Connecticut getting an injection of fiscal reality

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Posted by Ed Gooding (VA) on June 05, 2017 at 12:09:51 [URL] [DELETE] :

With the rich tapped out, the state may resort to Puerto Rico bonds.

June 2, 2017 6:52 p.m. ET

The Aetna insurance company has been based in Hartford, Conn., since 1853, but this week it said it is looking to move to another state. Governor Dannel Malloy has pledged to match other states’ financial incentives, but taxpayer money can’t buy fiscal certainty and a less destructive business climate. That’s the real problem in Connecticut, which saw GE vamoose to Boston last year and which even Mr. Malloy now seems to recognize.

“As a huge Connecticut employer and a pillar of the insurance industry, it must be infuriating to feel like you must fight your home state policymakers who seem blind to the future,” Mr. Malloy wrote in a May 15 letter to Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini. “The lack of respect afforded Aetna as an important and innovative economic engine of Connecticut bewilders me.”

Now he tells us. Gov. Malloy has spent two terms treating business as a bottomless well of cash to redistribute to public unions. Now that his state is losing millionaires and businesses, he has seen the light. But the price of his dereliction will be steep.

Last month the state Office of Fiscal Analysis reduced its two-year revenue forecast by $1.46 billion. Since January the agency has downgraded income-tax revenue for 2017 and 2018 by $1.1 billion (6%). Sales- and corporate-tax revenue are projected to fall by $385 million (9%) and $67 million (7%), respectively, this year. Pension contributions, which have doubled since 2010, will increase by a third over the next two years. The result: a $5.1 billion deficit and three recent credit downgrades.


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