• Deja Vu All Over Again Part V: The New $100 Million Dollar Connecticut Economic Bribe

    June 1, 2024
    CT Governor Ned Lamont.

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    $100 million dollars can buy a lot of things in our economy. It could help people pay off the medical debt that they owe. It could pay to comfort and house United States Veterans who are homeless and jobless. It could pay to increase border security and keep America safer at the Mexico/United States border. It could also be used to provide badly-needed tax credits and incentives for small business. It could even pay for a tax reduction. But in the usual Connecticut pattern of Democrats and their cronies sucking at the taxpayer trough, $100 million of Connecticut Taxpayers dollars will be handed out to the politically connected and anointed by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (“DECD”), this time using the new buzz word of "Innovation Clusters".

    As in past periods, glowing flowery language is required in order to propound the illusion. So here goes: "The Innovation Clusters Program will prioritize funding for catalytic capital projects that contribute to the development of a campus-setting and cohesive sense of place that complement the state’s existing transit-oriented investments and incorporate a strong focus on workforce training, economic development, neighborhood vibrancy and regional stakeholder collaboration." "Other criteria for funding include: Leveraging partnerships with local businesses, universities, and not-for-profit institutions to maximize investment; Attracting and developing talent; Supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts; and Ensuring local improvements through community benefit agreements."

    Source, CT.gov

    If you are a non-connected standard-language Connecticut Taxpayer trying to decipher what on earth the above paragraph actually means, you may be wondering about the hundreds of millions of dollars that the DECD has given out over the years that is fully kept secret to the public and never really accounted for in a continual litany of fantasy “business development” projects, that if not highly questionable or unethical, have turned to dust. However undeterred, we now have another $100 million dollars that will be used in an identical fashion, and as an added attraction, this is an election year where vote-buying is the objective. However, the state-run media and public relations firms tell us that this funding is critical for the economic development of Connecticut! Connecticut! Connecticut! The state which has ranked last and or near last in most business-related categories such as costs, business friendliness, regulations, transportation, and the like. Connecticut! The state with one of the highest tax rates in the country having 344 different taxes and fees! Connecticut! The state that has $100 to $150 billion dollars in unfunded liabilities along with short- and long-term debt, with no endgame in sight nor any plan to satisfy the debt.

    Of course, there is little to no originality in the trough-sucking of the “Innovation Cluster” prop. There is no need for any added efforts. First, King Gov. Ned Lamont the Unaccountable approaches the venue at Yale University with rambling platitudes of Connecticut being a “leader in Fintech and scientific innovation.” Yale, being an institution of higher learning where The Unaccountable is quick to come crowing about fantasy visions of economic sugar plums, but being the same place where he was nowhere to be found during the time of Anti-Israel disturbances. Yale: A place where the Unaccountable’s venture-capitalist wife Annie Lamont holds a high-ranking seat with “Yale Ventures” providing her a birds-eye view to cherry-pick any investment she may deem worthwhile at taxpayer expense. Don’t leave out the usual blandishments from the likes of the writers of Hearst, CT Mirror, CT News Junkie, and the business journals. It is the same story and the same characters, but just a different year and a whole lot of new taxpayer money.

    Even a drunken sailor on leave buying drinks for an uncooperative woman knows when to put his wallet away and try his luck elsewhere. But not Connecticut! Connecticut! Where normal common sense does not apply! Where more multi-millions of dollars are handed over without ever having to account for the money that was given to Infosys Limited, Digital Currency Group and its affiliates, "ADVANCECT", Boston Consulting Group, UNITE US (CT), Mt. Sinai Genomics, "Thermo Fisher Scientific", "Sema 4", " Core Informatics", "Ocrulus", "Urjanet", "1life Healthcare", "Galileo Health", "Castlight Health", "Paladina Health", and "VillageMD"“The Horsebarn Hill Investment Fund”, McKinsey, CT Next, and Tidal River Fund. Many wonder where all the jobs and tax revenue are from these companies? Again, we have deafening silence from the Lamont Administration especially when inquiring about the Lamont-based Cayman Islands Limited Partnerships. How much money has been spent, with little to no results from it? Does anyone in the political orbit seem to care?

    Again, these are just some more examples of the Lamont-DECD-Oak HC/FT recurring theme of using Connecticut taxpayer monies to prop up questionable investments made by Oak HC/FT and others enabled via the uncontrolled and secretive DECD cash spigot leading to either taxpayer-supported profit but much more often, risk-free loss. Followers of my blog and of Tony De Angelo on 94.9's "Lee Elci Show" are well-familiar with this Lamont shell game. We have both been discussing these problems for several years now with no response from anyone in either this administration or the state-run media. Thus, the new "Innovation Clusters" is the same game with the same result. Connecticut Taxpayers creating profit for the Lamont's family hedge fund and the politically connected Democrat Party. The Lamont rip-off continues unabated to the deafening silence of a lap-dog media and a Democrat supermajority, sprinkled with the silence (or encouragement) of members of the Republican legislature. Once again, taxpayer be damned.

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    Bob Swick

    I am an Adjunct Professor of Business and Economics and have taught for 41 years for several different colleges and universities. I have a Bachelors of Science in Journalism and a Masters of Science in Economics. I have written about economics and political issues in my blog "Swick Speak" since 2006.

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