GOP math on CT economy not adding up

Mark Twain once wrote, “A lie can walk around the world when the truth wears its shoes.” Connecticut Republicans are hoping that their lies about Connecticut’s economy and finances will be so close to Election Day that the truth won’t come out.

Speaking of lies, Sen. State GOP Ryan Fazio (Greenwich, Stamford, New Canaan) said, “The federal government said Connecticut’s economy was the second lowest in the nation and our personal income growth rate was the worst in the country.” He he conveniently leaves out that “decreasing” was an early estimate of the past three months. In fact, in the past three months, Connecticut’s economy grew at a rapid rate of 5.5 percent, the second fastest of any state. Last year, Connecticut registered economic growth of 1.7 percent, in the top half of all states.

Rep. GOP State Rep. Kimberly Fiorello (Greenwich, Stamford) said, “Our government saves and borrows without concern for what we are doing to ourselves and burdening future citizens.” False. During their 16 years in the governor’s office, Republican governors John Rowland and Jodi Rell increased annual state spending by 4.45 percent. In contrast, Democratic governor Dan Malloy increased spending by only 2.2 percent per year during his eight years in office, while Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont enacted budgets that only increased spending by 3.38 percent per year over the past four years. The FY23 budget was revised due to increased federal spending, but not due to increased taxes. So the facts show Democrats have saved more money than Republicans have.

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Fiorello quoted the Conservative Tax Foundation as saying Connecticut’s “taxes” per capita are the highest, or nearly the highest, in the nation. That is very misleading. First, “taxes” include a portion of the revenue collected by states. According to a 2018 article by Bill Cibes, former secretary of Connecticut’s Office of Policy and Management (OPM), “Out of all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Connecticut’s share of all state/local revenue” comes from the same sources. it is not. -Tax payments are the HIGHEST in the world.” While the 50-state average was 31 percent of its “own revenue” from taxes and fees, Connecticut’s was only 16 percent. Cibes cites many official researchers, including the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, that “Connecticut’s share of Connecticut’s income provided by its citizens to the state/local governments in services provided by the states, ranks Connecticut among the lowest in the nation. .”

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The decline in government spending relative to revenue is confirmed by a 2019 USA Today analysis that ranked Connecticut as the 10th least populous state in the nation based on total federal/state employees per capita. In fact, USA Today reported that over the past decade, Connecticut has cut the number of public officials by the second-highest rate of any state in the country. State employee cuts continue under Lamont, with nearly 5,000 state employees retiring this year, more than the usual number. The latest data from the Department of Labor shows that employment in the state of Connecticut is smaller than at any time since 1995.

While holding back on spending, Lamont also significantly increased the state’s “rainy day fund,” which Gov. Rell, a Republican, resigned from office. At $3.3 billion, Connecticut’s savings fund is five times larger than before, and at 15% of the operating budget, the largest in the nation. Over the past twelve years Lamont and Malloy have restructured and restructured the state pension fund from the collapse of Rowland-Rell. Not only has Lamont contributed enough of the annual pension required each year, it has contributed an additional $5.8 billion, which, according to OPM, reduces future annual contributions by $440 million. In addition, OPM estimates that Connecticut’s ratio of unearned pension debt to personal income is now close to the national average.

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And Fiorello’s comments about “borrowing without concern for our own actions and burdening future citizens”? False. In fact, according to OPM’s 2021 Fiscal Accountability Report, Connecticut has gradually reduced its bond issuance since 2015, under Democratic governors Dan Malloy and Ned Lamont. Indeed, under the “debt diet,” in Connecticut in 2021 the issuance of all bonds amounted to only 43 percent of the amount issued in 2015. within the next ten years. Currently “continuing to borrow” without concern for future citizens, the facts show that the Democratic administration and the Democratic parliament have been reducing borrowing for many years.

Republican lies about Connecticut’s economy and finances had a big start. But the truth is wearing its boots now, and it’s coming fast.

Sean B. Goldrick is a former member of the Greenwich Board of Estimate and Taxation.


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