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WWL: Watching the Gap
Where We Live - with John Dankosky
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In this episode:

"I think I'll start calling Connecticut "The State that Walks Backwards."  -Pete Gioia


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41:18 minutes (19.83 MB)
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Though Governor Jodi Rell and the General Assembly reached an agreement last week to close most of this year’s budget gap—The state still faces giant deficits over the next two fiscal years. Some observers fear that state leaders are relying to heavily on federal money, rainy day reserves, and special accounts to balance the books and that the $726 million dollar deficit we will confront this summer will require much bolder action—and so far, the Governor and legislative leaders haven’t found much they can agree on.

Today, where we live, we’ll talk with economists and lawmakers about Connecticut’s fiscal crisis. We’ll consider spending cuts, securitization, early retirement, pension payments, keno, and the always dreaded tax increases.

You can join the conversation—How would you like to see the state use your money?  What state services would you cut?  Are you willing to pay new taxes?

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budget gaps

WHy not make a flat tax of $500 each person.  encourage people to get rich for once. I like monaco and singapore where taxes dont exist and people are all very rich.  people are happier that way.

reduce spending by cutting government salaries, people are still getting over 100,000 in many cases,  cut all salaries by 40%.  simple.  reduce the state police which mainly goes after cars on the highway which are going the same speed as everyone else.  create a corruption police which citizens can use easily. 


Listener Email from Paula

I was just listening in the car, with my 5 yr old daughter, to the conversation about the state budget crisis. First, I'd like to thank the person who gave the analogy of the hole getting deeper, even as we fill it. My daughter completely got the message, once I explained just a little more fully.

Second, I was a little upset w/ the caller who proposed the overwhelming tax on the "billionaires". I have been paying attention to this issue very closely over the past few months, and I think this caller has missed a few days of school here. In November, the governor's panel of economists had a discussion with legislative members, which was recorded, which I watched on line. One startling statistic: with respect to human services provided by CT govt and the private foundations here: it costs the state 2.4 times more to provide the exact same services per person! The last thing I want to do is take money out of the hands of the philanthropists only to have the government work its inefficient magic and eat it up 4x as fast.

Another thing this caller fails to understand is that due to their wealth, billionaires are extremely mobile and will just move to another state where there is no income tax. Then you get NONE of their funds or their philanthropic dollars....certainly not a good scenario.

A couple of months ago, I heard an interview w/ Mayor Bloomberg. He indicated that the top 100 taxpayers in NYC pay a very large % of the tax (I think he said 30%), and that the top 30k people pay 70% of the tax. He is doing everything he can to not create additional disincentive for those 100 people to remain. In fact, he'd like them to talk up NYC to get their friends to move in! What we don't want is to chase all of our heavy hitters out of the state by making their taxes so high that they have an incentive to move to a state w/o a state income tax.

It would be great if in a future edition of your show, this topic could be more fully discussed.