Gov. Rell to Search for Missing $2 Billion Deficit; Couch Cushions Express Dismay

Via Connecticut News Junkie, today brings good news and bad news on the Math is Hard: Budget Edition-front.

First the good news:

…[Rell] will have her budget office get together with the legislature’s budget office and the state Comptroller’s office to see if they can agree on the budget deficit.

In an emailed statement, Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney, D-New Haven, said he is encouraged by Rell’s announcement.

“It is apparent that the budget that Gov. Rell proposed two weeks ago will not put our fiscal house in order,” Looney said. “I appreciate Gov. Rell’s willingness to revise her projections and trust that when new deficit numbers are agreed upon, that she will work with the legislature to find solutions.”

The bad news? The Governor is still lying about the numbers!

Gov. M. Jodi Rell said Tuesday that while she believes the budget she presented to the General Assembly earlier this month was balanced…

“I put together a budget based on the facts I had at the time,” she said. “I think we all agree the budget deficit continues to grow.”

No, we don’t all agree on that. All rational actors, acting in good faith, probably agree with that statement, but the Governor doesn’t even agree with herself on whether the budget is growing or shrinking!

And she believes that the budget presented on the 4th was balanced? So then, on the 2nd, when she said the deficit was $8 Billion, she was lying or off by $2 Billion. Or she was on the 4th in presenting her budget. Either way, the statements above should have made her nose grow. Long.

Let’s recap:

Jan. 20 OPM Director Robert Genuario – “I think its fair to say that we will be closer to 8 than to 6.”

Feb. 2 Governor Rell – “The red ink for the next two years, the period covered by my proposed budget, is nearly eight billion dollars.”

Feb. 4 Governor Rell’s Budget, presumably with preparation by Director Genuario (but at this point, who really knows; maybe they found it on the street and figured, why not?), closes a $6 Billion deficit.

Feb. 5 Lt. Gov. Fedele, on this site, says that the $8 Billion number did not come from the administration.

Feb. 12 & Feb. 17 CTLP shows that it did.

Feb. 17 Gov. Rell – “I put together a budget based on the facts I had at the time,” she said. “I think we all agree the budget deficit continues to grow.”

So, which facts did they have on the 20th and the 2nd? How did those facts lead to an $8 Billion deficit conclusion? Why did the “facts” change by Feb. 4th? How can “we all agree” when the Governor, and the administration can’t agree with themselves on a day-to-day basis? When the budget deficit reconciliation groups meet, will the person who “lost” a $2 Billion deficit in two days, for political reasons, be in the room?

How can the administration be trusted?

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42 responses to “Gov. Rell to Search for Missing $2 Billion Deficit; Couch Cushions Express Dismay

  1. What exactly is the point?
    The budgeting process up there has been itellectually dishonest for as long as anyone can remember. No GAAP Accounting. Failure to properly recognize and fully fund the retirement programs which has resulted in a least a $40 Billion hole on the state balance sheet. And now these chickens are coming home to roost.
    The simple fact is you can’t trust any of them.
    Until I see the Democrats face up to the fact that they have been complicit in creating an unaffordable government and propose some real steps to reverse the situation, none of this really matters.

  2. Gabe, Alright we get it.

  3. Gabe, Alright we get it.

    Seconded

  4. AndersonScooper

    “Read my lips. No new taxes.”

    Nope. Just a bunch of fee increases. Some job cuts into a recession. And a budget that is balanced by fibbing.

  5. It’s hilarious watching Gabe peddle this crap over and over again and seeing it go absolutely nowhere.

  6. Gabe:
    Did I miss the MULTIPLE headline postings when your beloved Democrat SUPER-Majority passsed 2 (0r 3??) “deficit mitigation” packages that EVERYONE knew did NOT cover the deficit?

    Would you say the Democrat Supermajority “cannot be trusted” like you post about the adminstration?

  7. On the “Math is Hard” front, President Obama is proposing to give $75 billion to 9 million families who made conscious decisions to buy bigger homes than they could afford.

    That’s $8,333 per family. Hooray! The economy is saved.

  8. On the “Math is Hard” front, President Obama is proposing to give $75 billion to 9 million families who made conscious decisions to buy bigger homes than they could afford.

    And, if you missed it, he said the goal is to help those “who played by the rules and acted responsibly.”
    Say what?

