As Texas Gov. Perry Raids Connecticut, Smugness Won’t Work

by Categorized: Economic Development, Politics Date:

Governors visit businesses in other states all the time, usually in low-key meetings that aren’t publicized. But that’s not how they roll in Texas, and Gov. Rick Perry is letting everyone know he’s on his way to New York and Connecticut next week to raid companies — complete with a $1 million TV ad campaign.

Perry is shopping for firearms firms, of course, as Connecticut and New York fight each other for the right to claim the nation’s strictest gun control laws.  But he’s also targeting financial services and pharmaceuticals, industries we thought were in our wheelhouse.

Call it the “Yankee Come On Down” tour. It’s a raid Connecticut needs to take seriously.

So listen up: No sitting back in our smug way, saying Texas is a backward place devoid of culture, full of poverty and pestilence. Arrogance is slipping as a strategy of choice with each passing report on jobs and economic activity — including last week’s bombshell that Connecticut’s economy shrank in 2011 and 2012.

Perry arrives in Connecticut Sunday and will be here Monday as well, said spokesman Josh Havens, though he couldn’t say whether the Hartford area is on the agenda. To those guys, Connecticut may still be just a dot on the map, not a place with four, count ‘em, four distinct metro areas.

Perry had no public events scheduled as of Monday evening, but that might change — even if it’s just a press conference. Meetings with companies, some still being worked out, are private, though several firms in the firearms industry have made no secret that they’re looking at Texas.

In short, this is no half-baked junket by the man who was briefly darling of the Republicans in the 2012 presidential campaign, before fizzling in a botched debate.  The trip is part of a, ah, well-oiled campaign financed by a private economic development group, in which Texas touts strengths that by now are well known: It’s a huge place with rapid growth of late, with no personal income tax, where regulations are as welcome as a PETA protester at a barbecue.

“Home of creative renegades,” as a young, cosmopolitan Texan says in one of the two ads now airing. The ad buy is for all of Connecticut and New York State, including some spots in the Hartford market, Havens said. It will focus on cable TV, largely news stations in an effort to capture business decision-makers.

It’s clear from Perry’s press release that he’s selling a lifestyle, not just a business climate, with talk of “opportunities and freedom available to families and businesses thanks to Texas’ healthy economy.”

Perry, like his sometime political enemy and stylistic mentor, George W. Bush, is smarter than his yeeeeee-haw manner would make us believe. The campaign is short on gun totin’ cowboys and long on showing bioscience research and advanced manufacturing.

And it includes some data that’s intriguing on the “Texas, Wide Open for Business” web site, the campaign’s centerpiece.  The Lone Star state, home to 52 Fortune 500 company headquarters, added 558,000 jobs between 2008 and January of this year.  Electric rates, unemployment, workers’ compensation, union activity and average hourly wages are all lower than the nation and certainly lower than Connecticut – one of four states the Texas web site targets directly.

Texas hosted 208 million tourists in 2011 and is the perennial No. 1 exporting state, the web site tells us. Under the heading “Fair Legal System,” the web site sings the praises of a state that has reformed its court system. “Employers can’t focus on success and growth if they’re constantly tied up in court fighting frivolous lawsuits.”

Overall, an impressive picture on some levels.  This isn’t the day to debate Texas vs. The World, but a quick look at the claims shows two main points: Texas is doing something right, beyond just harboring low costs with little regulation.

And just about every claim the state is making comes with a dark underbelly.

Consider that legal system, for example. In today’s Courant, my colleague Matthew Sturdevant has a story about a group of auto body repair shops winning a $20 million state court judgment against The Hartford, which was found to have improperly steered work to certain shops for many years.  If the judgment holds up, the aggrieved shops — family-owned, independent businesses —  will have found recourse for what they claim was an injustice.

Which policy is business-friendly?

Texas also is consistently in the top 10 states for poverty, with about one of every 10 poor Americans living there. Of course, we can’t compare the same poverty line in high-cost Connecticut with low-cost Texas, but the rate has risen sharply in the last few years down there, amid their great economic success, while it has held steady in supposedly dysfunctional Connecticut.

Both Texas and Connecticut have lower than average cancer rates, according to the Centers for Disease Control. But Texas has high rates of heart disease and stroke, while Connecticut’s rates are well below the national average.

Many of the Texas claims come from size alone, such as exports (which, by the way, can’t be measured by state, despite silly attempts by the U.S. Commerce Department).  Connecticut, with 17 Fortune 500 head offices, is well ahead per capita in that measure.

Factors that are tied to costs, such as labor and union activity, could mean it’s a great state for business, or that it’s a terrible state for a worker to try to live a middle class life. Oddly, the Texas web site claims its average manufacturing wages are higher than those in Connecticut, which defies logic as well as the U.S. Labor Department data that I’ve seen.

Job growth is another of Perry’s Texas triumphs.  It’s worth noting that more than half of the jobs Texas created in the last five years came about in 2012 alone.  A great year, but one thing we know about job creation is that hot states can get un-hot, and when they do, the picture can turn ugly.

And, said David Cadden, management professor at Quinnipiac University’s business school, “What he fails to mention is that most of these new jobs were minimum-wage jobs…I have a concern that if Perry is successful in his attempt to draw high-tech industries in Connecticut to Texas, employees may be reluctant to move to Texas.”

At the moment, based on migration figures, Texas is having no trouble attracting people. Earlier this year Perry had similar forays to California and Chicago, but he’s far from the only governor on the road, as Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s spokesman noted.

“We’ve brought companies from Kentucky, we’ve brought companies from Pennsylvania, from Maine,” said Malloy spokesman Andrew Doba. “The only thing different about this is that he’s announcing it by press release.”

As Doba points out, it’s not news that states are competing against each other.  What’s harder to grasp is that the factors are unique for any given company thinking of moving or staying put.  If you want to live in a moderate climate, close to New York, Boston, mountains and ocean, with many the nation’s top colleges and universities within a few hours’ drive and historic communities clustered together endlessly, stay in New England.

But stay sharp. Don’t fall back on the old “we’re better than they are” attitude.  Rick Perry doesn’t care. Neither does the economy.



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230 thoughts on “As Texas Gov. Perry Raids Connecticut, Smugness Won’t Work

  1. Jamie M

    Dan, speaking of smug, I noticed that you kept dismissing all these rankings that showed CT at the bottom of the barrel. You seem to be unable to refute the latest one that showed that we were the only state in the union where GDP shrank in 2012. Do you concede we have a problem?

    Dan, can you explain why the same paper that publishes these rankings, endorses nothing but liberal democrats every November? If we rank at the bottom of every measurable category, doesn’t that suggest that maybe, just maybe, we consider doing things differently?

    Having high taxes is bad. Having staggering debt is bad. But to have both at the same time, requires serious incompetence, doesn’t it?

    1. walls

      It really doesn’t matter whom the Courant endorses … as the low info’s can’t read, and they vote predominantly dem anyway.

      1. Medicontheedge

        CT consistently ranks high in education, quality of life, income, etc etc.. So, as far as I am concerned, all the Debbie downers here should just MOVE TO TEXAS, and see how ya like it.

        1. ccbeachcomber

          Texas is a fabulous place to live. People actually talk to each other, there are plenty of social activities, like tennis groups for all ages, a plethora of public tennis and recreation facilities, a bustling way of life in some areas, Houston for example – in short, hardly Debbie downer stuff, mr. miserable man.

        2. Voice of Truth

          I think we would be glad to move, if the remaining “citizens”, such as yourself, could afford to buy our properties.

          1. Joe

            they must be going by Harford Current comments section. This is where all the loons hang out.

        3. Dave

          Hey Medicontheedge,

          Notice all the things you cited that Connecticut ranks high in are not controlled by government?

          Think about it.

      2. DinX

        Actually, the Rethugs lead the way in low-info voters. Just last year a primary study showed that people who did not watch or read news media knew more than those who watched Fox Newts.

        But here’s a gold star on your forehead for lying through your teeth.

        1. New Englander

          DinX, How about *actually* using facts. Your usage of denigrating terms such as *Rethugs* and *lying* adds nothing to the conversation and just reflects poorly on you and your upbringing.

        2. you are clueless


          Best you check out Obamacare to see if you qualify for a much needed brain transplant.

    2. Traitor Malloy

      Malloys Connecticuts economy is SHRINKING!!!. Last in the nation. He is destroying this state and chasing away businesses and jobs like the gun companies who built this state. Malloy is a failure. He spent 6 months attacking law abiding gun owners and gun companies instead of helping our state get jobs.

        1. Yogi Bear

          Agree. I had to be in Dallas one week in August and it was like walking in a blast furnace.

    3. A Sad Day for Connecticut

      Honestly, who really cares who and what the Courant endorses ? No one pays any attention, this rag lost their credibility a long time ago. They have editorially led Connecticut’s march to economic oblivion for too long to retain any relevance.

        1. A Sad Day for Connecticut

          Reading their gibberish and being influenced by it are two completely different things. I very vividly recall the Courant editorially championing the income tax, pounding away daily how this new tax would right put Connecticut’s economic house in order. How did that work out for the state ?

          1. walls

            I remember ‘Turncoat Lowell’ campaigning against the income tax, then when elected, supporting it because there was ‘no other way’. Why can’t we elect politicians who are spending cut enthusiasts?

      1. Jamie M

        Common Ground – I do lots of research. OK, the Courant has endorsed executives who were Republican. Two additional questions…

        (1) What conservative economic principles were successfully implemented in CT by our Republican governors? Answer: none. Jodi Rell was a Republican, but she sure wasn’t a conservative.

        (2) how about legislators? In our system of government, the legislative branch is where agendas are set and implemented. Go do some of that research you claim to like, and see how many Republican representatives and senators the Courant has endorsed in the last 12 years, at either the state or federal level.

        1. Common Ground

          Jamie – So your problem is not Malloy. It’s almost every elected official who hasn’t bought onto a conservative agenda? Not that I’m defending the Courant, but they endorse incumbents probably 99% of the time – both Rs and Ds. And dozens of legislative races have the incumbent running unopposed – both Rs and Ds. Maybe the fact that there aren’t many elected conservative thinkers is that it doesn’t sell in CT and New England. If business follows the places that elect more conservative officials, then CT might continue to lose ground. Or not.

  2. Quinte West

    Mr. Haar–while we’re on the subject, back 2 weeks ago you were critical of states like Texas for hellish living standards. You even stated that “we( CT) must be doing something right” , or median income would fall..
    Are you prepared now to recognize that this state is in an absolute free fall, primarily based upon failed public policies related to taxes, spending and regulation?
    Or will you wait until a United Technologies or Pratt or some other key employer pulls up stakes and then claim that it’s because of corporate greed?

  3. jschmidt

    Malloy and the Dems have sunk the state and the economy. But unless the voters get rid of them, nothing will change and the jobs will continue to leave.

    1. Medicontheedge

      No they have not. You are spreading bull short.. Perhaps you are lack
      King in other measurable indices?

      1. Jamie M

        Medicontheedge –

        OK, you are denying that our economy is in free fall? Just this week, the Courant showed a study that indicated CT ranked dead last in economic growth last year, and was the only state where GDP shrunk…and this on the heels of the largest tax increase in th ehistory of the state.

