• Lamont, Brokman, Budgets And Budget Busters

    July 5, 2024
    CT Gov. Ned Lamont, Public Domain.

    Please Follow us on GabMindsTelegramRumble, Gettr, Truth SocialTwitter

    This one has to be the quote of the decade.

    Addressing Connecticut reporters on the occasion of Matthew Brokman’s appointment to Chief of Staff for Democrat Governor Ned Lamont, the governor mentioned that Brokman would be intimately involved in budget negotiations with interested parties.

    As reported in the Hartford Courant, Lamont said, “’The era of free money is over,’ … adding that billions of federal COVID dollars will be coming to an end. The money has been allocated and is still being spent, even though life has returned to normal following the depths of the pandemic in 2020.”

    The “free money”, of course, had been awarded to Connecticut and other states by Democrat President Joe Biden.

    In the days of Tammany Hall, the dispensing of tax dollars to states and municipalities prior to elections would have been labeled “walking around money,” that is, money dispensed by political operatives – for whatever stated purposes – to secure the votes of appreciative recipients.

    Of course, it does not take a Milton Freedman to understand that there is no such thing as free money. The libertarian economist is best known for having said, “There is no such thing as a free lunch.” Diners may be treated to a cost-free lunch by generous patrons, but someone pays for the “free lunch.”

    Even neo-progressive money dealers on the left understand that federal walking around money, never inexhaustible, comes from one of three sources: taxpayers, inflation producing money printed in Washington D.C., or federal borrowing agents unmindful of Pelonious’ advice to his son Laertes, who is about to depart to a Paris university:

    "Neither a borrower nor a lender be,

    For loan oft loses both itself and friend,

    And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.

    Sound advice, in and out of season, that.

    Biden, who evidently has not read Shakespeare’s Hamlet, recently found a way around a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that his forgiveness of student loans was unconstitutional.

    Lamont, a millionaire businessman, certainly knew when he accepted Biden’s “free money” that the funds, would boost state spending and, over time, require the imposition of additional taxes to balance Connecticut gargantuan debt. Connecticut has the highest taxpayer debt in the country, according to a 2021 Yankee Institute report.

    “According to Truth in Accounting’s annual Financial State of the States 2021 report,” Yankee tells us, “Connecticut’s overall debt increased in 2020, leaving each taxpayer with an overall state debt burden of $62,500 per taxpayer. The average debt burden across the country was $9,300 which, as the report notes, is $2000 worse than last year. Using the latest Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, Truth in Accounting found Connecticut’s total debt related to retirement costs, bonding and other debt totaled $79.5 billion.”

    The easiest way to avoid debt is through prudent policies in which the state’s annual domestic spending is substantially less over time than the state’s annual gross domestic product, a sort of economic husbandry Connecticut has not practiced for decades.

    In any case, Lamont has cautioned us that the state’s “free lunch” – tax money levied by the federal government on some poor states and given to some wealthier states such as Connecticut, in violation of the central tenant of Marxist tinged neo-progressivism: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs"  – has sadly come to an end.

    With the elimination of “free money,” will spending in Connecticut be commensurately reduced?

    Is anyone listening?

    The Courant tells us that “the chief of staff’s job requires 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, serving a key role in a huge, multifaceted operation with more than 50,000 state employees, an annual budget of $26 billion, and scores of state buildings, public colleges, and prisons.”

    That “multifaceted operation” is not cost free. The “more than 50,000 state employees,” mostly unionized, do not work for nothing. And union leaders, sometimes in opposition to rank and file members, tend to support union growth rather than budget husbandry, even though virtually all state workers are both bill payers and needy state employees.

    So then, if Lamont and his budget hawks, including Brokman, the governor’s “fourth chief of staff in less than six years,” the Courant tells us,  are able collectively to reduce long term spending and, consequently, the upward spiraling of budgets, a grateful majority of voters likely would heap glory upon them in the form of assenting votes. And if not, the government of political inertia will tyrannically continue its dominion over a helpless public.

    ‘NO AD’ subscription for CDM!  Sign up here and support real investigative journalism and help save the republic!



    Don Pesci

    Don Pesci is a political columnist of long standing, about 40 years, who has written for various state newspapers, among them The Journal Inquirer, the Waterbury Republican American, the New London Day, the Litchfield County Times, the Torrington Register Citizen and other Register Citizen papers. He maintains a blog, among the oldest of its kind in Connecticut, which serves as a repository and archive, for his columns; there are approximately 3,000 entrees in Connecticut Commentary: Red Notes From A Blue State, virtually all of them political columns stretching back to 2004. He also appears once a week Wednesdays on 1080 WTIC Newstalk radio with Will Marotti.

    Continue Reading

    Notify of

    Inline Feedbacks
    View all comments
  • Copyright © 2024 The Connecticut Centinal