Connecticut needs a Commissioner of Impending Doom

John J. Ryan, a former Republican state representative, and Joshua Fisher, a Hersam Acorn editor, share their back-and-forth about news going on around Connecticut, among other items of interest.

Ryan: “April is the cruelest month, breeding deficits out of the dead land…”

Fisher: “The Waste Land” is certainly a good metaphor for Connecticut’s appalling fiscal and budget mess. But does anyone read T. S. Eliot anymore? I’d much prefer his lilacs over Connecticut’s deficits.

Ryan: Those who still read Eliot — or have — would understood the opening inscription; They would know that neither you nor I resemble the Sybil, and no one in Connecticut is heeding any financial prophecies.

Fisher: But our readers should be paying attention, because the legislative session in our State Capitol is already past the halfway point, and one of the Circles in Dante’s Inferno should be reserved for dithering legislators.

For some insight into how our state’s fiscal woes are not being solved, see Ken Dixon’s “Budget ugliness behind closed doors” (, March 27).

Ryan: We strive to give our readers plenty of viewpoints to peruse — because it’s tough keeping up with Connecticut when you’re stuck between Manhattan and Hartford. Here’s another: “Democrats need new budget-crisis playbook” (, March 30).

Remember, dear readers: Do not take our word for anything; read these articles (conveniently linked on the online version of this column) and form your own opinions.

Fisher: This is Connecticut. They haven’t put a tax on opinions yet. But that could be the next plan to cover the Nutmeg State’s growing deficit.

Because a growing state deficits hasn’t stopped our state government from the important business of patronage for all the good Democrats across the land who helped our governor win election. See: Jon Lender’s “Four Magic Years As Malloy’s Commissioner Nearly Tripled Ex-Legislator’s Pension” (, March 28).

Ryan: This column is sooooo relentlessly negative; I’m sure many of our readers have large pensions being generously tripled in the “real world.” Remind me to call your publisher and suggest that for you, Fisher.

Fisher: Please don’t help me out. I know you’re just jealous that John G. Rowland didn’t stick around long enough to legally give you a cushy state commissioner job.

You would have made a great Commissioner of Impending Doom — the Sybil of CT.

But with Ryan happily (so he claims) retired from politics, let’s nominate Journal Inquirer managing editor Chris Powell as the state’s first Commissioner of Impending Doom.

You may not like his viewpoints, or agree with his (spot-on) analysis, but is anyone better at being thought-provoking about where the Nutmeg State is headed? See: “Malloy fed the machine, now it’s devouring him” and “Statewide car tax isn’t reform, but status quo” (, March 28 and 30).

Ryan: Are you paying any attention to where your tax dollars are going? Do you care? Or are we being led by “The Hollow Men”? ”... Here we go round the prickly pear..”

Fisher: If nothing else, we are giving readers something to Google today.

John J. Ryan is of counsel to the Fairfield County law firm Russo & Assoc., and served 14 years as Darien and Rowayton’s state representative — and has been writing this column for Hersam Acorn even longer. Joshua Fisher was an editor with Hersam Acorn for 12 years. He is now the company’s director of audience development and engagement.