  9. AS,

    “Nope. Just a bunch of fee increases. Some job cuts into a recession. And a budget that is balanced by fibbing.”

    Thanks for that comment. What it makes clear you, Gabe, (no matter how many threads he wishes to write on this subject) and any other left winger here, is the Democrats you guys just blindly rubber stamp back to the General Assembly simply because they call themselves Democrats are guilty of exactly the same thing. They balance the budget the same way, by fibbing.
    If they did not we wouldn’t be over $40 billion under funded with our state worker pensions and other benefits. But then those pensions and benefits could not possibly be as rich as they are, without the taxpayers getting a clue as to the real cost of government without the fibbing. We got $40+ billion under funded while producing “balanced budgets” as JM points out above. Gee do you think maybe just some bad accounting?

    What is even more telling is that you guys put as a priority blindly re electing these guys ahead of your concern for their fibbing.

    If you guys were really into cleaning up the mess in Hartford I would be less concerned about Rell’s role in a two billion dollar budget error, and more concerned with Rell’s role along with the Democrats in the General Assembly in letting our state worker pensions and benefits get $40 billion under funded.

  10. AndersonScooper

    Al–

    The buck needs to stop with the Governor. That’s where the leadership and the accountability should lie.

    Personally, I gave up on any hope of accountability from the Statehouse. What with re-districting and the dearth of reporting, most of our legislators will never be held accountable where it matters most, — at the ballot box.

    It’s like in New Haven where we have thirty alderpeople on our town council, and no reporting of votes and goings on. The only hope of accountability is at the top with the Mayor.

    The sad thing is that Governor Fibster has so much political capital. But at a moment of crisis she doesn’t lead, but instead plays politics and puts her re-election bid above the needs of the State.

    Anyway, go on hoping for accountability from the Statehouse. Me, I’m going to fight for a strong governor, with a good head on his or her shoulders, and the capacity to lead Connecticut forward.

  11. The buck needs to stop with the Governor. That’s where the leadership and the accountability should lie.

    Might I remind you that Democrats have a supermajority and can do whatever they want. The question is, do they have the will (or a clue)?

    The sad thing is that Governor Fibster has so much political capital. But at a moment of crisis she doesn’t lead, but instead plays politics and puts her re-election bid above the needs of the State.

    The State needs someone — anyone — to hold the line against tax increases. It might as well be Gov. Rell.

  12. AndersonScooper

    Jack, you’re never going to have accountability at the Statehouse. (Unless we end up with a Democrat as governor.)

    Can you tell me:
    1) Where I can get a map of my district?
    2) Where I can find out about votes being taken by the Legislature?
    3) Where I can out how my individual State Rep, Cam Staples, actually voted on a specific bill?

    None of this information is readily available to me. Heck, when I went to find out who voted how on Civil Unions, it took me literally half an hour to find the actual vote. The system is that obtuse, probably purposely so.

    Then let’s get over to the way districts are drawn, always heavily weighted towards incumbents. Can you tell me the last time an incumbent lost a Statehouse race in New Haven? I bet you have to go back several decades.

    So yeah, accountability is left to the papers, and the Governor.

  13. AndersonScooper

    PS– Rell isn’t going to hold the line on taxes. We’re going to end up with a graduated income tax, like most of our neighboring states enjoy. And I wouldn’t be surprised if the sales tax goes up by a point, which will be offered as a regressive compromise to the progressive income tax change.

    (see other states current income tax brackets here.)

  14. Then let’s get over to the way districts are drawn, always heavily weighted towards incumbents. Can you tell me the last time an incumbent lost a Statehouse race in New Haven? I bet you have to go back several decades.

    When was the last time an incumbent Governor lost election in CT?

    Too bad for you, won’t happen next year either.

  15. AS,

    “It’s like in New Haven where we have thirty alder people on our town council, and no reporting of votes and goings on. The only hope of accountability is at the top with the Mayor.”

    I do not for one second disagree that the buck stops at the governor’s office but if you and Gabe want to try to place all the blame for the mess this state is in on Rell’s lack of leadership skills I can be just as stubborn as you two in ignoring the obvious. Do you also give Wyman and Napier a free pass to GO for our pension mess as well by not holding them accountable?

    The Democrats in our General Assembly who you conveniently try to let off the hook by claiming to have given up on holding them accountable for their spend over our heads ways, have now bankrupted this state. Obviously with Donovan still handing out six figure jobs it is clear he could either care less or maybe not quite up to the job he currently holds.

