As noted here and here, not only was Governor
Moody’s Rell’s OPM Secretary Robert Genuario the source of the $8 Billion deficit number on January 20, but the Governor herself cited that number in her February 2 pre-budget budget speech!
…the red ink for the next two years, the period covered by my proposed budget, is nearly eight billion dollars.
January 20 – Rell Administration estimates 2010-2011 budget shortfall at $8 Billion
February 2 – The Governor gets time from the networks to pre-introduce her budget, and sets the 2010-2011 budget shortfall at $8 Billion
February 4 – Rell, to great fanfare, announces her 2010-2011 budget, which closes a $6 Billion shortfall. Declares victory.
In a Friday press conference, the Governor strained credulity even farther:
In an interview Friday at the Hartford Marriott, she told reporters she “never withheld anything intentionally,” adding that the Democratic majority should “stop complaining and do something.”
In two days the Governor “lost” a $2,000,000,000 shortfall and says she “never withheld anything intentionally.” Either her budget was a political document that downplayed the size of the budget deficit (dishonestly), or this is the most incompetent use of addition and subtraction that has taken place since the abacus was invented. The Governor apparently would have us believe the latter.
And, telling the GA Democrats to “stop complaining and do something,” is just adding insult to injury [translation: Dems, hurry up and fix my administration’s dishonesty/incompetence and don’t say anything, I may lose my popularity ratings]. Unfortunately for the Moody Blues, it turns out that budget stuff is tricky! Especially when you have to actually close a shortfall, instead of just arbitrarily picking a number that will help you politically, and then closing that “shortfall.”
What the Democrats should do instead is completely ignore the Governor and her staff in the crafting of a budget – they are either not interested, or incapable, of negotiating in good faith. Instead, come up with a budget of their own, using budget cuts and the installation of a progressive tax structure, and pass it. Let the Republicans in on the negotiations, so long as everyone on both sides understands that there is no more time for political messages – everyone’s ox is going to get gored. Taxes will be raised and spending will be cut, hopefully with an eye towards not cutting things that would result in more unemployment. And then let the Governor veto it if it doesn’t meet her nearly-every-other-day standard. This is too serious a crisis to engage people who either can’t, or won’t, count to 8.