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Barnes Estimates $33.6M Deficit

by Christine Stuart | Mar 21, 2013 7:03am
(11) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: State Budget

CTNJ file photo

Malloy Budget Director Ben Barnes

There may be no end in sight to deliberations over gun control, but the state budget forecast has gotten rosier over the past month, according to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s budget director.

In his monthly report to state Comptroller Kevin Lembo, Malloy Budget Director Ben Barnes predicted that the state will end the year with a $33.6 million deficit, an improvement of $22 million over last month.

The forecast includes the results of the December deficit mitigation and the hiring freeze instituted on Jan. 22, but it does not include the impact of federal budget cuts.

“Our best estimate at this time is that sequestration will result in little immediate state budgetary impact, but the economic impact of these cuts, especially in the defense sector of Connecticut’s economy, could have a significant effect on revenues going forward,” Barnes wrote.

According to Barnes, revenues are down about $6.5 million from last month, but the inheritance and estate tax have been revised upward by $30 million due to larger than normal collections. The cigarette tax is down $5 million, Indian gaming revenue is also down about $7.1 million and tax refunds are expected to exceed their current projection by $8 million.

April still remains an important month for income tax collection since 40 percent of income tax receipts have yet to be collected.

Projected state spending is down $133.5 million, but there remains about $314.4 million in deficiencies.

The biggest deficiency is still the $255 million the Department of Social Services’ Medicaid account. The Department of Corrections is also running an estimated $22 million deficit. However, the state still anticipates spending $447.9 million less than originally projected.

Still Barnes projections have been far rosier than those projected by Lembo and the legislature’s Office of Fiscal Analysis.

Earlier this month, Lembo projected that the state would end the year with a $131.1 million deficit, more than double the amount predicted by Barnes at the end of February and almost four times the amount Barnes estimated in this latest report.

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(11) Comments

posted by: ad_ebay | March 21, 2013  9:42am

Yeah…right…there is NO other waste of government funds except the “entitlement” programs.  How about the SWEEEEEET deals the State Police have for vehicles, FREE GAS, and overtime with minimal effort (ever see a car with someone doing “paperwork” at a construction site….odds are they’re sound asleep from working 18 hour shifts and overtime for a REALLY heavy paycheck)?  State employees were FORCED to take a freeze and pay cuts for years.  For those same years, the State Police were exempted.  Why?  What makes them so special that ANY vet can’t do their job?  There’s a reason why it’s called “para-military”.  Get over yourselves and learn to be the state employees you are!

How about the “perks” and armed security that our elected officials get?  The elite should learn to be more like the common people who elected them….because they will lose their sweet jobs someday! 
How many millions can we save by sharing the pain?

posted by: Nutmeg87 | March 21, 2013  9:53am

Christine…  How are things looking “Rosy” in CT ???  Guess you spoke to Malloy hanging out in Washington…  We have almost a $100 BILLION DEBT, 10% of our current budget pays for ONLY INTEREST, Interest rates are artificially at lowest in US History because of Fed Reserve and will GO HIGHER BY MULTIPLES, and WE ARE AMONG THE SORRIEST DEBT BURDEN STATES IN COUNTRY (near HIGHEST DEBT PER CAPITA)….  When rates RISE, WE ARE DOOMED…

Malloy admitted to Frantz, now the ranking Republican on the tax-writing legislative Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee, that the state’s capital budget may increase by $1.8 billion this year (in January). 

MALLOY JUST LOVES TO PLAY POLITICS…  LIKES TO BE THE BIG-MAN BRINGING JOBS TO CT (AT A COST!!!)  WHILE LETTING OUR SMALL-MID SIZE BUSINESSES LEAVE WITH THOUSDANDS OF GOOD MFG JOBS BECAUSOF HIS THREATS TO 2ND AMENDMENT (COLT, STAG, RUGER, ASC…)…  He actually was going to give the MFG of Bushmaster AR-15 $Millions in tax credits, and forgiveable loans to bring a paltry couple hundred “executive” jobs to his hometown Stamford… AND now flips 180 degrees and forcing 4 MFGs with thousands non-exec jobs to maybe Texas…

THE BIG-MAN ALSO LIKES TO BE ROBIN HOOD WITH TAXES… At least one major hedge fund—ESL run by Edward Lampert, founder of ESL Investments—has decamped Greenwich for Florida, taking $1 billion in annual revenue…

THE COST OF DEBT SERVICE IN THE CURRENT $20 BILLION STATE BUDGET IS NEARLY $2.2 BILLION—MORE THAN 10 PERCENT – WE ARE ONE OF THE NATION’S MOST INDEBTED STATES PER CAPITA. 

Since 1980, CT spending has risen from $4,400 per household to $10,000 per household, an increase of 227%...  CONNECTICUT HAS A TOTAL STATE DEBT OF APPROXIMATELY $98,611,650, when calculated by adding the total of outstanding official debt, pension and other post-employment benefits (OPEB) liabilities, Unemployment Trust Fund loans, and FY2013 budget gap.

