Connecticut

Immigration Is the Only Thing Saving Connecticut From an Even Worse Budget Crisis

Residents are fleeing Connecticut at a rate of nearly 30,000 per year, but the state's ability to attract foreigners has cushioned the blow.

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Connecticut's state motto—"Qui Transtulit Sustinet"—translates to "he who transplanted, sustains." It's a nod to the people who founded the Connecticut colony: immigrants who first fled religious persecution in England, then moved again out of disagreements with the ways their fellow colonists were running Massachusetts.

In the past few years, thousands of residents have transplanted themselves out of Connecticut. The state government has imposed two massive tax increases in the span of less than a decade. Those increases have not solved Connecticut's fiscal problems—the place finished the most recent fiscal year with a $3.5 billion deficit, and it's running in the red again this year—but they have certainly exacerbated the migration crisis.

The full fiscal crisis runs far deeper than the budget. Connecticut's debt has climbed from 12 percent in 1997 to 31 percent this year, according to the state Office of Fiscal Analysis. An analysis by The Connecticut Mirror found that annual debt service costs climbed by about 10 percent every year from 2011 to 2017. Equally unsustainable is the state's public pension system, which has a deficit of about $74 billion and only enough assets to meet 50 percent of its long-term obligations.

The biggest factor behind Connecticut's shrinking population, the state's Office of Policy Management noted in a report last year, is the sharp increase in the number of people leaving the state. Net out-migration was up 55 percent in the years 2014–16 when compared to the previous decade's averages. And it's not just individuals who are leaving: Companies—General Electric, Aetna, Alexion—have fled the state in search of a lower tax burden.

About the only thing that's working in Connecticut's favor right now is that it remains an attractive destination for international immigrants. While the state has been a net loser in domestic migration every year since 2003—with the biggest losses coming in 2014–2016—Connecticut has gained more than 10,000 residents from abroad every year this century. That won't solve the state's long-term financial problems, but it certainly could soften the blow.

Here's how that looks:

Source: CT Office of Policy and Management

Connecticut is looking like the Illinois of New England: a place where tax increases are no longer fiscally or politically realistic, even though budgetary obligations continue to grow and spending is completely out of control. In fact, on a per capita level, Connecticut extracts more—about a thousand dollars more—from its residents than Illinois does, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

While there are many reasons to leave Connecticut that have nothing to do with taxes—job opportunities, a better climate, getting away from New England Patriots fans—it's notable that the state's population decline sets it apart from its neighbors. Whether you compare it to the rest of New England or the rest of the states in the greater New York City region, Connecticut is an outlier:

Source: CT Office of Policy and Management

Connecticut isn't just it's losing population. It's losing the high-earning (and therefore high-taxpaying) portion of its population. According to Internal Revenue Service data, the estimated 20,000 residents who left the state last year earned an estimated $2.6 billion in adjusted gross income. That about $130,000 per resident.

The decline started, as the chart above shows, after a $1.5 billion tax increase in 2011. Lawmakers followed that with a $1.2 billion tax increase in 2015, after which the exodus picked up steam. According to the Yankee Institute, a Hartford-based think tank, Connecticut has lost more than 77,000 people with a combined adjusted gross income of $8.8 billion since 2011.

"Connecticut has had a steady flow of people leaving the state for decades," says Suzanne Bates, director of public policy at the Yankee Institute. "But the pace has increased in recent years—and those years when the increase has been the greatest have been the years directly following large tax increases."

While immigration is helping to staunch the flow of people out of the state, Connecticut's loss of high-income residents is a serious problem because the state's tax code is so dependent on them. A recent study by the state Department of Revenue Services found that in 2014 just 357 families paid $682.5 million in state taxes—11.7 percent of the total haul.

Since the state government's strategy for dealing with ongoing fiscal shortages seems focused almost exclusively on raising taxes, it's probably just a matter of time before even more of those high earners look for refuge somewhere else.

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  1. While the state has been a net loser in domestic migration every year since 2003?with the biggest losses coming in 2014?2016?Connecticut has gained more than 10,000 residents from abroad every year this century. That won’t solve the state’s long-term financial problems, but it certainly could soften the blow.