        Medicontheedge, it is a fact that our tax rates are among the highest in the country. It is also a fact that our debt per capita is among the highest in the country. It’s bad to have high taxes. It’s bad to have lots of debt. But to have BOTH, requires unbelievable incompetence. It is also a fact that thanks to tricky accounting, our unfunded liabilities for retirement and healthcare benefits to labor unions aren’t included in debt yet. But when those Baby Boomers retire in sufficient numbers, the state will start bouncing checks. What do we do then? Double the income tax rate?

        Quinte West was absolutely correct when she said our economy was in free fall, and you were 100% wrong when you disputed that. CT is a perfect example to see what the result is of a generation of pure liberal economics..staggering taxes, crippling debt, astronomical cost of living, failing cities, shrinking white-collar workforce.

        The state of CTR is a beautiful place. But the people who have run things for the last 50 years, have done a Godawful job. This is not higher order calculus. This is 4th grade arithmetic.

        How did the liberals take so much of our money, and manage to overspend by so much? And where did that money go? Did we eliminate poverty? Did we make our cities thriving? Are our public universities not way too expensive? Are our roads and bridges all brand new? Where did all that money go?

      2. Jamie M

        You talk about additional economic measures? How many do you need? Study after study ranks CT high in taxes, cost of living, and debt. It’s a lousy place to do business, it’s a lousy place to retire.

        Our state economy was the only one that shrunk in 2012. Does that tell you anything?

        The only positive thing you can point to, in terms of economic measures, is we have high average incomes. But that doesn’t matter if our income differential is swallowed up by insane taxes and ridiculous cost of living. Everything costs more in CT – housing, food, energy, public colleges. The incomes differential doesn’t even come close to making up for that.

        What possible response can you give?

        1. New Englander

          Jamie, On an anecdotal basis, more and more wealthy people from CT (and the northeast) move south for 6 months of the year, then move back to their northeast homes in springtime. It’s all to escape the high income tax burdens (and death tax burden) of the northeast states. It puts ever increasing pressure on the remaining residents.

        2. george

          Try to not blow a fuse over a 0.1 percent decline like it’s the end of the Roman Empire.

          Look, we had a recession. Remember? Happened in 2008 under George W. Bush. How a particular state fares depends upon the mix of businesses in that state. Nothing to do with politics. These figures can vary by a few percent, an are usually adjusted as time goes on.

          All states had a recession. All within a few percent of each other. That CT happened to be last has no affect on anything. Being last on some list means nothing other than maybe bragging rights. Take a pill.

    2. Joe

      executive pilfering is ruining this state. from government to corporate executives. so S T F U you.

  4. dave

    Connecticut just keeps mindlessly voting for Democrats, and the Courant keeps mindless endorsing Democrats.

    The other states can smell blood in the water. Connecticut is anti-business and pro taxes. Until it changes say bye tbye to companies and jobs.

  5. Sunday


    First, Texas has a high poverty rate due to its geography. Connecticut does not have thousands of illegal immigrants crossing their border nor do they have to provide for them -including medical care, food subsidies, and bi-lingual education. The fact that Texas has this inherent disadvantage makes their success even more remarkable. Connecticut has a very highly educated population with tremendous spillover of wealthy New York workers. And yet they cannot balance their budget or expand their economy.

    As far as backwards and lack of culture – Houston, Austin, and Dallas has more restaurants and diversity than anything Connecticut could ever produce. For every 1 restaurant choice in Hartford County, there are 20 in the major Texas cities. Rice University, University of Texas, Texas A&M offer better undergraduate and graduate programs than most universities in CT outside of Yale.

    Texas boasts Dell, IBM, AMD, Texas Instruments and many other high tech firms. The medical center in Houston is the one of the best in the country (far superior to anything here). And of course there’s the traditional energy firms which are booming. Texas is the winner hands down for every industry other than financial services. Finally, Austin, Houston, and Dallas are always ranked among the best and affordable places to live in the country.

    The census reports and population trends make it quite obvious where the better place is.

    1. Medicontheedge

      There is no place in Texas that can match the income, school systems, quality of life, etc etc here in CT… Are you a shill for the slave owners down there?
      When was the last time a whole town was destroyed by a fertilizer plant here?

      1. Voice of Truth

        If this nation were to suddenly split into individual nation-states, watch which one could sustain itself easiest, Texas or Connecticut. No question that Texas would survive.
        Malloy has run this state into the ground sI his poorly conceived policies.

          1. LiberalInTexas

            Joe – just a quick note. According to IRS figures for fiscal 2010 (the last year I can find data for while at work) Texas received $0.91 in spending for every $1.00 contributed in federal taxes.

            It’s sort of difficult to believe that any state would fold without Federal involvement when it is a net contributor to federal coffers.

            I’m not saying that Government programs aren’t important here (or anywhere else) but it’s a flawed argument to say that a state would fold when its economy is healthy.

            (Full Disclosure – I recently moved from Bristol, CT to the DFW Metroplex and am a registered Democrat.)

            Unrelated but interesting note for those assuming everyone in Texas is a hard-core conservative: 6 of the 10 biggest cities in the state have Democratic Mayors/Managers (San Antonie, Dallas, Austin, El Paso, Plano and Laredo. These cities represent about 8.3 million of the total population of 26 million)

      2. you are clueless

        You are obviously one of the moochers, living off other CT taxpayers. Tell us how the school systems of Brigeport, Hartford, New Haven, Waterbury, New Britian etc. are so superior to those in Texas.

        1. Really

          New Haven is nicer than Dallas. Dallas is an armpit. Austin is cool, but Dallas SUCKS.

    2. Jamie M

      Sunday, that’s a hell of a point, and one that liberals overlook when they are desperately trying to show that CT is better than TX. TX has an astronomical number of unskilled Mexican immigrants. Yet TX manages to provide some level of service to them, and they manage to do it without a state income tax. As you said, this fact makes Texas’ story that much more remarkable. TX wants those immigrants, at least the ones who truly want some upward economic mobility. Those immigrants who would rather be on welfare…can move to places like CT, which welcome them with open arms and an open checkbook.

      1. Joe

        Yes, their private prisons make a lot of money locking up illegals rather than deporting them

      2. george

        Now that you mention it, an income tax would not be effective for all those immigrants.

        But a sales tax! Brilliant. They have to spend money, right? People just don’t give you enough credit.

    3. New Englander

      Sunday, Thanks for that interesting post. I never even thought of the illegal immigrants until you mentioned it. I have heard about tremendous diversity there and an exciting lifestyle in the cities. However, I would worry more about hurricanes in the South than I would in CT. Good thing there’s insurance for that.

    4. Amy Etkind

      Net “illegal” immigration is down around 0 these days. And Rick Perry knows it. Wages are also low in Texas, because, as someone else pointed out, most of the jobs Rick Perry “created” are minimum wage/no benefits. Add to that deep, deep, DEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP cuts in education and the fact that their state Ed. department is forcing textbook companies to seriously dumb down and/or present false history. So, by all means, move there. But don’t send your kids to school there, because they will be taught that Jesus, Himself, lead the southern defense in the “War of Northern Aggression” and wrote the Constitution while riding on the back of a brontosaurus. Oh, and stay far away from fertilizer manufacturing. They haven’t been inspected in 20 years. See: West, TX. Oh, wait, you can’t. It blew up because they had thousands of times the allowable amount of explosive fertilizer.

  6. walls

    CT – land of steady habits – and our steady habits include voting almost exclusively for dems, raising taxes, raising welfare payments, and welcoming illegal aliens. Just look what those steady habits have wrought!

    1. DinX

      Walls, Why don’t you and your unmerry band of hateful Foxbot liars move to TX? With such brilliant powers of observation (not), you still stay here.

      Go, already. GTFO. Have fun in TX.

      1. Jamie M

        DinX, I see you are gerat at hurling baseless insults. Can you respond to some actual facts?

        In 2011, the Democrats rammed down our throats the largest tax increase in our state’s history. That’s fact. It’s also fact that our state economy was the only one that shrunk in 2012. The only one in the country.

        So isn’t it reasonable to assume, that the liberals didn’t exactly do a good job managing that money?

        DinX, do you really deny that we have high taxes as well as high debt per capita? If our taxes are way above average, and our debt is way above average, isn’t that a really bad thing?

        Instead of insulting me, try something harder. Try responding to what I’m actually saying…

      2. Quinte West

        Your response is regrettable. But typical of people who, when confronted with facts that they don’t like, resort to to buttress their position. To you and anyone else who wants to direct me to ” love it or leave it” I offer this—NO.
        I have lived in this State all my life, 5 generations of my family have lived here. I do not choose to leave, but I do choose to have a state that my children and grandchildren can work and live in. A CT that isn’t falling apart, that isn’t taking us down a road of fiscal ruin. A state with opportunity and affordability for people who wish to work their way up the ladder.
        Thank you no, but I choose not to GTFO…

      3. walls

        Actually, I’ll be moving to GA within a year. I was born here, but won’t die here. I’ll still visit the Courant blog to let you know how great it is to live in a red state with sane fiscal policies.

        1. sane fiscal policies?

          Think georgia is a low tax paradise? Think again. Income tax is higher than Connecticut:

          Georgia income tax: 6% on income over $7,000

          Maybe you would prefer to look at unemployment. Oops, Georgia higher again:

          CONNECTICUT 8.0
          GEORGIA 8.4

          Gee, Georgia not looking so good. Let’t try sales tax. Oops, Atlanta has an 8% sales tax AND they tax all groceries 3%.


          1. ctman

            You are only looking at Atlanta, i moved to GA from CT it is beautiful and it is great to live in. Sales tax is lowest of any county in the country, not to mention the southern part of the state is happily accepting industrial business’s that set up shop not taxing them to death, and forcing $9 min wage…wake up CT is nothing more than the NEW New Jersey….you will wake up one day

  7. tomaig

    So you pooh-pooh Texas’ manufacturing and insist that there is no way to measure this on a state-by-state basis but then you make the bizarre claim that CT leads in this category “per capita” because 17 Fortune 500 companies “head offices” are located here.
    Guess what? “Head offices” aren’t involved in manufacturing…they’re filled with office drones and accountants and lawyers.
    CT used to be the manufacturing hub of our nation…clocks, machine tools, foundries, textiles, etc, etc…now there’s hardly any manufacturing done, except for a handful of large union-controlled companies.
    Your denigration of the poverty and health rankings of Texas make no mention that perhaps their lower-than-CT rankings might be influenced by the huge numbers of illegal immigrants that call Texas home.

    Nice try, but your cheerleading for CT seems contrived and somewhat desperate.

    1. New Englander

      Tomaig, I’m looking for the like button for your posting with all its great points. Your *office drones* comment got me laughing too, thinking about prairie-dogging in the cubicle farm when anything happens there.

  8. Mike Stevens

    About the poverty rate, I read another article about the poverty rate which stated the highest poverty rate was California with something like 25 or 27% while Texas was 17%. I wish i had the article with me but I doubt your claims over CT being better than Texas. About states going hot with job creation going cold, that is natural. The real question, has CT ever gone hot? or even warm?

