Should make for an interesting conversation over Mother's Day lunch…

The Hartford Courant ran an impassioned op-ed piece by Lucie McKinney, widow of late U.S. Congressman Stewart McKinney, today, which is highly critical of the impact of Rell’s budget cuts on supportive housing, which provides housing and services to families and individuals with confronted with complex challenges like homelessness, low income and mental illness, substance abuse, developmental disabilities, etc.

Unless government simply ignores the problem — choosing to step over homeless people sleeping in doorways or relegating them to the shelter of bridge abutments — a government response must cost some money. The choice then is the less expensive option of supportive housing, or the costlier, less effective cycle of shelter-to-prison-to-emergency room. The answer is obvious.
When you consider the lives that could be reborn at less cost in supportive housing, it is very hard to understand why Connecticut is making the other choice

Having had a few interesting familial dinner conversations of my own (will never forget the Shabbat dinner where I told my dad I was supporting Ned Lamont over Joe Lieberman; thought Dad would choke on the matzo ball soup), I’m wondering such criticisms go down with Mrs. McKinney’s son, State Senate Republican leader John McKinney, whose April 13th press release entitled “A Responsible State Government Starts with Reduced Spending” said

The facts as we find them are as follows: In February, Gov. M. Jodi Rell presented a balanced budget proposal that made difficult choices without tax increases and without any cuts to education or municipal aid.

Senator McKinney criticized the Democrats for raising taxes as opposed to cutting more spending.

The proposed tax hikes would significantly hurt middle class taxpayers and small businesses… It increases income taxes on individuals earning more than $14,125 and married couples earning more than $25,125. It also raises the highest income tax rate by 59 percent to 7.95 percent.

It’s interesting because Mrs. McKinney is outraged at the cuts to the very poorest and vulnerable members of society yet Senator McKinney while concerned by the effect on the middle class and small businesses, is equally worried about the effect on those in the top bracket. The poor don’t get a mention, except, perhaps for the use of Riverview Psychiatric Hospital as an example of government inefficiency and waste.

Mrs. McKinney ends her piece by observing “Stewart would be ashamed”. Having been a registered Republican back in the McKinney days but as someone who left the party because it no longer seemed like a place where it was possible to be a fiscal conservative and social moderate, I can’t help wondering if her observation is about more than supportive housing.

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25 responses to “Should make for an interesting conversation over Mother's Day lunch…

  1. Wouldn’t a fiscal conservative support these cuts? Considering how state government has ballooned in size in recent decades, I’m glad Sen. McKinney is taking on the Democrats’ tax/spend first, ask questions later mentality.

  2. Those of us who live in Connecticut’s cities look this issue in the face every day. Supportive housing is the most effective way to end chronic homeless, a state-wide issue that not only threatens our economic stability but also causes the deaths of dozens of men and women each year. It is time for legislators to acknowledge this problem and face it head on.

    The Yale College Democrats have been leading a lobbying coalition on behalf of supportive house funding during this past year. Find out more here: http://yaledemocrats.com/

  3. I presume CT is spending some amount more than zero on supportive housing. So the questions we should be asking are something like:

    what is the right amount to spend?

    What can we realistically afford? If we spend too much, we need to raise taxes, which will cause or economy to be weaker, which will cause tax receipts to fall…

    What type of perverse incentives will this create? In other words, will people rely on government assistance that otherwise would get housing?

    Now, as far as the editorial about how Stewart would be ashamed. Did Connecticut spend more on supportive housing when Stewart was around than we do now? (Inflation adjusted). I’d be fairly shocked if we have actually cut things that much since Stewart’s day.

  4. left the party because it no longer seemed like a place where it was possible to be a fiscal conservative and social moderate

    Really?

    Maybe you should spend less time watching what is described as Republican (ie: Pat Buchanan) and pay a little more attention to Authentic Republicans in the northeast.

    I’m quite confident many of us can “left flank” you on several social issues.

  5. Having been a registered Republican back in the McKinney days but as someone who left the party because it no longer seemed like a place where it was possible to be a fiscal conservative and social moderate, I can’t help wondering if her observation is about more than supportive housing.

    Liberals would like everyone to believe that the Republican party is run by Pat Robinson and Jerry Falwell types however, all one has to do is take a look at the leader of the CT Republican party, Governor Jodi Rell. Governor Rell supports civil unions, stem cell research and is pro-choice… Is that not socially moderate enough for you, Ms. Ameica?

  6. she wasn’t exactly supportive of the Supreme Court decision and only signed the bill reluctantly:

    “I disagree with today’s State Supreme Court ruling but as governor, I will uphold it. I continue to believe that marriage is the union of a man and a woman. ”

    Are you telling me that a pro-choice, pro-gay marriage (or even civil union) pro-stem cell candidate would have a hope of hell of getting on the national GOP ticket? I don’t think so..

    And let’s just say that I couldn’t be a part of a party that would seriously consider Sarah Palin a viable Vice Presidential candidate.