    Depends on the proportion of that 10K that are net taxpayers as opposed to net welfarers.

    1. So 10K, then.

      1. Yep.

        Only Trumpistas believe the massaged numbers from that anti-immigrant outfit with the anodyne name Center For Immigration Studies. Immigrants are not tax consumers like they want everyone to believe.

        1. Yeah, cause all these illegal aliens are covering the $12k for each kid in school (not counting debt service, capital costs and pension payments)

          1. Shush, they’re emoting.

          2. Re: MiloRetard,

            Yeah, cause all these illegal aliens are covering the $12k for each kid in school

            The VALUE they add to the econony more than makes up for that.

            And there are plenty of ‘Muricans who don’t put shit. So be careful avout throwing stones in a glass house.

            1. “The VALUE they add to the econony more than makes up for that. ”

              That’s certainly possible, but the numbers seem subject to constant manipulation for political purposes. It’s certainly not been proven.

              “And there are plenty of ‘Muricans who don’t put shit”

              English only in the cardroom.

              1. Like, you think we are happy about Americans on welfare? What point do you think you’re making?

                1. OMS knows or should know that Libertarians want to cut welfare for Americans too.

                  1. He does. He’s just being bitchy.

            2. Privatize the profits; socialize the costs.

            3. “And there are plenty of ‘Muricans who don’t put shit”
              So OMS your saying we should guide those Muricans to the border much like Mexico does with theirs less than productive citizens

              1. Connecticut’s domestic migration statistics in this article suggest that they are already pushing those Americans across the state border. Most of the towns in my area have laws against trespassing on private land and spending the night on public land to enable police to deport homeless people to the next town over. New Jersey sends it’s homeless people to low income counties within New Jersey or to New York City.

                Views on immigration might be related to the types of immigrants in a person’s town. Educated people live in high-income towns that exclude low-income people, American born and foreign born alike. People with fewer economic opportunities see low income immigrants as competition for the seats at the local soup kitchen and beds at the local homeless shelter.

        2. Maybe Republicans are pursuing the wrong strategy. Instead of starting with immigration levels, they should start with the citizenship process. Just table all action on dreamers and the renewal of temporary visa programs until they pass a bill to grant citizenship to immigrants within 2 years of arriving in the country. Firstly, reducing the time it takes to become a citizen is the moral, libertarian thing to do. Secondly, imagine how blue states will change if the high income immigrants who prop up their budgets are allowed to vote.

      2. {Citation needed}

  2. Connecticut could cease to exist and few would notice, or care-its the most useless state in the US. Just divide it up among its prog shithole neighbors-give the western half to NY and the eastern half to RI.

    1. Thomas Jefferson said that Connecticut was the ideal size of a country.

      1. Wonder what he meant-maybe that it should be its own country?

        1. It was its own country but 13 individual states made a better unified country.

          The trick was to keep socialists from taking a small and limited federal government and doing what all governments do.

  3. But are all of those immigrants LEGAL humans (who can obey “papers, please”), or ILLEGAL humans? Who can NOT produce the papers? (We don’t care if they are productive or hard-working or tax-paying or not; we just care about the papers).

    Legal humans? Connect-i-cunt will be just fine… The Donald and fans will let them thrive… Until the in-flow of legal humans is whittled down to nothing, at least…

    Illegal humans? The Donald and ICE will drive them off into the Atlantic Ocean…

    1. Bye bye illegals. Bye bye.

      1. If they are illegal, so are you. Chances are your ancestors came here uninvited and stole some land from the natives, probably killing them in the process. Just because the crime happened a few generations ago does not make your claim any more legitimate.

        1. Is there any inhabited land that on the planet that wasn’t stolen from the previous inhabitants? Maybe Iceland.

          1. Stolen implies ownership.

          2. Yes, plenty of that. For example, the US was unoccupied when the Clovis people came here 13,000 years ago.

            1. You can’t prove that, and its certainly not universally agreed upon.

              1. What? Of course it is. You are welcome to go digging to find some evidence to prove otherwise. So far, no one has.

                1. That simply isn’t true. You need to brush up on your anthropology.

                  1. Ok, fine, you are trolling. Hope you got your dopamine kick. You are probably on another board somewhere right now, arguing that the earth is flat. Well, enjoy.