    All we having going for us is that we are close to NYC and Boston. Outside of that there really isn’t much yet we think we are better and try to keep up with those 2 cities and states when we should be looking at the Texas model more. When a company decides to move out of CT and goes to NYC because the cost difference is not that much, then that says a lot about how F up our state is.

    I love my state, but I look forward to the time when I can move out. The great thing about not being locked down to one state is that the state can make all the promises in the world in terms of contracts to employees and social programs (welfare) and spend all the money in the world but I have no obligations to it. I can pick up and move to another state let them keep the bill. And if you think about it, it doesn’t take that many tax paying people to leave to cause a downward cycle that you can never escape from.

    1. Medicontheedge

      Go on, got. Take your lazy azz outta here. We all will be better off without you.

      1. New Englander

        Medi, You are completely wrong on that. CT will be worse off without Mike. When Mike Stevens takes his tax dollars with him, it increases the taxpaying burden on those taxpayers left behind. Mike made some interesting points – how about responding to them.

    2. a guy

      If you think about it, liberals can also leave the state. Meanwhile, all we have are your tiresome dire predictions lifted from wingnut right-wing talk radio. Predictions from the same people who predicted a Romney win.

  9. alan

    To be fair, Mr. Haar wrote last week that the study that showed CT dead last shocked him and was the most negative event since Bank of NE lost 6 Bill in 89- maybe he is starting to get it. When CT decided in 86 to pay teachers from SC/EC/WC SU the same as engineers UConn, PLUS pension and tenure all was lost.People paid by taxes cant make as much as people purely paid by private sector or eventually go broke. At a graduation, a public safety retiree(parks, not police) was bragging how he used to have to enter 5 OT codes if he worked on a holiday, after midnight, on a weekend, another state worker said he still entered pay by hand. In the meantime everyone else at the table was sweating their jobs, taking cuts, lowering 401k match, etc. If I know this, the UTC head of finance knows it, ditto GE, ditto insurance companies know it and the people meeting the TExas gov knows it. For the 15% paid by govt or public ed, this is a great state..for the rest(except a few in New Canaan etc) it is the worst

  10. Not a Malloy Fan

    Malloy is the definition of smug, and arrogant. In his dismantling of watchdog groups and removing opposition he shows his inclinations. In his extensive time spent out of state he shows that his interests are in aggrandizing himself. In having the largest State Police security detail of any Gov. past he shows his paranoia and willingness to squander taxpayer money. And in disrespecting CT industry, he rolls out the red carpet for Gov. Perry. After putting up with Gov. Malloy, Gov. Perry’s visit will be a welcome and refreshing change of scenery in CT. I wish him the best!

      1. alan

        actually is a Texas A and M Grad and a jet pilot who served overseas. What a jerk you must be

          1. Connecticut is Circling the Drain

            Spoken like the smug elitist Dan alluded to. Because he doesnt share your views, he must be a dumbass, right?

            Well, guess what? He’s Governor and you are working your way up from a pimple on his ass.

      2. Jamie M

        medicontheedge, now al you are doing is hurling baseless insults and bashing Texas. That’s what liberals do when they have backed themselves into a corner from which there is no escape. God forbid you concede that there might be something that we can learn, or something we can do better.

        You are clearly either in a labor union, on welfare, or somehow benefitting from the catastrophic economic damage that the libs are inflicting.

        Pick any economic measure, anything except income, and CT will be in a lousy ranking.

      3. Bob W

        Malloy is illiterate. And it is a known fact that he has people read to him and write for him. Lastly, based on his actions as of today, he’s unfit and/or unqualified to be governor. My cat can do a better job.

        1. Amy Etkind

          No, he’s not illiterate. He’s dyslexic. You’re apparently illiterate if you can’t tell the difference.

  11. Gunowner

    Welcome to CT governor, it feels good to extend the welcome to a fellow patriot. Lately we have been getting the bottom feeder CT senators and the Mayor of the Nanny City of NY.

  12. Medicontheedge

    Apparently, Texas doesn’t have enough retahds, so they are recruiting from the Nutmeg State… So, go on down to Y
    Texarse, y’all!!

    1. Connecticut is Circling the Drain

      Its getting harder and harder to defend the village idiots in Hartford, isnt it MedicBilly. They are blowing up our economy while states like TX swoop down in us.

      Awesome job liberals. Not.

  13. Steven Rosenbaum

    Capital knows no race, gender or ethnicity. It knows no politics or politician. People who are in the business of business are accountable to their shareholders and stakeholders. They will take their businesses to those areas that offer the greatest economic opportunity and return on investment. When it comes to our state, a trove of economic data exists that shows we are simply on the wrong track. People can argue all they want, but facts are facts. Up and until we change course we will continue to experience chronically high unemployment, anemic economic growth and grim prospects for the future.

  14. Billy

    A few weeks ago, a very smug Haar wrote: What we have here is a group of ideologues bent on proving that backward states with poor services, lousy schools and a hellish quality of life for working families are magnets for business. There’s absolutely no science behind it. It’s a religion based on the twisted idea that low wages and low taxes are some kind of magic formula for success.

    Now he says Connecticut shouldn’t be smug. Typical- do as I say, not as I do, and pay no attentin to what I said before. As Ron Zeigler once said, “That statement is no longer operative”.

    Another big hoot-Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s spokesman noted. “We’ve brought companies from Kentucky, we’ve brought companies from Pennsylvania, from Maine,” said Malloy spokesman Andrew Doba. “The only thing different about this is that he’s announcing it by press release.”

    The Pennsylvania company was CIGNA, one of Dannel boy’s First Five. He paid them to “move” their headquarters from Philadelphia, even though the CEO and top leadership already lived in Connecticut and worked out of the Bloomfield office. That was celebrated with great hoopla.

    The Maine company was Jackson Labs. No publicity from the Governor there. No siree Dan.

    Take every little fact you can and try and spin it, Dan. You can’t spin the sound of people leaving Connecticut. I will be leaving in 3 years, to go to New Hampshire.

    1. Jamie M

      Exactly correct Bill. Mr Haar was the smug one who was repeatedly dismissing every ranking that showed CT is a lousy place as ideological spin. Maybe now he’s coming around, but boy was he late coming to the party.

      No rational person needed this study to conclude that we are in terrible economic shape.

      I was born here, everyone I love is here, so I do have a great life. But the liberals have made it much harder, and much more expensive, than it needs to be.

      You people who are bashing Texas need to go to the Houston or San Antonio suburbs. There are places that offer a comparable quality of life at a greatly reduced cost. TX doesn’t have a state income tax, nor do they get zillions of dollars every year from casinos like we do. What TX does is, they live witihn their means, and unlilke CT, they are letting the free market operate with minimal interference. Mr Haar would have u sbelieve that in TX, victims have no recourse when they are wronged. Not true. Typical liberal spin.

    2. Voice of Truth

      Very true. In fact, Cigna was already in the process of moving several of their lines of business from Philly to Bloomfield, for several years prior.

    3. Vote them all out

      Can see the writing on the wall.My job is moving to Texas and we will welcome the move. Underwater mortgage and loss their will balance out in five years in Texas. Have family their now, schools are better as is the infrastructure only real downside is the heat in the Summer. Quality of life basically Texans are free and don’t tolerate the Semper Lie Blumenthals of the world well.

  15. Frank

    What exactly is the point of mentioning the article on the Hartford getting whacked for $20 million in Connecticut for steering customers to preferred repair shops? That it couldn’t have happened in Texas? You’re right. Texas Department of Insurance regulations state:

    CHOICE OF REPAIR SHOP AND REPLACEMENT PARTS. You have the right to choose the repair
    shop and replacement parts for your vehicle. An insurance company may not specify the brand, type, kind, age, vendor, supplier, or condition of parts or products used to repair your automobile.

    1. Jamie M

      Frank, good point. Mr Haar was trying to make us believe that in TX, victime have no recourse whan they are wronged. That’s not true. What TX has done is, found a way to reduce the number of baseless, frivolous lawsuits wchich cripple business.

  16. Paul

    Once upon a time we also had no state income tax. We exploded in commerce when large Fortune-100 companies (and their corresponding supply chain) left high-tax NYC for Conn.
    We truly were New England’s low tax alternative, which more than off-set the then shrinking manufacturing sector that bolted for southeast, southwest, latin america, and China.
    Then we implemented the income tax and raced to go head to head with Taxachusetts, Jersey, and New York in tax rates.
    We have advantages over Texas, but not with our current tax and spending structure.
    Frankly the public unions and state workers the their loyal democrat supporters are the death of this state in terms of commerce.
    Will we ever become the low tax alternative in the northeast? I doubt it, but if we did we could again lead the way.

  17. Martin

    Ct will never be Texas.But maybe it’s time we start to be a lttle less like Connecticut then we’ve been and move to policies and a tax structure a little more freindly to business.

  18. one little

    No matter how much great publicity a place is given no one knows what it is really like until you live and work there on a daily basis. I am sure that some of the people who live and work in Texas and other states have complaints about where they live and could tell of negative things about them. The grass IS NOT always greener so you’d better take a good look before you leap.

  19. Phil in SC

    yeah, i moved from ct, the next welfare basket case. property taxes in my adopted state are 80% lower, utilities are 40-60% lower and the weather is wonderful. additionally, the area i live is an international destination. if i want additional culture, history, etc, i can always visit my gainfully employed kids in boston.

    1. george

      South Carolina is not exactly a low tax paradise.

      Personal Income Tax: 3% to 7%
      Sales Tax: 6% to 9%
      Groceries taxed at 6% or more

      Did you forget to mention these?

      The money to run a state government has to come from somewhere. Of course, it is not a “liberal” taxation, so you will enjoy the taxes.

      1. ctman

        George yes he did forget to mention them because down here you don’t get taxed on your car, trailer, boat, etc. So the amount of things you get taxed on isn’t nearly as high. In addition 3% income tax is much different than 7%. In GA we are closer to 4% which is right about where SC is as well. Smug New Englanders always think your right based off some internet article……..

        1. george

          I see. You don’t get taxed on your $20,000 car just on your $200,000 house. You ought to be able to count to 10X using just your fingers.

      2. phil

        yeah–my sales tax on a new car–300.–or a private jet, or a boat– max. registration, local property taxes–piss compared to ct. i’ve got ct friends who pay 4-800/month just on utilities. my max heating bill–70.00, electric–125–in summer with full a/c.

        in sc, you at least your tax dollars are earmarked–your bills are itemized vs. dumping taxes into a general trough. when all the ct. pigs pay for their pet projects–there is nothing left.

        also, i don’t have to shovel 4 ft. of freakin snow.

  20. CTizacesspool

    We’re doomed in ct as long as we keep getting business enticed away while our govenor and senators are more focused on sunscreen labels, food commercials on Nickelodeon, and how to give illegals drivers’ licenses.

    Welcome to Connecticut Mr. Perry, which is soon to become the next Detriot.

      1. walls

        That’s not foolish at all! Here in the Godless northeast, I’d expect some witchcraft type of rain dance.

      2. Connecticut is Circling the Drain

        George: we get that you don’t like Perry. We get the forgetfulness thing.

        Once you get past your hatred, it doesn’t take a genius to know that he’s succeeding and our Governor is failing.

