In the old TV detective series Dragnet, Jack Webb’s Detective Joe Friday was famous for saying, “Just the facts, ma’am.” So channeling my inner Jack Webb, here are the facts.
A recent Hearst editorial asked, “[Gov.] Malloy disputes a $2.3 billion deficit projected over the two years beginning in fiscal year 2016, saying that it includes assumed taxes he would not raise. But what would he do to whittle that deficit?”
Here’s the answer. First, the Office of Fiscal Analysis’ projection is based on the absurd notion that Malloy would increase spending by 7.8 percent. The four budgets Malloy has proposed and passed averaged increases of less than 2.8 percent. The current year’s budget increased spending just 2.4 percent. So the suggestion that any spending increase will nearly triple next year is nonsense.
Further, in an interview with the Connecticut Mirror, Malloy said exactly how he would deal with those projected increases: “State agencies routinely are asked to make do without any inflationary funding bump. Similarly, analysts count some mandated increases in town aid that legislatures and governors routinely waive year after year. OFA counts contractually obligated pay raises for workers, but doesn’t consider that the governor might freeze vacant posts to offset those costs.”
Through these and other efficiencies, he would “whittle the deficit to less than $400 million.”
During the gubernatorial debates, Tom Foley claimed that during Malloy’s tenure, Connecticut’s economy has grown only 1 percent. Not true, says Fred Carstensen, professor of economics at the University of Connecticut and director of the Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis.
According to Carstensen’s analysis, during the last three years under Gov. Malloy, Connecticut’s economy grew at a stronger rate (+4.07 percent) than every state in the Northeast region except Massachusetts (+4.21 percent).
EDITOR’S NOTE: This op-ed was originally posted at the Greenwich Post. Goldrick is a Democratic member of the Greenwich Board of Estimate and Taxation.
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