Maybe Connecticut should outsource its government to Massachusetts
Why shouldn’t Connecticut just let Massachusetts dominate the emerging New England marijuana economy, make up all the regulatory rules and keep all the revenue?
After all, isn’t this the way we do things here in the new Connecticut? We just outsource all the good things, tax revenues and jobs, to Massachusetts and keep the bad.
It started with the big corporate defections to the Bay State: Pfizer, followed by General Electric. Connecticut lawmakers may only get partial blame for that bleeding of jobs over state lines.
But much more of Connecticut’s subsidizing Massachusetts can be laid quite squarely on the shoulders of Connecticut’s impossibly inept General Assembly — from gas and liquor taxes that drive consumers over state lines, to the imminent ceding of much of Connecticut’s gambling business to Massachusetts.
I can’t get out of my head an image I have of the laughing executives in the MGM board room in Vegas, giddy that the fools in Connecticut fall for one stalling gimmick after another, while MGM keeps building its money-and-jobs-stealing casino just over the state line in Springfield.
Somebody will be able to write a book someday about how masterfully MGM played Connecticut, not just the local politicians in Hartford but the Washington delegation that let MGM jerk around the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
And now, with the fate of the gambling revenues sealed — projections show a looming cliff for tribal slot payments to Connecticut, once the giant slots machine opens in Springfield — Connecticut has moved to make sure we get no revenue at all from the marijuana industry that is about to explode in New England.
Actually, the marijuana industry forfeiture has echoes of Connecticut’s initial reaction to casino gambling.
Petty and organized crime were going to spike, they fretted at the time, over the idea of developing casinos.