        Now who’s an idiot again?

  21. Ron

    Keep voteing for Democrates? yes vote Republican that way we can get taxes rasied in hidden way such upping liscening fees and such Like Rell did and such….Besides Rowland did us proud you seem to forget both parties suck.
    And now ole slick Rick comes to town and tainy kissing begins.

    1. Voice of Truth

      But you write as if Dodd and Blumenthal and their thrall Murphy have not benefited from Wall Street contributions equally.

  22. Voice of Truth

    I find it quite intriguing that the liberal posters on this article, who are supposed to be the enlightened ones, are hurling insults and resorting to name calling, rather than providing cogent data to support themselves.
    NEWSFLASH: Not every Republican cares for or watches Fox News, just as not every Democrat reads Pravda.

    1. you are clueless

      Why apologize for Fox News to a bucnh of anal sucking liberal apologists, the same ones who complained about the economy, and our civil rights being compromised by the previous administration. It would appear that FOX News is doing a great job on reporting and discussion the critical issues that are risking our standing as the greatest country on earth.

      1. walls

        FOX News must be doing a great job, because their ratings blow away MSNBC and CNN combined.

  23. ctresident1

    And don’t forget they have AUSTIN – with its great music scene, the SXSW festival every year – and attract alot of young professionals! I guess maybe a young person can actually afford to live, work and play thereo – unlike CT where they can work and work and work – if they are lucky enough to have a job.

  24. Dan Haar

    To the folks who think there’s an inconsistency in my denigrating the five Western states picked as best places to do business, calling them backward, then saying Texas is a formidable place that we must take seriously: Yes and no. Yes, it’s a bit of a turnaround for me, based largely on a few economic reports of late, chiefly the gross state product report that I wrote about Friday. that was an eye-opener. But no, it’s not inconsistent to say that Wyoming, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota and Utah are hardscrabble places in the middle of nowhere, while Texas is the real thing. Texas has what young people want: Big, cosmopolitan metro areas. Those five Western states don’t have it and Connecticut only has it by proximity. So it’s a complex picture: There are two Texases, and the gunslinging one that eschews Medicaid, takes away access to the courts from its citizens and eliminates many important business regulations is succeeding despite itself, because of the Texas of technology. Of course the two are related and of course low taxes aid growth, but low taxes aren’t enough — look at Mississippi and West Virginia.

    For Connecticut, the question isn’t how much are we spending — state spending per dollar of income is in line with other states. No, the issue is what are we getting for our money?

    1. Evan - Hartford

      Dan, we’re giving UNSUSTAINABLE benefits for state workers. These ridiculous pensions and medical benefits are bankrupting all of us. These people are overpaid, underworked and seemingly, untouchable.

      We need to freeze state pensions, force state workers to pay more for their health insurance, and lower taxes (both property and income).

      The reality is that we’re going to be forced to do this sooner or later. The longer we wait, the more painful it will be.

      1. alan

        you are correct and you must add to that the 50,000 public school teachers and about the same number or retirees that are funded by the state- not the BOard of ed. I know some teacher who recently retired with 60k pensions(70% of 84K) under 60 who taught grammar achool. This is giving them a million dollar annuity- did you think the teacher you gave a stuffed animal is a millionaire..she(typically) is(and i say this as a part time college teacher who labors all day in IT)

    2. Joe

      Hey Dan, why did you edit the last paragraph of the article to edit out the “Even if it’s true.” comment after “Don’t fall back on the old “we’re better than they are” attitude.”? It was there this morning and now it’s gone…it’s also still on the Courant app’s version of this article…THAT’s smug, sir.

    3. Shoreline Resident

      Dan, I found your article very smug. Those employed in Connecticut today have a salary that is under attack. Looking at the pie, the slice going towards taxes and fees is growing, yet the total sum is not. We are funding that ever-growing entitlement culture that I’ve never seen before in my lifetime. Let’s face it: the only businesses “moving” to this state are those being bought by a Santa Governor bestowing grants on those industries and companies he personally chooses. Did we really need to pay off a Hedge Fund to move from Westport to Stamford? What are we doing to support our current small businesses? First in the nation paid sick leave, higher taxes, and a State Assembly trying to pass every regulation they can against them. If you were starting a new business today, would it be in Connecticut? I think not.

    4. Western Front

      Dan, only in a Connecticut liberal’s fertile imagination could a $20 million punitive damages judgement (expect 30% plus to go to attorneys) be considered to be “pro-business”, unless you take the local political line of reasoning that our well-protected law firms are small businesses to be nurtured. And since when does the Courant hold up auto repair as a paragon of small business virtue? Sorry Dan, I HAVE lived in the South, and you can have a great job, enjoy a great living, educate your kids well, and pay a whole lot less for it. Pennies on the dollar. CT is out of control. Follow the Congressional redistricting every decade, the seats are still going South and West. People vote with their feet when they can’t change anything.

  25. tomaig

    “Texas has what young people want: Big, cosmopolitan metro areas. ”
    Says who? Do you have any data to back up this claim?

    And why, if one is an adult with young children or no children, would the fact that, “…many the nation’s top colleges and universities [are] within a few hours’ drive…” make any difference at all? I can just hear the dinner table conversation:
    “We can’t afford to live and work in CT any more”
    “But, Honey,we can’t move! Why, we’re only a two-hour drive from Harvard and Yale is only an hour away!”

  26. ctresident1

    Not biting on the hardscrabble places remark. And hey I think gunslinging Texans are a breath of fresh air – compared to our smug and arrogant state culture.

    Seriously – ever hear of the Austin Symphony Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra? Dallas Cowboys, Houston Rockets? You seem to want to perpetuate a false image of some of these western states than what is actually occurring there….

    It’s hurts to fall hard doesn’t it – when many here have convinced themselves that they are above everyone else.

  27. Brian

    And without Fairfield County, Connecticut would be Rhode Island. Fairfield County accounted for 42% of income tax revenue to the state in the most recent year available. Greenwich, all by itself, contributed 11%. (And that was down considerably – in 2007, it was 14%.) The only reason Connecticut benefits is the accident of geography, with lower Fairfield County being so close to New York City. Without that, Connecticut is the wasteland that Mr. Haar accuses those backward states of being.

    1. alan

      you are correct..the 1% rule(I work there, not live there). It is another world and the other wealthy towns (Woodbridge, Avon, etc) are not even in the same universe. If they find a way to move their money watch out

    1. davecoteforpres

      These liberals are trying their best to convince themselves that the quality of life here is superior to that of Texas and everybody there is a bumpkin. Don’t present facts that might prick their balloon. We all know backwaters like Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and Austin can’t hold a candle to Hartford. Another commenter hit on the genesis of our downfall, the adoption of the income tax. Zero private sector jobs have been created here since while the size of government has ballooned. Connecticut, government of, by and for the public employee unions which have now totally squeezed out all private investment.

      1. Vote them all out

        Corrupticut and our arrogant Governor are getting a visit from the Karma train.

    2. dom

      can we please stop these ridiculous comparisons? Of course there are more of everything in texas, from quality hospitals to symphony orchestras to available jobs in searches like the one mentioned below. CT’s population is 3.5 million to TX’s 25 million.

      enough already.

  28. Ian

    Your household budget is $50K.
    You didn’t get your bonus this year so you could only support $45K of your budget.
    Next year you decide to budget for $55K.

    Pure Genius.

    1. a guy

      Many household have a debt (mortgage) that is several times their yearly income.

      So borrowing is allowed if you run your government like a household.

      Pure Genius!

    1. Randy

      An article written by the man who espouses that infinite spending, and infinite debt is the path to prosperity.

  29. ctresident1

    Do a job search on In my field here approx. 75 direct and indirect positions came up. In Texas nearly 600 did. That didn’t seem like an “unmiracle” to me….

  30. Aki Bola

    If my employer were to relocate to say Austin TX, I’d be there in a heartbeat. There is nothing “special” about the piece of CT dirt you live on. It’s a big country and bigger world. Go where you will be happy. I understand that many are set in their ways, have family and friends here. Living in CT under ever higher taxes and ever less freedom is more aggravation than it is worth. The state economy has been mediocre since Weicker and the “temporary” income tax that would solve all our budget woes for ever. The massive Malloy tax increases have sealed the deal. The CT economy will be mediocre as far into the future as you dare to imagine.

    1. Randy

      The state economy is not mediocre, it is in point of fact in a sustained depression, with two years of consecutive contraction.

  31. jdrich311

    For those of you who say, “if you don’t like it here, just move to TX”. Well, I did and I don’t regret one thing about it. I’m sure CT won’t miss me, but I won’t miss CT either.

  32. Greg

    Governor Perry epitomizes a destructive race to the bottom. Texas’ economic success is predicated not on job creation, but job poaching. And the next step for many of those companies will be south to Mexico or over to Asia, when low wages in Texas aren’t competitive enough.

  33. JM

    I’ve never been to Texas – don’t have much desire either. But one thing that is telling – several large manufacturers, such as Boeing, BMW, Airbus, Honda, etc., have built or are building large manufacturing plants in Southern states. Yes, there has been a small manufacturing renassaince in the US, but primarily the South, where the cost of living, taxes, weather, etc, are all better than here in CT and the rest of the Northeast. It’s not just Texas that we are battling jobs for. Just some food for thought.

  34. lg

    Austin is liberal, has a great quality of life, a positive vibe, and has doubled its job base in the past twenty years, while ct’s job base has remained stagnant.

  35. John

    “Texas also is consistently in the top 10 states for poverty, with about one of every 10 poor Americans living there.” “Many of the Texas claims come from size alone…”

    It’s a good thing you separated those two thoughts by 1.5 paragraphs, or else your hypocrisy would be even more obvious.

  36. David

    Haha – these anti-Texas/anti-Texan comments here are quite hilarious, indeed. I’m especially amused at the high-minded, proletariat types that make try to denigrate, with a single brush stroke, the South as a whole and, obviously, specifically Texas. (I almost roared at the comments about Gov. Perry being a “functional illiterate!) Typical liberal debate ploy. If some of you people are so damned incredibly cerebral, explain how your like-minded ilk that now runs the country (and CT) have managed to demonstrate said literacy by driving us into a hole from which we may never recover. “Functionally illiterate” seems to be an advantage when it comes to building a healthy economy.

    The author’s arrogant headline? Seriously? If CT was doing such a great job, there’s no way Gov. Perry or anyone else could “raid” them and convince them to move. Maybe you Dems’ smugness has worked a bit TOO well here in raiding business’ coffers by taxing them into oblivion (or maybe into Texas.)

    Welcome, Rick Perry! Maybe Malloy and his liberal minions will learn something while you’re here (at least, maybe they can stand back and admire the ‘functional illiterate’ that makes THEM look stupid.)

    Finally, in reply to “lg”…about Austin being liberal? You are correct; however, Austin is successful despite this fact – not because of it.

  37. Andre Bakaj

    Just curious, what does Connecticut’s gun policy have to do with a manufacturers ability to produce and sell weapons? I use products made in china all the time. Where something is produced and where it is sold are two completely different issues. If these manufacturers make a choice to leave, they are doing it because they can make more money producing in places where they can pay workers less and other costs are less expensive. Let’s not pretend that manufacturers can only produce weapons in Connecticut if they sell them here.

