Republican Budget Proposal Muddies the Waters

Democrats and Gov. Rell are getting marginally closer to some sort of budget agreement, with plans to meet perhaps once a month until next June to resolve their differences. But now legislative Republicans have, for some reason, proposed yet another budget, and once again there are no tax increases.

They mostly accomplish this by returning most funding (excluding salaries) at state agencies to 2007 levels. They’re also planning on making users pay for LifeStar, retirement incentives, and the usual stable of hare-brained budget nonsense like “Medicaid Re-estimation” and “securitization of state assets,” among others. There was something in there about cell towers on state buildings, but I didn’t delve too deeply into that one. And, of course, they cut the Citizens’ Election Fund, because while everyone likes democracy, some folks just aren’t willing to pay for it.

Why bother proposing a budget now? Republicans say that they hope to influence the debate over taxes, especially–but it’s unlikely that either the Democrats or the governor’s budget people are going to adopt any of the GOP’s ideas. The budget gave Democrats a useful stick to bash both the Republicans and the governor. On the one hand, they got to say that they budget was “inhumane” and cuts services for families when they need them most. On the other hand, they got to point out that the governor and her party are not on the same page–and that’s something news coverage has focused on, as well (this headline says it all). GOP leaders have said that there’s no conflict between the governor and her party, but it’s hard to ignore the evidence in their competing proposals.

What have they really accomplished, then? They have put their principles out there, but isn’t it a little late for that? This is their third budget proposal. They put their principles out there twice before (to little effect).

This does give the Republicans something to try and bring up for a vote when whatever budget is finally negotiated between the governor and the Democrats comes to the legislature for debate. It gives them something to be for rather than just being against the Democratic budget.

In any case, nothing remotely resembling this budget will pass. Good for the GOP for coming up with an alternative, but in the end it won’t matter.

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17 responses to “Republican Budget Proposal Muddies the Waters

  1. The Citizens Election Fund is a COMPLETE joke and should be immediately removed. The amount of money it takes to run the system is ridiculous. This is aside from the fundamental fact it applies my tax dollars support candidates and ideas that I do not support. I’ve dealt with many government programs in state and this one was not only the worst run but the most useless.

  2. This is exactly the tactical move I would have made were I working for the State GOP, and indeed I wrote a post a while back about the Republicans having to vote unanimously against any tax increase, in order to make the Democrats own any and all tax increases in the State. If the Dems want new taxes or higher taxes, go ahead and pass them — but the GOP will come out as White Knights when the dust clears.

    As for the Rell/GOP split, well, sometimes even people who really like one another disagree on a particular, and this is one of those moments.

  3. What a freaken joke, did any Republican in Hartford have one public forum on this issue? NO! Connecticut is dying for someone to ask their opinion and no one is, whoever does it first is the big winner.

    Hey House Republicans get your act together don’t let that horrible Senate Republican staff bring you down; hopefully it is not too late.

  4. disgruntled_republican

    In any case, nothing remotely resembling this budget will pass. Good for the GOP for coming up with an alternative, but in the end it won’t matter.

    Putting this sentence doesn’t take away from what appears to be some level of disdain that you have for the GOP caucus in Hartford. The rest of your post is pretty clear in showing it exists…still. I just don’t understand why.

    As I said in my comments to this post, it seems that they are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

  5. As I said in my comments to this post, it seems that they are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

    Of course they are but they put themselves in this situation and think propaganda (another stupid budget option) would get them out of it.

  6. … because while everyone likes democracy, some folks just aren’t willing to pay for it.

    Taxpayers Money
    Regardless of which pocket the money comes out of; anyway you slice it, it’s 61 million of the taxpayers money.

    Union Empowerment Act
    It’s written so as to accommodate union supported candidates well – but no one else.

    Never mind that it encroaches on donors civil rights in that it constrains not only who can donate, but how much anyone can.
    While we had some of those constraints previously – I didn’t agree with them then either.

    Imagine you’re fortunate enough to have a state rep that you feel strongly actually represents you.

    Someone who’s judgment you place greater faith in than your own.

    An individual you know for certain is an absolute straight-arrow and who has demonstrated repeatedly through their actions that their servants heart is not only sincere, but as pure as you’ve ever witnessed in your life.

    Imagine having such a person working for you in Hartford.

    Naturally you would be inclined to help such a candidate remain in the seat; but the state dictates like [insert some obscure Godwins Law reference here] that you may not.

    How is that not a violation of the First Amendment?

  7. Ghengis,

    Your liberal slip is showing. There is nothing new in the process that unfolds with wearisome regularity at the end of every fiscal year between the Democrat controlled legislature and the governor, for the past two terms a Republican. Weicker was a maverick Republican turned independent.

    During the two years before the budget, the Republican governor, careful to put on a rhetorical show of resistance, and trhe Democrat dominated legislature collude in a budget that hikes spending. That is how the bottom line of state budgets was doubled and tripled in the space of three governors.

    The only thing new this time around is that the Republican leadership in the legislature is putting up a public show of resistance.

    This has got the usual free spending culprits and their chorus in the media in a snit.
    But that’s the new thing – literally, the news. The rest of it is business as usual.

    A media that wanted to report the news would put that resistance on the front page of every newspaper in the state. There would be interviews, reportorial analysis; the blogs would be alive with the sound of the new music.

    This hasn’t happened because…?

    You tell me.

  8. Lets be real ACR only one person runs this state and his name is Sal Luciano. Nancy Dinardo as well as all House and Senate D’s worship at his alter, done and done.

    He will do whatever it takes to keep himself the most powerful person in CT and destroy it without a care.

