Two weeks ago, the lead editorial in The Wall Street Journal compared New York State and Florida “by the numbers” in an exercise The Journal described as “comparative governance.”
The exercise merits emulation. So, let’s add “the numbers” for the Nutmeg State alongside those that the Journal displayed for the Sunshine State and the Empire State. To The Journal’s chosen metrics, I have added just a few, without which the number set would not capture the fiscal reality of Connecticut.
The thrust of The Journal editorial was nothing new, namely that New York suffers from bad fiscal governance which is dramatized when contrasted with good fiscal governance in Florida.
Now let’s compare Connecticut to New York. Forget a comparison with Florida.
Over the five years from 2016 to 2021, New York’s GDP increased an anemic 8%; yet Connecticut’s inched forward by a barely measurable 1%, well within the margin of error. No other metric is more important than economic growth.
Both New York and Connecticut suffer from near-zero population growth. The good news is that Connecticut has gained, while New York has lost, population since the COVID outbreak.
New York State’s largest public pension fund is 86% funded, Connecticut’s is 42% funded, based on the latest data from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.
Medicaid amounts to 37% of Connecticut’s budget ($9 billion of $25 billion) versus 33% of the New York State budget ($75 billion of $227 billion).
While all states are different, with natural advantages and disadvantages, the numbers are revealing. From here, best to let the numbers speak for themselves.
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.