Connecticut vs. California

A former Connecticut state representative slams the comatose state government in a recent Op-Ed in the Hartford Courant. Job and business growth in Connecticut is nonexistent, and if it wasn’t for the super-wealthy Greenwich area, things would be much worse. Yes, Connecticut still has the highest per capita income of any state, but given the following, how much longer can that last?

From 1989 to 2005, while the nation witnessed job growth of 24 percent, the number of jobs in Connecticut dropped by 0.2 percent, placing us dead last — 50th — in the nation in job growth.

Over the past 15 years, the income gain for Connecticut’s middle-income families (the middle 20 percent) was barely half the national average, which ranked us 49th worst in the country as measured by the change in average real income.

Considering that Greenwich CT is the hedge fund capital of the country and that many hedge funds are currently imploding with more expected to do so, it seems obvious that Greenwich may not be able to prop up the state financially much longer. Is anyone at the Connecticut state level thinking about this? Well, of course not.

Instead, Connecticut’s solution, as the Op-Ed points out, is to constantly raise taxes and get deeper in debt while steadfastly refusing to think, much less do something about their obvious and growing problems.

When Sue and I moved to CT from CA in 2007 (I grew up in CT), we thought the cost of living would be less. It’s not. Connecticut property taxes are at nosebleed levels. The cost of heating oil and electricity is extremely steep. Gasoline is taxed excessively here too. Everything, for that matter, seems heavily taxed.

These are among the reasons we’ve moved back to CA. Yes, the California state government has huge problems. But, unlike Connecticut, they know it and are trying to do something about it. Never thought I’d say this, but I’m be glad to be back in a state where Arnold is governor. At least the California government is awake, has ideas, and is actively trying to solve problems. Contrast this with the CT governor who a few months back announced a plan to revitalize the state. Her plan was to put cameras on one part of an interstate to catch speeders and to give businesses a $250 rebate, and I think she was unclear why people thought these plans were inadequate to the point of being ludicrous.

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