What did Connecticut lose by not discussing policy alternatives of all candidates?
The current proposals are a continuation of the same broken tax and regulatory structure that has left Connecticut with fewer jobs than 2008, high unemployment, and relatively poor prospects for our young adults to stay.
If there is money for a tax cut, then it should be noticeable to the public and makes lives better.
The State Senate seems to want to bring us back to 2009, in the darkest days of the Great Recession. The proposals to raise taxes to redistribute income do nothing to drive the economic growth and vitality that the Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth said we needed, nor will it create the first job or opportunity for the disadvantaged to improve their lives.
In this polarized time, we should come together to say the system does not work. We have too many people that are too poor, yet we pay a lot of taxes and there is always a demand for more. The issue should not be Hartford vs West Hartford vs Chaplin. The issue should be what does the state promise and provide? Payment in lieu of taxes is a great leveling for public spaces, but the legislature does not fund it. This is the biggest harm to towns that hold state and nonprofit property.
With the political conventions to select gubernatorial candidates for the November elections coming up in the next few weeks, I would like to offer some observations. Regardless of party, these apply to all candidates. First, we as the general public know the lobbyists and legislators under the gold dome are more interested in their personal benefit and aggrandizement than in improving the lives of 3.5 million Connecticut residents. If they were interested in us, they would have a 401(k) pension instead of the current defined benefit pension, with mileage and years of service included. Most of the news is inside baseball antics that do not change the price of rice (taxes or services either).
It is time to consider specifics when discussing regionalism and the Connecticut economy. Our state, and the Hartford region in particular, is in an especially unhappy mood. Residents expect government services, but feel they are often of poor quality. Taxpayers feel stretched financially, but there is always a concern government may ask for more. As a state, we have lagged socially, culturally, and economically for a generation. We are among the slowest growing regions in the country according to a recent report from the MetroHartford Alliance. The only way to break the cycle is to grow our economy by creating jobs.