BY JOEL SCHIAVONE
NOVEMBER 7, 2018
It’s finally over! Seems like this election has gone on for years and now we know Connecticut is an unshakeable union-dominated Democratic state. If there was ever a chance for change, this should have been it. The state is facing a deficit of $4.7 billion. The major cities in the state are all facing bankruptcy. Public employees are retiring with full pay at levels with extortionate fringe benefits and salaries that are rarely discussed in the media but far outpace private pay packages.
Connecticut is ranked 49th in the U.S. in terms of economic growth, falling way behind New York and Massachusetts, our nearest neighbors. People are fleeing the state. Many of our children are no longer able to find jobs locally.
Connecticut residents and business people probably don’t need any more evidence as to the well discussed fiscal issues for the state. However, Connecticut landing just one notch below the bottom of the barrel in a new report that grades the fiscal health of all states. The Nutmeg State has recently ranked 49th for fiscal health by The Mercatus Center at George Mason University.
The ranking is based on its solvency in five separate categories.
Connecticut has between 0.42 and 1.05 times the cash needed to cover short-term obligations, well below the US average.
Revenues only cover 92 percent of expenses, with a worsening net position of –$693 per capita. In the long run, Connecticut’s negative net asset ratio of 1.71 points to the use of debt and large unfunded obligations.
Long-term liabilities are higher than the national average, at 230 percent of total assets, or $17,418 per capita.
Total unfunded pension liabilities that are guaranteed to be paid are $121.65 billion, or 48 percent of state personal income.
OPEB [other post-employment benefits, example healthcare costs] are $21.89 billion, or 9 percent of state personal income.
Only Illinois was ranked below Connecticut, while neighboring Massachusetts was listed at 47th the Commonwealth’s Governor’s re-election advertising cites a one billion budget surplus.
The top five most fiscally solvent states reported were Nebraska, South Dakota, Tennessee, Florida and Oklahoma. The bottom five are Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut and Illinois. The fiver year tracking shows that Connecticut was among states that consistently performed poorly.
SPRINGFIELD, MA., LEDYARD: While the Connecticut and now Massachusetts casinos go head to head, the tax coffers of both states remain big winners.
The newly opened [August 24] MGM Casino in Springfield reported $9,456,976.90 in gross gaming revenue in the month of August.
Slot machines generated the overwhelming share of the take, with $7,347,491.15 in revenues while table games generated $2,109,485.75. MGM reportedly drew 150,000 visitors during its first three days and Massachusetts reported it earned $2,364,244. in taxes for its take.
Meanwhile in Ledyard the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Casino reported dips in slot revenue.
By Joel Schiavone
Connecticut State expenses for employee benefits current and past have gone from 10% of the budget to 30% over the past few years. Through a variety of accounting tricks, borrowing monies, and simply ignoring pension obligations they have submitted a break even State budget for the past eight years, as required by law, knowing full well that they would lead to large illegal deficits.
For more than eighty years every Connecticut Governor has failed to do this by not paying their full share, and in some cases no share, of these benefits and passing along these costs to future generations. They finally have decided that they can’t keep going with their illegal deficit budgets and are now trying to deal with $75 billion in past service liabilities.
HARTFORD: As a new campaign for governor and competing visons for Connecticut take hold, the Connecticut Business and Industry Association [CBIA] is making its voice known. The association has launched a statewide advertising campaign, focused on “raising public awareness around the issues that most impact the state’s economic future and job growth.”
According to the association “high taxes and a sluggish economy are the top concerns for Connecticut residents, and must be priorities for lawmakers and candidates for elected office.”
Dubbed “The Fix Connecticut” campaign will run into the 2019 General Assembly session and beyond. It features digital, broadcast, and print advertising.
The streets of the City of New Haven are well packed with young people and even suburbanites for the first time in decades. Apartment rehabs and new complexes have sprung up across the Elm City. The numbers are real and big, to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars in the past few years alone, nearly all paying full taxes. A small but growing cadre of tech businesses, biotech and software have taken root and a “start-up” culture has begun to emerge to fill those apartments.