    I can understand your frustration, and I assume disappointment with our Democratically controlled super majority General Assembly. I share that frustration with you. I agree, a total lack of any sign of even the tiniest amount of real leadership. It’s shameful. Since you have given up on holding the Democrats in the General Assembly accountable for their lack of leadership, maybe you should focus your attention more on dealing with the lack of leadership you point out with the Democrats at your local level. We need to learn to walk, before we can run.

  16. Jack, you’re never going to have accountability at the Statehouse. (Unless we end up with a Democrat as governor.)

    One of the most ridiculous things you’ve ever said. Of course, Grandma Rell keeps making Democrats look like tomato cans, so this really is moot, isn’t it?

    PS– Rell isn’t going to hold the line on taxes. We’re going to end up with a graduated income tax, like most of our neighboring states enjoy.

    I’m not sure they enjoy it… ask Rhode Island how it likes its income tax right now.

  17. PS– Rell isn’t going to hold the line on taxes. We’re going to end up with a graduated income tax, like most of our neighboring states enjoy. And I wouldn’t be surprised if the sales tax goes up by a point, which will be offered as a regressive compromise to the progressive income tax change.

    For all practical purposes, the state already has a progressive income tax. Half the state tax is paid by about 43,000 families at the high end of the earning scale and a household of four at the median income level — $53, ooo – pays no income tax. You do understand that the progressive federal income tax began as a 1% tax on millionaires. Soon enough that tax trickled down from the millionaires to – well, you. How much of your paycheck is now devoted to the income tax? More than 1% I would guess. You do understand that the current biennial deficit is now larger that the last pre-income tax budget, which seems to suggest that the state has a spending problem, rather than a revenue problem. My suggestion would be to tax twice the people who are calling for tax increases. That’d be you. Time to walk then walk.

  18. It could always be worse. Look at the problems California is having.

    The last incumbent governor to lose an election was John Davis Lodge in 1954. But crises have a way of changing the game, so Rell shouldn’t consider herself safe by any means. The voting public is frustrated and fickle.

  19. AndersonScooper

    Pesci–

    I’m on record as saying I’m okay with a tax increase of a point or two. It ain’t gonna kill me… (and the Scott Frantz’ of the world won’t even have to sell their Ticonderogas

    http://www.bymnews.com/photos/displayimage.php?album=293&pid=67903

  20. primusinterpares

    Scooper, before you start writing off issues by blaming them on districting (which I agree favors incumbents), or lack of legislative accountability due to complicated websites, can you please simply admit that the money the Democrats had was obviously mismanaged? Wouldn’t the prudent and responsible thing to do be to spend what it must and save what it can? I don’t really believe anyone can honestly say that there is a debate here.

    Also, you say you don’t believe the General Assembly is accountable at the ballot box due to districting and so the logic must follow that you do not believe the General Assembly is a legitimate government because you imply that if districting were conducted in a different fashion there would be different people serving in Hartford. YET, you are fine with an illegitimate government that that is clearly irresponsibly spending your money imposing a tax upon you because “it ain’t gonna kill you”?! The United States is a Republic, Connecticut is a Republic, and our towns are or at least once were democracies. Our people once fought a war, and a glorious one at that, to defend the freedoms that you so willingly toss into the trash heap of history; and so I repeat, only 200 years later and our revolution is in vein.

    Stop being a Democrat and start being a democrat. Realize that until you take personal responsibility for the excess and irresponsibility of a government or party you cannot credibly criticize it, either in whole or in part.

  21. Gabe:Did I miss the MULTIPLE headline postings when your beloved Democrat SUPER-Majority passsed 2 (0r 3??) “deficit mitigation” packages that EVERYONE knew did NOT cover the deficit?

    Likewise, I must have missed all the faux outrage when the “nonpartisan” Office of Fiscal Analysis — which for years upon years put the price tag of Edith Prague’s bill to increase per-patient nursing home staff hours at “Hell, we don’t know, but an assload of money” — suddenly decided to pull the figure of “umm, $10 million” out if its ass last session.

    I guess in GabeLand (TM) only Republicans are guilty (or even capable) of perfidy. Everyone else is just … well intentioned.

