At last week’s Republican gubernatorial debate, the various candidates proudly proclaimed how they would each seek to unravel the state’s collectively bargained agreement with the state workforce. Several candidates said they would abolish pensions entirely. At least one candidate – a self-proclaimed “expert” in pension and retirement benefits – has said that he would, as governor, seek to “override” the agreement entirely. In other words, these candidates believe in ignoring the Constitution of the United States of America.
States all over the country are grappling with ever-increasing unfunded pension liabilities. My home state of Connecticut trails such pension liability behemoths like Illinois and New Jersey, but still ranks high on the danger list. In June 2010 the Connecticut public pension fund had $9.3 billion in assets but its actuaries calculated that the state still needed an additional $21.1 billion to meet all its pension obligations. It was only 44 percent funded.
I am a Democrat. I believe in progressive values. So, the big question is, why challenge Rosa DeLauro in this year’s Democratic Primary?
The answer is an easy one.
Millennials reading this should take note of this fact: Rosa DeLauro has served longer than you have probably been alive.
We are in a time of transition. I regard this race not so much as an election to challenge an incumbent, but rather as one to offer voters a progressive alternative — one with a proven track record, vision, energy, and fresh ideas.
Last February, I wrote an article stating that Trump would be impeached before the end of 2017. In retrospect, it seems I was more hopeful then realistic. One reason impeachment did not occur in 2017 and may not occur in 2018 is that the Republicans have control over the House, and the Republicans will not support impeachment no matter what the facts may be. But don’t panic, unless there is a dramatic shift in the polls and in Mr. Trump’s behavior, the Democrats should take control of the House in November. There also is a reasonable possibility of taking the Senate, as well. The shift of just two seats in the Senate will transfer control from the Republicans to the Democrats.
The various “words of the year” as proclaimed by august wordsmiths, such as the Oxford English Dictionary and Merriam-Webster, are woefully inadequate for the 2017 we just suffered through. Youthquake? Please! There’s a fake word, signifying nothing, if I ever saw one. No, the only word of the year for me is Trumpus. It is the first cousin of rumpus. Old timey wise guys used to greet one another with the phrase, “What’s the rumpus?” They wanted to know what the latest uproar was in the underworld, who shot whom, that sort of gangsta gossip.
The bill [to rescue the Medicare Savings Program] before the General Assembly on Monday is a far cry from fiscal responsibility. Despite a growing deficit, and a projected deficit for fiscal year 2019, based on the plan expected to be put before the legislature, the General Assembly appears content to avoid making tough decisions about how to deal with the $224 million deficit gorilla in the Capitol and instead has decided to just keep feeding it.
A good number of people across the country will see some tax relief in the New Year. Unfortunately, the new federal tax law will have a big impact on many of Connecticut taxpayers because of the loss of state and local tax (SALT) deductions from federal income tax returns. Connecticut taxpayers deduct $19,700 on average, second only to New York. Meanwhile, for every dollar Connecticut taxpayers send to Washington, we already only get back about 79 cents.
Word is that a number of our legislators want to slice funding for the Citizens Election Program and/or the State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC), by 25 percent. The cuts would not make a dent in the state’s $208 million budget shortfall, but could be devastating to programs that in the past decade have made our elections cleaner and more competitive and our lawmakers more connected to the people they represent. Anyone who wants Connecticut to continue to lead the nation toward cleaner, truly fair elections, and not slip backwards toward corruption of, by, and for special interests instead of government of, by and for the people must speak up now. Action could come as early as this week.
Leftists will not initially like me; but Democrats need someone untraditional. Mark my words. Progressivism will not survive six more years unless it dramatically changes. Progressives will not have Donald Trump on any ballot in 2024. The leftists may see a brief electoral surge based on “odious Trump.” But once he’s out of the picture, leftism will be an electoral disaster. It already has some disastrous traits. Leftism brought on Trump. Outside of a few progressive enclaves, the American public does NOT embrace a leftist agenda.
I wanted to reveal how one governor candidate, I, decided on a vote what may have been tangentially important to you: the Farmington High School rebuild. [Last June, Farmington voters rejected a $135 million renovation to their high school by a margin of nearly two to one: 2,411 in favor to 5,029 opposed. — Ed] At an estimated $138 million for a building, it was a mis-prioritization. I believe strongly in education — I’ve worked with private and public schools for almost 20 years — but look what $138 million alternately buys for our students:…
We are now officially a Kleptocracy (from Greek κλέπτης kléptēs, “thief”, κλέπτω kléptō, “I steal”, and -κρατία -kratía from κράτος krátos, “power, rule”): A government with corrupt rulers (kleptocrats) that use their power to exploit the people and natural resources in order to extend their personal wealth and political power on behalf of the elite. It is systematic, state-sanctioned corruption just like Putin and Russia’s oligarchs; a criminal racket instead of a legitimate provider of public services.
Republicans in Congress are about to pass the Trump tax bill, which hammers Connecticut. Our state is already getting cheated by the federal government, sending over $2,700 per resident to Washington more than we receive back. The Trump tax bill adds another $800 net loss per resident, money sent to D.C. which we never see again. We are in a hole; stop digging.