Wednesday, January 14, 2009

All eyes on Hartford

The governor's second mitigation plan to address the current (and that is used loosely) deficit will come up for debate and "action" at the General Assembly today. I use the word current deficit because within 24 hours, the projected shortfall in the current fiscal year's spending plan will balloon....making whatever actions taken today almost nothing since the "size" of the deficit tomorrow will be as large as today -- if not bigger.

That's because no one, as some of you have pointed out, has actually put forth any significant proposal to serious reduce spending. It's a political game of chicken, both the Democratic leadership and the governor's office waiting to see who blinks first.

The governor, to her credit, has at least made some proposals and has taken some steps. But it's piecemeal at this point. The "major" steps come Feb. 4 when she presents her two-year spending plan. The Democratic legislative leadership is content with that, waiting to see what she proposes before doing anything on their own.

But what is missing, and something I've been saying for some time, is the lack of priorities. Here's the bottom line: The legislature and governor will, when all is said and done, adopt a state budget in the neighborhood of $17 billion (yes, Billion) for each of the next two years. I've asked lawmakers and the governor, what will the money be spent on? What are the priorities that will be funded? Where will the $17 billion go?

I'm still waiting for an answer.

My guess is that they'll "do something" today, but will not adopt the governor's full proposal...and the state's fiscal position will be no better tomorrow as we wait until Feb. 4 before anyone gets serious about this.

(Just for the record, there was no post yesterday because I took the day off to celebrate an anniversary with someone very special....I have my priorities.)


Blogger dweeb said...

In light of a title such as "All Eyes on Hartford", forgive my tongue in cheek suggestion.

Perhaps the leadership of both parties in both state houses should start working on those "Recycling Reclamation Rosters".

A listing of legislators who will be dispatched on a regularly scheduled basis to scour the state's highways and byways collecting collect discarded cans and bottles to reclaim the deposit.

As they travel, perhaps they can find items for placement on e-bay or craig's list, such as shoes tied to overhead power lines, refrigerators abandoned in wooded areas and the skeleton frames of burned out automobiles.

Maybe they'll raise enough money to buy a hot tub. Didn't we used to have somebody with an "in" with the hot tub guys?

2:58 PM  

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