“This is Insanity.”

June 3, 2015

As I prepare to vote against the Democrats’ tax hike proposal, I want to share with you today’s editorial in The Day of New London.

Please share this with friends and please call Gov. Malloy at 860 566-4840 to urge him to veto the bill.

Thank you!

What became of Malloy’s ‘shared sacrifice’?
The Day Editorial

In his inaugural address to the General Assembly on Jan. 5, 2011 — titled “Shared sacrifice, shared prosperity” — a newly elected Gov. Dannel P. Malloy proclaimed that only if everyone contributed could the state confront the fiscal crisis it faced and rebuild economic prosperity.

Government would have to learn to do with less, citizens and businesses would face tax increases, and state labor unions provide concessions.

“And I believe that in our hearts, we are willing to make sacrifices if, if, we understand where we’re going, what’s at stake, and that shared sacrifice is really shared — that there’s a fairness factor,” said Gov. Malloy.

While it might be argued how fairly that sacrifice was shared — from our perspective taxpayers carried the far heavier load via a record tax increase — there was at least a good-faith effort to parcel out the pain.

Four years later that spirit of shared sacrifice has morphed into a willingness to sacrifice most anything to protect the governing class.

It began with news that Gov. Malloy, after his re-election, had quietly given out raises of up to 12 percent to about 200 political appointees. It continued with the governor, in his proposed budget, calling for deep cuts to social services programs, hitting the neediest, while seeking no givebacks from state labor unions.

Clarifying that sacrifice was no longer to be shared, Gov. Malloy rejected out of hand a proposal by the minority party to seek labor concessions to find some of the savings necessary to balance the budget, with Republicans noting that the labor savings promised four years ago were never fully realized.

The process reached its crescendo with Gov. Malloy huddling behind closed doors with the legislature’s Democratic leaders to decide what they would sacrifice to preserve the growth of government. Republicans with their apostate views were not invited.

This past weekend the Democrats emerged to announce a budget that hits the middle class, the wealthy and, most especially, business. Everyone, in other words, except the governing class.
It also abandoned Gov. Malloy’s campaign pledge to address the state budget problems without raising taxes.

For example, the budget deal reduced the $300 state income tax credit households can claim to offset their local property tax payments to $200. It stood at $500 in 2005. The trend is evident.

The deal also called for $290 million in new revenue over the next two years by raising the top marginal rate on the income tax, hitting single taxpayers earning in excess of $500,000 per year or married couples earning in excess of $1 million.

However, it was business taking the heaviest hit with new and higher taxes intended to extract an estimated $700 million for the governing class. According to The Connecticut Mirror, it would raise $500 million more from corporations through new restrictions on tax credits and other rule changes, including a new tax on corporations with out-of-state operations, while also boosting the special sales tax rate on data processing services, a tax few other states even have, from 1 to 3 percent.

This is insanity.

As the Connecticut Business & Industry Association has noted, the state’s low ranking in most every assessment of business climate makes it hard to compete for businesses and the jobs they generate. Slapping an ever-increasing tax on data processing services in this digital age, while telling corporations that might consider having a headquarters here that Connecticut will try to tap their operations elsewhere for taxes, is not going to make things better.

The plan even added a new 6 percent sales tax on services received from ambulatory surgical centers, an indication that Democrats are literally ready to demand taxes on an arm and a leg.

When the corporate community objected — with General Electric, Aetna and Travelers among those questioning whether they could continue to afford doing business here — Democratic leaders seemed shocked, suggesting just how out of touch they may be.

Under assault, the Democratic conclave privately discussed changes, and with Wednesday’s deadline for the session looming, it was impossible as of Tuesday to know what the final $40 billion budget product might look like.

What should happen is that the legislature continues on in a special session, invites all parties to the table, and revisits the budget with the spirit of shared sacrifice Gov. Malloy once so passionately demanded.

We’re not holding our breath.