Friday, February 06, 2009

Budget fallout

My e-mail is flooded with press releases from just about every organization one can think of criticizing Gov. m. Jodi Rell's proposed state budget. As promised, the governor served up a proposal that would be filled with enough for everyone to find something to hate....and they have.

What few are offering, however, is an alternative -- except that we need to raise taxes.

I agree that a tax increase is necessary, but only in context with spending cuts. Personally, a one-tenth of 1 percent cut in overall state spending (the first year of her budget, followed by a 3.5 percent increase in spending the second year) doesn't come close to what needed to be done toshrinkthe size of government.

However, there are parts of her proposal that I find do atempt to address the problem

I'm most impressed with her plan to cancel $400 million in approved bonding projects -- most of them earmarks for pet projects of legislators. It was a bold move on her part to send legislation to the General Assembly to formally cancel those authorizations. She didn't have to do that because, as head of the state bonding commission, she controls the agenda and could have simply refused to put any of those projects on the agenda. But she decided to force the legislature hand, saying it is unfair to let folks "think" the funding might be coming -- cause it isn't.

More and more of the details of her proposal will surface as we dig deeper into her budget. And opposition to it will continue to grow each time another new detail is uncovered.

It will be interesting to see what kind of alternative plan the Democrats come up with.


Blogger wtfdnucsailor said...

Ray - I haven't seen your Sunday Commentary posted for the past two weeks. Where is it?

11:08 AM  
Blogger dweeb said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:58 AM  
Blogger Ray Hackett said...

Bill....sometimes the column is easily found in the Opinion link from the front page of the Web site....sometimes you have to go to the opinion page and do a search for Hackett on Politics. I just did that, and both of the two previous columns came up. (I'm not sure why sometimes you need to search and sometimes you don't...that's beyond my pay grade.)

12:03 PM  
Blogger dweeb said...

Human nature being the way it is, it's a lot easier (and takes a lot less energy) to be a horn than to be a light.

Governor Rell has, imho, done her job as the state's Chief Executive (how well is open to discussion) in defining the agenda of programs/policies/budget components and the parameters for the discussion of all of those items for a meaningful next budget.

For the Loyal Opposition to say merely 'no' without offering a counter-proposal does not help us reach a consensus in the state house, nor (in the long term) with the voters.

We remain addicted to 'finding someone on the other side of the aisle to blame' as part of the solution, because we've always done this.

Demonizing disagreement has succeeded because no matter how often one or the other sides has claimed in the past that 'catastrophe will follow', times were always good enough and strong enough to allow prosperity to cover a multitude of sins.

It's taking us a long time to accept and understand that this time, circumstances will require new approaches and new solutions.

12:04 PM  
Blogger Ray Hackett said...

What's that old saying, solutions are neither Democratic ideas or Republican ideas. Solutions are a compromise taking the best of both.

Unfortunately, we haven't seen that yet either here in Hartford or in Washington.

12:13 PM  
Blogger mccommas said...

I think Rell have done the absolute minimum. She reacts rather than leads.

She was stood her ground on some carefully chosen issues but she seems to timid to risk losing some of her popularity points.

2:10 PM  

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