  22. Stop being a Democrat and start being a democrat. Realize that until you take personal responsibility for the excess and irresponsibility of a government or party you cannot credibly criticize it, either in whole or in part.

    Not gonna happen. Just not.

  23. Then let’s get over to the way districts are drawn, always heavily weighted towards incumbents. Can you tell me the last time an incumbent lost a Statehouse race in New Haven? I bet you have to go back several decades.

    I don’t think you have to go back “several decades.” How about 2000 with Depina. But he was a Republican so that doesn’t count, right?

    I don’t really think using New Haven with it’s 10-1 Democrat to Republican advantage is really proving your point about the ills of redistricting or incumbents. Your problem appears to be with the DeStefano Democrat Machine in New Haven and the lack of a true 2 party system.

    Funny how you always want more and more Democrats in Hartford but in your hometown which is a Utopia for Democrats you want out? What gives….Utopia is not all it’s cracked up to be? Democrats control EVERYTHING in New Haven….yet you complain….can you ever be happy?

  24. It’s a true tribute to the idiocy of the state’s republican party that despite these failures in New Haven you keep aluding too, they’d rather vote for the same democrats than anyone you offer.

    I mean, you have to try REALLY hard to look worse than any of them, by your own measurement, but you continue to succeed at a very high rate of success year after year.

    Kudos to you!

  25. Al posited:

    I do not for one second disagree that the buck stops at the governor’s office but if you and Gabe want to try to place all the blame for the mess this state is in on Rell’s lack of leadership skills I can be just as stubborn as you two in ignoring the obvious. Do you also give Wyman and Napier a free pass to GO for our pension mess as well by not holding them accountable?

    and then there was this:

    The budgeting process up there has been itellectually dishonest for as long as anyone can remember. No GAAP Accounting. Failure to properly recognize and fully fund the retirement programs which has resulted in a least a $40 Billion hole on the state balance sheet. And now these chickens are coming home to roost.

    Go and look at Nappier’s record of advocacy regarding pension funding, because it is a matter of record. And look at Wyman’s record of advocacy on the subject of implementing GAAP, because it is a matter of record. In fact, based on this statement, one might fully expect you to strongly support Rell’s opponent in 2010, because it is she, not the Controller and not the Legislature, that has stood in the way of fiscal responsibility.
    Excerpt:
    A stand-off over generally accepted accounting principles, pitting Governor M. Jodi Rell against State Comptroller Nancy Wyman has, has bubbled up in Connecticut. On July 6, Rell vetoed legislation that would have named the state comptroller as the key arbiter of GAAP and thereby gived Wyman the power to switch the way she prepares financial statements. – CFO, July 9, 2007
    So the Governor had an ally in the Controller but, rather than use her political capital to craft a bill that would accomplish the objective more satisfactorily, she simply vetoed the bill, pitching it back to the Legislature.

    Business as usual for the Rell Administration. All talk, no action.

    Might I remind you that Democrats have a supermajority and can do whatever they want. The question is, do they have the will (or a clue)?

    One could dismiss this remark as ignorant, except the source is not ignorant. So you are being intentionally disingenuous. The reality is that no legislative body has that degree of discipline. And if it did, and it was a Democratic caucus in control, you’d no doubt be screaming about “machine politics” in the Legislature, and rightly so.

    The State needs someone — anyone — to hold the line against tax increases. It might as well be Gov. Rell.

    Make up your minds. Either the Governor is a position where someone who can lead and act like the State’s Executive may do so, or it isn’t.

    The fact is that the Office of the Governor has the ability to effect decisively the direction the government of the State takes. But we have an individual who’s strong suit is affect. In fact she seems utterly incapable of leadership, no matter what the political clime or fiscal circumstance is.

    The single biggest change that the State needs is at the top, and that is where the principal responsibility lies for the ship of State being adrift at sea.

  26. Chris,

    “Go and look at Nappier’s record of advocacy regarding pension funding, because it is a matter of record. And look at Wyman’s record of advocacy on the subject of implementing GAAP, because it is a matter of record.”

    Chris, As AS himself is all to quick to point out we elect leaders (apparently, only Republicans leaders) to produce results, not cheer lead meekly from the side lines. I guess you must agree with him.

