Weicker Shrugs

speakout

By Don Pesci

Connecticut’s state income tax is Lowell Weicker’s baby pretty much in the same sense that, say, Fords are Henry Ford’s baby.

He’s the guy who twisted knuckles and toes to get the thing past. Weicker now wishes to disassociated himself from the inevitable and logical consequences of the tax, and to this end he has given an interview to Ted Mann of the Day of New London in which he claims that the current deficit of $9 billion, give or take a billion, is the result of human nature and not a foreseeable consequence of his tax.

Who knew, after all, way back in early 1990, that the tax designed to discharge a deficit of a little more than a billion in a $7.5 billion budget would metastasize, leaving the state, only two governors after Weicker gave birth to it, with a budget more than twice as large and a debt more than three time as large?

In a rare humorous moment from Weicker, the father of the state’s income tax claimed that his lieutenant governor, Eunice Groark, mothered the state’s multi-billion dollar levy. But we know who the daddy really was, and so does Weicker. His DNA is all over the tax. When Weicker brought in as his Office of Budget and Management chief William Cibes, who ran for governor on a pro-income tax platform and was thumped, Republicans smelled the rotten mackerel wafting in the wind. Tom D’Amore, Weicker’s chief aide who popped up recently as an advisor to Ned Lamont’s campaign against Weicker’s bete noir, Sen. Joe Lieberman, served in the Meskill administration. It was during this time that D’Amore became comfortable with an income tax. The Meskill administration gave birth to an income tax that was snuffed out by an alert legislature hours after it been conceived.

Weicker’s interview with Mann is, in a sense, the former governor’s attempt to own up to the realities of present day life in Connecticut without accepting any responsibility for the ruinous results of his “courageous” decision to brave contumely – and apparently beer bottles – when he went ahead and did his courageous thing. This mock courage was brilliantly skewered by Chris Powell, the Managing Editor of the Journal Inquirer and its chief columnist, in a recent opinion piece.

Weicker, a nominal Republican, always has maintained a foot and a half in the Democratic camp, mostly for reasons of self preservation, and he has consistently used the Republican Party as a foil to promote his own career, terminated when Weicker saddled the state with an income tax.

Nothing in the Mann interview, most of which has remained on the cutting room floor, will surprise seasoned Weicker watchers. The man in full is there, if only in flashes: the bluster (Powell once reviewed Weicker’s adulatory autobiography “Maverick” in an extended opinion piece titled “Mr. Bluster Saves The World”); the revisionist review of recent history (Gagging on the metastasized bottom line of successive state budgets, Weicker, in the view of his admirers the Atlas of Connecticut politics, now shrugs that human nature is responsible for the outcome, a present budget deficit that dwarfs the deficit Weicker used as a ploy to convince querulous legislators to support his and D’Amore’s and Cibes’ income tax); the shear audacity of pretension.

Take, just by way of example, Weicker’s notion that budgets exploded after the income tax because human nature is what it is and he was incapable of changing human nature. Human nature has not changed radically in the space of three governors. Democratic legislators were acquisitive before the income tax and they were more acquisitive after it — because the tax provided them with more money jingling in their coffers.

The bare and hearty truth is that the income tax was designed by Weicker and Cibes and D’Amore to spare them and the Democratic Party the trouble of making economies through spending cuts and prudent outlays of money. And it succeeded in its object beyond the wildest dreams of the tax eaters in state government. The income tax, in other words, was the gas thrown on the fires of irresponsible state spending that Weicker protested in his campaign for governor as a reason not to impose an income tax on the state he would soon leave for greener pasture after his work of destruction had been accomplished.

