How does your garden grow?

By deliberate duplicity from our Governor and sabotage of fiscal responsibility by municipal and state bureaucracies determined to protect their young. Case in point: Governor Rell pretends to order a  hiring freeze, garnering accolades for her stern budgetary discipline. Result; 824 new employees hired since May.

The new hirings have come at a variety of state agencies at a cost of more than $14 million. And they don’t include hundreds of employees hired by the University of Connecticut, the UConn Health Center and the Judicial Branch, whose hiring and payroll are not overseen by Comptroller Nancy Wyman.

A spokesman for the governor notes that she doesn’t control judicial, legislative and higher education jobs. And Rell has allowed exceptions for jobs affecting public health and safety, and positions that save money in overtime and contracting costs.

Our former Governor Lowell foisted an income state on us by arguing that we could actually save money by having a reliable source of income to calculate our budget on. Proving that if you give a politician a dollar he’ll spend two our state payroll has more than doubled since that tax was enacted, while our population dropped. Now we’re returning to the estate tax which was abolished when the income tax came in, to fill some of the shortfall in our projected multi-billion dollar deficit.

What is so damn discouraging about this is that, just as is the case nationally, it makes no difference which political party is in charge. Republicans will spend a taxpayer’s money with the same gleeful disdain and contempt  that a Democrat displays – the only difference is that a Republican, like Rell, will claim she is being careful while a Democrat just says you owe it to his friends. I’m beginning to feel an affectionate respect for the Democratic plunderers – at least, like the politicians of Boss Tweed’s day, they make no pretense at being what they aren’t.

12 Comments

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12 responses to “How does your garden grow?

  1. anonymous

    Greenwich has lowest state income tax rates of any relevant place….compare vs Manhattan or SiliconValley’s ~10% rates

    It’s all relative….

    Can move to Chicago’s GoldCoast or LakeForest for a 3% income tax rate…and not materially cheaper land/housing than Greenwich

    Dallas has a 0% income tax rate, but land in HighlandPark is ~$7MM/ac and PrestonHollow is some $3MM/ac….and it’s life in TX….priceless…

  2. christopherfountain

    It’s the growth of government spending in the face of a declining population that bothers me. Just as we used to value stocks by projecting growth in a company’s earnings, a line for spending that shoots up at an ever increasing pitch is worrisome. To me.

  3. anonymous

    Am w/you….government and welfare are intertwined, annoying and likely to grow (like a cancer) in a deep recession

    Perhaps Fairfield County should secede from rest of economically irrelevant CT (what else is in state of value???)

    IIRC, top 1% of taxpayers pay ~40% of all taxes…lots of underachieving parasites out there….

  4. anonymous

    Much of government spending — federal, state, local — involve the equivalent of Ponzi schemes.

  5. edflinn

    Our former Governor Lowell foisted

    Lowell Weicker, not to quibble.

  6. AnAverageAmerican

    “What else is in state of value???”. Umm, gee, I dunno … how about Sikorsky and Electric Boat. Not to mention all those insurance companies up in Hartford (though I’ll concede they are not worth what they were a year ago).

    I also despise the onslaught of entitlement fueled government growth, and fully understand why the Founding Fathers made this country a federal republic rather than a democracy. Too bad we didn’t remain a federal republic. I’m starting to think we’ve left the democracy behind and are living in a nascent socialist state … and we’ve seen how well that’s worked everywhere else it’s been tried.

  7. Ogre The Great

    Anon – Your comparison to Dallas is not valid. A) Highland Park is not Dallas. It is its own city made for rich people by rich people. B) Preston Hollow is one of the richest neighborhoods in all of Texas. You can get acreage in the suburbs in every direction for cheaper than nearly any area with comparable population density. Living in Dallas proper sucks anyhow. Higher taxes, higher crime and the worst schools in North Texas by FAR. Massively corrupt city hall to boot. Its our own little bastion of liberalism in North Texas. It is also completely locked in by surrounding cities now so there is no further new growth for Dallas possible besides tear downs and what’s left of small pockets of empty land.

    That being said, Texas has notoriously high property taxes so its not as if our lack of income tax comes without a price. TN on the other hand has zero income tax and the property tax is 1/4 of what it is in Texas. Land is nearly as cheap, too. Schools suck much worse than TX though.

  8. Orion

    Is this the net job gain or just the gross? In normal parliance a “hiring freeze” means you don’t hire anyone; in reality that means you only hire for “critical” positions as people leave. The definition of “critical” is somewhat ambiguous. A 4-man firefighter team can’t function if one of the guys quits and isn’t replaced, but is it an emergency if the governor’s secretary retires and isn’t replaced? Can he borrow one from the Lt. Gov’s office?

    You have to look at hiring during a similar period before the freeze went into effect to judge how scrupulously they are abiding by it.

  9. CatoRenasci

    Lowell’s income tax for the rest of us was, as every good liberal measure is, a significant break for him while sticking it to the rest of us: most of his income was unearned and subject to the then 10% CT income tax on dividends and interest. Essentially, the 4% state income tax was a 60% cut in his state taxes. And, the deciding vote to give us Lowell’s tax break was Bill Nickerson. I haven’t spoken to either of them since.

    Rell is something of a joke, but at least her instincts are not big government spending. If the Democrats had their unfettered way in Hartford, we’d have higher income tax rates and many more unionized government employees.

    We should set a state budget equal to the amount the TAXPAYERS are willing to pay, and cut the size of government until we’re there. The state employees should probably all take at least a 20% cut in pay – or lay 25% of them off. My guesss is that if state government closed down entirely for a month, almost no one would notice.

  10. FkyAngler

    Chris: I applaud another Insta-lanche. But I look forward to the day for when it is good or more uplifitng news that draws Mr. Reynolds’ readers.

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