Ted Mann: Memo to Gov. Rell: CT Isn't Your Family

From Ted Mann’s excellent blog at The Day:

“Families are making these same tough decisions every day – finding ways to cut back. State government must do the same.”

This is one of Rell’s favorite motifs. It’s an easy metaphor, simple to deliver and simple to understand. She deploys it all the time.

Unfortunately, it’s a fallacy.

The job of erasing a deficit in the $18.4 billion state budget is hugely different than that faced by individual Connecticut residents and the heads of the state’s households, not just in the magnitude of the numbers but in the type of discriminating decision-making it requires.

If the equivalent of forgoing the case of soda is sending thousands of state workers to join thousands more on the unemployment lines, or retracting the very social services whose necessity is increasing because of the gloomy economic picture, it will affect every family in Connecticut, not to mention every business, social service agency.

This is what those naughty spendthrift liberals mean when they point out that social needs are often (if not always) counter-cyclical. When the economy is sucking wind as loudly as it is at present, the people who struggle in good times need even more help just to scrape by, let alone hold down the jobs that will enable them to contribute to the economy.

Go read the whole thing.

Given the news today that there will be no cuts in ECS funding and PILOT funds will be flat compared to the last budget (both of which are very good news for municipalities), expect deep cuts in services and in state jobs.

And for the record, I thought she looked like a Jedi.

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4 responses to “Ted Mann: Memo to Gov. Rell: CT Isn't Your Family

  1. I took Gabe’s advice and read the entire article. When I did I also found this in the link he posted:

    “This isn’t to say that a case can’t be made for radically reducing the size of state government and the number of its employees, for trimming the scope of its efforts and the ambition of its (already broken) promises of support to those who try to stay afloat here. But it is up to Rell and her colleagues to argue that embarking on such a radical transformation won’t just make the problems already buffeting this state even worse.”

    That sounds to me at least a lot like what the Governor was suggesting the other night….. Perhaps if some of us here including the person who wrote this were less concerned about what she was wearing, or what she looked like as she delivered her message, that may have come across clearer. Maybe she should consult with Chris Donovan and ask him to hire her a six figure wardrobe aide.

    Just for the record, IMO I don’t believe that this huge budget gap can be closed without some tax increases. I also don’t think that just tax increases alone will close this gap either. But clearly business as usual which is what got us in this mess is not going to be what gets us out of it.

    Just like the many private sector broken business models will force real change there, so too will the broken CT business model. Unless the goal is to stay broken.

  2. Here is the Malloy video from yesterday’s Exploratory Committee filing.

  3. One thing I think we need to ask ourselves is why the state of CT spends so much more (more than double) than say the state of Oklahoma for roughly the same populations (and education spending is about the same in each state). Maybe not everything is directly comparable, and maybe not everything is applicable, but we have to ask ourselves why we need to spend so much more. What are the other states doing differently?

    The tax proposals out there seems to try to put most of the new burden on high income earners. Any idea if those earners will be getting the same income in the future as in the past? Anyone have a breakdown of earned income versus capital gains / dividends for that group? Because those things are going to have a massive impact on how much the state collects. It would seem to me that most of the high income earners are in financial services. That sector is doing terribly: any idea how much incomes will be down there?

  4. The tax proposals out there seems to try to put most of the new burden on high income earners. Any idea if those earners will be getting the same income in the future as in the past? Anyone have a breakdown of earned income versus capital gains / dividends for that group? Because those things are going to have a massive impact on how much the state collects. It would seem to me that most of the high income earners are in financial services. That sector is doing terribly: any idea how much incomes will be down there?

    As you suggest the so called “High Earners” are a shrinking group unless, of course, you expand that definition to include just about everone who pays the IT. Given that only about 40% (based on a population of 3.5 million) pay it, a $4 Billion deficit works out to about a $2700 ( or a rate increase of 2.7%) in new taxes on taxable income of $100k. I think you’re looking at a dramatic increase in marginal rates and a lowered definition of “High Earners” if IT increases alone are the solution to the problem

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