Rust Belt Connecticut
Excerpt: The state is losing population and businesses, for reasons as much cultural as economic. It has become a familiar pattern in Connecticut over the last few years. Each spring, as the state’s budget dips back into the red, legislators gather in Hartford to prognosticate over the state’s fiscal viability. They fumble around for agencies to cut, for taxes to raise, for concessions from the public unions. Eventually they reach, with the help of Governor Dannel Malloy, some sort of stopgap deal, enough to paper over the wounds for the present fiscal year but woefully insufficient to address the roots of the longer-term problem. Connecticut is, in many ways, a state grappling constantly with the mistakes of past policy. The classic example of this pattern is the problem of unfunded pension liabilities. Among all the states in the union, Connecticut performs especially poorly in this regard: only 35.5 percent of its pension liabilities are funded.