There will be a huge divergence in paths taken by the Super States vs. the others. One of the others is Connecticut where, it’s capital, Hartford, is becoming even more dependent on its suburbs. Hartford, and other cities like it, are turning into parasites, attempting to feed off the success surrounding them. The Wall Street Journal reports:
When the Nutmeg State’s next legislative session begins in January, lawmakers will face two crises: a budget shortfall of more than $1 billion and the looming insolvency of Hartford, the capital city. Though it doesn’t make many national headlines, Hartford’s budgetary challenge—taxed to the max, junk-rated and facing escalating deficits—ranks among the most serious of any American city. Bankruptcy might be the only way out.
Hartford’s mayor, Luke Bronin, knows that a bailout from the cash-strapped state government is not a likely option. So he has turned to the suburbs for support in stabilizing the city’s budget. At a town meeting Monday evening in Rocky Hill, a pleasant bedroom community to the south, Mr. Bronin spoke in grand terms about how “investing in getting cities strong helps economic growth for the state as a whole.”
The mayor has talked up a “regional” solution to the city’s woes. Interpretations vary as to what that means, but Mr. Bronin has floated the idea of a regional sales tax. If it is to help Hartford’s bottom line, however, it would have to entail some sort of redistribution from higher-income areas.
Suburban taxpayers are perplexed as to how and why they should be responsible for Hartford’s long record of mismanagement. Even after closing a $49 million deficit for the current fiscal year, Mr. Bronin projects growing gaps between expenditures and revenues. Four years from now they will top $70 million, in a total budget of about $560 million. Hartford also owes $410 million in unfunded retirement liabilities and $562 million in bonded debt, according to its most recent audit. Moody’s downgraded Hartford’s credit rating to junk in October.
Below Bronin makes arguments along the same lines to a meeting in West Hartford.