    1. walls

      No – there’s something morally wrong when the product you produce can’t be used or sold here.

      1. Andre Bakaj

        So exporting is morally wrong? Fascinating…thanks for the thought-provoking response.

    2. Steve

      Andre, its the hypocrisy. Our legislators claim that these firearms have no civilian use & are only useful for mass murdering babies.

      If this is true, why would they allow them to be manufactured in the state? These manufacturers are supported by sales to the civilian sector as the military only buys from a few select firearm manufacturers.

    3. Quinte West

      Andre–it comes down in large measure to customer/consumer satisfaction–many individuals will boycott the purchase of weapons of certain manufacturers, not support hunting/sporting establishments, that are located in states perceived as hostile to 2nd amendment rights. No different than groups that boycott certain movies/ TV shows that they find objectionable or threaten to boycott a state over its stance re race and equality, such as recently when the NFL discussed not holding a SuperBowl in Arizona due to its immigration stance.
      2nd amendment advocates don’t want to support business’s that enrich a state that is seen as “anti-gun”.

  38. Bumpkin Mike

    A job promotion relocated me to CT 13 years ago. I spent a majority of my life in The Commonwealth of Kentucky. I made a huge mistake moving here. And before you think it, yes I am going home to Kentucky. Kentucky is no Texas, but it 100% better than here. Like CT, we have income, property,car and sales tax in Kentucky. But it is much lower there. I own a nice home and 8 acres of land in Kentucky and my annual property tax is less than a third of what my little condo is here in CT. We have great schools and Universities in Kentucky without the high cost because of a name (Yale and UCONN). Professional sports just across the River in Cincinnati. The people are on average friendlier than CT and our cities and towns are much cleaner. People respect each other. It’s not perfect, but it is paradise compared to this lost State. All you liberal terds needs to go experience The Midwest or The South and learn the facts before you shoot off your mouth.

    1. Western Front

      “Yankee reserve” is nice way to put “self absorbed and unfriendly”. People who have lived in the South and West notice the difference.

  39. george

    Health Officials Decry Texas’ Snubbing Of Medicaid Billions

    For at least the next two years and probably longer, Medicaid expansion in Texas is dead. What this all means is that more than a million Texans who might have received health care coverage will remain one serious illness or one bad accident away from bankruptcy. And an estimated $100 billion that would have been spent buying health care in Texas will now go somewhere else.

    1. Jamie M

      George, I made 2 posts yesterday which were deleted by Mr Haar. In one link, it showed the CT had the 3rd highest total tax rates in the country, and that was before the huge tax increases of 2011. In the second link, it showed that CT had the highest dept per capita in the country. In the 3rd link, it showed that CT’s economy had the worst growth in 2012 of all 50 states. In the 4th link, it showed that CT’s bond rating was lowered because of our debt, particularly the staggering unfunded liabilities we owe for benefits to unionized employees. And the 5th showed a happiness rank, where CT citizens self-reported their happiness levels as near the bottom.

      I can’t go find those links right now, and I can’t understand why Mr Haar deleted them. But doesn’t that tell you anything?

  40. Jamie M

    Hey Dan, I posted links showing CT’s tax rates, debt per capita, terrible GDP growth, lowered bond rating, and misery index. Is there any particular reason why you deleted my post? One of the liberal shere said that TX is recruiting “the retahds” in CT, and you left that post up, but you censored mine?

    Can’t handle rational dissenting opinion when it’s supported by facts? I see you went to Wesleyan, boy that’s a shocker.

  41. Ben G.

    Has Texas had a food spoilage giveaway with no oversight of the money as Connecticut did a couple of years ago? If not then Texas is a financially superior state to Connecticut. Thank you for taking the time to read my post.

  42. craig

    I got my family out of that pit you call CT last June. Came. To SC and couldnt be happier. Jobs are coming here and cost of living is great! Best move of our life!

  43. A Great Day

    I think it will be great if these arms companies leave the state. They make an evil product an assault weapon, the killing machine that killed children at Sandy Hook. The Tea Baggers and NRA members need to leave just go to Texas. Just too many guns… Governor Malloy and Senator Murphy get the spirit of Newtown! Once we force registration then we can confiscate this is just the start. Tax and regulate the guns until its impossible to own. Texas is hot and full of tea Baggers rednecks and cows. More enlightened then Connecticut, no. Gun companies can leave and take the tea Baggers and NRA fascists with them.

    1. Connecticut is Circling the Drain

      A prime example of the smugness Dan was talking about. Pathethic drivel from the party of tolerance.

  44. bulby

    Please, if you can’t use proper grammar and punctuation then don’t post. This is particularly true if your comments involve deriding the intelligence of another individual. All you’re doing is making the case that CT is far from a great place to live or do business.

  45. Amy Etkind

    All I’m saying is that if the gun manufacturers move to Texas, I wouldn’t be buying any guns from them. Texas has almost NO regulation of most industries there (except for women’s health services, which is so tightly regulated they blame women for their own breast and cervical cancer and deny them treatment if they aren’t wealthy), so quality controls will be, at best, dubious. One might find oneself shooting oneself in the face when trying to shoot at something in front of them…

  46. Jamie M

    For what it’s worth, here is a study that ranks happiness by state. CT is second from the bottom.

    I’m not sure how easy it is to quantify this, but here it is…

    I live here, and have a great life. But thanks to pure liberal economics, it’s harder than it should be to achieve a great life, and it’s way more expensive than it needs to be.

    You can’t give your public servants (teachers, police officers, etc) retirement packages that are worth north of $1 million. You just can’t. The arithmetic speaks for itself.

    Yes, we have had Republican governors. But our political and economic landscape is as blue as it gets. The results speak for themselves – exorbitant taxes, staggering debt, astronommical cost of living, inner cities that an un-fixable disaster, and staggering unfunded liabilities to public labor unions.

    Our state takes a higher percentage of our income than jnust about any other state. Our state also gets a huge amount of money from the casinos. Yet somehow, with all that money, they still manage to overspend by the highest amount of any state?

    That’s exactly as irresponsible as a 30 year-old NBA star who goes bankrupt despite making $10 million a year. Our state representatives (the vast majority of whom are liberal Democrats) have been THAT reckless and irresposible with our money.

    1. george

      I guess we “liberals” get 100% of the credit for everything *good* about Connecticut too.


      1. Jamie Mathews

        George, your ‘arguments’ are all over the place. You keep denying that our economy is lousy, despite mountains of fact-based evidence. Our state’s economy is not in good shape, and obviously it’s in large part because of liberal economic policies of tax-and-spend. I am sorry if you don’t like those facts, but they are facts nonetheless.

        You want liberals to get credit for the good things? Like what, the paradises that have been created in Bridgeport and Hartford?

        Yes, our education is top-notch, and that’s a good thing. But it’s too expensive to sustain. Property taxes can’t go up forever to pay for exorbitant teachers’ benefits. UCONN costs $25,000 a year for in-state, and it goes up by at least 5% a year.

        What good is the top-notch education, if only the hedge fund managers in New Canaan can afford it?

        Liberals are correct to emphasize the value of education. The mistake that liberals make, is assuming that you need to lavish teachers with exorbitant benefits, in order to achieve a good education. And that’s not true. If it were true, why do Catholic schools out-perform public schools, despite the fact that Catholic schools don’t pay teachers nearly as much as public schools?

        George, Dan Haar has re-posted my post that had the links showing how CT ranks in tax rates and debt. Having high tax rates is bad. Having lots of debt is bad. There’s no excuse for having BOTH at the same time.

        We have serious problems, and they don’t stem from a lack of revenue. We are a rich state. Butthe people who run it, 99% of whom are liberals, have spent way beyond our means. That will become clear even to you, when enough Baby Boomers retire and expect to start collecting their fat pensions. The money isn’t there, and we cannot begin to raise taxes high enough to pay for the benefits.

        George, we gave our state leaders a ton of money. And yet, we have a ton of debt. I say, that’s evidence that they stink attheir job. What other conclusion is there? You tell me, what other conclusion is there?

        1. Jamie Mathews

          George, 2 simple questions.

          (1) do you deny that our economy is in terrible shape? If so, how do you explain Moody’s lowering our bond rating, thanks to “a heavily loaded state credit card, HUGE DEBTS in pension and retiree health care programs, and a depleted emergency reserve”

          (2) if you concede that our economy is in bad shape, whose fault is it, if not the liberals? Is it conservative economic ideology that says we should raise taxes, spend every cent we have, and give blank checks to public labor unions? I don’t think you can argue that ou economic strategy is based on the principles of the Tea Party.

          I don’t engage in political spin, nor am I blinded by ideology. I look at facts. Our state is dominated by the liberal economic principles of tax, spend, borrow more, spend more, and give as much money as possible to labor unions.

          People say we’re progressive, that we look out for the little guy? How does legalized gambling fit into the liberal ideology of caring more about poor people? Gambling is about as regressive as it gets, as every study shows that gambling hurts poor people more than it hurts rich people. Yet we have 2 of teh largest casinos in the world, and now we are expanding Keno. How does that help the down-trodden?

          1. george

            Here is quote from you, one of your “facts” about CT:

            “…liberals have made things harder than they need to be, and if the declining population doesn’t convince you of that, than you are close-minded.”

            You now know this is incorrect. I’ll get around to debunking your other “facts” as time goes on. Like most screamers you just “know” things to be true and rarely look them up and document them. Terms like “free fall” and “astronomical” are useless hyperbole.

            Again: If “liberals” take all the blame they get all the credit. Thank a liberal for CT having the third highest median income in the USA. Thank a liberal when this high income generates higher taxes in many “lists.”

            Don’t bother with lists or subjective rankings. They are meaningless. No real world effect. Credit rating, for example, has not driven up our borrowing costs here on planet earth. Get a grip.

          2. Jamie Mathews

            George, you postedin the other thread that over a certain time horizon, the CT population is increasing slightly. i concede that, I do not dispute your facts, I was wrong. I was wrong, you are right.

            now, let’s see you debunk the fact the CT has tax rates that are way above average, and that our debt is above average. If you can dispute that, I am all ears.

            Our income doesn’t matter if it’s immediately confiscated in taxes and high costs o fhousing, energy, college education, etc. George, if I get a 10% raise, but inflation is more than 10%, I am not better off, I am worse off. Income does not correlate one-to-one with purchasing power.

            George, I can show a direct correlation between high taxes and liberal economics. I can show a direct correlation between high debt and liberal politics.

            Can you show a direct correlation betwwn liberal ideology and our high incomes? No. Our incomes are high because of our close proximity to New York City. Sorry, liberals cannot take credit for that.

          3. Jamie Math

            George –

            My chart, showing dept-per-citizen, showed that CT had the highest ratio in the nation.

            You chart shows debt per GDP. In yoru ratio, the denominator is different, and I would argue, you rdenominator isn’t nearly as telling as debt-per-citizen.

            Why? Because “GDP” isn’t some ATM machine that the government can tap into whenever it has the urge. Businesses and individualy pay taxes, and they do it out of their own pocket.

