting charter schools and cutting public schools, Malloy returns to one of his favorite targets, proposing an additional $28 million in cuts to UConn and the Board of Regents (Connecticut State University and Community Colleges).

Malloy is also proposing to cut an additional $16.5 million to Connecticut’s hospitals, many of which are already unable to maintain their present level of services due to Malloy’s previous budget cuts.

The CT Mirror is also reporting that;

Meanwhile, leaders of the legislature’s Republican minority offered an array of spending cuts and new restrictions on state employees’ wages and benefits, all of which presumably would require negotiations with labor unions.

You can read the full CT Mirror article at:

Making Sh*t Up – the New Normal in American and Connecticut Politics


If there is one overarching message coming out of the Republican Presidential Debates it is the realization that candidates for the highest office in the nation have absolutely no problem with simply making sh*t up.

But the buffoons seeking the Republican nomination for President of the United States certainly aren’t alone.

Unfortunately for Americans and American Democracy, making sh*t up has become the new normal across the political spectrum, even (or especially) right here in Connecticut.

Take for instance the case study of Democrat Governor Dannel Malloy and Connecticut’s Fiscal Crisis

As Dannel Malloy is fond of saying, thanks to Republican Governor Jodi Rell and a Democratic General Assembly, he “inherited” a $3 billion budget problem when he took office in January 2011.

In order to put Connecticut’s fiscal house in order Malloy instituted a massive tax increase, significant budget cuts and a large concession package with Connecticut’s State Employees, although he did manage to protect and coddle Connecticut’s wealthiest taxpayers in the process.

Although his comprehensive financial “fix” didn’t actually solve Connecticut’s budget problems, Governor Malloy set that truth aside and spent the entire 2014 gubernatorial campaign claiming that Connecticut’s state budget was balanced, that there was no state budget deficit, and that if re-elected, he would not propose or accept any tax increase in a second term as governor

According to Malloy, the road ahead was filled with the “green lights” of fiscal stability and that upon entering a second term he would steer the ship of state without having to make cuts to vital services, seek additional concessions from Connecticut’s State Employees or raise taxes.

It was Dannel Malloy’s “Read my Lips” moment and despite the very real warning signs about Connecticut’s growing fiscal problems, Dannel Malloy would not budge from his 2014 political talking points.

We won’t have deficits. We don’t have deficits.” – Malloy – CT Mirror – Feb 4, 2014

We really don’t have a deficit.” – Malloy – CT Mirror – August 4, 2014

“There won’t be a deficit. And there won’t be tax increases, because I’m taking that pledge when I couldn’t take it before, because this is a budget I own.” Malloy – NBC Connecticut – Sep. 30, 2014

“I don’t believe there will be a budget deficit and I pledge that there won’t be one. I also pledge that there will not be a tax increase.”  Malloy. – FOX CT – Sep. 30, 2014

Although Connecticut law requires the Governor and his administration to provide a truthful assessment of the state’s fiscal situation, the Malloy administration refused to even admit there was a growing budget deficit until after he won re-election in November 2014.

Malloy finally admitted what was already known, that Connecticut’s state budget wasn’t balanced but he and his appointees insisted that they would simply cut spending sufficiently to balance the 2014-15 state budget.

“State government will live within its means, and we will not raise taxes.” – Malloy – CT Mirror – November 24, 2014

But when Connecticut’s state fiscal year came to a close eight months later, State Comptroller Kevin Lembo certified that State Government ended the year with a $118.4 million budget deficit.

No amount of reality would stand in the way of Malloy’s political rhetoric, prior to or even after the 2014 Election.

On February 3, 2015, just weeks before Malloy presented his new proposed state budget for Fiscal years 2015-2016 and 2016-2017, his budget chief briefed the media.

When asked whether Malloy would be able to keep his campaign “no-tax-increase pledge?”

“YES” was how Ben Barnes, Malloy’s Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management responded

Four months later, when Governor Malloy signed the new state budget into law, the “no-tax-increase pledge” was replaced with about $1.8 billion in additional taxes, over the biennium, including the elimination or postponement of $480 million in tax cuts that, during the campaign, Malloy had promised voters would take effect following his re-election.

In addition to shattering his “read my lips” promise on taxes, Malloy’s budget also made significant and drastic cuts to a range of vital services and programs.  The hardest hit included Connecticut’s hospitals, services for those challenged by developmental and other disabilities and Connecticut’s public universities and colleges.