                    1. Yes, and so is National Geographic and Texas A&M.

                2. Clovis People Not First Americans, Study Shows
                  Stefan Lovgren
                  for National Geographic News
                  February 23, 2007

                  1. Study Confirms First Americans Came Before Clovis
                    July 21, 2015

                    1. But there’s more. Today, it’s widely believed that before the Clovis people, there were others, and as Bawaya says, “they haven’t really been identified.” But there are remants of them in places as far-flung as the U.S. states of Texas and Virginia, and as far south as Peru and Chile. We call them, for lack of a better name, the Pre-Clovis people.

                    2. Feel free to mea culpa any time.

                    3. Jesus Fucking Christ. How does it change my argument whether the first Americans came over 13,000 years ago or 14,000 years ago? Before that, America was unoccupied and a huge ice sheet blocked access from Asia. Instead, you focus on the rather trivial fact that I used the word Clovis.

                    4. The point is, no one is ever gonna find evidence of habitation before the Last Glacial Maximum.

                    5. No motherfucker, the point is you called me a troll for correcting you.

                    6. Do we know that anthropoids never gave rise to anything like humans in the Americas?

                3. there have been instances of discovery of people who are believed to predate the clovis but the “Native American” sued to keep anthropologist from investigating because they don’t want their position to be superceded

            2. Is that land currently occupied by the Clovis people or has it been “stolen” from them?

            3. Who did the Clovis people take the land from?

              Weren’t the animals here first?

              1. “Who did the Clovis people take the land from? ”

                The pre Clovis people.

            4. For all you know they stole it from the Neanderthals. If you say that they were dead by then, well you’re probably right but then again so were the ‘native Americans’ that much of that land was ‘stolen’ from. Recall that a huge swath of that population was decimated by Spanish disease before the American colonies were even founded.

        2. The fact that it wasn’t illegal does.

          Jesus fucking Christ did you actually try that stupid fucking argument?

          1. So because it wasn’t technically illegal to kill Indians and steal their land, it is morally justified? Ok, I guess we are tuned in to your moral compass then. I just hope you are consistent and don’t utter any complaints next time the Democrats are in power and pass a law you don’t like.

            1. Nobody said morally justified. YOU said illegal. Technical or otherwise , it wasn’t.

              1. I’m technically correct. Which is the best kind of correct.

                1. Yup, just a troll. Well, have fun, aspie.

                  1. That’s twice you lying piece of shit. How fucking pathetic is it that you were proven irrefutable wrong and have to resort to that?

                    1. This discussion is doing nothing for me. It is not entertaining or educational. And I don’t enjoy putting down mentally challenged pre-teens, with the exception of Cytotoxic, who was at least entertaining.

                    2. Well, my bad, you being utterly wrong and getting educated should have been educational

            2. I’m descended from Clovis man.

            3. Native Indians never owned land. They didn’t recognize property rights.

              History lesson for you. Native Indians sometimes invited white Europeans in their tribal areas to life. Europeans had good shit to trade.

              You really need to brush up on what you think you know.

              1. Native Indians never owned land. They didn’t recognize property rights.

                False. English settlers (who came from a land where Enclosure was a very big deal) assumed that the lack of boundary fences meant the Algonquins didn’t believe in land ownership, but really all it meant was that they didn’t have domestic animals to keep out of their crops. Individual families actually did claim ownership over plots of land, which were passed down matrilineally.

                It’s true, though, that Indian leaders often invited European settlers into their lands in order to trade with them or enlist them as allies in tribal conflicts.

        3. Aw poor Chip. Doesn’t even know my back story but hopes and hopes that I am illegal. That way I cannot have an opinion against open borders because then I would be deported.

          Since I am a Libertarian, I often have principles that hurt my own interests because I try and remain true to my principles. Having to pay more to get my yard mowed hurts me financially but its worth it to deport all the rule breakers.

