We should be amazed. The first piece of 2019 proposed legislation coming from our General Assembly was to fund more restrictions on our liberties. That was State Sen. Alexandra Bergstein’s tolling plan, offered in Week One of the legislative session.
Not a proposal to re-fashion government programs. Not a proposal to entice new businesses. Not a proposal to improve education. Not a proposal to keep citizens from leaving Connecticut.
This is simply a sweeping way (far more than Gov. Ned Lamont’s trucks-only toll proposal) to put more money in the hands of state government.
State government does almost nothing well with our money. I believe the Agricultural Inspection Station’s Mosquito Control Program, at $600,000 annually, does a necessary service efficiently. There are scarce few others.
How do we define “well” in government work? Potentially by comparing it to how well you’d run a household. Here, our General Assembly shows epic failure.
No home maker would pay 11 times market value for a non-luxury item; but the GA nearly did for a parcel of land in Hamden whose seller was, naturally, politically connected. No homemaker whose child mistakenly spent money bails him out without any consequences for the future. But the GA did this too, with a no-strings-attached $550 million bailout of Hartford for its waywardness.
No homemaker pays for the mileage expense of her contractor when he is being driven to his workplace in another’s vehicle. But that, too, is the rule for fellow Assemblymen in a cushy scratch-my-back-and-I’ll-scratch-yours legislature.
So when legislators want to grab revenue, we must realize it is revenue to do little good, and likely to perpetuate unfairness. At a minimum, more revenue in the state’s hands means less money for YOU to do good.
Whether you are saving for a child’s education, investing in a better home, spending on household items, buying food, or even spending on “frivolous” things, you spend your money more wisely and more helpfully to the economy, than the state does. Remember, it’s the General Assembly who for year after year, voted for lavish pensions that are now spent by ex-Connecticut workers living in Florida.
Government spending can’t help the economy as well as private individuals, private firms, and private charities can.
For once, Democrat legislators might want to look at how thry might SAVE taxpayers money. Or perhaps INCREASE people’s freedom. Our wallets, and our freedoms, are at best an afterthought to the Martin Looneys and Josh Elliotts in the General Assembly.
Don’t worry. Our Democrat leaders, particularly those from Hamden and New Haven, have dozens more pieces of legislation in the pipeline, including a “Green New Deal.”
Lest you see “New Deal” in hagiographic terms, please know it was the New Deal legislation that brought on exceptionally broad business regulation and cemented our high federal taxation. The New Deal re-distributed wealth; it did not create wealth. Democrats’ government programs, if anything, exacerbated the 1929 recession, turning it into an 11 year “Great Drpression.” It was the need for war materials production and the need for manpower (FDR instituted a peacetime draft in 1940) that lifted us out of the 1930s recession.
And lest you be tempted by the cries of “we should get the New Yorkers’ money with tolls,” please remember, we tax ourSELVES the most with tolls.
Even if toll revenue could come exclusively from big out-of-state business (perhaps on Big Bad Texas-based oil companies!) remember – funneling more money to the state simply gives the General Assembly more control over our lives.
It’s about time we took more control for ourselves. Until the General Assembly ends unnecessary state spending, we should resist any increase in state revenue.
Mark Stewart Greenstein is Co-Founder of the Americans for Minimal Government Party
AMiGo and a former candidate for governor.
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