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A State Budget That Lacks Credibility

To the Editor:

I am more than a little disappointed by the just passed, revised state budget and can’t wait to get back out into the district to show Newtown’s taxpayers some of the gimmicks and landmines that worry me most. Ultimately, we’ve again managed to spend more than we will take in. In just the past few days, we have seen $462 million in anticipated surplus revenues “evaporate” because of a big shortfall in income tax and sales tax revenue. On Saturday, the majority party invented $75 million of unverifiable “miscellaneous” revenue (yes, that’s how it’s identified in the budget) to “balance” a shortfall all of us Connecticut residents are left with.

How could such a massive shortfall happen so quickly? Ultimately, over the last three years and also over the last 20 years, we’re the only state in the union with fewer jobs in our economy than before. Fewer jobs and far too many skilled workers being underemployed are the result of our state’s restrictive business climate and high tax climate. And this leads to lower revenues. Today’s administration and the majority party have tried the tax and spend thing. Combined with trying to be everything to everybody and thinking that bigger government is somehow good for the free enterprise climate of our state, the status quo continues to bleed revenue, while the per-capita cost and debt load increases for every taxpayer in the state.

Newtown, we have to use the upcoming November elections to place the State of Connecticut on a new path and do more than just claim to be “open for business.” We have it in us to do so much better and to reverse the cycle of spending, taxing, shortfalls, and borrowing. We owe it to ourselves and the next generation to put Connecticut back on solid, sustainable financial footing.

This budget is unsustainable. Yet, it on Saturday evening, it passed the House of Representatives along strict party lines. I voted No but really wanted to vote “Enough!” It’s time to understand that our great state is in financial distress and the current way we do business is the reason why. It is said that one definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and, somehow, expecting different results. Enough! Let’s get started on the road to change. November is every taxpayer’s chance to tell their government that it’s no longer acceptable practice to mortgage everyday operating expenses. It’s time to tell your government to spend no more than we take in. It’s time to tell your government to cover unfunded liabilities and stop borrowing more than we can reasonably afford to repay.

It can’t be fixed overnight but…it’s time to start.

I plan to hold a legislative wrap-up at the end on May 27 at the Newtown Municipal Center. I invite interested residents to attend, see my presentation, and bring questions.

State Representative Mitch Bolinsky

300 Capital Avenue, Hartford                                           May 5, 2014

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