        4. Conquest is the natural means of transfer of territory for every form of life on the planet.

          Humans have added an additional method–that of purchase.

          I stress ‘additional’.

          1. its a lot nicer to buy than it is to kill and many natives did sell their land. sometimes it turned out they didn’t have the right to sell that land and disputes were settled violently sometimes sine there were no courts that they would agree upon

  4. Immigration and how it’s curing cancer RIGHT NOW

    Immigration will give you that blow job you’ve been thinking about all day

    Immigration, that really juicy, tender chunk of meat in the stew

    Immigration, it will give you firm, regular poops for the rest of your life

    1. I can never get a straight answer from endless immigration people – how many is enough in the USA?

      500 million? 1 billion? They always think immigration is the answer to all problems.

      1. How many shoes is enough? When us Nike gonna stop making all those shoes?

        1. I knew you lefties consider immigrants worthless heels.

          1. Disposable commodities.

            1. Disposable voters too.

      2. Re: loveconstitutuon1789,

        I can never get a straight answer from endless immigration people – how many is enough in the USA?

        As many as the Market demands. That is the answer.

        It’s not my fault that you’re an anti-market ideologue.

        1. Well that’s easy then. Since the USA was founded on a government that has enumerated powers to regulation naturalization and immigration, the market does not control immigration numbers.

          It’s not my fault that you’re an anti-market and anti-Constitution ideologue.

          1. Re:loveconstitutuon1789,

            Well that’s easy then.

            Yes, it IS actually that easy.

            , the market does not control immigration numbers.

            Sure. Because governments are so good at regulating markets…

            Idiot.

            1. Governments are not good at regulating markets but the Founder knew that a small and limited government would be necessary to control borders and enforce some of the rules that we all play by.

            2. You are a moron OMS.

        2. Isn’t the market just people making decisions?

          1. Plus small and limited government to protect property ad enforce the rule of law. For Libertarians anyway.

        3. So, zero then.

          The market is not flooding Mexico with ads for unskilled workers.

          Instead, non-citizens are invading and offering their labor for prices citizens can’t compete with because the same people who demand open borders also demand massive and expensive regulation of citizen labor.

          This sounds like people interfering with the market to enact a social justice goal–or just so they can have a defenseless underclass to kick around.

          1. Well, according the Pew Research Center statistics on the jobs undocumented immigrants do, 29% of roofers are illegal immigrants. Since illegal immigrants are only about 3% of our population, this suggests that roofing contractors have a preference for hiring workers who might have trouble applying for workman’s compensation or suing in court if they get injured.

            Meanwhile, the teacher shortage in New York City is so severe that De Blasio wants suspended teachers to go back into the classroom. For some reason, De Blasio is not open to hiring undocumented immigrants to teach in New York City schools.

      3. Tony called, he wants his poorly-constructed strawman argument back.

        1. How much is enough, Citizen? Is 2 billion enough immigrants?

          Tony called, he wants his poorly-constructed strawman non sequitur back.

          1. That’s two meaningless questions and a revelation that you don’t know what “strawman” or “non sequitur” means. Good job, buddy!

      4. They always think immigration is the answer to all problems.

        Birds are some of the most freely migratory animals on the planet. Moreover, if immigration were an unbridled good and supply/demand markets always balanced inherently, it would be exceedingly odd both for birds to go extinct and for them to congregate in a manner such that they could be regarded as a nuisance. Social hierarchies are wired into nervous systems at the level of invertebrates. Competitive instincts even below that.

        The idea that immigration is always good for everyone or anyone is pretty absurd. The idea that our market will, somehow, naturally find the best balance because it’s a free market ignores the fact that the government has had it’s thumb in it since the beginning and has it’s thumb in it at unprecedented levels now. I’m not in favor of kicking any and all immigrants out of the country, but the argument that asserts ‘the market’ will select the right number of immigrants ignores the fact that our market isn’t generally a free market (maybe just the free*est*) and that our current immigration ‘crisis’ is the result of the government sticking its thumb in the pie yet again.

