State Spending: Time to Change Direction
The cost of state government grew dramatically over the last 20 years, outpacing population growth, inflation, and median household income. Taxpayers don’t have the means to support that rate of spending, which drains dollars from the economy and discourages job creation and private sector investment.
It’s been two years since the recession technically ended. The state’s economy continues to struggle, and fewer than half of those who lost their jobs have gone back to work.
How do we get our economy moving again? How do we create good, high-paying jobs for the unemployed and young people entering the workforce?
The first step is closing the $2 billion budget deficit the state faces over the next two years. There’s no better job creation program available to lawmakers than delivering a balanced budget that doesn’t increase taxes or extend those due to expire.
The state’s ongoing budget crisis weighs heavily on Connecticut’s employers and taxpayers. It undermines business confidence, private sector investment, and job creation at a critical point in our fragile economic recovery.
It’s time to change direction.
Lawmakers have a real opportunity to work together, Democrats and Republicans alike, to set a new course of action by making the bold decisions needed to resolve our fiscal challenges.
Changing direction calls for balancing the budget — setting realistic priorities, funding only those programs with proven track records, and leaning the cost of delivering public services.
It’s about keeping spending within our means and using taxpayer dollars more wisely.
And changing direction calls for developing long-term, fiscally responsible solutions that reform state government and end the cycle of budget deficits.
Lawmakers can draw on a series of proven reforms, including recommendations from a number of state commissions and solutions adopted as best practices around the country.
- Continuing to lean state government
- Developing more home-based long-term healthcare programs
- Reforming the corrections system
- Expanding the use of quality nonprofit agencies
- Modifying state employee healthcare and retiree benefits
Reform doesn’t mean shredding the social safety net or slashing funding for public schools. It does mean improving the way government delivers programs and services by increasing efficiency and rewarding innovation.
Reform is about living within our means and balancing the state’s checkbook, both crucial steps towards restoring business confidence and economic growth.
And most of all, reform means getting people back to work.
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