Protecting Life, Liberty and Property

April 29, 2011

Mark Twain once said, “No man’s life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session.” As the legislature continue towards its June 8th adjournment, that quote rings as true today as it did in Twain’s time.

Connecticut’s weakened economy and irresponsible spending policies have pushed the state into a fiscal crisis leaving the General Assembly with a $3.2 billion deficit to close in Fiscal Year 2012 alone. Governor Malloy started budget negotiations in mid-February when he addressed the General Assembly with a budget proposal that will levy the largest tax increase in history – $1.9 billion on the residents of Connecticut retroactive to the beginning of this calendar year.

In response to the Governor’s tax proposal, Senate Republicans proposed an alternative plan that focused on the core government functions. It establishes the right-sized government for our budget while preserving a safety net to citizens and aid to cities and towns.

Our Republican budget adds no new taxes on any business, individual, employer, service or good. It cuts an additional $1.5 billion from Governor Malloy’s proposed plan while preserving municipal aid at current levels. Several agencies are consolidated and over 1,200 management positions are eliminated to bring the staff to management ratio in line with the private sector.

By refocusing state government on its core functions, our budget becomes a fiscally responsible tenet for Connecticut. With this new streamlined state government, our economy can rebuild and open up for job growth again.

Unfortunately, less than 24 hours after our no-tax proposal the legislative Democrat’s announced an agreement with Governor Malloy for a new budget. The Democrats agreement elevates the corporate surcharge to 20 percent, increases the income tax and reduces the estate tax exemption from $3.5 million to $2 million. It includes many new taxes on the aviation industry, internet sales, hospitals and hotels. It continues to include the Governor’s proposed “luxury tax” on jewelry and cars. It adds a new sales tax on livery services, clothing under $50, non-prescription drugs, car washes, spa services, yoga studios, and pet grooming.

It is possible that the Democrat majority budget will quickly becoming a reality for Connecticut as Governor Malloy has hopes of bringing it before the legislature for vote in the immediate future. This budget brings great uncertainty and risk to Connecticut taxpayers. A large part of the Democrat’s budget requires $2 billion in union concessions, which are unrealized as of yet.

If the majority party in the legislature and the Governor pass their budget for Connecticut, everything from the services we rely on to support our daily lives, to the property we own will be the subject of new taxes to offset the heavy costs of a bloated government. As Mark Twain’s quote so rightly points out, nothing seems to be safe while this legislature is in session.