    2. Immigration will give you that blow job you’ve been thinking about all day

      The ad on the side of the page with a blond model wearing what appears to be a vagina necklace isn’t doing my yoins any favors in this regard either.

      1. Here’s a pro-migration music video from my younger days.

  5. “About the only thing that’s working in Connecticut’s favor right now is that it remains an attractive destination for international immigrants…. That won’t solve the state’s long-term financial problems, but it certainly could soften the blow.”
    Oh Eric, if thousands of foreign immigrants have not saved Connecticut from financial doom after all these years, it surely won’t now.

    If anything, Connecticut only attracting non-Americans bodes badly for Connecticut. It means is probably a shithole state. New Haven is a shithole city.

    1. All cities in CT are shitholes-Hartford, Stamford, Waterbury, New London…
      Probably 99% of the state’s wealth is in the NYC suburbs.

  6. Exclusive: ICE is about to start tracking license plates across the US

    1. Please clean up after yourself… No bodily fluids allowed.

      1. See, I was going to say that I disapproved of this because police should need warrants to search and seize people, houses, papers, and effects in the USA.

        I guess you ideologues gotta ideologue.

        1. Re: loveconstitutuon1789,

          See, I was going to say that I disapproved of this

          Woulda. Shoulda. Coulda.

          1. I use that saying all the time but its:

            Shoulda, woulda, coulda.

            You shoulda read more posts by me before you got schooled. It woulda been better for you not to cry. It coulda saved you a bunch of humiliation today.

        2. See, I was going to say that I disapproved of this because police should need warrants to search and seize people, houses, papers, and effects in the USA.

          Correct me if I’m wrong here Sandy but aren’t police generally tracking all the license plates across the country anyway? Isn’t that the point?

    2. -1 sanctuary freeway

  7. Connecticut is losing upper income residents and businesses but gaining in immigrants, but I don’t rally see anything in the article about the economic status of these immigrants, so it is unclear to what extent, if any, they soften the blow to state revenues. In fact, I am not really sure why this is headlined as an immigration story, as that aspect barely seems relevent to the subject.

    1. Re: Mickey Rat,

      Why would their “economic” status matter to you? Are you a classist, M?

      1. Becsuse the rest of the article was about Connecticut’s revenue to spending problems being made worse by high income people leaving. Income class matters for the state trying to extract revenues, and low income people are not really replacing the high income people leaving for that purpose. It is kind of relevent to what the article was about, or did you not comprehend that?

        1. Eric will not appreciate you pointing out the laziness of his article.

  8. No problem; the next big thing will be ‘exit taxes’ of a massive proportion.
    Cleverly disguised a tax on transportation firms and van rentals.
    Any shipment of household goods out of state requires a state permit ($500.00 fee) and payment of a reasonable tax of 500% of the assessed value of the goods, as determined by the state tax collector.
    Renting a van that will leave the state? The same modest tax and fee.

    1. No problem; the next big thing will be ‘exit taxes’ of a massive proportion.

      Don’t worry, I’ve been assured that the lines are only imaginary.

  9. “Immigration Is the Only Thing Saving Connecticut From an Even Worse Budget Crisis”

    Not sure if serious.

    1. They’re not serious, since in the article they admit that the immigrants are not shoring the system up sufficiently to offset the loss of millionaire / billionaire taxpayers who are floating virtually the entire revenue of the State.

      Or, in other words, the immigrants are a band-aid on the hull of the Titanic.

      1. “Or, in other words, the immigrants are a band-aid on the hull of the Titanic.”

        Just they way they like them. They do what they are told to save the Democrats and vote when told.

    2. Re: Joaquin,

      Immigrants are younger and they work. That means the state can stave off a pebsion crisis for a little longer.

      It’s not that difficult to see, if you didn’t let your Trumpista brain get in the way.

      1. It hasn’t worked in decades, but millions more immigrants will fix it.

      2. My issue is with the word “only” to describe spending related problems.


  10. While immigration is helping to staunch the flow of people out of the state, Connecticut’s loss of high-income residents is a serious problem because the state’s tax code is so dependent on them. A recent study by the state Department of Revenue Services found that in 2014 just 357 families paid $682.5 million in state taxes?11.7 percent of the total haul.