  9. Carcharodon Carcharias

    I don’t understand how it is too late for the Republicans to propose another budget. Last time I checked CT still doesn’t have a budget. What the Republicans have done I prove that it can be done without raising taxes even while everyone else is claiming the opposite. People need to be reminded that just because the tax happy Super Majority Democrats say something it doesn’t make it fact.

    Some of the state services we provide are downright ridiculous and they are hampered by an incredible amount of fraud, I’ve seen it. Seems to me that going back to 2007 levels isn’t so bad. If it were up to me we’d cut even more.

    GC- Don’t suggest that because I don’ agree with the CEP that I am unwilling to pay for democracy. No- the taxes I pay to the local, federal and state government help to keep our democracy alive. When it comes to campaigns I would like to choose where my money goes based on the candidate I agree with and one I’d like to see win. I think that giving taxpayer $$ to a candidate I dislike and/or disagree with is actually contrary to the democratic principles that you laim I’m unwilling to pay for. Then throw in the massive budget deficit we have- to keep pumping money into the CEP is ridiculous.

  10. Naturally you would be inclined to help such a candidate remain in the seat; but the state dictates like [insert some obscure Godwins Law reference here] that you may not.

    How is that not a violation of the First Amendment?

    The law does not stop you from doing independent expenditures on behalf of your favored candidate. It also doesn’t stop a candidate from opting out of the system and self-financing.

    In both of those cases, the state will match the amounts you spend and to give to your candidate’s opponent, but those two outlets for your personal dollars are what keep the program inside the four corners of the first amendment.

  11. wtfdnucsailor

    One of the things I like about the CEP is the limit on funds to be raised by candidates and a limit on the candidate expenditures if they opt for the program. I don’t like the fact that candidates without an opponent may get funds and hope that the legislature will correct this defect in the near future. The CEP permits candidates without great personal resources to enter the process on an equal footing with the incumbents.
    Back on the topic. The Republican caucus proposal is a great publicity stunt. Not that the Democratic budget proposals and even the first proposal by Governor Rell were not publicity stunts as well. I have been very disappointed by the Governor and the legislative leadership. Both sides have been concentrating on political points with their bases rather than the tough job of governing and decision making. I don’t think that they have been negotiating with a state of urgency. The impact of their poor performance will be felt for more than just the next two years.

  12. I don’t understand how it is too late for the Republicans to propose another budget. Last time I checked CT still doesn’t have a budget. What the Republicans have done I prove that it can be done without raising taxes even while everyone else is claiming the opposite. People need to be reminded that just because the tax happy Super Majority Democrats say something it doesn’t make it fact.

    You and several other postings to same effect are correct.
    What the R’s have done is put out a no tax alternative that the D’s won’t even give minimal consideration to. By dismissing this out of hand, they are open to the charge that they’re tax happy if the public reacts negatively to the new taxes and fees. By summarily rejecting consideration of a no tax alternative, they’ve lost the ability to claim they looked at every alternative to avoid tax and fee increases.
    Of course, they may feel that there’s no downside, and they may be right. The people who see and understand what’s going on will be voting with their feet at the first opportunity.

  13. Meaningless Posturing.

    The Democrats nudged the ball forward with the DMV reorganization plan. What we really need is some form of continuous improvement initiative in government to reorg at lower costs while improving services at the same time.

    Rell and the Democrats are looking at some compromises on reorgs and savings. The GOP? An excel spreadsheet and a promise of no new taxes. Ho hum. Ho hum. They could at least try instead of pandering to the LCD of the GOP.

  14. The law does not stop you from doing independent expenditures on behalf of your favored candidate. It also doesn’t stop a candidate from opting out of the system and self-financing.

    Go ahead and give that a try – your candidate will be audited before you can blink.

    You will have done no favor by the time it’s over.

    In both of those cases, the state will match the amounts you spend and to give to your candidate’s opponent.

    Hence defeating any real purpose.

    The entire thing is a horrible idea and I suspect you haven’t been a treasurer on a campaign since it went into effect.
    We’re asking a lot out of people that have volunteered.

    The point was a citizen government; loads of hoops and obstacles get citizens out leaving only those with substantial infrastructures in the game – like unions.

  15. Go ahead and give that a try – your candidate will be audited before you can blink.

    Who cares about an audit?

    Hence defeating any real purpose.

    I thought the purpose was for you to exercise your free speech rights.

    The point was a citizen government; loads of hoops and obstacles get citizens out leaving only those with substantial infrastructures in the game – like unions.

    You really seem to be scared of unions.

  16. And, of course, they cut the Citizens’ Election Fund, because while everyone likes democracy, some folks just aren’t willing to pay for it.

    I don’t think the government has any business funding candidates. It has an obligation to make sure elections are run fairly, and maintain law and order around the election. However, canddiates should have to raise money themselves.

    However, it’s not a lot o fmoney, certinly not enough to close the gap.

    If we were really serious about democracy, we’d get rid of these conventions to pick candidates and instead have primaries directly. Those conventions seem like a way to concentrate power in the hands of a very few.

  17. Who cares about an audit?

    How many hours between 9 – 5 during the week can you spend in Hartford having made the mistake of volunteering to work on a campaign?

    For that matter what color is the sky in your world?

    You really seem to be scared of unions.

    Not really – I simply know absolute dolts when I see them; I avoid those that wear their hats indoors for the same reason.

    Unions are disloyal
    My step-daughter’s in some teachers union; yet over 65% of the cars in the parking lot at her (Middle) school are made elsewhere or by non-union labor.

    I’ve seen a union back a trial atty as opposed to a past local president of and current member of the same union.

    With friends like that…….

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