July 21, 2011

Recently a legislator suggested that Connecticut’s approach to balancing the budget was “unique.” I share his opinion but for an entirely different view point.

The Democratic majority in Hartford took a “unique” approach to budgeting. Those “unique” approaches include:

  • Saddling us with the largest tax hike in Connecticut history while our neighboring states are cutting taxes.
  • Passing the highly burdensome, job-killing mandates on Connecticut businesses while our neighboring states are easing business regulations.
  • Counting on a “State Employee Suggestion Box” to magically result in $180 Million of savings ideas.
  • Citing an immediate $205 million in alleged savings through making the state employee workforce healthier.
  • Raising state spending by four percent over the next two years while our neighboring states are cutting spending and our jobless rate is still a staggering 9.1%.
  • Putting public safety on the back burner by enabling violent felons – including rapists, child molesters and animal abusers – to qualify for early release from prison. These are not “common sense” reform which will “save money.”
  • The failure to limit the use of overtime for calculating base pension pay for state retirees and eliminate so-called longevity payments for state employees.
  • Spending taxpayers’ money on huge capital projects such as the soon to be little-used $572 million New Britain to Hartford Busway, the $864 million transformation of the money-losing University of Connecticut Health Center and the $1 billion completion of Route 11.

The result of this “unique” approach, so far, has caused Moody’s Investors Service to recently cut its outlook on Connecticut’s bond rating from stable to negative, the consequence: higher costs to the State Of Connecticut when we borrow money.

Connecticut is also “unique” because it is going in the opposite direction from other states. Our neighbors have come to grips with reality: we spend too much, and because we spend too much, we tax too much to pay for our spending.

The fact is we have lost business because of our high taxes. Virtually every week there is a report in the news about another business closing or simply leaving the state. Recently UBS in Stamford announced it was relocating employees to New York and UNILEVER which is in Clinton will close its Connecticut facility at the end of the year.

Those job losses keep our unemployment high at 9.1%.

If you own a business, your corporate tax just doubled.

I am sure you have all noticed that your groceries and clothing are now more expensive with the increase in the sales tax.

And, in August, you will notice a distinct difference in your take-home pay due to the income tax hike which is retroactive to January 1, 2011; you can thank the Democratic Majority for that as well.

We need to stop the spending and get control over our finances. If we don’t, we won’t be able to attract business. This means there will be fewer jobs and core government programs may not survive because we don’t have the revenue to sustain the cost. People will suffer.

Raising taxes by nearly $4 billion dollars at a time when people are struggling to maintain daily expenses are concerned over keeping a job and paying their mortgage is not a solution.

These are all “unique” approaches, indeed.