Education Mandates Overhauling a Broken system

Pelto: State budget deficit reveals a broken fiscal system

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Part Two in a weekly series focusing on Connecticut's five gubernatorial candidates and their respective plans for reinvigorating the state’s economy and closing a $1.4 billion budget deficit projected for after the election.

Former state Rep. Jonathan Pelto doesn’t have any trouble standing out from the rest of the 2014 gubernatorial candidates.

The rest of the field has ruled out tax increases. For Pelto, who hopes to petition his way onto the November ballot, they are unavoidable.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, a Democrat, insists the post-election budget deficit effectively isn’t real and poses no threat. His Republican challengers insist it is very real, but not so imposing that it will stop them from cutting taxes next spring.

For Pelto, a $1.4 billion shortfall – more than four years after the last recession ended – typifies a broken fiscal system that threatens Connecticut’s schools, state workers’ pensions, and middle class families.

“The insiders have agreed that the best way to deal with Connecticut’s financial problems is to lie and mislead, ” Pelto told The Mirror. “It’s a good thing that their statements aren’t made under oath, because our prisons would be full of politicians who perjured themselves by intentionally lying during the campaign.”

A 10-year member of the General Assembly and former strategist for the state Democratic Party, Pelto now finds himself outside the establishment. With his public policy and politics blog, “Wait What?” he has become one of the administration’s loudest critics.

“We are going to have to deal with this massive financial crisis that continues to burden the state, ” Pelto said. “I believe that I can play a role as the truth-teller in this campaign when it’s clear that neither the Democrats nor the Republicans are willing to tell the voters the truth.”

The budget deficit is very real

Perhaps the Number 1 Truth Connecticut must face, Pelto said, is that it hasn’t stabilized state government finances since Gov. M. Jodi Rell and the legislature left a record-setting $3.7 billion deficit to be solved after the last recession.

According to the legislature’s nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis, a $1.4 billion shortfall remains built into the first new budget after the November election – a gap equal to about 7 percent of annual operating costs and about 40 percent the size of Rell’s deficit.

But Connecticut also has emerged from The Great Recession with arguably the nation’s most sluggish recovery, having regained only about half of the 121, 000 jobs it lost. That, coupled with a Wall Street-based financial services sector whose earnings haven’t returned to pre-recession levels, has left the state’s coffers lighter than Democrats or Republicans expected.

“The fallacy that Malloy has put the state on sound footing” is perhaps the biggest problem facing state government today, Pelto said. Not that the current governor caused all of these problems, but rather that he missed a golden opportunity to put Connecticut on a much healthier path.

Asking the wealthy to pay more

Though Malloy signed more than $1.5 billion in new taxes into law in 2011 – with just over half of those funds coming from a far-ranging income tax hike – the top marginal rate grew from just 6.5 to 6.7 percent.

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Isn't higher education a badly broken system that needs a huge overhaul? | Yahoo Answers

Yes, there are too many student loans that dont get repaid. If people cant get a scholarship or pay for private college, they should go to public college. Government loans should be extended only to public colleges.

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