    As a matter of fact about 6 or 7 years ( before Rell) and tens of billions of dollars ago, I spoke directly face to face with Comptroller Wyman about my concern regarding the subject of the pension under funding, as well as the lack of GAAP financial methods. Her response was not to be concerned……. Now years latter this un concerning issue has grown into a monster while both GAAP accounting methods, and properly funding these pensions remains ……..well Chris, truthfully, unaffordable. Maybe a year or two ago it got her and maybe Nappier’s attention?

    Fine, you can yourself excuse, defend, as well as cheer lead for Democratic “advocates” who consistently fail to produce results. I’ll continue to try to look for people from any party to vote for who will produce positive results.

    The pension and benefit problem alone is now over $40 billion dollars and counting. How high does it have to get to concern you?

  27. No Al, it has been a lot longer than you would like to believe.

    See The Comptroller’s Report: Connecticut’s Economic Health, Priorities for Connecticut’s Future (January 1999); Truth in Budgeting: Preparing Annual Budgets Using Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)

    Memory is a funny thing, but hopefully you’ll recall that Treasurer Nappier took office in 1999. She spent the first year or so cleaning up the mess from her predecessor. Paul Silvester, I think his name was…

    Here is a press release, from almost exactly eight years ago, on the very subject:

    NAPPIER CRITIQUES ROWLAND BUDGET GIMMICKS; URGES LEGISLATURE TO HEED WARNING SIGNS ON SURPLUS SPENDING, DEBT BURDEN, PENSION FUNDING

    State Treasurer Denise L. Nappier today criticized key elements of the proposed budget of Governor John Rowland, describing them as “a collection of gimmicks and sleights of hand strung together to mask the failures of this administration to prudently oversee the fiscal affairs of our state.”

    One thing that hasn’t changed with the name on the Governor’s office door is the modus operandi. Substitute “M. Jodi Rell” for “John Rowland” and you’ve got an equally precise description of the Rell approach we’ve seen this month.

    Further excerpts from the press release:

    In testimony before the General Assembly’s Appropriations Committee, Nappier said … the Governor’s proposed budget does not adequately address the state’s unfunded pension liabilities, continues to increase already skyrocketing debt obligations, and does not make the best fiscal use of surplus dollars, in what may be the last surplus for some time. …
    The Treasurer said that … Moody’s, for example, recently affirmed an AA3 rating for Connecticut’s bonds but expressed concerns about factors which may undermine the state’s ability to maintain it. …

    Nappier said that the Moody’s report noted that: … Connecticut has large accrued unfunded pension liabilities. In order to meet projected benefit payments, Connecticut’s teacher and state employee retirement funds would require an immediate infusion of cash amounting to $6.6 billion. That’s more than half of the Governor’s proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Stated another way: for every pension fund dollar we need to pay future benefits, Connecticut only has about 75 cents on hand.

    PENSION FUNDING COMES UP SHORT

    Nappier says the Governor’s budget plan, which calls for contributing $204 million to the state pension fund, falls short of the $210 million recommended by fund actuaries. The Treasurer said that Rowland administration estimates that the $204 million would grow to $210 million by the end of the fiscal year are unrealistic. …

    Hopefully you can now acknowledge that it is in fact a matter of record.

    Our two fiscal Constitutional Officers, both Democrats, have been calling Republican Administrations out on their lack of fiscal discipline and the likely consequences for a decade.

    You can read the whole thing on the Treasurer’s official website, and there is plenty more there. Drop by why don’t you? Your tax dollars at work and all…

  28. Chris,

    My memory is fine, I suggest you check your logic.

    For the record I strongly hold Rell and Rowland just as accountable for this mess as I do Wyman, Nappier and the leaders of the General Assembly .

    I have not said Wyman and Nappier were the authors of this mess. I am pointing out how much this mess has grown from a relatively small and obscure issue back ten years ago, to a major problem during their time in office. As top state officials they have a direct responsibility here.

    I pointed out my concern to Comptroller Wyman six or seven years ago in a meeting with her regarding both GAAP and the pension problem. The reason for my concern then was because this was one issue starting to cause me to relocate jobs from CT to another state. Now years latter the problem is many times worse, while even you admit both these two have long been well aware of this problem, and their responsibilities. I wonder just how many more jobs this problem has cost this state?

    Chris, if you are satisfied with people who hold top state management positions allowing problem(s) as great as this to remain unresolved for 10+ years, I can only suggest to you that making excusses for one’s inability to effectively lead to a solution is exactly one of the major reasons we in this state keep re electing so many ineffective people.

