Can Connecticut Afford To Cut Taxes? And higher education is propaganda | Chris Powell

It may just be a coincidence, but with his upcoming re-election campaign, Gov. Lamont says Connecticut could afford tax cuts, or at least a revival of a property tax credit against the state tax obligations. Some fellow Democrats in the General Assembly are receptive to the idea.

Corn a detailed review last week by Keith Phaneuf of the Connecticut Mirror suggests that for a while, the state really won’t be able to afford to do much more than keep paying off its unfunded pension obligations, estimated at over $ 95 billion. The state government pension debt is almost the highest in the country per capita, contributions to state pension funds consume 14% of the general state government fund, and these contributions and other “costs ‘fixed’ costs of state government – costs placed out of the ordinary discretion of the governor and the legislature – consume more than half of the state budget, meaning a government that is on autopilot towards it. oversight.

Under the Lamont state government administration is a little better located than it was a few years ago. It has a “Rainy Day Fund” of over $ 3 billion, it injects a few billion dollars in federal emergency aid, the recent stock market boom has raised hopes of easing the burden of pension debt and the growth rate of ordinary debt is slowly declining.

But the state’s budget deficit is expected to hit nearly $ 1 billion in 2023, just as federal emergency aid expires, and relying on a continued stock market boom is probably a bad idea. The state government could double its annual pension contributions and still be significantly over-indebted, and this over-indebtedness is an argument for breeding taxes, not reducing them, although that’s an argument no one makes.

The Liberal Democrats are arguing for higher taxes, but not to make the pension fund healthy, but rather to increase spending on programs that tend to fall short of their nominal goals, like education and retirement. well-being.

At least the governor acknowledges that Connecticut’s tax burden is also nearly the highest in the country and that its increase could prove to be counterproductive, discouraging investment and ejecting wealthy taxpayers.

Of course, the world won’t stop if the next General Assembly session promulgates another property tax credit as a campaign gimmick. But any such credit will almost certainly prove to be temporary, and spending cuts will remain the only way to achieve lasting tax cuts, a path that continues to seem politically impossible.

* * *

What is the Purpose of Public Higher Education in Connecticut – education or political propaganda?

Last week, Connecticut State Colleges and Universities System president Terrence Cheng suggested it was the latter. He emailed a statement to staff and students expressing “shock, anger, sadness and more” about the verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse case in Wisconsin.

“The systems of iniquity were not built in a day or in a moment,” Cheng wrote. “They have been crafted, fabricated and perfected over generations of practice and reinforcement. … The work of confronting, disrupting and dismantling such systems will not happen overnight or in a single moment, as much as we would like. “

Was there an educational reason why the university staff and students needed to know Cheng’s opinion on the Rittenhouse case?

Had Cheng studied the trial as closely as the jury had? Or had he just developed the political rooted interest that many politicians on the left and right have developed about the case – the left rooted against Rittenhouse because he shot three white men protesting? allegedly against the police shooting of a black man, the good rooting for Rittenhouse because he claimed to go to Kenosha to defend his property against riots and looting by leftists?

And what about equal time for the people who approve the verdict? Will they be asked to use the college’s email system to send a contrary statement to staff and students?

Of course not. For public higher education has itself become a system of inequity, a system of political propaganda. Since he employs so many leftists so wildly – Cheng is paid $ 360,000 a year – confronting, disrupting, and dismantling this system may take longer than it should.

Chris Powell is a columnist for the Journal Inquirer.

Comments are closed.