So here we are, two decades after Weicker’s “courageous” decision to impose a new revenue stream on his state. That stream leads directly from people and businesses to state coffers and eats out the substance of the people. Weicker apparently is moving back to Connecticut at a time when wiser heads will be moving out. Democrats have just proposed to increase taxes by $1.5 billion; the state debt is $9 billion; nuisance taxes are being raised; UConn has projected that the state is in for another prolonged slow or no growth period such as accompanied Weicker’s courageous decision to impose an income tax on Connecticut. Most of this has been manfully but ineffectively protested by Weicker’s cast off party.

And Weicker’s solution to the mess he is chiefly responsible for causing is – to start a new political party.

Like the one that gave us the income tax?

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17 responses to “Weicker Shrugs

  1. Probably the most disgraceful fixture in politics in the history of Connecticut. He’s nothing but a selfish, obnoxious, mean-spirited pig.

    Before the income tax, the “rich” (including Weicker) were paying a FOURTEEN percent tax on captial gains, interest and dividends. Now he only pays 5%. How come I’ve never heard you “tax the rich” s_o_c_i_a_l_i_s_t_s
    (yes Chris, while you were gone, we discovered that if anyone uses that word here, their post is subject ot “moderation”) howl in protest over that one?

    I really wish Weicker would either just go away or die so we never have to listen to his blather ever again.

  2. First, Cibes left the low paying legislature and took over as channcellor, $100,000 plus, of the state’s colleges and has now spent over a billion plus on them – this was all predicted at the time and ignored by the the Stolbergs, etc who knew a gravy train when they saw it coming. . Rowland, etc fed on it and ended up in jail thanks to their stupidity but the real tax feeders are still at the trough. A read back of the entires show that most of the commentary posted here are from wanna bees – it is so “gratifing ” to push though spending bills to save the arrdvarks – that has made Ct one of the most indebted state in the union. — PS: Does no one else ever wonder why Weicker has never lived in one place or kept a job?

  3. Curious,

    Cibes you left out the part where Weiker made Cibes head of OPM (another six figure job) before he landed his fat-cat Chancellor’s position.

  4. Opps, sorry about the first “Cibes,” the sentence should have started with “You.”

  5. Brenda,

    Cibes you left out the part where Weiker made Cibes head of OPM (another six figure job) before he landed his fat-cat Chancellor’s position.

    It’s there: “When Weicker brought in as his Office of Budget and Management chief William Cibes, who ran for governor on a pro-income tax platform and was thumped, Republicans smelled the rotten mackerel wafting in the wind.”

    In fact the job you mention — chancellor of the state colleges — was created for Cibes by the outgoing Weicker and an appreciative legislature.

  6. Probably the most disgraceful fixture in politics in the history of Connecticut. He’s nothing but a selfish, obnoxious, mean-spirited pig.

    Probably the most disgraceful fixture in politics in the history of Connecticut. He’s nothing but a selfish, obnoxious, mean-spirited pig.

    Before the income tax, the “rich” (including Weicker) were paying a FOURTEEN percent tax on captial gains, interest and dividends. Now he only pays 5%. How come I’ve never heard you “tax the rich” s_o_c_i_a_l_i_s_t_s
    (yes Chris, while you were gone, we discovered that if anyone uses that word here, their post is subject ot “moderation”) howl in protest over that one?

    You add nothing of substance to anything. You are a mean, bitter old hag.

    Go away.

  7. s_o_c_i_a_l_i_s_t_s(yes Chris, while you were gone, we discovered that if anyone uses that word here, their post is subject ot “moderation”) howl in protest over that one?

    Brenda, just to test your comment….I think the Democrat party should be renamed the socialist party. Will that be moderated?

  8. WOW, your right Brenda, I posted the soci—ist word and my comment is moderated. I wonder of neo-con is moderated too?

  9. “You add nothing of substance to anything. You are a mean, bitter old hag.

    Go away. ” BritolDem

    This is not only malicious, untrue but sexist and ageist– Where is the “moderation” that you subscribe to – or do fairies get free rein??