And was that new budget actually balanced as Malloy claimed?

Not a chance.

As we are now learning, just four months into the fiscal year, Connecticut’s “balanced budget” is becoming unhinged.

More cuts to vital services and still Connecticut is facing a combined $600 million budget deficit in this fiscal year and next…and the hole is getting bigger.

In addition, as a result of failing to properly balance this year’s budget, Connecticut will be facing a $1.6 billion shortfall in the state budget immediately following the 2016 state elections for members of the Connecticut General Assembly.

As the CT Mirror reported this week,

“That means the financial problems facing the Capitol over the next few years are roughly five times the size of Connecticut’s modest $406 million emergency reserve.”

Since Connecticut law requires the Legislature to adopt a 2 year biannual budget, when newly elected legislators are sworn into office in January 2017, they will be faced with a projected budget crisis of well over $3 billion and growing … A problem similar in size and scope to the budget crisis that Malloy “inherited” when he took office in January 2011.

The truth is that after two gigantic tax increases, major cuts to vital programs and a significant State Employee concession package, Malloy is captaining a ship that will face as big a problem as the one he started with five years ago.

To see politicians making sh*t up, you can tune into the Republican Presidential Debates, or you can simply look to see what is being said by Connecticut’s Chief Elected Official.

Republicans and Democrats, Liberals and Conservatives, voters of all philosophies, now would be a good time to demand better at the national level and right here in Connecticut.

Malloy kicks the can so far down the road that it land’s right on our children’s heads


The voters of Connecticut need to pay special attention to Governor Dannel Malloy’s irresponsible proposal to change the way that Connecticut funds its pension program for state employees.

Governor Malloy’s plan is nothing more than an outrageous maneuver to balance his failed state budgets on the backs of our children and their future.  As the title of yesterday’s Wait, What? blog stated – Connecticut: BEWARE of Governor Malloy’s most fiscally irresponsible budget proposal yet.

The CT Mirror’s Keith Phaneuf provides more information about Malloy’s proposals in his latest article, explaining that the new initiative violates one of the most fundamental promises Dannel Malloy made when he was running for governor in 2010.

Keith Phaneuf writes,

“One year after taking office, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy vowed to accelerate payments into the state’s cash-starved pension fund, much as a family might make extra mortgage payments now to lessen balloon payments looming in future years.”

But not surprisingly, although Malloy pushed through significant tax increases in 2011 and 2015, he used the additional funds to pay for other things and never followed through on his commitment to make those extra pension payments.

Now, in the face of new state budget problems, Malloy is completely reversing his stand on properly funding Connecticut’s State pension fund and proposing “kicking the can” down the road by pushing off $8 billion in necessary pension payments onto the next generation of Connecticut taxpayers.

Phaneuf notes,

“Under the governor’s plan, Connecticut still would catch up on its pension contributions — after 2032.”

But as the CT Mirror reports, the Governor who seems unable to tell the truth denied reality, once again, claiming,

“We are not kicking anything down the road,” Malloy said, citing a phrase he and other gubernatorial candidates used in 2010 to describe the fiscal gimmicks that had weakened the pension system and created a record-setting state budget deficit at that time.

“It is simply irresponsible to leave more and more debt for future generations.”  Malloy wrote in his 2010 campaign platform on “Taxes & The Budget.”

The governor insisted this week that it would be irresponsible to pretend state finances, and taxpayers, could afford a $6 billion-plus pension expense down the road.

Postponing some pension payments until later to avoid that fiscal iceberg is the best option, Malloy said, adding that his new plan would “smooth out” the late-term costs.”

However, the truth is that the real spike in the amount of money needed to meet the required pension payments – the real “iceberg” Malloy is referencing – does not occur this year, or next year or even the year after that.

The harsh reality is that Governor Malloy isn’t offering up this new pension funding plan because he is worried about whether the state can make its required pension payments in 2025, he is doing it NOW because he wants to use the money that we should be paying into the pension fund over the next few years to balance the state budgets during his remaining time in office.

This is not an issue of Democrats versus Republicans or Liberals versus Conservatives.  Nor is it a debate about whether there should be addition changes to Connecticut’s state employee pension program.

