“Chickens home roost to come,” says Yoda

Brendan Sharkey

Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey: “You look at Greenwich’s Grand List now – the very definition of callipygian, ripe for the grabbing”.

Connecticut’s budget deficit, estimated by the Democrats in charge to be $20 million, is now acknowledged to be $900 million, and climbing. That’s a problem for any government, like Connecticut’s, that doesn’t have a printing press.

Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey, D-Hamden, said more structural changes are needed.

“This reflects the reality of an economy where families are working harder for less,” he said. “Savings and efficiency must be the priority, where accountability of state agencies for every taxpayer dollar is the new watchword. This is how the budget challenge we face will be met.”

It’s nice that the Hartford Yahoos now concede that “accountability … for every taxpayer dollar” has not been  an objective of their rule for the past four decades, but I do believe their gallows conversion comes too late.

What’s the solution? The standard one: new taxes on Fairfield County.

32 Comments

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32 responses to ““Chickens home roost to come,” says Yoda

  1. hmmm

    The only thing that can save the state is a repeal of the state income tax and the death tax immediately this session retroactive to Jan 1 2016. Which means everyone with earned income this year gets a check. Then they need to cut the state employment count.

    Anything less is just talk. I actively look for a way out of this state. That would keep me here.

  2. burningmadolf

    How are the pension and healthcare obligations doing? Fully funded yet?

  3. Walt

    Dude:

    So screwed, Connecticut is! Estimate $20 million, then $900 million? Shortfall large, politicians short. Dark Side approach, I say. Last tax hike promise deficits no more, I recall. Not kept promises lead to ruin.

    YODA SPEAK DUDE!! We are overdue for Haiku!!

    Your Pal,
    Walt

  4. Oh, it's for my name

    Not to be outdone by Europe’s PIIGS, the US now has the PRICKs: Puerto Rico, Illinois, Connecticut, Kentucky….. It’s almost enough to say screw it, let the whole damn system collapse on Hillary’s watch. Except that any pitchforks that might come out against TPTB will be mercilessly crushed.

  5. Anonymous

    Now I understand why in each interview the past couple of weeks, Malloy was stating that he is serious about cutting spending. Of course, that never means union headcount or compensation—just essential services to the truly vulnerable.

  6. Just The Facts!

    The irony of this discussion is one of our State Legislators Livvy Floren lives most of her days in Florida already. How does this Town keep electing people who have no vested long term interest in the well-being of this State? Why is everyone surprised by Hartford and for that matter local elected officials? Until the electorate wakes up or rather finally gets their well-deserved wake up call…which is coming, expect more of the same? I’m with hmmm, we actively look to get out of here until they give us a reason to stay. JTF!

  7. peg

    I grew up in Chicago. Plenty of graft and muscle there then – but – it was a city that works. Now, Illinois is drowning in debt, crime, big unions, etc – all under decades of Democratic watch.

    It can happen anywhere; yep, even Connecticut. And – it is.

  8. Anonymous

    Democrats buying union votes and endorsements by teaming up with state employees unions to negotiate against the tax payers. Think of the governor as the CEO of a public company – he goes to his employees union bosses and says I’ll give you anything you want as long as you support me. Because he has given away the store, the company starts losing money hand over fist, can’t meet it obligations and has to borrow money to make payroll. The CEO then tells the investors to go F themselves because he has the workers support. What would the investors and BOD do in this case? Of course, they would fire his ass!

  9. Publius

    The elites in Hartford have been blaming the overhang of the national recession since that recession ended in June 2009 as the reason for the woes of the state. It never occurs to a Progressive that higher taxes and spending doesn’t work until you run out of other people’s money. To claim that this is the “new normal” is a farce. It is nothing more than the “old normal” except that the tax cookie jar has been tapped out.

    If you tried to find the name of 3 characters for a story about political arrogance and corruption you would be hard pressed to come up with better names than Malloy, Looney and Sharkey. The state of the state will get much worse than this given the weak growth in the US and the decline of financial markets to kick off the year.

    The pension issue is a complete mess. The state pensions have not earned anywhere near what they use in the calculations for determining funding ratios and with another year of weak returns in store, it will get worse. The state has also nothing set aside for OPRB’s (Other Post Retirement Benefits) which is mainly healthcare for retirees and this is just as bad as the pension hole. You will never make this up with higher taxes.

    It is possible that taxes will be raised yet again on those “wealthy folk” in SWFC, but given the diminishing returns of the past 2 hikes and the uncontrolled spending in Hartford, this would only accelerate the fiscal death spiral that CT has been caught in since the first income tax was instituted in 1991.

  10. reader

    Remember that these deficits are emerging before GE leaves the state. And now, UTX is the subject of a merger proposal from Honeywell. Surely, if that deal is consummated, the hq will leave CT. Will the last one out please turn out the lights?

  11. Greenwich Taxpayer

    Yeah, Malloy is serious about budget cuts. Here’s one from the February 23rd CT Mirror: “Despite huge looming state budget deficits, the legislature’s Appropriations Committee sent a mixed message Tuesday on a contract granting University of Connecticut non-teaching professionals annual raises ranging from 3 to 4.5 percent over the next five years.” So who’s kidding who?

    • Cos Cobber

      And remember, whenever we are talking about union contracts, the state and labor only want to discuss the universal increases, but never the built in seniority increases. Most are getting increases faster than published figures because the contracts have seniority step up pay on top of the across the board adjustments.

  12. Anonymous

    I hear from a good source in the defense industry that Sikorsky will be leaving soon as well.

