September 30, 2015
The Connecticut Republican Party is like the pimply-faced nerd in high school who believes that if he helps the hot babe with her homework, she will go out with him. In spite of obvious evidence that the Democrats – who control both houses and the Governor’s mansion – have no interest in anything the Republican leaders have to say, Connecticut Republicans are asking for a special session to address the hospital cuts proposed by Governor Dan Malloy. They are also warming to the Governor’s proposal to place transportation funds in a “lock box.”
To the “shock” of Democratic bean counters and liberal media outlets, Connecticut is about to run a $100 million deficit this year and $1.1 billion dollar deficit next year. This is after the massive tax increases that Governor Malloy promised during his campaign would never happen. Malloy is now doing what he does best – proposing cuts to the poorest and most vulnerable citizens – in order to shake down the taxpayers again. Even rising Democratic star, State Senator Ted Kennedy was disturbed by the hospital cuts, pointing out that not only does this hurt the poor, but decreases matching funds from the federal Government, further exacerbating the deficit.
Enter the Republican leadership who are now calling for a special session to bail out Governor Malloy and give him and the Democrats an opportunity to cut the budget elsewhere. Do these guys (and gals) ever learn? Do they think that a governor who just gave one of his pals a sinecure that pays $315,000 annually along with a fat six-figure pension for life is serious about any cuts? The only thing that will come out a special session is more tax increases.
In fact, Governor Malloy is now preparing to sucker Republicans into supporting a “lock box” in which all transportation funds will be placed in a special fund to “rebuild our infrastructure.” This scam is a precursor to enacting tolls on our highways. If you think the commute on Route 95 and the Merritt Highway is bad now, just wait. Perhaps the Democrats believe that there will be a decrease in traffic since they are in the process of chasing General Electric and Sikorsky out of the state. Needless to say, once these tolls are enacted, a large portion will go into the general fund. Then Governor Malloy will be able to dole out $500,000 sinecures to his cronies.
The skeptical reader has only to observe how two other gimmicks have fared. A Constitutional Amendment enacted in 1991 to cap spending is so riddled with loopholes that it is routinely ignored. The $2 billion settlement from the tobacco companies to pay for the health care the state incurred from smoking-related diseases was heaved into the general fund.
It is bad enough that our Republican leadership manipulated the Convention system to nominate the unelectable Tom Foley. They should stop calling for a special session and under no circumstances support Governor Malloy’s plan for tolls and a transportation lock box. If the Governor and the Democrats want to put Connecticut’s economy in a death spiral, let them do so without Republican complicity.