  7. Wouldn’t a fiscal conservative support these cuts? Considering how state government has ballooned in size in recent decades, I’m glad Sen. McKinney is taking on the Democrats’ tax/spend first, ask questions later mentality.

    Look, I’m all for trying to tackle wasteful government spending, and yes, there is always plenty of that, no matter which party is in power. Just look at where we got after we had the GOP in charge of the House, Senate and Presidency in the W years if you want to look at bloated government spending. And Lord knows I don’t WANT to pay more taxes. But if we’re going to get serious about solving the budget deficit, I don’t see how we can do it realistically and humanely without some combination of the two.

  8. And let’s just say that I couldn’t be a part of a party that would seriously consider Sarah Palin a viable Vice Presidential candidate.

    But you consider Joe Biden capable???

  9. Are you telling me that a pro-choice, pro-gay marriage (or even civil union) pro-stem cell candidate would have a hope of hell of getting on the national GOP ticket? I don’t think so..

    Would a pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, anti-destruction of human embryos candidate have a hope of hell of getting on the national Dem ticket? I don’t think so…

    The GOP has its litmus tests, the Democrats have theirs.

  10. The GOP has its litmus tests, the Democrats have theirs.

    Except those that vary here or there from the GOP national (ie: Pro-Life) are still allowed access to the microphone.

    Not so for Democrats where any slip could be politically fatal.

    While surely there *are* a handful of pro-life (etc.) Democrats; but they’re conspicuously silent about it.

  11. “I disagree with today’s State Supreme Court ruling but as governor, I will uphold it. I continue to believe that marriage is the union of a man and a woman. ”

    Sara: So, supporting civil unions, stem cell research and being pro-choice is not socially moderate enough to you because the Governor did not embrace gay marriage? If the Governor, who is the leader of the CT Republican party is NOT a social moderate…does that make her a right wing social conservative in your book?

  12. Except those that vary here or there from the GOP national (ie: Pro-Life) are still allowed access to the microphone.

    Aside from the Senate Majority Leader?

  13. But you consider Joe Biden capable???

    If you’re asking me who I’d rather have “a heartbeat away from the Presidency” I’d take Joe Biden over Sarah Palin any day, on foreign policy knowledge alone.

  14. If you’re asking me who I’d rather have “a heartbeat away from the Presidency” I’d take Joe Biden over Sarah Palin any day, on foreign policy knowledge alone.

    I dunno…I’m a big fan of sobriety for those in such
    positions.

    Aside from the Senate Majority Leader?

    Let me know when he gets vocal on the issue.
    Casey (D -PA) doesn’t bring it up either.

  15. Sara: So, supporting civil unions, stem cell research and being pro-choice is not socially moderate enough to you because the Governor did not embrace gay marriage? If the Governor, who is the leader of the CT Republican party is NOT a social moderate…does that make her a right wing social conservative in your book?

    No. But what I am saying is that if the GOP really IS a place where the social moderates have place then where the hell have they been for the last 15 years? Because I certainly haven’t heard their voice on in the party’s platform. What does it tell you that one of the biggest fundraising draws for the GOP is Sarah Palin? The rest of you rational reasonable people need to stand up and make your voices heard. Seriously, I hope that the recent electoral defeats promote that soul searching within the party, and that the GOP starts turning back into the party I remember from my youth. But you see calls for the GOP to turn further right, which to me seems , frankly, insane. But don’t mind me, I’m just a former GOPer who is now, apparently an “American hating, terrorist loving, liberal ….[insert your own insult here]”

  16. I dunno…I’m a big fan of sobriety for those in such
    positions.

    With the head of the CT GOP having been arrested for DUI I don’t think you should be thowing the sobriety stone

  17. With the head of the CT GOP having been arrested for DUI I don’t think you should be thowing the sobriety stone

    Heartbeat away from the Presidency… chair of a party Sara abandoned. It’s the same thing, really.

  18. But you see calls for the GOP to turn further right, which to me seems , frankly, insane. But don’t mind me, I’m just a former GOPer who is now, apparently an “American hating, terrorist loving, liberal ….[insert your own insult here]“

    How did the Democrats win the White House, Sara? They went from a liberal John Kerry to an even more liberal Barack Obama. Why shouldn’t Republicans follow the same recipe? After all, in 2004, if you had asked any Republican if he or she thought the Dems should offer up an even bigger lefty in 2008, that probably would have been called insane, too (but it worked).

  19. No. But what I am saying is that if the GOP really IS a place where the social moderates have place then where the hell have they been for the last 15 years? Because I certainly haven’t heard their voice on in the party’s platform. What does it tell you that one of the biggest fundraising draws for the GOP is Sarah Palin? The rest of you rational reasonable people need to stand up and make your voices heard. Seriously, I hope that the recent electoral defeats promote that soul searching within the party, and that the GOP starts turning back into the party I remember from my youth. But you see calls for the GOP to turn further right, which to me seems , frankly, insane. But don’t mind me, I’m just a former GOPer who is now, apparently an “American hating, terrorist loving, liberal ….[insert your own insult here]“

    Sara, I don’t question your love of country or devotion. I do question your ability to acknowledge that the CT Republicans are a big tent party. Yes, Republicans may not always agree 100% with our Governor who is the titular head of the party. However, when it comes to social issues, CT Republicans respect people with different points of view and do not expect everyone to simply tow the party line.