    But I understand they are both Democrats so obviously the issue is not their problem, rather it must totally be the responsiblity of someone from the other party.

    I can’t help sometimes in getting the feeling that in order to be a good Democrat you need to find an excuse for every failure. It’s almost as if a Democrat’s son or daughter gets arrested for robbing a bank, that the obvious problem was not that they robbed the bank. It was that some Republican first must have put his/her money in the bank tempting them.

  29. You obviously can’t be bothered to acquaint yourself with the facts of this matter.

    For ten years, the State Treasurer and the State Controller have been doing everything in their power to address the issues of properly budgeting, accounting for, and addressing the deficit.

    Ten.

  30. Chris, you say:

    “You obviously can’t be bothered to acquaint yourself with the facts of this matter.”

    The facts are simply this, if after ten years of “trying everything” a Democratic state Comptroller, as well as a Democratic state Treasure, cannot get the long time Democratically controlled General Assembly to address this problem, I say it’s time they all go………

    Might I dare say it appears to me that it is you who obviously can’t be the least bit bothered to acquaint yourself with those facts. But then that might mean holding a few Democrats responsible for something, anything wouldn’t it?

    Now for the second time I also remind you, I do not for one second let any Republican who has allowed themselves to be lead to look the other way on this matter, off the hook here either. Up to and including our Governors during this time. Since they happen to be Republican, I have no doubt on that point you and I are in total agreement.

    Of course since as you say both Wyman and Nappier have been making this problem clear to a Democratically controlled General Assembly for ten years it all could be addressed this year by Chris Donovan and his super majority if he was willing to listen to them now couldn’t it? If he did then it would be up to the Governor to veto an honest budget. Why not take that risk?? I mean the super majority can just over rule her veto and presto we finally have honest budgeting.

  31. Of course since as you say both Wyman and Nappier have been making this problem clear to a Democratically controlled General Assembly …. the super majority can just over rule her veto and presto we finally have honest budgeting.

    The Legislature passed the bill we needed overwhelmingly. Jodi Rell vetoed it.

    Explain that.

    [you can’t]

  32. Chris, If you are able to :

    Specifically please point out the bill you refer to. If as you claim it would have corrected this issue, and was as you claim overwhelmingly passed by the General Assembly, (yet somehow was still vetoed) I will be happy to stand corrected. Of course let’s hope it is not part of some other larger bill that contained something else that would have cause the governor to veto the entire bill. I mean wouldn’t you think a bill to correct a $40+ billion dollar pension and benefit problem, would be important enough to stand alone? Fair enough?

    Even if you are unable to point out this bill if it was overwhelmingly passed by our General Assembly once, clearly then I am sure you would agree Wyman and Napier could now simply ask, and if necessary nudge, Chris Donovan (all Democrats) into getting it passing it again. With his veto proof control of the General Assembly he, Wyman, Napier, and the rest of the General Assembly don’t even need the Governor’s agreement to resolve this long going sad story. Even if every rotten, nasty, no good member of the General Assembly who even only calls themselves a Republican voted to continue this taxpayer deception, the good news is the Democrats don’t need them to do what is right.

    Since this year all claim to want all issues on the table let’s both hope it doesn’t take them all another ten years of “trying everything” to get that done. It’s long past time the taxpayers of this state see the true cost of an honestly balanced budget. Since that wish is apolitical, can you and I at least agree on that? Is that wish also fair enough with you?

  33. Specifically please point out the bill you refer to.

    HB 7338 (2007).

    Governor’s veto statement here.

    The Office of the Governor has the ability to effect decisively the direction the government of the State takes. But we have an individual whose strong suit is affect. In fact she seems utterly incapable of leadership, no matter what the political clime or fiscal circumstance is.

  34. Text of the Public Act in question.

    Substitute House Bill No. 7338

    Public Act No. 07-229

    AN ACT CONCERNING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF GENERALLY ACCEPTED ACCOUNTING PRINCIPLES (GAAP).

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

    Section 1. Subsection (a) of section 3-115b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2009):

    (a) Effective with the fiscal year commencing July 1, [2007] 2009, the Comptroller is authorized to implement the use of generally accepted accounting principles, as prescribed by the [Government Accounting Standards Board] Comptroller, with respect to the preparation and maintenance of the annual financial statements of the state, and the Office of Policy and Management is authorized to implement the use of generally accepted accounting principles, as prescribed by the [Government Accounting Standards Board] Comptroller, with respect to the preparation of the annual budget of the state.

