Connecticut is on the wrong track

Folks who keep an eye on state government often debate whether decisions made in Hartford have Connecticut moving in the right direction.

However, those of us who keep close watch on our household budgets know the answer. We’ve seen local businesses close, and have friends and family members who are out of work. On top of it, we’re paying more taxes than ever for a government that borrows just to cover operating expenses.

And the governor has said he wouldn’t rule out more tax hikes.

We know Connecticut isn’t heading in the right direction — that policies pursued by majority legislators have done more harm than good.

Facts and figures don’t lie.

The state’s Labor Department recently announced that unemployment reached 9%. Roughly 6,800 Connecticut jobs were lost in August.

Jobs figures aside, a recent report from a University of Connecticut economist said our state’s recovery is developing at a rate much slower than majority legislators promised — and slower than states in our region.

Keep in mind it wasn’t that long ago that the House majority leaders dismissed Republican legislators concerned about our state’s fiscal situation, boldly claiming that Connecticut had turned a corner.

Again, statistics say otherwise.

A recent Barron’s magazine report pointed to a few of Connecticut’s considerable fiscal problems — unfunded pension liabilities, for one — despite our state having the third highest state and local tax burden in the country.

What’s more, the Institute for Truth in Accounting in a recent report contends “Connecticut is in the worst financial position of all 50 states,” adding that the “antiquated ways the state budget is calculated doesn’t provide citizens with the financial information needed to determine government accountability.”

During my first term, I’ve advocated for and offered proposals to get our state back on track, including straightening out the state’s unemployment compensation fund, hiring more investigators to reduce social services fraud, and privatizing some motor vehicle registrations and renewals.

Simply put, our state can’t continue to spend more money than it takes in and can’t borrow more than we can afford to pay back.

Controlling government spending is just one part of the solution. The state must also extend a firm hand to employers. The legislature cannot continue to say “Connecticut is open for business” while it passes legislation that business owners say are harmful.

It’s time to get serious about making the decisions that will help get Connecticut residents out of the hole one party government has dug us into to.  A balanced legislature that works together benefits all residents who are desperate for a break from the crushing tax burden and red tape that’s a barrier to entrepreneurship, job growth and prosperity.

 

Republican Rep. Brenda Kupchick is running for her second term in the 132nd District She and her husband Peter own a small Fairfield based heating and cooling company. She can be reached at [email protected] and has a website, BrendaKupchick2012.com.

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