            Furthermore, as we all know, the cT GDP is shrinking. So even if we don’t increase our debt, which we will, what happens to your ratio when the denominator decreases? The ratio goes up.

            Here is another nugget for you…


            This from teh Courant. Says that our unfunded liabilities to unionized employees are $9.3B, and the lia bility for healthcare benefits to uninized employees is $24.6B. So the total liability is $33.9B. There are 3 million residents of CT, so that works out to $11,300 for every citizen, or $56,500 for my family of 5.

            And you deny that we are in trouble.

            George, please explain, why did Moody’s downgrade our bond rating?

      2. george

        Hey Jamie,

        Ever look at a financial report on a company? They compare the companies debt based on sales, sort of like GDP. Not on how many employees the company has. This is the only rational way.

        By the way, CT has a very high GDP per citizen and that is why we can support more debt. If the states were companies CT is number 24 in terms of debt.

        As for future pension and other liabilities. Maybe a problem. Not a problem that you need to tear your hair out and post 100 screaming messages. Where were all the state debt scolds when Rowland and Rell were Governors?

        It costs a few thousand more a year to live in CT. Deal with it or move. We are a rich state.

        By the way, CT has the third highest MEDIAN income that means HALF the people in CT make MORE than $65,753. Not 3 old ladies in Greenwich.

        1. Jamie Math

          “If the states were companies CT is number 24 in terms of debt.”

          Unfortunately for your argument, states are not companies. Which is precisely why, despite your attempts to paint a rosy picture, our state’s bond rating was downgraded.

          “As for future pension and other liabilities. Maybe a problem. Not a problem that you need to tear your hair out ”

          No? $11,300 for every human being in the state? $45,000 for every family of 4? How long does it take a family of 4 to save $45,000, do you think?

          This will be the biggest economic problem we ever face. When enough of the Baby Boomers are retired and looking for pension checks, the state will be in a real spot. And it’s going to effect the union employees more than it effects me, because those people will not be getting the pensions they are expecting. Because you cannot have more than there is. Even labor unions cannot take more than there is.

          The people you are defending, take more of our money than just aboyt any other state, and managed to overspend by more than just about any other state. If that sounds like reasonable fiscal policy to you, fine.

          “Where were all the state debt scolds when Rowland and Rell were Governors?”

          We were here, calling for a stop to the madness. Just because these people were Republicans, doesn’t mean they were conservative. And in the case of Rell, she was dealing with a Democrat-controlled legislature, and in our system of government, the executive doesn’t dictate to the legislative branch. Perhaps you should read a civics text.

          “It costs a few thousand more a year to live in CT”

          Even if you are correct (which you are not, because it’s more than a few thousand when you consider all taxes, housing costs, energy costs, property taxes, and college costs), that’s a problem that should be addressed. Because to the average Joe, a few thousand a year, over the course of a lifetime, adds up to a fortune. A fewthousand a year helps elderly people pay their medical bills. A few thousand a year helps a young couple save for a house. A few thousand a year (over the course of a lifetime) will pay for the college tuition for one or two kids.

          “We are a rich state. ”

          If we didn’t waste so much money on liberal pet projects, we’d be a richer state. We have many citizens for whom “a few thousand a year” is a big deal. I care about that, you don’t.

          “Deal with it or move”

          Sorry, you dont get to declare that, because a third option is to stay and try to effcet change. I have done that at the local level, I have served on my town’s Board Of Education.

          “CT has the third highest MEDIAN income ”

          Your point being? Mike Tyson made a lot more than $65,000…he still went bankrupt because he was stupid with his money.

          Yuo can’t spend more than you have. That holds true for people with large incomes, people with small incomes, big companies, small companies, and – guess what? – it even applies to government.

          In 2011, those on your side enacted th largest tax hike in state history. In 2012, our state GDP was the only one that shrunk.

          You tell me, was that money well spent? Other states took less, and grew. Maybe, just maybe, there is a lesson there.

          1. george

            Jamie, Did you go off your meds again?

            If CT were to “go down the drain” I guess I would move. Liberals have feet too.

          2. Connecticut is Circling the Drain

            Thoughtful post Jamie. Liberals are trying to defend the indefensible. They hold all the cards now but their policies are bankrupting this state. Its only a matter of time.

          3. Connecticut is Cirling the Drain

            Yes I do.

            Do you take out a second mortgage to pay monthly expenses? Do you underfund your retirement account in the hopes that somehow you’ll have enough money to live in retirement? Does your business hire lots of new folks and promise no layoffs to anyone in a deep recession? Do you take on big, questionable capital expenditures despite a bad economy and looming operating costs you haven’t thought of yet? Does your business continue to raise its prices in a recession with no change in demand for your product?

            If you answered yes, you must be a Democrat.

          4. Connecticut is Circling the Drain

            Does your business exclude tens of billions in unfunded benefit liabilities from its balance sheet?

  47. Mark Lassoff

    It’s distressing to see so much anti-Connecticut commentary.

    A brief history– grew up in Connecticut, moved to Texas at age 18 to attend the University of Texas at Austin– moved back here 4 years ago at age 35.

    Austin is all the things people say– youthful, vibrant, growing, inexpensive (comparatively), active, healthy, and liberal. It’s a nice place to live, an affordable place to have a family and, if you’re in to that, has great night life. It is also OPPRESSIVELY hot half the year. The city is tolerant of gays, the religious and atheists. It is truly a liberal enclave in the middle of a sea of red. For those conservatives who continually proclaim Austin’s greatness– please realize that a lot of that greatness lies in it’s liberalness.

    Houston and Dallas are great cities as well. Lots of opportunity, affordable and, while more conservative, are supportive of the arts, gays, etc.

    However, drive :15 minutes outside the borders of any of these cities and you’ll see another Texas. Institutionally racist, poorly educated, and starving for opportunity besides working at the local for-profit prison or Walmart. Many of the jobs created in these areas are minimum wage jobs.

    I owned a business in Texas and started one here which is growing a thriving. I came back here because I wanted to be near family, near life-long friends and be in a culture I understood and felt comfortable in. In Connecticut it’s not uncommon to have life-long friends that you went to nursery school with– In Texas, I had friends for as long as I stayed in the same employ. I have more in common with the people here, and as a gay Jew, I feel like I have more options for socializing and dating in Connecticut.

    Where you live– and what you call home– is a personal choice that has much more to do with issues close to the heart than issues of the wallet. Could I be living in a bigger condo in Austin? Sure.

    The fact is I succeed in Connecticut’s business climate because I don’t think much about the government. I think about sales, growth, my competition, product innovation and managing my team. Since my business sells world-wide, I am also not tied to the economy here.

    If you want to try Texas, or South Carolina– good for you. There are great opportunities. But let’s acknowledge that most of us posting on this board are making it just fine here– Unless the homeless and hungry have a lot of time to post on the internet… If a bigger house, or more job opportunities, or a new car is the most important thing to you, that’s harder to achieve here… But for many of this is home, and staying here is no sacrifice.

    As I stay I work to, and advocate for changes in the economy that will put us back on top. Realizing– as one of if not the wealthiest state in the nation– we’re not that bad off, we do need to get our economy and affairs in order. While I am far from suffering, I do want this to be a viable choice for college and high school graduates who call Connecticut home.

    Good luck to all with whatever choices you make.

    1. Jamie Matht lives in Texas, has a much higher standard of living. ews

      Mark, both you and the author of this piece, Dan Haar, have pointed out that there is “another Texas”, the one outside the places like San Antonio.

      Whoop-dee-doo. Are you saying all of CT is homogeneous? If you are Dan Haar suggest thatthere is only one Connecticut, then I encourage you to visit Greenwich. Then, drive north on I-95 until you see Beidgeport.

      Tell me those aren’t 2 different worlds.

      I’m happy you are successful. One success story does not refute the notion that our economy is horrible. No on esaid it is impossible to succeed here. I am also successful here. But th efact is, the guy who has the same job bu

      1. Jamie Matht lives in Texas, has a much higher standard of living. ews

        on’t know why I cut myself off.

        Anyway, it’s very possible to succeed here. But it’s harder to succeed than it needs to be. And much of that additional hardship is due to liberal politics and liberal economics.

        If I took a comparable position in Texas, I would likely take a small pay cut. That would be more than offset by th efact that I’d pay no income tax, housing is cheaper, energy is cheaper, propety taxes are far lower, college is cheaper for my kids.

        And you started your post bt stating dismay at the anti-Connecticut remarks. Excuse me? The irrefutable facs are that we have taxes that are way above average, and debt that is way above average. Our cost of living is astronomical. Am I supposed to thank the Democarts for that?

        1. Mark Lassoff

          I understand where you’re coming from. However, you may find yourself paying HOA fees that are unusual here ($225 – $250 / month is not unusual). Small business pay franchise taxes, and if you are in a Municipal Utility District as many are in Texas, you’ll pay through the nose for water. Again, I’m not saying Texas isn’t a better deal financially, but many will find that after the lower salaries in many industries and some ‘hidden’ taxes (such as HOA fees) there isn’t a radical of a difference as one would think.

          I’m certainly not saying Connecticut is homogeneous, however, it’s a little bit unfair to only talk about the downside of Connecticut without mentioning the substantial drawbacks of Texas as well.

          Texas may be perceived as better for business– and it may be a better venue for many businesses at this point, but I question how it is better for workers. In Texas you can be dismissed without cause, or for being gay, unemployment won’t even cover minimal expenses and landlord tenant disputes are almost universally settled in favor of the landlord.

          Workers don’t have the protections they have here. If you are a worker and not a business owner and have a job here in CT, I question the wisdom of moving some place where you are much more exposed legally as a worker…

  48. Brian C. Duffy

    Taxes are like any other expense — you get what you pay for.
    If I wanted low taxes, limited government, little gun control, and great beaches, I’d move to Somalia…..or Mississippi.

    …and, with credit to the late Molly Ivins:

    “Welcome to Texas, Mississippi with better roads.”

    1. jamie m

      “Taxes are like any other expense — you get what you pay for”

      Please tell me what I’m getting in CT, that I wouldn’t get in Texas, that’s worth all the extra cost. Be specific please.

      I am a rational, persuadable person. If you can show me that the state of CT is offering valuable services that I could not get in TX, I will admit that you are correct.

      CT has an income tax aroundd 5.5%, in TX it’s 0. Over a 40 year career, that will amount to $130,000 for a person whose average salary is $60,000.

      OK. Tell me how I’m getting $130,000 worth of services from the state of CT, that I would not get if I lived in Texas.

    2. Brian C's Nothing

      You liberals can continue to pay for this turd sandwich called Connecticut. Hope you enjoy taxing each other to death when enough makers move away and you reach a critical mass of takers.

      Keep it up. Eventually the fiscal insanity you liberals have wrought will contribute to the demise of this state.

      1. george

        Connecticut is a “maker” state. We spend $20 billion on our state gov and then send another $22 billion to the fed. Most southern “low tax miracle states” are “taker” states.

        South Carolina, for example, only raises $5 billion through it’s own taxation and gets $17 billion from the fed. Their budget, like ours, is about $20 billion.

