Letter: There is no ‘magic money,’ no free lunch

To the Editors:

Recently I came across a statement in a Washington Post article by William Sloan that perfectly describes the reason why Wilton and the state of Connecticut are in the financial condition they are in. “One of the biggest problems our country has is the growing idea that there really is such a thing as a free lunch: that we can get magic money to pay for things we don’t want to pay for out of our own pockets.”

  • Wilton overbuilds a school, but since the state pays a percentage, that’s free money. Right?

  • A hockey player costs the Town over $3400, but he/she is not asked for significant participation fees. That’s free money. Right?

  • A new “Early Learning Center” is proposed by the school system at rates below existing town commercial Pre-K’s. That’s free money. Right?

  • The town is not responsible for teacher pensions, the state is. That’s free money, Right?

The real answer to all of the above is WRONG. We the citizens who choose to remain in Connecticut are paying either through our property taxes or our income tax. For us in Wilton it is even getting more direct since the state is proposing to now no longer pay some of the costs it was responsible for in the past (i.e, a portion of the teacher pensions which they negotiated).

As of May 22, Zillow states that there are 317 houses for sale in Wilton, including two foreclosed and 21 pre-foreclosures. Wilton citizens must face up to the fact that they cannot continue to spend as they have done in the past without driving more and more citizens out of town.

There is no free lunch.
Alex Ruskewich
Sensible Wilton
Calvin Road, May 22