This debate is about whether Connecticut will fulfill its financial obligations to the state pension fund or allow Dannel Malloy to divert that money to balance his state budgets and reduce the need for additional tax increases or budget cuts.

There will always be politicians like Dan Malloy who would rather dump problems on someone else rather than actually tackling the job of developing fair and honest balanced budgets.

That said, what is not be acceptable is allowing Malloy to resolve the mess he created by dumping the problem on our children.

Connecticut BEWARE of Governor Malloy’s most fiscally irresponsible budget proposal yet.

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“Gov. Dannel P. Malloy outlined Wednesday a sweeping plan to overhaul state government’s pension system.”  – CT Mirror 10-29-2015

Governor Dannel Malloy’s state budget, that took effect last July 1, is already a quarter of a billion dollars in deficit and the problem is actually far worse.

Next year’s state budget is even more out of balance and after the next election, when legislators reconvene in January 2017, Connecticut will be facing a two-year General Fund Budget Deficit of $1.6 Billion … YES, A DEFICIT OF $1.6 BILLION … [A deficit of at least $927 million in FY 2018 and $831 million in FY 2019.]

In order to address that problem, Governor Dannel Malloy is proposing to dramatically change the way Connecticut funds its state employee pension system.

The maneuver is intended to reduce the amount of money the State of Connecticut puts into its pension fund in the short-term – thereby reducing the hole in Malloy’s state budget.

However, by failing to make the required pension payments in the years to come, Malloy’s plan would shift as much as $10 billion dollars onto the backs of our children.

If Malloy’s plan is adopted, the additional spending would start in 2033.  While it seems years away, the fact is that a child born today will turn 17 in 2033.  Connecticut, like the United States, has already taken on too much debt.  Making the required pension payments as we go forward will not be easy, but shifting the burden to our children and their future is even worse.

Malloy’s proposal is complex and thus will get limited media coverage, or worse, no coverage at all.

Today the Stamford Advocate published an editorial entitled, Malloy initiative on taxes and payroll a good oneWhile complementing Malloy and his budget director, the editorial didn’t even mention Malloy’s pension proposal even though the impact of his plan will be significantly greater than his proposal to cut taxes for GE and reduce the number of state employees.

The lack of reporting is no excuse for not following the issue and demanding that legislators act appropriately.

All voters should start by reading Keith Phaneuf’s article, Malloy calls for big change in pension financing, in yesterday’s CT Mirror and then continue to monitor his coverage and the articles written by other reporters at the State Capitol.

When making the announcement yesterday, Malloy called his plan a “bold move.”

Connecticut’s elected officials, including Governors O’Neill, Weicker, Rowland, Rell and Malloy have all failed to properly fund Connecticut’s pension programs, but there is absolutely nothing bold about simply shifting the burden to the next generation.

Connecticut voters across the political spectrum should take note.  Whether liberal, conservative or moderate, whether Democrat, Republican or other, Malloy’s pension plan will dramatically impact Connecticut Government and the rate of taxes and spending.

Many of those who will be most impacted by the pension plan are only children.  Others have yet to be born.

Do not let our elected officials make this decision in vacuum.

Learn the facts and speak out.

As noted in yesterday’s Wait, What? post – Fiscal responsibility does not begin with running away from our obligations!

Malloy Invites Bipartisan Budget Talks, Calls For Special Session



Governor Dannel Malloy is calling for bipartisan budget talks and a special session to correct the problems in his state budget?

If there was an award for the most apt headline of the year, it would go to CT Newsjunkie for their laugh-out-loud, stranger than fiction, nine word summary of Governor Dannel Malloy’s latest budget ploy – Malloy Invites Bipartisan Budget Talks, Calls For Special Session

CT Mirror also did a great job cutting to the chase with, Malloy’s seeks new storyline with budget gambit.

The only thing better might have been a political cartoon of Governor Dannel Malloy holding the deflated budget in his hands with the tag line – who me?  (Go Patriots)

As the voters of Connecticut know, during the 2014 gubernatorial campaign Dannel Malloy promised that if the voters gave him a second term in office he would NOT RAISE TAXES, would not CUT VITAL SERVICES and would NOT SEEK CONCESSIONS from the state employee unions.

In the language of political spin, it was a combined “Morning in America” and “Read My Lips” moment.

