A Dangerous Combination
This is a critical time for Connecticut.
State lawmakers are considering a dangerous combination of big increases in government spending and more than $2 billion in tax hikes that ultimately will impact everyone in Connecticut.
Spending increases are planned that will shatter the state’s constitutional spending cap, which is designed to protect taxpayers from out of control government spending.
Tax hikes are in the offing that will drive up the cost of living and make it:
- Harder to keep good jobs in Connecticut
- Harder for our children to find those good job opportunities and afford to stay here
- Harder for retirees to make their homes here
Connecticut can do better; a lot better.
As the chart shows, state spending has grown by 201% since 1992–not including the budget maneuvers that have hidden real areas where major amounts of taxpayer dollars are being spent.
State spending has far outgrown Connecticut’s population growth, income growth, and inflation—in short, our ability to pay for it.
We can’t spend, or tax, our way to prosperity. Four years ago, policymakers addressed a huge budget deficit by passing the largest tax increase in the state’s history.
Now, we’re facing another big deficit. It’s a vicious cycle—deficits followed by tax hikes, followed by deficits, followed by tax hikes.
That’s why our economy trails the region and the U.S.; why we have yet to regain all jobs lost in the recession; and why our economy is being slowed by the highest unemployment in New England.
It’s time to write a new story.
Many of our competitor states are working to help their job creators provide more and better opportunities—by lowering corporate, income and other tax rates, not raising them.
Growing our economy will produce jobs, opportunities and investments in Connecticut.
The General Assembly, Democrats and Republicans, must take the best ideas from both sides of the aisle and work with the administration to resolve the fiscal crisis and refocus on growing jobs.
They should take the best ideas from both sides of the aisle and work with the administration to develop a budget that encourages investment in Connecticut. They can look to:
- The Connecticut Institute for the 21st Century’s recommendations in the areas of corrections, long-term healthcare, social services, state pensions, and information technology.
- Governor Malloy’s “Second Chance Society” corrections reforms, which emphasize changing lives rather than putting people behind bars.
- The legislative Republicans’ “Blueprint for Prosperity” budget plan, which spends at a level below the spending cap, maintains strategic tax investment incentives that have helped spark Connecticut jobs, provides for the state’s non-profit human service providers, reduces overtime, and seeks savings from the state’s workforce that had been called for—but largely unachieved—in the current state budget.
There are three short weeks left in the legislative session.
Three weeks to make a difference, to write a new story for Connecticut.
CBIA is working with state legislators to help them understand the destructive impact of the proposed tax and spending package on Connecticut’s people and economy.
We are also communicating about the positive alternatives that can make state government work better and at lower cost while still providing the excellent services residents of the state need.
For more information, contact CBIA’s Bonnie Stewart at 860.244.1925 | firstname.lastname@example.org | @CBIAbonnie
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