        Don’t worry, South Carolina, Connecticut has you covered. No, no, don’t thank us…

  49. OvertaxedinCT

    We are just uncompetative for most businesses it is a big handicap to compete when the energy is the highest in the country, the taxes are the highest in the country, Malloy adds more and more taxes, mandatory sick pay, early release of hardened criminals roam the streets maiming citizens, #1 worst place to retire, Gas tax up 4 cents ccome July 1, Hope I can join the 100,000 who left CT before the house prices plummet and the only ones left are the ones that want a free lunch!

    1. Mark Lassoff

      From what I can see housing is going up and, priced correctly, homes are being sold more quickly in CT than in many years.

      I think you’ll be waiting for a long time from prices to “plummet”…

      As far as our criminal justice system, I am far more comfortable with what’s done here than TX’s habit of locking up and executing those who are later proved innocent.

      1. george

        Texas is in such good company:

        Executions 2011:

        1 China may be up to 4,000
        2 Iran 360+
        3 Saudi Arabia 82+
        4 Iraq 68+
        6 Yemen 41+
        7 North Korea 30+
        8 TEXAS 13
        9 Somalia 10
        10 Sudan 7+
        11 Bangladesh 5+
        12 Vietnam 5+
        13 South Sudan 5
        14 Taiwan 5
        15 Singapore 4
        16 Palestinian National Authority 3
        17 Afghanistan 2
        18 Belarus 2
        19 Egypt 1+
        20 United Arab Emirates 1

        1. Connecticut is Circling the Drain

          What’s your point? What’s wrong with executing convicted, deserving violent felons? I’ll take that justice over the libtardian early felon release program.

          Liberalism is a mental disorder.

  50. jamie m

    Mark –

    “I question how it (Texas) is better for workers. In Texas you can be dismissed without cause, or for being gay”

    You question how Texas is better for workers? Excuse me, but are you paying any attention here? Workers in Texas pay 0% state income tax. They pay far less for housing, property taxes, energy, and college education for their kids. Why do you suppose all those people are moving to Texas? are they all that stupid?

    Just because incomes are higher here, doesn’t mean standard of living is higher. Standard of living is a function of both income and cost of living. When it comes to cost of living, Texas clobbers CT.

    And here in CT, you can absolutely, positively be let go without cause, very few people have ‘tenure’. In most privare sector jobs, employment is ‘at will’. And I doubt very seriously that you can be fired in Texas just for being gay. Can you support that?

    No one said Texas doesn’t have problems. That’s not the point. Here is the point…Texas and CT both have problems with poverty and crime…so what’s the benefit of all that money that the state of CT confiscates from me, which I’d be able to keep if I lived in Texas? I pay a ton more in taxes than I would iff I lived in CT, and for the life of me, I don’t see that I’m getting anything for that money that I couldn’t get in Texas. I mean, if UCON was free, I could see that my tax dollars are helping me.

    1. Mark Lassoff

      Yes, and per capita income is less. Texas has the highest per capita minimum wage ($7.25 there) employment, rampant poverty, and the poorest access to medical care of all but 4 other states. If you believe you have no job protections here, go work in a “right to work state” (like Texas) and I think you’ll see the difference.

      If you care about these things…

      There is NO law in Texas that protects people from being fired for their sexual orientation, although some of the more progressive municipalities have done so (Austin, Houston, San Antonio)…

      Again, I am not anti-Texas, but I think there are hidden costs being ignored in an eagerness to bash Connecticut. Economies are cyclical, and I went through the dot-com bubble bursting in Austin. It wasn’t fun and I saw most of my friends in high tech (my industry as well) laid off, taking reductions in pay, etc.

      Again, if what’s important to you is a bigger house and a nicer car, Texas wins. However, that’s not what I am here for. (And if you’re going tell me that you can’t afford to send your kids to college here– Look at the difference in college attendance rates between CT and Texas and get back to me).

      Connecticut is my home and I’m proud of it. There are plenty of problems, but, at the same time, change and movement is afoot. Some of the problems with pensions, budgets, etc, will be with us for a long time, but to pretend Texas is problem free is silly.

      I just think people need to more thoughtfully consider tangible and intangible differences, since you’re probably not going there to start a business, but work in one.

      1. Jamie Matht lives in Texas, has a much higher standard of living. ews

        Mark –

        Yes, per capita income is less in TX than it is in CT. But a huge reason fo rthat is that (1) CT has zillionaires in Fairfield county, which skews CT’s average income upward, and (2) TX has massive numbers of unskilled Mexican immigrants, which skews the TX number downward.

        Mark, if you want to believe that the paycheck for the average person goes just as far in CT as it does in TX, that’s yuor right.

        But there’s no way that the average income differential between the 2 states, makes up for the cost of living differential. It’s not possible.

        I’m not saying that TX is a utopis, nor am I saying that CT is a wasteland. I’m saying that the TX political culture makes it easier for their citizens to enjoy a middle class, or better, lifestyle.

        And darker days are ahead for CT. Remember, current measures of debt exclude unfunded liabilities for pensions and healthcare benefits to unionized employees. When those folks retire in sufficient number, we will be in serious trouble.

  51. Jamie Math

    Mark –

    “There is NO law in Texas that protects people from being fired for their sexual orientation”

    There is such a federal law, isn’t there? Isn’t Texas part of the United States?

    Sorry, I cannot believe that TX law allows someone to be fired for sexual orientation. Unless you can show me a real-life example, I cannot believe that it’s legal to fire soemone specifically for being gay, in TX. i’m no lawyer, and I could be wrong, but I’d be shocked.

    I have worked for Aetna, Travelers, and The Hartford in CT. I have seen many people let go without cause. That’s what happens during downsizing and layoffs.

    You, and others, keep harping on unemployment in TX, and the numbers who make minimum wage. When yuo compare such things, you need to adjust for the fact that TX shares a huge border with Mexico, and CT does not. TX sees numbers of unskilled immigrants that CT does not see, and any mathemetician will tell you that you need to normalize for such things when yuo make these comparisons.

  52. Jamie Math

    Mark –

    “Look at the difference in college attendance rates between CT and Texas and get back to me”

    OK, I’ll get back to you. Once again, that data is skewed by the fact that CT has Faifield County, and TX has a border with Mexico. So making a staright comparison of things like college participation, is comparing apples and oranges.

    1. Mark Lassoff

      Here’s a stat on graduation rates:

      CT: 61% graduate in 6 years
      41% graduate in 4 years
      TX: 49% graduate in 6 years
      29% graduate in 4 years

      I wonder how college expenses stack up when you’re paying for that extra year or two?

      1. Connecticut is Circling the Drain

        Fair point.

        I wonder what percentage of college graduates stay and get jobs in the state they graduated in? I’m batting 0 for 2 in my family.

        Connecticut may be right for you. It was right for me too once upon a time. Liberals are killing our economy now and crapping on a shrinking taxpayer base. I’m tired of the one party idiocy in Hartford and will be joining others in a few years by moving to a state that cares about its taxpayers.

  53. Jamie Math

    Mark –

    “There are plenty of problems, but, at the same time, change and movement is afoot”

    What change is afoot, exactly? In 2011, the Democratic governor and Democratic state legislature enacted the largest tax hike in state history. We are taxing more, spending more, and borrowing more. We are literally doubling down on the same destructive policies that got us into this mess.

    The result? Did you see the recent study published in the Courant, it showed that our state economy ranked dead last in economic growth in 2012, the only state in the nation where GDP decreased.

    Please tell me, where is the ‘change and movement’ you describe?

    If you feel more welcome in CT, that does make me feel proud to live here. But we’re talking economics.

    1. Mark Lassoff

      I’m talking about the burgeoning innovation and startup movement that is at the very beginning stages in Connecticut. Check out this map:

      Fast Company just said Connecticut has the third fastest growing innovation scene in the country.

      I don’t think “bringing back manufacturing” is the answer– I think innovation and startups are. I also think the state desperately needs to get its finances in order. It’s not sustainable to pay a police department that is 80 and retired, the one that is 60 and retired and the active on-duty cops now.

      But, to say nothing is happening here to effect change is untrue.

      1. Jamie Math

        Mark, due respect, you are really breaking out the elitist liberal shovel and scooping horsepoop now.

        “burgeoning innovation ”
        “startup movement ”
        “innovation scene”

        First, if those things had any tangible economic effect, why was our state ranked last in growth for 2012. Every single state, every single one, had more economic growth in 2012 than we did.

        Second, even if I cared about the hip movements that are underway, I don’t see how oppressive tax levels and wasteful government spending, encourage such things.

        People like me aren’t looking to prevent educated liberals from donning tuxedos and drinking martinis and talking about how swell they all are. We just don’t want to have to work 2 jobs so that unionzed employees can get benefits that dwarf what’s available to the rest of us, nor do we want to spend $600 million on a 9 mile busway that no one will ever ride.

        1. Jamie Math

          Mark –

          Yuo said you think “startups” are the answer, and I agree.

          How does a hostile business climate encourage startups? Come on, look for any study that ranks states based on business-friendliness.

          I have also owned my own business (precious metal refinery). The state of CT chooses to burden business owners with all kinds of taxes and regulative red tape that simply doesn’t exist elsewhere. That cannot be disputed.

          1. Mark Lassoff

            I’ve owned two businesses in Austin and I am in month 20 of my startup here. Guess what? Red tape in both places was minimal!

            Perhaps, however, we should ask the people of West, Texas how they feel about minimal regulation after half their town blew up in an industrial accident four weeks ago…

          2. Connecticut is Circling the Drain

            Is that all you got? It kills you liberals that you control only 95% of the media.


          3. Jamie Math

            Mark –

            “ask the people of West, Texas how they feel about minimal regulation after half their town blew up in an industrial accident four weeks ago…”

            So according to you, the explosion speaks to the competence of the government.

            Fine, Mark. Then Mark, what do you have to say bout the fact that CT had the worst school-shooting massacre in the history of our country? If the TX explosion was caused by a lack of regulation in TX, than surely the CT government is equaly responsible for the Newtown shooting? You must believe that, right? Otherwise, you’d be guilty of hypocrisy and bias.

        2. Mark Lassoff

          I’m done debating you. When you have to resort to silly liberal characters because I don’t agree 100% with you, my time is better spent not engaging, and your, apparently is better spent listening to Glen Beck.

      1. Jamie Math

        George and Mark, when elitist liberals resort to cultural insults, it’s a good sign that they know they’ve lost the argument.

        Here in CT, in our capital city, more teenage girls get pregnant than graduate from high school. So maybe we should dop the holier-than-thou attitude when it comes to cultural insults…

        Insult the Texans all you want. They beat us in economic growth in 2012, despite how much more cultured, enlightened, educated, sophisticated, and progressive we are.

          1. Jamie Math

            Mark, I actually support gay marriage. But I don’t laugh at, or otherwise mock, those who disagree with me on a religious basis. There have been more than a few derogatory remarks made in these comments towards Texas. That’s what is elitist.

          2. george

            Jamie, You really don’t have a leg to stand on trying to compare Texas state position on gays vs Connecticut:

            The Texas Defense of Marriage Act signed by Gov. Perry in 2003 stipulates that the state does not recognize a marriage or civil union between persons of the same sex, regardless of the jurisdiction in which it is created.