    Approved July 6, 2007

    Bracketed language is that which would have been replaced by the Act.

  35. Chris,

    It appears to me the bill vetoed by the governor would have allowed the Comptroller to define GAAP accounting standards and for that reason Rell vetoed it. The bill you linked:

    “To allow the Comptroller to define GAAP accounting standards and enable the state to freeze the GAAP deficit at its current level and initiate GAAP accounting moving forward. Requested by the State Comptroller. ”

    Chris, I am talking about GAAP……. Which is already a recognized and already defined as a group of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles………….Not….. WAAP which this bill seems to seek to allow the Comptroller establish her own, Wyman Accepted Accounting Standards.

    Isn’t this exactly why we have some of then problems we now have understanding the exact size of our problem? Everyone uses their own set of numbers? Beyond that I see no mention of anything that would deal with the $40+ billion dollar pension and benefit problem.

    However as I mentioned yesterday since the Democrats now have a clear super majority Wyman, Napier, Donovan, and Williams can resolve all these issues on their own any way they want in total disregard to the Governor’s admittedly limited leadership skills. Hopefully they will not miss this chance to establish honest budget principles which fully includes all our expenses in any budget that they claim is balanced. As well as makes clear to the taxpayers the full and real cost of state government.

  36. Al –
    You persistently refuse to engage with the facts of the matter. Respectfully, parroting Rell’s veto statement (the link to which I provided) contributes nothing to the conversation.

    Isn’t this exactly why we have some of then problems we now have understanding the exact size of our problem? Everyone uses their own set of numbers? Beyond that I see no mention of anything that would deal with the $40+ billion dollar pension and benefit problem.

    No. Wyman’s proposal would allow us to implement GAAP, and thereby address the question you (rhetorically) pose. And, not to belabor this, but if you will read the available information, much of which has been conveniently linked for you, you will see that in the process the deficit would be effectively retired over time.

    Your tedious cant about the opportunity that the “Democrats” have to simply disregard the Governor belies either an inexplicable naivete about the nature of a Legislature (again, I refer you to my remarks above if you wish to be unceremoniously relieved thereof), or a visceral commitment – despite your denials – to remain a Republican flak.

    Should you care to demonstrate that I am wildly underestimating you, please feel free to hold forth on precisely how Governor Rell is lacking, as you so vacuously and gratuitously “acknowledge”; to wit:

    … the Governor’s admittedly limited leadership skills.

    Not to put too fine an edge on it, but you still have not explained Governor Rell’s veto of the measure I properly cited, at your urging.

  37. No. Wyman’s proposal would allow us to implement GAAP

    It’s painfully obvious that you really don’t know what you are talking about. GAAP as defined by the GASB is GAAP. Any other accounting method as defined by Nancy Wyman is not GAAP. The obvious purpose of the bill is to allow for accounting that can conveniently deviate from GAAP accounting and still be labeled “GAAP.” It is naive at best, and fraudulent at worst, but represents an enlightening insight as to how people up there in the LOB have a tough time with reality.

  38. Wow Chris a lot of big words for me, a mere “Republican flak”, with “inexplicable naivete about the nature of a Legislature” to digest!!

    I would have suggested it is you who is just stubbornly being a “Democratic flak” on this subject, but I’ll choose to keep the name calling aside. Rather, I would prefer to conclude that for some reason you do not understand my point(s).

    Let me try to be very specific with them for you. As well as ONCE again explain to you what you refuse to either be able to understand, or wish to understand as to why the Gov. may have vetoed the bill in question.

    1. Chris as JMJM points out above, and I did yesterday in my post #36, GAAP is a set of generally accepted accounting principles. They already exist. They are defined by GASB. There is no need for anyone to redefine them. They are certainly NOT defined as this bill would have allowed, by Nancy Wyman or, any other Comptroller. “GAAP” that has been redefined, is no longer GAAP, it is something else. Which is already what we have at the LOB, something else.
    I am NOT saying that had the bill been given to the Gov. specifically as a GAAP bill as defined by GASB that she would have signed it. I would hope she would, but with this Gov who knows? That is what I now suggest the GA gives her to sign. If she vetoes that, then you and I are in agreement.

