I think the most important issue facing Connecticut is taxes.
It seems the taxes are continuing to rise, and services are continuing to deteriorate. If the state government is serious about protecting the middle class, then the taxes have to be cut, and government programs — like the free money given away to corporations being hidden behind job growth — must end. If the business are to survive they cannot continue to receive millions that go to executive pay.
Look at the giveaway to Pitney Bowes. That was to keep the company from moving from Stamford (the governor’s hometown) to Shelton. What a farce, but you in the media rarely look behind the smoke to honestly report the real facts.
Look at the money the executives are making on all of the government giveaways! You might might be surprised — and, we, the middle class, are supporting these fat cats. The movie industry is another example of government intervention that pays no dividends to the state taxpayers. If they truly put money into the state coffers, then every state would be doing it.
The second most important issue I have in mind is the money being spent on education that is going into corporations designed to save money — $40 million to build a magnet school in Windham, but $1.5 million went to school building consultants to make the process easier. Must we have a brand new design for each school? Why not save $2 million to $3 million on design cost by coming up with one design to fit all.
If I can think of these ideas, why can’t our representatives? The media should be promoting these type of ideas rather than applauding the $40 to $65 million spent for each school, that most of the money ends up in corporate pockets, and most of that into the pockets of executives that haven’t had have an original idea in a long time.
Third is gun legislation. Are we looking at the number of crimes involving a gun going down in our state? The answer is no. Criminals don’t register their guns and clips, but honest citizens do. If you want honest gun legislation, make it easier for police to keep criminals who use a gun behind bars rather than giving them good time off from their sentence because they attended some course.
Make more nonviolent criminals do more community service — like cleaning the state parks, roadsides, community gardens, and ideas like that. If some kid does something stupid, then make him do community service that involves the community, not sit in some food bank and count carrots, then be given their hours. Honest hard work will keep them out of jail and off of the taxpayers’ backs. Another example would be drunk drivers cleaning the roadside for months at a time in the town they were arrested in rather than sitting in some cell and doing nothing productive.
Fourth, make anybody caught driving and using a cellphone spend at least 8 weekends doing community service. Kids’ parents are paying the fine, and the kids usually get off with not using their phone for a week. Make it painful to get caught, and the state will cut down on cellphone usage while driving. All of these highly educated people? Make them tutor kids 4 weekends, in addition to fines. Speeding and other traffic offenses should carry the same punishment. Putting people in jail for these offenses not only costs the middle class money, it is like getting off scott free.
Larry Kellogg is a Willimantic resident.