    Again, our Republican Governor is pro-choice, in favor of stem cell research and in favor of civil unions. I wonder what Democrat would have a chance of getting your party’s endorsement for Governor if they were pro life, against civil unions and against stem cell research. We both know that answer.

    Finally, I think the comment you made about the CTGOP chair was uncalled for. Yes, he has his demons but he has publicly admitted his problem and has entered a program for help. He could have taken the Chris Dodd, Barney Franks, Bill Clinton approach and denied everything…. but he didn’t. I recognize the challenges that good people face when they are addicted to alcohol. This serious problem affects people of all races, color, creed and yes, even party affiliation. If partisan Democrats on this board want to keep taking cheap shots at a man who is in recovery….so be it. I give him a lot of credit and will continue to hope for his recovery.

  20. With the head of the CT GOP having been arrested for DUI I don’t think you should be throwing the sobriety stone

    Why not?

    Is Biden suddenly on the wagon?
    I doubt it – and he’s only a heartbeat away!

    Healy has been ever since.
    His last bust was the best thing to happen to the Connecticut Republican Party in decades and every Republican except Healy himself thinks so too.

    He’s brilliant on his feet, has a recall for details that makes him impossible to debate, writes more prolifically than John Updike, and enjoys a natural management / administrative skill that’s both kept the GOP’s books in the black and allowed us to retain some young people with strong work ethics, high IQ’s and motivation.

    (I’d put our young wizards up against anyone.)

    A stone cold sober Chris Healy is a danger to Democrats.

    How many articles has the chair of the CT Democratic Party issued in the past 90 days?

    How often has she been on TV?

    How many people did she have to lay off at Democratic headquarters?
    (CT GOP has laid off no one)

    In fact, aside from sending out a fund raising letter complaining about..what else — Chris Healy – just what has she done?

    Attacking Healy is a mistake.

    BTW – do you tell those troublesome asthmatics that it’s all in their head and they should “just get control of themselves” too?

    How about diabetics?
    Shouldn’t they just learn to watch what they eat?
    What’s the matter with them anyway, right?

    Don’t worry about Healy while we have a Vice President of the United States with a legendary record of appearing drunk in public.
    One can only imagine how bombed Biden gets in private.

  21. Bruce Rubenstein

    ACR…there are drinkers in both parties….just as there are unethical folks in both parties…just as there are liars in both parties…no one party can lay a claim to the most…lets try to concentrate on the substantive issues…Best,Bruce

  22. ACR…there are drinkers in both parties

    But none of the others are getting within a mile of the nuclear football.

  23. BristolDem

    Yeah, I’m sure ACR never made a single crack about Ted Kennedy’s drunk-driving 4 decades ago, but here he is standing up for a repeated violator. Time, after time, after time, after time.

    Yet he speculates about Biden based on insider info. Who cares? Seriously, who cares?

    It’s like fawning over Chris Healey because he has a get up and go mentality, is on TV a lot, gives a good speech, and TOTALLY ignoring the fact that the party he is running is shrinking to the point on near-extinction in the state of Connecticut.

    Oh, wait, ACR is doing that.

    ACR talks about all the hotshot young, new Republicans, who are going to take over the state capitol, blah, blah, blah. You know why they have so many of them?

    Because they cannot win enough elections to have incumbents. They get decimated. Time, after time, after time. Yet they stick with CH’s message- the same one that has zero resonance with CT citizens. Maybe Texas. But this is Connecticut.

    This is the land of steady habits. You don’t break them by spouting off on your Twitter about how much CT Dems hate freedom.

  24. Yeah, I’m sure ACR never made a single crack about Ted Kennedy’s drunk-driving 4 decades ago, but here he is standing up for a repeated violator. Time, after time, after time, after time.

    To reference ‘Ted Kennedy’s drunk-driving 4 decades ago’ just doesn’t seem to quite tell the whole story, does it?

    Simplifying a bit, or revising history?

  25. Yeah, I’m sure ACR never made a single crack about Ted Kennedy’s drunk-driving 4 decades ago, but here he is standing up for a repeated violator. Time, after time, after time, after time.

    For starters I doubt you ever had to jump out of his or his mother Rose’s way.
    Both, Rose could never figure out what months South Street was one way and which it wasn’t; Ted just kind of pointed whatever he was driving and figured if he hit something he could afford to pay for it. (More often than not he had a driver – which was a good thing for everyone.)

    Ted’s nephew Joe was even worse and a rude, cocky, litterbug of an ass to boot.

    Kennedy killed Mary Jo.
    Period.

    The time period between “the accident” and it’s being reported provided enough cover that the time of death was murky and Ted’s sobriety was complete.

    I would also doubt you ever had coffee with Dominic Arena and discussed how disgusted he was over the whole thing.

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