Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Malloy Says "It's Ugly"

And the Governor-elect is right on that one!
Only the truth is that it is beyond ugly.

The New York Times ran a piece that said:
With backbreaking budget deficits of as much as $4 billion, and a lifeless economy threatening to deepen those shortfalls, experts say the state is mired in its deepest financial hole in decades.

Mr. Malloy’s task is particularly daunting because he must try to create jobs in a state that has ranked last in employment growth since 1990.

It’s never been this bad,” said Fred V. Carstensen, director of the Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis. “We’re looking at years of deficits, even making heroic assumptions about revenue growth.”

Even worse, most of the usual deficit-closing tricks have already been tried, Democratic and Republican officials say, leaving Mr. Malloy, a Democrat, with little choice but to resort to blunt instruments: tax increases, layoffs or union givebacks, or going deeper into debt. ...

“It’s real ugly,” he said. “The gimmicks have run out. It falls to the next governor, who happens to be me, to right the ship.”

Mr. Malloy said he planned to squeeze every penny by consolidating state agencies, but acknowledged there would still be plenty of pain to go around. “I suspect it’s going to be something of everything,” he said. “I don’t have any other options. You can’t tax your way out of it. You can’t cut your way out of it.”

As a candidate, Mr. Malloy outlined ideas for job creation: cashing in $1 billion in unexploited state tax credits to build new research and manufacturing centers, dispatching teams of local officials and business leaders to recruit out-of-state companies and accelerating economic development at Bradley International Airport, to name a few.

...he said he would move quickly to change attitudes about Connecticut among business leaders in the state and elsewhere, by working with lawmakers to cut state surcharges on electric bills, among the highest in the nation.

The governor-elect also said he would try to bring “a sense of reality and normalcy to government,” most noticeably by adopting generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP, in keeping the state’s books and preparing its budgets.

Doing so means bringing papered-over problems out into the open, which would make the state’s immediate and structural deficits look even larger than they already do, Mr. Malloy said. “People will see we’re not going to hide our problems,” he said.

Political insiders said adopting the more stringent accounting principles could also strengthen Mr. Malloy’s hand with union leaders and lawmakers.

“It’s the handle of the ax,” said Richard Foley, a political consultant and former state Republican chairman. “Honesty can be an expensive hobby. But he might be able to use it as a tool. If you want to have truly honest budgets, we have to do this, and he’ll use it as a rationale to raise taxes, cut back some sacred cows and eliminate some positions. It’ll buy him cover.”

Mr. Malloy will at least enjoy support in the capital: his party will control both houses of the state legislature and the executive branch for the first time in 20 years.

It is indeed ugly, and has been ugly - but I have news for Dannel P. Malloy; His party has been the Majority in the State Legislature for a very very long time, and their tax and spend policies and their penchant for union handouts, growing agencies, and expanding entitlement programs is what got us into this mess in the first place. Republican Governors, have in the past, tried to stop the spendaholic Democrat Majority. Now that stop-gap is gone. Now the Democrats will have no one else but themselves to blame, in this one party rule state, to fix the mess that they originally created.

The 2011 legislative season should be a doozy. I will so want to see Malloy fight his own party to do the really hard work that must be done. There will be little time for legislators to play solitaire.

People in CT are already dealing with record unemployment, higher food prices, higher medical prices, and higher energy prices. Higher inflation cause by the federal government's Quantitative Easing is going to make things even worse, and the government's printing more money to bail out states like CT, only makes the situation worse as well.

It's time for the unions to get real, and for this state to make some very serious government downsizing. The party is quite over.

I will tell the Governor-elect one thing though - raise taxes and even more people and businesses will leave CT, and that's a fact.