by Charles A. Monagan
Oct 3, 2011
11:53 AM
On Connecticut

Budget Blues


Let's be honest: If you're like the majority of people in America right now, you're either thinking about money and how much of it you don't have or how you're going to pay the bills with what you do have. And now, through the crumbling of the American economy, not only are we concerned with our own personal finaces, we're also worried about our local, state and federal budgets, and how those institutions are going to be looking to our pockets to fix their shortfalls.

In conjunction to that, and no doubt sparked by last month's incident involving State Treasurer Denise Nappier and her car, some are calling for tighter controls on state employees and their benefits, fringe and otherwise.

It only makes sense, especially when you start to do the math. According to the Office of Fiscal Analysis and the state's website dedicated to transparency in state government (well worth browsing at any time), in the 2009-2010 fiscal year (the latest that for which there's data available) $6.58 billion of the state's $18.6 billion budget was dedicated to the salary and benefits of state employees. Doing the simple math, that's 35 percent of the entire budget, or 35 cents of every tax dollar. (For a full breakdown of how your tax dollars are being spent, check out this story from our January issue.)

Like many, I wish I was at the point where I could not care about how one third of my money is spent. But as I'm not (yet!), I'm glad there are questions being asked about these kinds of seemingly trivial items. As anyone knows of their own householod, it's often the little things that add up.

Budget Blues

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