    Are these legal or illegal immigrants? Normally I would assume legal, but since this is Reason I must ask the question.

    Regardless of their legal or illegal status, it seems even the author acknowledges that replacing billionaire/millionare taxpayers with minimum wage workers isn’t going to do jack or shit for the States inevitable slip into insolvency so I wonder why bother to bring it up at all. It’s just admitting that Democratic bastions can’t float their spending on the backs of their own grievance groups.

    1. Re: Trumpista ignoramus

      Income tax is not the only tax a state levies. New blood pays sales and property taxes. And if one millionaire who has his or her money in tax shelters is replaced by twenty immigrants who pay consumtion, income and property tax, it more than makes for the loss of the millionaire. Or even if these immigrants don’t possess the government – issued transit papers, they still pay consumption taxes.

      Not that this is a great thing, because it would be better to just cut spending and lower taxes, but that doesn’t mean immigrants don’t help.

      1. ?Est?s como loco en la cabeza?

      2. Agreed… Also this below…

        The illegal humans are paying (a LOT) for your and my Social Security paychecks when we retire, is the actual facts. They pay in, but have virtual zero chance of getting paid back. See?

        See “The Truth About Undocumented Immigrants and Taxes” (in quotes) in your Google search window will take you straight there, hit number one… AKA http://www.theatlantic.com/bus…..es/499604/

        1. your and my Social Security paychecks when we retire

          This again. Why should I care that they’re contributing to a program which I don’t support and which will be broke in 20 years or less?

        2. Here we go with the SS bullshit again.

          1. Most illegals are working under the table and not paying a dime into SS.
          2. The few illegals who are not working under the table are still making less than an legal worker doing the same job would, so their presence is causing SS receipts to decrease, not increase.
          3. Nobody currently under 45 is going to see a penny in SS benefits unless they get disabled or widowed before retirement age.

      3. You are literally retarded if you think sales tax and low-value property taxes are going to replace the income taxes of millionaires and billionaires. The article straight up tells you this. Can you read English?


        A recent study by the state Department of Revenue Services found that in 2014 just 357 families paid $682.5 million in state taxes?11.7 percent of the total haul.

        1. Also, more residents are leaving every year than moving in from abroad.

  11. Not all immigrants are of equal value to the country and we should start treating them as individuals, not as a group. This is not controversial. My friend who came over from Iran is an engineer at SpaceX, but his Grandma – who has never worked a day in her life in the US or paid a cent in payroll taxes – lives in a full time care facility entirely paid for by the government. To equate those two is laughable and disingenuous

    Go visit many of the schools or emergency rooms in southern california near the boarder, and tell me that many of them are net taxpayers. Again, it’s laughable. Now are if you are talking about highly skilled immigrants in the bay area in technical fields, like engineers from asia / india, or anywhere else, then that is completely different.

  12. I note from the article above Connecticut is also in the top three of “Worst States to Live In” according to it’s residents.

    1. Can’t be–Old Mexican’s TDS fueled dementia says otherwise.

  13. meanwhile immigration is hurting California since it has to keep raising taxes to support those immigrants and with those raised taxes it forces more companies to leave California. Last year enough companies left California that they took 50,000 jobs with them and based on that Jerry brown has predicted an economic decline for California but he keeps raising taxes and regulations anyway

  14. Connecticut is having serious money issues.
    Many families are leaving Connecticut.
    Immigrants are replacing some of the families that are leaving.

    Given this information, a number of conclusions can be made many of which are bad.

    1. Rich Connecticunts have ruined their state and are bailing out to ruin someplace else.
    2. Despite immigrants being hard working net positives wherever they go, they can’t save Connecticut.
    3. Raising taxes indefinitely doesn’t appear to be a valid solution to a budget crisis.

  15. Maybe these states need to do something to keep their young in state. But to keep the young home in state the state will need to have jobs that they can fill. Now immigrants will work at jobs US citizens will not touch with a 10 foot pole.

  16. REASON is a site full of open borders anarchists and UNconstitutional TRADE DEALS…….

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