    • Cos Cobber

      Same with Starwood Hotels. People in Stamford have been told the new positions post consolidation will be in Bethesda. They may keep the doors open in Stamford for a few years and conduct a slow migration, but ultimately there is no long term future.

  13. Bart Shuldman

    This is one huge mess and getting much worse. As a stae that MUST balance the budget, 50% of the budget revenues come from state income taxes that are declining. From January to Februry-just one month-the projections were off by $200 million. And the spending continues.

    In addtion, we are actually borrowing money to help pay the debt. We use ‘premiums’ the state collects when they issue new debt to help pay the obilgations on the existing debt.

    As for the pensions, we use an unrelaistic 8% rate that the state never acheives. The 15 year avergae has been around 5.5%, so the state falls behind everyday. The underfunded pension plans are the 2nd worse in the US. If Governor Malloy tried to allocate more money towards the pensions, based on all the reports he would have to set aside an addtional $1 Billion. That would cause the deficit starting in 2017 to balloon to $3 billion. It is already projected to run a $2 billion deficit.

    This is not joke. You can only guess where this extra money the Governor and his democratic leadership will come from. The true death spiral has begun as Governor Malloy and the dem leadership refuse to admot there is a real problem.

    You cannot fix soemthing unless you agree there is a problem.

  14. Anonymous

    So, if CT is slowly falling into the abyss—why is Town of Greenwich spending still so high with REPUBLICAN leadership. Expanding headcount, new fire stations, new recreational facilities, and so on and so on…..where is the fiscal restraint when we do have the votes to make it happen?

    • Bart Shuldman

      In Westport we elected a republican first selectman and watch his spending. He has done an outstanding job on the pension issue and we are now 85% funded.

      You should not only look at where he is spending but firmly request the pensions financials. Pension and debt and OPEB obligations can suck the life out of a town if not managed. Find out about OPEB and the funding.

      Hope this helps.

      • I pointed out here a year or so ago that Fairfield, 60,000 pop. just like Greenwich, serves the needs of its residents with a budget half that of Greenwich’s. Are our needs really twice those of Fairfield’s? I think not.

        • Bart Shuldman

          How funded is your pension plan? How funded is your OPEB liability? How
          Much debt does Greenwich have?

          While we watched the spending on different programs in Westport, the pensions issues, if Greenwich has a big unfunded program, can drive taxes much higher. Your town has made commitments to both pensions and OPEB and its best you find out how good or bad things are.

          That is what is truly hurting the state and most towns.

          • Bart Shuldman

            I don’t know what the appetite is for higher property taxes in Greenwich and whether itmcouldnhurtnhome prices, but unfunded OPEB and pensions plans will eventually cause your town to either cut services to allocate more money to those obligations or raise property taxes.

            Do you know what discount rate is used for the pension plan? From what I have researched, lots of towns and the state used 8%. That is impossible to achieve and caused more harm as the pension plan cannot earn that much per year. A good rate is 5.5-5.75%. More realistic.

            If the pensions are very unfunded it becomes difficult to catch up without putting lots into the plan and quickly.

            Someone in your town needs to look into the details and analyze the situation with your pensions. Like I have said, if bad, eventually property taxes will need to rise as it is the only way for Greenwich to collect more money from its residents.

            Get ready for a state battle to raise taxes also. 2016-2017 budget year is now forecasted at $900 million deficit. You could have the same battle in Greenwich.

    • hmmm

      Because they aren’t republicans

  15. Just The Facts!

    Great question Anon….that is because the Greenwich RTC has been infiltrated for years by unabashed RINO’s. Incidentally, that is the beauty of Trump…Trump and his buddy Carl Icahn is essentially pulling a hostile takeover (Wall Street style) against the pervasive rot that has plagued Republicans since Dubya. It’s been fun to watch the beltway and local establishment blunder their way to Trump’s eventual nomination. They have been caught like deer in the headlights and have no idea on how to react to Trump’s every move. Even these pitiful, local so-called Republicans will be flushed down the toilet with the rest of the Romney’s, Roves, etc. Going to be fun to watch them pay for their hubris all these years….while failing to properly lead our community and solve the spending crisis.

  16. Anonymous

    JTF….agree that Greenwich RTC have had their head in the sand since Eco Crisis in 2008. Regardless of Presidential politics—i just don’t understand the hyper COMPOUND growth in spending in a Town dominated by Republicans. Are they so frick’n beholden to every interest group in this Town without regard to the fiscal future of the Town.

    Do we not all stand on the shoulders who governed the Town with prudence and restraint?

    Its really disheartening to see the local Republicans so absent from sound, fiscal principles…..hey, lets go ahead build a $41 million k-5 ELEMENTARY school—just because the state (US!) will pay for it. Good god.

  17. Just the Facts!

    Anon, It’s amazing how people miss Tesei winning 75% of the vote and not start to wonder. You can’t win 75% of the vote by adhering to traditional Republican principles. True Republicans only make up roughly 30-40% of the Town electorate…where does the other half of his support come? They are not all Independents I assure you. His nickname in certain factions of the GPD is Two-Faced Tesei. Like the other RINO’s (i.e. Floren, Gibbons, Walko, Lash, etc.), Tesei sold out almost a decade ago. Too bad you don’t see the fruits of their lack of leadership until now. Trump has started the purge….now it’s time for CT citizens to step up and embrace the purge locally….it’s not going to happen by itself. The Byram Pool at $15Million and New Leb starting at $41Million are projects in a long list of unnecessary wasteful spending when we should have been getting our financial house in order. Higher interest are coming and by my calculations as early as next month, Greenwich and Hartford are ill prepared for the impending wake up call….JTF!