CONNECTICUT’S TOTAL STATE DEBT PER CAPITA IS $27,539.70…  That’s right folks…  Every man, woman & child in CT owes $27,540 EACH, and the interest-rate WILL FLUCTUATE (& And we are currently at the lowest in history)…

HELLO….  MALLOY, OBAMA, BIDEN…  BIG SPENDERS-GONE-WILD…

posted by: dano860 | March 21, 2013  4:21pm

Won’t Obamacare take care of these increases in Medicade?
The corrections bill can be reduced with privatizing the prison system. I have never heard of a law mandating that the system be run by the government.

posted by: johnnyb | March 21, 2013  7:02pm

Christine, Why don’t you do a story on the money that the State spends on spokesman and communications departments for each Agency? Let the useless Deputy Commissioners do something to earn their pay. Also do a story on the State employees that get State cars to drive to work. Start with the DEEP and ask Malloy why most working people in America drive their own cars to work but these State workers can’t do that.

posted by: perturbed | March 21, 2013  7:38pm

perturbed

Big surprise: Malloy’s numbers look better for him than the numbers from more objective (read: fact-based) sources.

If it wasn’t so sad, this monthly charade would be comical. I wonder if Team Malloy ever get a good laugh from the utter nonsense they spew forth, day in and day out.

—perturbed

posted by: perturbed | March 21, 2013  7:49pm

perturbed

@Nutmeg87, you wrote:

“Since 1980, CT spending has risen from $4,400 per household to $10,000 per household, an increase of 227%...”

I don’t know where you got the spending numbers, or if they’re correct, but if they are a couple of points of fact are in order. First, the increase from $4,400 to $10,000 ($5,600) is an increase of 127%.

More importantly, if you’re citing spending in nominal dollars, the numbers don’t support your point (that spending has run wild). According to this inflation calculator—[url=“http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/”]
US Inflation Calculator[/url]—which looks pretty official, $4,400 in 1980 is worth the same as $12,397 in 2013. So in real dollars, spending has actually decreased over that time. Another way of looking at it is this: $10,000 today is worth only $3,549 in 1980 dollars. That’s a decrease in (real) spending of over 19%.

Don’t get me wrong, I am disgusted with Malloy’s spending choices. But we’ve got to stick to the facts…

—perturbed

posted by: perturbed | March 21, 2013  8:08pm

perturbed

OK, Nutmeg87, I think I found your source for the spending numbers. It’s actually kind of funny.

At the top of the Google search, I found this page from the Sunshine Review:

Connecticut state budget

You don’t have to read very far to find the exact same numbers you cited.

But then I looked up the reference. It was a November 14, 2010 article in the Hartford Courant. So far, so good.

But here’s the kicker: It’s not a news article, it’s an opinion piece!

Written by a politician!

Who’s not good at math!

What?

Balancing Acts: What Can Be Cut From State Spending? November 14, 2010|By JOHN MCKINNEY

The organization you quoted is using political opinion pieces that aren’t fact-checked as sources of factual data? That’s sad.

(So I guess we still don’t know if the $4,400 and $10,000 figures are correct, or if they were reported in real or nominal dollars.)

—perturbed

posted by: Nutmeg87 | March 21, 2013  10:50pm

Hey Perturbed….

We have to ay back the Debt in “nominal” or today’s dollars, my man….  Don’t think the investors/lenders will let us inflation/adjust down the principal :(

Stats are fun…  But in reality, while we can all play with numbers….  Our Debt is the debt….  Someone has to pay it back in US$.  Inflation helps us pay it back…  Provided that CT income rises as fast as the US inflation rate…  However, since we have highest Debt/capita ..  It places us behind the 8ball again…  Inflation is a USA phenomena and our debt is a CT issue…  Purchase price parity calibrates inflation vs purchasing power…  And CT is more expensive to live in than majority of US, so inflation actually is a further headwind for our standard of living in CT vs rest of US…  And when we have a larger debt repayment burden that most of US also, we are doomed….

Stats be damned…

posted by: ASTANVET | March 22, 2013  8:51am

Preturbed - come on, let’s not pretend that we don’t have a problem in CT.  Our major industries rely on defense contracts, the larger manufacturing companies are talking about moving out… we have such lofty goals in this state with no regard for the consequences.  we (in CT) either want sky rocketing taxes to pay for all these programs and contracts, or we have to scale back.  We either want to promote business or we don’t.  But lets at least not pretend that we don’t have a problem… things are far from even optomistic.

posted by: surely | March 24, 2013  8:49am

I would like to see the gas usage for all the take home cars for the CSU police departments at the 4 universities!!!!!  The State Police and DEEP may have the clause in their union contracts but the glorified security guards at CSU do not it’s a perk!!!  It is quietyly added to their budgets.  Government waste?  I think so!!!!  To think they still drive their cars back and forth to work and on the weekends while the college student trying to further their education has to pay 5% more for their tuition.  Where’s the justice???!!!!!

posted by: GuilfordResident | March 27, 2013  8:56am

I griped somewhere about how I’m paying 13% of my AGI in town property taxes, CT sales tax, CT sin taxes, CT gas and utility taxes. I am all for people who are unemployed or whatever collecting assistance ... I was unemployed and collected for a month sometimes in the ‘90s. If you’re going to collect any assistance, I think you should do work for the state. Say you’re collecting unemployment insurance, you should do data entry or road work or something for the state until you find a job in your field. I’m tired of paying what amounts to a college semester for people to just collect a check.