Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but with his re-election campaign coming up, Gov. Lamont says Connecticut may be able to afford some tax cuts, or at least a revival of a property-tax credit against state income tax obligations. Some fellow Democrats in the General Assembly are receptive to the idea.
But a detailed review last week by the CT Mirror’s Keith Phaneuf suggests that for a while the state really won’t be able to afford to do much more than to keep paying down its unfunded pension obligations, estimated at more than $95 billion. State government’s pension debt is nearly the highest in the country on a per-capita basis, state pension fund contributions consume 14 percent of state government’s General Fund, and those contributions and other “fixed costs” of state government — costs placed outside the ordinary discretion of the governor and the legislature — consume more than half the state budget, signifying a government that is on automatic pilot to oblivion.