What if Connecticut’s All-Democrat Congressional delegation (pictured above) had had their way a year ago? The Magnificent Seven all supported President Biden’s Build Back Better proposal, a constellation of new federal spending initiatives that would have cost anywhere from $2 trillion to $6 trillion.
At the time, the national debt had already skyrocketed by almost $7 trillion largely to fund spending over the course of the shutdown and the pandemic.
Imagine inflation today if that massive boondoggle had been enacted.
If ever there were a reason to “nationalize” an election and for voters to “throw out the bums” for misdeeds in Washington, promoting such wildly irresponsible national spending should be the textbook example.
Voters in Connecticut should throw out Senator Blumenthal and Representatives Joe Courtney, Rosa DeLauro, Johanna Hayes, Jim Himes and John Larson for fiscal and financial malpractice. They’ll have to wait two more years to toss Sen. Chris Murphy, who is not on the ballot this year.
It was not just the proposed Build Back blowout. These fiscal know-nothings voted for the $2 trillion American Rescue Plan (ARP), which critics at the time said would fuel inflation – which has surely arrived.
The $2.6 billion of ARP money sent to Connecticut only served to slow the state’s slow-motion fiscal disaster, which is likely soon to speed up again.
Naturally, the Magnificent Seven will claim to have “brought home the bacon.”
Not so much. Almost exactly $2.6 billion wound up in the state’s two big public pension funds for the state’s well-paid unionized state employees and teachers. It doesn’t take a financial genius to see that regular citizens saw not a dime of ARP money.
Now, raging inflation is forcing the Federal Reserve Bank to increase interest rates sharply, with only negative consequences for Connecticut. The stock market has plummeted. Connecticut is one of the states most dependent upon taxes on stock market income.
Interest rates are rising rapidly. Governments at all levels face sharply higher interest expense. As one of the most heavily indebted states in the nation, Connecticut will see one of the largest increases in interest expense.
Yet, the federal largesse has addled the brains of Governor Lamont and state Democrats. Tucked away in the 700 pages of the Democrats’ budget adopted in May are the following words about the Governor’s and the Democrat’s position on the state’s debt service: “Governor: Reduce general debt service by $22.9 million in FY 23 to reflect improved market rates… Committee [of the General Assembly]: Same as Governor.”
Really? In May, the Governor and his fellow travelers thought market rates were improving?
There’s more. Earlier this month, the Governor announced a new $875 million Community Investment Fund to be funded with more state borrowing.
Really? However well-intentioned or sorely needed the community investments may be, now is not the right time for the state to borrow even more money. What happened to Lamont’s fabled “debt diet?”
The nut of it is the mentality involved. The Magnificent Seven have indulged fiscal fairy tales in Washington and have brought the fantasies home to Connecticut. Unfortunately, both the fairy tales and the fantasies have real consequences, which neither the nation nor the state can afford.
Likely, the Magnificent Seven can maintain their fiscal illusions because the federal government can print money, which it has done in profligate fashion. So profligate that the nation may be approaching that point at which the “unsustainable” can no longer be sustained.
The state does not have a printing press. It cannot afford the fiscal-fantasy mentality that the Magnificent Seven indulge in, and bring home from, Washington. They don’t bring home bacon, but rather a mentality of fiscal recklessness that the state can no longer afford, if ever it could. Connecticut needs a whole new Congressional delegation.
Red Jahncke is a nationally recognized columnist, who writes about politics and policy. His columns appear in numerous national publications, such as The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, USA Today, The Hill, Issues & Insights and National Review as well as many Connecticut newspapers.