            Whereas CT has gay MARRIAGES, not just civil unions. And stinkin’ Texas won’t even recognize these marriages.

            It’s like the gun nuts say: why would you want to live in a state that bans your presence?

          3. Jamie Math

            George, if you read my post, you’d see that I am pro gay-marriage. I’m not trying to compare Texas’ stance on gay marriage with that of CT.

            I was pointing out that you were insulting the Texans for their view on gay marriage (one of many insulting things yuo said about Texans). In my experience, if someone starts resorting to insults, it’s because they know they are losing the argument. Furthermore, liberals like to say thatthey are open-minded and tolerant and inclusive, yuo yuo constantly use derogatory language toward those with whom you disagree.

            Seems a bit hypocritical. Just sayin’.

          4. george

            Well, I am trying to compare Texas vs CT on gays since their governor is coming here to try and lure people.

            They have a CRUSHING policy towards gay people.

            I mean if he can come here and talk about how we don’t like guns, can’t I talk about how he does not like gays. As in total discrimination.

            No naughty words. No name-calling.

            Just the facts.

  54. Mark Lassoff

    I keep hearing these silly explanations that “Fairfield County skews Connecticut” or that the “border skews Texas.” Statistics aren’t skewed by the fact that Fairfield Count– or Brownsville– exist. These areas are part of Connecticut and Texas and should be part of the analysis. Unless, of course, you’re cherry picking statistics to make your case.

    1. Jamie Math

      Mark, we are talking about which political ideology is more nurturing of upward economic mobility. Viewing things through that lens, you need to make sure that any comparisons are “apples to apples”.

      Furthermore, I’m sure you’ll agree that standard of living and income are not the same thing. If incomes are 10% higher in CT, but everything is 50% more expensive, then the extra salary doesn’t make yuo better off, correct?

      1. Jamie Math

        Mark, the necessity of normalizing differences may seem “silly” to you, but it’s what you learn in Statistics 101.

        Here is an extreme example of the concept.

        Let’s assume all the powerball winners get together and live in their own state called Connecticut. Let’s also assume that unskilled immigrants all go to a state called Texas.

        Let’s further assume that the millionaires in CT establish a liberal system, and the immigrants in TX establish a conservative system.

        Obviously, the average incomes in CT will be higher. Is that, in and of itself, evidence that liberalism is economically superior to conservatism?

        Well, you might desperately want the answer to be ‘yes’ because it supports your agenda, but the answer is ‘no’.

      2. Mark Lassoff

        Incomes are more than 10% higher in CT.

        Avg CT Per Capita Income: 56K
        Avg Tx Per Capita Income: 39K

        Look like 30% to me…

        Real estate is more expensive in Connecticut, but I’ll bet you a week’s pay “everything” is not 50% more expensive.

        But again, you don’t seem to want the truth– You seem to want to support a predefined narrative.

        1. Jamie Math

          Mark –

          “Look like 30% to me…”

          If you knew anything about math, you’d see that differential is actually 43.6%.

          You can post that as many times as you want. The statistical fact is, that a straight-up comparison is tainted by the fact that Texas, unlike CT, shares a huge border with Mexico. The impact of that fact has nothing to do with the quality of Texas’ political structure. If you want to do a meaningful comparison of median incomes, you need to ‘normalize’ for huge differences like that. As I said, it’s what you’d learn if you took Stats 101.

          “you don’t seem to want the truth”

          No? I posted links comparing taxes, debt, cost of living, and self-reported happiness between TX and CT. Are those not facts? What ‘facts’ have you posted? All I see are your opinions and claims about your individual (and for all we know, made-up) claims of entrepenurial success.

          You want truth? More people are choosing to build their lives in TX than in CT. Look at the census numbers, those do not lie, do they?

          I choose to live in CT for reasons that are important to me. If I moved to Texas, I would see a huge increase in my economic standard of living and purchasing power. A huge increase. That is fact and truth.

          1. george

            If you were to move to Texas you would be competing with Mexicans and others for available jobs. They are willing to work for $10 an hour or less. Why should an employer keep you on at much higher wages? Not you specifically, but people in general. So does it make sense to “normalize” out the low wage workers? HALF the people in Texas work for less than $39K a year. That is a fact.

            Gun workers may find that out the hard way – move to Texas at current wages, but over time their pay with drift down to the level of the Texas people who also want those jobs.

            So initially you might see a jump in your purchasing power, but your first year will be your best year and then the drift down begins. If everything costs less than ALL workers get paid less. They say even dental work is cheaper. Guess what? Cheaper dentists are paid less.

            Maybe you think no income tax is a bonanza. Think again. Texas has a government to run too and they get the taxes one way or another. They have an 8% sales tax. Maybe their government is more efficient, or maybe it is all those government workers earning next to nothing.

            If every state used the Texas strategy of stealing business from other states – well that will not work if everyone does it then it’s a race to the bottom. And the bottom right now is in Texas.

          2. Jamie Math

            George, you said this…

            “if everyone does it then it’s a race to the bottom. And the bottom right now is in Texas.”

            You said, right there, that TX is the bottom.

            Based on WHAT? I know you saw the article that started all this, that CT’s economy was ranked dead last in terms of economic growth in 2012. We are the only state where GDP shrank. We ranked last, not TX. And that’s on the heels of sticking us with the largest tax hike in history. And we finished LAST. Not nearthe bottom, but last. Every state in the nation did a better job at growing their economy in 2012 than we did.

            College educated kids can’t flee this state fast enough after graduation, because they are smart enogh to know that there’s no future for them in CT. I showed you that post that showed that our unfunded liabilities for unionized benefits are $45,000 for a family of 4. Well, sometime within the next 20 yars we need to come up with that money. Our taxes are already among the highest in the nation, so how does the state confiscate another $45,000 from every family of 4 in the state?

            Our tax rates are already high, and our tax base is shrinking (proven by the shrinking GDP). So when a small tax base is already taxed to death, how do you extract another $35 billion to pay for those pensions? How do you do it?

            I’m not wrong.

            We are moving to the bottom at the speed of light. Our state is aging rapidly, both because of natural aging and because our young college grads are fleeing like rats off the Titanic. Our tax base is shrinking. But those unfunded liabilities are hanging out there, like the Sword Of Damacles. The Baby Boomers will soon cut the rope.

            Please show me where I’m wrong…

          3. Jamie Math

            George, again, you said Texas was the bottom. How do you explain that self-reported happiness survey I posted? Texas was near the top, CT was near the bottom.

          4. george

            Jamie, yeah, you are wrong on just about every single point. I’m done talking to you. I’m sure you Republicans will fix everything.

          5. george

            So State of Connecticut, you came down to the bank for a loan. OK, let’s get started.

            You say you want to borrow $35 billion at your bond interest rate of 4.0% percent.

            Well the yearly payment to payoff that loan in 30 years would be $167 million per year.

            I see your yearly tax receipts are about $15 billion so that is about 1.0 percent of your yearly income. I see you have 1.6 million workers. Why, that is just $100 per worker.

            Don’t be silly. That is almost nothing. Of course you are approved.

          6. Jamie M

            George, you need to take elementary school math again. Your math is way, way, way off.

            According to you, if you borrow $35 billion for 30 years, the annual payments are $167 million.

            Not even close. If you paid $1 billion for 30 years, you contributed $30 billion, right? So even $1 billion a year wouldn’t be enough. Yet you say it’s only $167 million a year?

            If the math is done correctly, over 30 years, at 4%, the annual payment to re-pay $35 billion is about $20 billion.

            Anything you want to say? I am a professional mathematician.

            So please tell me how 30 payments of $167,000 equals the equivalent of $35 billion. I’m all ears.

          7. Jamie M

            In other words George…if you borrow $35 billion at 4% interest, in the very first year, the interest you owe is 0.04 x $35 billion, which is $1.4 billion.

            The INTEREST PAYMENT ALONE is $1.4 billion a year, and that’s not paying back one cent of principal.

            So who is right, and who is wrong?

          8. Jamie M

            My typing was off, the annual payment is $2 billion a year, not $20 billion a year…that was a typo…

  55. Edj

    It’s amazing this article is still even up!
    Danny boy Haar simply cut and pasted pieces that others wrote hours before this was posted. Don’t give this guy credit like he actually has a brain or anything folks! He can only cut and paste anything like ALL of his articles. He couldn’t write anything intelligent if he wanted to and that is why he works for the worthless Courant rag. I would love to see Malloined get B*tch slapped by Perry in any debate!

  56. Jim

    Actually, Dannel Malloy is King of Smug right now. He needs to lose about 6 feet off the legs of his high horse. The current administration is running the state into the ground all while Dannel is pandering for a federal job that he’s going to need when he’s elected out at the end of his first term. Good riddance!

  57. Frank Beckman

    Maybe Stuttering Dan can get rid of those nasty airplane and helicopter companies along with the gun companies. Look where he’s taken us so far:

    Barron’s rated Connecticut’s debt situation as the worst in the country in 2012 ranked Connecticut as the 2012 worst state for retirement
    The Institute for Truth in Accounting ranked Connecticut’s financial status as the worst in the nation with a debt burden of $49,000 per taxpayer
    Connecticut’s credit quality was ranked 50th in the nation by Conning Inc’s State of the States Municipal Credit Research Report in 2012
    Connecticut’s Tax Freedom Day of May 5, 2012 was the latest in the nation according to the Tax Foundation
    Connecticut’s Achievement Gap is the worst in the nation according to the Connecticut Council for Education Reform
    The Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors by the Cato Institute gave Gov. Dan Malloy an “F”

    1. george

      Tell me again how position on a list matters. Lists don’t affect anything. Especially when you post only those that give Connecticut a poor ranking.

      Connecticut has the third highest median income in the USA at $65,753. When you calculate a tax on a large income the tax is also large. But a large income is a good thing even if you have to pay more taxes.

      Connecticut is a “maker” state sending $22 billion to the federal government every year. We support the poor southern “taker” states.
      We are not “going down the drain” we are actually helping other states stay afloat.

      1. Jamie M

        George, I am waiting for you to respond as to how you say you can repay $35 billion over 30 years, by making payments of $150 million a year. What a steal!

        When our state is ranked dead last on a list, it matters. Because it means that every single state is doing a better job. And that is the topic here…do other states have a superior economic model to our Bolshevik model.

        George says it doesn’t matter that our state is ranked at the bottom of just about every indicator.

        “When you calculate a tax on a large income the tax is also large”

        Wrong again. We are talking about tax RATES, not tax dollars collected. CT doesn’t lead the nation in tax dollars collected, because we aren’t a big state.

        If you work in CT, you take home a smaller % of your pay than just bout any other state.

        “We are not “going down the drain”

        Then tell us how we can begin to pay down that debt? And this time, try not to make up mathematical jobberish where you re-pay a loan by paying back less than 10% of what you owe?

        THAT was a good one!

  58. newenglanderandproud

    Connecticut or Texas? Well, let’s see. Both states have their good points, both states have their bad. You’ll see people defending their states to the death, you’ll see people screaming “ANYPLACE BUT HERE”! Personally, I prefer Connecticut. I’m New England born and raised and I’ll die in that magnificent section of the country!

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