But of course, once sworn back into office, Malloy raised taxes, cut vital services and passed a budget that was not only out of balance from the start but left the state of Connecticut with a biannual budget shortfall in excess of $1.6 Billion for fiscal years FY2018 AND FY2019.

YES – A DEFICIT OF $1.6 BILLION … $927 million deficit in FY 2018 and another deficit of $831 million in FY 2019.

And while Malloy is now calling for bi-partisan talks and a special session, as the title of yesterday’s Wait, What? post summarized, Governor Malloy – Is a politician who simply cannot tell the truth;

Malloy’s observation that this year’s state budget has a $118.4 million deficit COMES AFTER AND ABOVE the $103 million dollar deficit that he suddenly found and announced just thirty days ago.

  • When Governor Malloy signed the new state budget into law in June 2015, the Malloy administration claimed the state budget was balanced with no deficit in sight.
  • In July 2015, at the start of the fiscal year, the Malloy administration claimed the Connecticut State Budget was balanced with no deficit in sight.
  • In August 2015, the Malloy administration claimed the Connecticut State Budget was balanced with no deficit in sight.
  • And even as late as the first week of September 2015, the Malloy administration said the State of Connecticut said that not only was there no deficit, there would actually be a small surplus.

Then over the weeks that followed Malloy’s administration “discovered” that not only had the surplus disappeared but there was a deficit that left state spending $221 million dollars above the amount of revenue coming in.

For weeks the Republicans in the Connecticut General Assembly have been calling for a Special Session to deal with what it termed a very real budget crisis.

Some courageous Democratic legislators even criticized Governor Malloy’s handling of the budget and his recessions, suggesting that alternatives be found, an action which would have required a Special Session.

But Malloy stood firm.

Malloy said No to a Special Session

Malloy said No to bipartisan discussions

Malloy said No to any meaningful compromises or alternatives about the budget problems.

And then, when the lies could no longer stand on their own and the truth finally started to come out about just how out-of-balance the state budget is…

Malloy Invites Bipartisan Budget Talks, Calls For Special Session

If the situation wasn’t so absurd, it would be funny.

But instead it is just painful.

There is a reason that three in four Connecticut voters disapprove of the way Malloy is handling the state budget.

As last week’s Wait, What? headline explained, When it comes to Governor Dannel Malloy, Connecticut voters are rightfully angry.

Governor Malloy – A politician who simply cannot tell the truth


Monday, October 18, 2015,

Standing outside his state Capitol office Monday, Malloy said there’s been a significant downturn on Wall Street, and personal income is not rising as fast as expected. That’s why his budget office was expected to report that even after $103 million in emergency budget cuts last month, the state is running a $118.4 million deficit, only four months into the new fiscal year. A majority of the deficit is attributed to the $109 million drop in personal income taxes. –  CT Newsjunkie

NOTE:  The $118.4 million deficit COMES AFTER the destructive and callous $103 million in cuts that Malloy announced a month ago – cuts that will reduce a variety of vital services including to those for people with developmental disabilities and mental health problems, as well as, reductions that will domino into almost $190 million in cuts in state and federal funds to Connecticut’s hospitals.

  • When Governor Malloy signed the new state budget into law in June, the Malloy administration claimed the state budget was balanced with no deficit in sight.
  • In July, at the start of the fiscal year, the Malloy administration claimed the Connecticut State Budget was balanced with no deficit in sight.
  • In August the Malloy administration claimed the Connecticut State Budget was balanced with no deficit in sight.
  • Even as late as the first week of September, the Malloy administration said the State of Connecticut had a small surplus.

And then on September 18th,

“Responding to a weak stock market, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy ordered $103 million in emergency cuts Friday…


Benjamin Barnes, the governor’s budget chief, said lower-than-expected income tax receipts and the drop in the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index for the first nine months of 2015 prompted the reductions just three months into the state’s fiscal year. – CT Mirror

And now, a month later Malloy holds another press conference to announce the hole in the budget has grown by another $118 million and this time he is open to “talks” with the legislature, including the Republicans.

Less than sixty days ago, the State of Connecticut had a surplus, now the situation has suddenly changed, the budget problem is nearly a quarter of a billion dollars ($221 million) and growing.

And the political spin for this development?

Malloy and his team explain that the problem is the stock market.