    2. Do you understand that the bill you linked to me does not even retire the GAAP deficit that would then be created by moving to GAAP as you claim? If I read what you linked to me correctly, in the original bill the new deficit created by now recognizing expenses we were already are obligated for, but have not totally accounted for would have been retired over 14 years, but the language of that bill seems to have been changed simply then allowing that total expense to become another deferred obligation for our kids. Not cool Chris.
    If I read that wrong, you know the stuff in the brackets, please explain in simple language for me,my mistake.

    3. Do you understand that the GAAP deficit which last I knew would be around $1 billion has nothing at all to do with my much bigger concern, and is in addition to, the $40+ billion dollar state worker pension and benefit deficit?

    4. Do you also understand that all of these deficits are on top of our current bonding debt, as well as the huge budget deficits we are publicly struggling with right now?

    5. Do you understand why we added $2 billion in additional bonding debt after the teachers in this state a couple of year ago went so public about their own additional pension under funding deficit caused by the General Assembly for years and years failing to properly fund them?

    6. Do you understand that these huge deficits were created while we were being lead to believe our already huge tax burden was paying for “balanced budgets”. As it turns out budgets, that have created these under funded deficits? Can you imagine what our taxes would be if we had properly funded these pensions and benefts each budget?

    7. Do you understand that budgets only include those expenses you are budgeting for, and since for years the teacher and state worker pensions and benefits were being under funded huge deficits were being accrued and the taxpayers were kept in the dark as to the true cost of state government?

    8. Do you understand that it wasn’t just two Republican governors who ran the state all by themselves during the time these huge deficits were created?

    Lastly Chris,, Unlike most “Republican flaks” you may think you know I do hold our Republican governors more responsible than it appears you hold any Democrats in General Assembly, or elected Constitutional officers responsible for anything.
    Yes Chris, Rell if she could, should lead, especially since no one else is. It appears to me however that simply because she seems unable to lead you accept no Democrat in a current leadership position can either. That being the case then what is the difference between the current leaders of the General Assembly and our Governor? This mess happened while all of them were on watch.

  39. Again, you need to look at the reality of the situation and the press and testimony related to this. If you don’t, you will predictably arrive at the kind of simplistically partisan and fiscally unrealistic view you have.

    GAAP as defined by the GASB is GAAP. Any other accounting method as defined by Nancy Wyman is not GAAP. The obvious purpose of the bill is to allow for accounting that can conveniently deviate from GAAP accounting and still be labeled “GAAP.”

    This isn’t rocket science. There isn’t enough money to immediately implement GAAP (much less fund all our outstanding pension obligations). We have to have a transition period, and someone – the Controller’s is the logical Office – needs to be empowered with the responsibility to manage that transition, because things like tax receipts and other spending obligations have material impact on what is fiscally feasible and what is sound from the point of view of the ratings agencies and the markets.

    Had Governor Rell used her political capital and taken advantage of the opportunity that the Legislature – at the urging of the Controller – afforded her, to craft a better bill, we would today be on the path to fully implementing GAAP and immediately have a more accurate and transparent structure for the State budget.

    Instead, it is business as usual under the Rell Administration.

  40. Al & JM,

    You’re wasting your electrons, I’m afraid. ChrisMC — for all his cheap cracks at you about your partisanship — is first, always and only a shill for Dan Malloy. This isn’t about GAAP … It’s about running down the current governor so Danny Boy can be the next one.

  41. This isn’t rocket science. There isn’t enough money to immediately implement GAAP (much less fund all our outstanding pension obligations). We have to have a transition period, and someone – the Controller’s is the logical Office – needs to be empowered with the responsibility to manage that transition, because things like tax receipts and other spending obligations have material impact on what is fiscally feasible and what is sound from the point of view of the ratings agencies and the markets.

    You continue to amaze me.
    This is accounting we’re talking about. It’s a means of keeping score. It doesn’t spend money or make money, but rather gives a picture of a financial position. GAAP is the methodology that is the most accurate way to this.
    If you thought about what you said, you’d realize that in effect you’re saying that the State cannot deal with a true and accurate recitation of its finances so they’ll present a better picture even if it’s inaccurate. Talk about kidding yourself, and misleading the public. If you took your monthly bills and threw them in the trash, have you changed your financial status? Of course not. But that is exactly what you seem to believe the state can do by using a bogus accounting system.

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