And speaking of idiots, Greenwich Time’s publisher has a solution for Greenwich’s fiscal woes: soak the rich

Never trust a man in a bowtie who wants to spend your money for you

Old Greenwich resident and “Senior Hearst Executive” Lincoln Millstone advocates a property tax surcharge on all homes assessed at $1 million and up so as to “redistribute” others’ money to the unions and poor folk in town.

…[I]t brings many benefits. It would further cement the Republican voting bloc in Greenwich which is the working class residents. They will show their appreciation by continuing to support local GOP candidates. The professional class of Greenwich – people like me who get on the train every day to work in Manhattan – do not vote in big numbers in off-year municipal elections. There will be no backlash among this class. Then there is the super wealthy for whom this discussion is largely irrelevant. The thing about local taxes – as opposed to our federal income tax – is that every dollar can be felt in our daily lives, from the annual leaf pickup, to the care and maintenance of our parks, to the housing and other services we provide the elderly.

Millstone has a been a pestilent presence in Greenwich and in his paper for just a few years but clearly,wherever he’s spent the bulk of his 85 years he’s learned nothing of value and now passes his accumulated wisdom on to us. His bland assertion that Greenwich can punish its achievers and still keep them captive within our borders defies even the simplest logic, a level achievable by even a six-year-old, who understands that if you light a bonfire in the chimney Christmas Eve, Santa Claus will find another home to visit. Lincoln must have missed “A Night at the Opera” when he was a child.

14 Comments

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14 responses to “And speaking of idiots, Greenwich Time’s publisher has a solution for Greenwich’s fiscal woes: soak the rich

  1. GeorgeCrosley

    There’s no “e” in Santa’s last name.

    • Quite right, and now corrected – I must have been thinking of the “sanity clause” who, as Chico Marx pointed out, everybody knows doesn’t exist. Millstein is still a believer, apparently.

  2. Cos cobber

    This exactly the wrong medicine for Greenwich. We don’t need to create policies which stir ‘they owe us because they are rich’ mentality. And we dont need to change the stance of greenwich as anti or skepitcal of the wealthy. Real estate taxes are inherently progressive given its a tax based on the value of your home.

    Lincoln and others really fail to see how much we have to be thankful for in Greenwich as our budget and revenue streams are the envy of the state. We don’t have a revenue problem, we have an efficiency problem. Our per student annual school costs are the highest in the state and we have the highest town budget per capita of any town in the state. Where we fail is with getting the most we could for our money and that hurts all of us, particularly those Lincoln supposedly is looking out for.

  3. Millstein must have gone through the Greenwich Public School system, perhaps more than once.

  4. Oops. Millstone. By any other name…

  5. NewsJunkie

    http://www.greenwichschools.org/uploaded/high_school/media/GHS_Media_Bits_Bytes_November_2012.pdf

    What, no “50 Shades of Gray” for the little ones? Just stumbled across GHS’s media center newsletter. Surprised to find that JK Rowling’s “adult” novel, which has been universally panned, is among this month’s selections, along with a Twinkie book. Also, what teen is reading Follett’s historical trilogy? I’d be curious to see how many times that book gets checked out! Also, why so many DVD’s ordered? Aren’t some of these titles redundant with what the town spends on library budget? Who’s accountable for this?

  6. FF

    Cos Cobber – Lincoln is no liberal, he’s generally quite contemptuous of the left in general, in my direct experience. However, I believe he works through a standard of efficiency test on everything, so I doubt his proposal was based upon the status quo. I think that those who subscribe to a revenue-first approach on Town government often miss some of the most basic observations which are things like : efficiencies in schools will not solve the persistent maintenence problems brought about by decades of – as Chris puts it – “studies”. Rapidly impolding underground infrastructure – 100 year old water lines – are being paid for in part by your tax dollars and in part by skyrocketing water prices. Is it not a tax when a private entity uses its monopoly of a critical service to raise prices, but it is when a government raises taxes to do the same thing? We have sewers that back up and in Old Greenwich’s case, explode. I don’t think the BET’s 2% uber alles tax increase is going to take care of that 100 million debacle. So I’m thinking that Lincoln is just looking for a way for those who want these things taken care of without all the ideology to get money. Because the bottom line is that there is not, and has never been enough, money to do the things that we need to do as a community. Balancing a budget and priorities is a two way street and as I’ve rambled on about endlessly, people need to say EXACTLY who needs to be fired, what the impact of slashing pensions and health insurance are in the long term, and see if that’s the Greenwich they want to live in. Or is their personal pocketbook the only thing that matters at all.

  7. Georgie

    Here-here CC…so well said.

    I was surprised with Millstein’s remarks because he has been one of the more outspoken critics of the the BOE… which spends the majority of the Town’s Operating Budget and produces one of the highest cost per pupil in the state….and yet, the BOE continues to produce declining scores despite all the spending.

    So the solution to just tap into a new revenue source as the answer is truly disappointing to see from Millstein.

  8. anonymous

    “Local” newspaper Greenwich Time misnamed. Not “local.” Therefore should not be “Greenwich Time.” How about taking off “Greenwich, just “Time?” Already is a “Time.” “Newsweek” just folded, how about “Newsweek?” Not a weekly, also no news. How about “Weak” instead of “Week?” Aha. Got it. “Weak.” Perfect.

  9. happy

    Residents who live on the water already pay a huge premium. (in addition to the cost of storm clean-up) Getting ready to cry uncle and move to Fairfield.

  10. AJ

    Isn’t Millstone one of the dumber “The Simpsons” characters? Oh, wait that’s Milhouse. Does the tie spin or squirt water?

  11. Riverside Dog Walker

    I read this entry on his blog the other day (my excuse was I was looking for the name of the new restaurant replacing Greenwich Tavern; he didn’t name it). I thought maybe he was writing this tongue in cheek. I guess not.

    Another other fun fact about Lincoln was once he refused to publish one of my comments on his post on his blog concerning the Greenwich School system unless I dropped my use of the word ‘retard’ or ‘idiot’ in referring to one of our school board members. I told him (1) it was a figure of speech, (2) it was true, (3) I have been called much worse and I haven’t made idiotic decisions to the level the school board has, and (4) to forget the whole thing.

    We could also examine the tempest in the teapot about should the town budget increase 2.5% or 3.5% (Bob Horton had a column on this). I have an idea. How about a flat year over year budget (the government says there is no inflation anyway) and let the respective town departments figure out how to survive on it. If they have to lay off people, welcome to the real world.

  12. Good Sir, he got it right……
    “Professional Class” is somnambulant silent….
    Annual Leaf Pick Up!
    Instead of spending $400 k per year and benefits associated into perpetuity have him push for the onerous law requiring $ 1.50 mulch blades on mowers that can be used on grasses and leafall.
    It would end the Era of Mow & Blow, cut DPW spending and be a windfall for the snoozers.
    FULL DISCOLSURE written with my bow tie proudly in place on my hate to spend other peoples money Scotish neck…..

  13. Anonymous

    Once again, the threshold ($1,000,000) is too low. What you need is for Ray, Stevie, and Paul to cut a check and solve the problem–yeah, that’ll happen.