But as the CT Mirror’s has Keith Phaneuf has noted for months and re-explains in his latest CT Mirror story entitled Questions about the last recession complicate CT’s budget woes, the problem facing Connecticut is not simply a “drop in the stock market” but a much more serious problem with the economy.

Although a portion of the jobs lost during the Great Recession have returned, many of those jobs are lower paying and salaries out here in the real world are not growing.

Yet despite that reality, Governor Malloy, with the full support of the Democrats in the Connecticut General Assembly, pushed through a budget that was based on rosy and overly optimist projections that the economy was so strong that Connecticut would “grow” its way out of the budget problems.

Nothing could have been further from the truth then and their irresponsible maneuver means the “chickens are coming home to roost” now.

And make no mistake, none of this was a secret.

The Wait, What? post on June 3, 2015 – The Train Wreck of the Democrats’ State Budget and the Wait, What? post on June 29, 2015 – CT’s Legislative Democrats set to make a bad budget worse and

While people across the political spectrum can debate over how best to deal with the growing budget crisis, no real solution will be adopted until Governor Malloy stops lying to Connecticut residents and promotes a discussion based on the truth.

Of course, that appears to be something he is simply incapable of doing.

Democrats – Time to stop coddling the rich


As a result of Governor Dannel Malloy’s failure to get Connecticut’s fiscal house in order, his proposed state budget includes disastrous cuts to vital state services and programs while continuing the policy of coddling the rich and unfairly burdening the middle class. While Malloy’s state budget proposal includes tens of millions more for wasteful and destructive programs like the Common Core, the Common Core SBAC testing and charter schools, Malloy put forward a budget that reduces funding for education and cuts deeply into programs that directly benefit Connecticut’s children. According to CT Voices for Children, a Connecticut based research organization, more than half of Malloy’s budget cuts (54%) are aimed at Connecticut’s children.  Add in the cuts for those with developmental disabilities, mental health challenges and the other budget cuts aimed at the state’s other vulnerable citizens and the legislature is forced to deal with a budget that Malloy and his administration should be ashamed of. At the same time, Malloy’s plan demands that the Democrats in the Connecticut General Assembly continue to undermine the state’s middle class and the economic well-being of their own constituents in order to “protect” Connecticut’s wealthiest residents. The data highlighting Connecticut’s regressive tax system is clear, concise and extremely disturbing. After federal income tax deductions, Connecticut’s wealthiest taxpayers pay an average of 5.5 percent for their income in state and local taxes, compared to 10.5 percent for middle-class families and more than 11.0 percent for the state’s poor. Rather than a progressive tax system, or even a flat tax system, Connecticut has developed a state and local tax system that allows the rich to skate free, while leaving the burden of balancing state and local budgets onto those who make far less. Keith Phaneuf reported the situation accurately when he wrote in today’s CT Mirror,

“Just before the income tax’s enactment (1991), the state taxed capital gains at 7 percent, and dividends and major interest income at rates as high as 14 percent. Those rates went away when the income tax was enacted. Earnings from these sources instead were subject to the top income tax rate, which stood in 1991 at 4.5 percent. The top rate has risen just three times in the 24 years since then – to 5 percent in 2003, 6.5 percent in 2009 and 6.7 percent in 2011 – and still remains below the old capital gains and dividends rates.”

The harsh reality is that Connecticut’s state and local tax system is designed to punish middle and lower income families. But Democratic legislators could push back against Malloy’s unfair budget policies. Connecticut’s top “marginal income tax rate” is 6.7 percent, a rate that is much lower than that in New York (8.82%) or New Jersey (8.97%).  Increasing the marginal income tax rate on Connecticut’s wealthiest taxpayers (those making more than $1 million) to bring it in line with New York State would bring in over $400 million a year. Eliminating a number of the useless sales tax exemptions that lobbyists have pushed through for their clients would raise another $400 million a year and ending some of the corporate welfare (tax expenditures) that Malloy has been doling out would mean that Connecticut could have a balanced budget that doesn’t destroy vital state services. The solution to Connecticut’s budget crisis is actually not hard to identify, but it does require conviction and honesty on the part of Connecticut’s elected officials…and that apparently is exactly what they are lacking. The next six weeks will determine what side of the battle the members of the Connecticut General Assembly will take.  The choice is simple.  Continue to follow Governor Malloy’s disastrous policies or actually come down on the side of their constituents and make the rich pay their fair share.

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