State Senator Joe Markley Votes NO on the Sikorsky Deal

September 28, 2016

Hartford-State Senator Joe Markley (R-Southington) voted against the $220 million dollar corporate aid package to Lockheed Martin, which owns Sikorsky Aircraft, negotiated by the Malloy Administration and approved today by the legislature.

“There’s an old adage which we would do well to remember: when you’re in a hole, stop digging,” said Senator Markley. “Every year since I returned to the legislature in 2010, Connecticut has faced a deficit. The red ink is predicted to run over our state’s balance sheets for years into the future. The first thing I ask is: ‘How can we afford this?’”

The legislature’s non-partisan Office of Fiscal Analysis has recently predicted that the state will face a $2.7 billion dollar budget deficit in the next biennium.

“According to a Lockheed Martin representative who met with the Senate Republican Caucus, Connecticut’s competitive disadvantage is $400 million compared to more business friendly states,” continued Markley. “For the economics to work, our state pitches in $220 million, and Lockheed expects to make up the rest largely in labor savings negotiations. This leads me to ask, are we really getting the best deal possible? If I were Lockheed Martin, I would ask more from the state so I could be lenient in labor negotiations.

“I dare say that we have this all backwards,” continued Markley. “We ought to cut taxes and government so businesses will stay without these handouts. Instead, we tax regular working people, and then use their money to bribe their employers to not lay them off.

“These deals will only get worse. If we give Sikorsky $220 million, what’s to prevent Electric Boat from asking for $300 million next year?”

In response to the shopworn defense for corporate welfare, that all states practice it, Markley concluded:

“Companies like Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky don’t profit from loyalty or stupidity. If the CEO or the Board think they can save $220,000,000.01 by moving to Florida or South Carolina, they will. They took the money because we offered it, and that is $220 million we cannot use to lower our state’s taxes and actually make Connecticut more competitive.

“Can we deny that we are picking winners and losers with this deal? Can we deny that this is crony capitalism? People who would normally recoil at the thought of supporting a private business with public funds are supporting this deal today. Why? Because it’s Sikorsky? If we’re ever going to bring Connecticut back from the brink, government needs to do less, not more. We need to regulate less and tax less. That is the only way our state will save itself economic and fiscal collapse.”