  10. Awwwww, poor BritolDem. Typical thin-skinned liberal soci__ist!!! Too funny!!!

    So tell me BritolDem, do you think the “rich” should pay 14% on their capital gains, dividens and interest (what you soci__ists call “unearned income”) like they used to before ole selfish pig Lowell Weicker lowered it to 5%?

  11. See, I’m cool with the conservatives here. We’ll disagree on things, but they’re reasoned and can discuss based on facts.

    You just toss around the S-word for shock value. It’d be like me calling you a Nazi or a Fascist. Pointless. It does nothing to solve any problems

  12. As for the income tax, I do remember John Rowland campaigning against Weiker and Curry as THE MAN WHO WILL SAVE US FROM THE INCOME TAX BY REPEALING IT! ALL WOULD BE WELL! HERE ARE YOUR REBATE CHECKS!

    But he never repealed it, nor did he even try.

  13. This is not only malicious, untrue but sexist and ageist– Where is the “moderation” that you subscribe to – or do fairies get free rein??

    Brenda calls everyone on here names, without penalty. When she deigns to apologize to the increasingly long list of people that she’s insulted and demeaned, then maybe someone would take the “mean, bitter old hag” seriously. Frankly, she deserves far worse than she’s getting.

  14. So tell me BritolDem, do you think the “rich” should pay 14% on their capital gains, dividens and interest (what you soci__ists call “unearned income”) like they used to before ole selfish pig Lowell Weicker lowered it to 5%?

    Name a Republican that’ll support it, and we’re off to the races.

    Until then, acting like Cibes is a “fat cat” for getting a sub-$200k job when legislative Republicans unanimously opposed an increase on over-$500k households as hurting middle-class residents is ignorant and dishonest in the extreme. I’d say it couldn’t be topped, except that you seem to be claiming Democrats are tilting the playing field towards billionaires while simultaneously redistributing their income to the undeserving. There’s no way you could make both of those arguments and not be knowingly lying.

  15. Brenda calls everyone on here names, without penalty. When she deigns to apologize to the increasingly long list of people that she’s insulted and demeaned, then maybe someone would take the “mean, bitter old hag” seriously. Frankly, she deserves far worse than she’s getting.

    You are a liar, I do not “call(s) everyone on here names.” This is a thread about Weicker, not me you liar. This is typical behavior for someone of your ilk, you lie and you exaggerate just like Vancy. When you continue to behave like that, you won’t be taken seriously.

    Until then, acting like Cibes is a “fat cat” for getting a sub-$200k job when legislative Republicans unanimously opposed an increase on over-$500k households as hurting middle-class residents is ignorant and dishonest in the extreme. I’d say it couldn’t be topped, except that you seem to be claiming Democrats are tilting the playing field towards billionaires while simultaneously redistributing their income to the undeserving. There’s no way you could make both of those arguments and not be knowingly lying.

    And here you go again, taking something I said and twisting it into something completely different. My point was the selfish pig Lowell Weicker LOWERED the tax on capital gains, dividends and interest from 14% to 4% initially and I find it strange that the socia__sts (like you and BritolDem) don’t have a problem with that.

    Where did I ever “claiming Democrats are tilting the playing field towards billionaires while simultaneously redistributing their income to the undeserving. ” If you can find where I said that, please point me in that direction. Until then, you’re a liar, plain and simple. Lowell Weicker isn’t a “Democrat” he was a Republican, then an ACP and now he’s unaffiliated.

  16. If the wealthy, and those non-wealthy who are naive enough to defend them, continue to balk at “giving back,” then I have no alternative but to remove them from my social list.

  17. johningreenwich

    So let me get this straight. Weiker’s implementing the income tax allowed the Democrat-controlled legislature to spend us into oblivion and it’s Weiker’s fault. I guess the Democrats are some sort of mindless wolf-pack that was blameless for the havoc they caused – Weiker is to blame because he let them out of their cage.

    Is that what happened? Are the Democrats at all responsible for this mess?

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