Thursday, April 16, 2009

Republicans Propose Budget Cuts – No Tax Increases

Senate and House Republicans introduced our alternative budget proposal today, building on Governor Rell’s no tax increase budget presented to the General Assembly on February 2nd. We are responding to the Democrats’ irresponsible budget proposal that levies the largest tax increase in state history without including serious spending cuts.

Our proposal balances a projected $8.1 billion deficit, streamlines state government and sustains existing state aid to local governments.

Families and businesses across Connecticut are painfully aware of the global economic crisis and have already made hard choices in their budgets. Today we learned the unemployment rate in Connecticut rose again to 141,900 residents without jobs!

How can the Democrats in the legislature justify proposing the largest tax increase in state history in the middle of this crisis?

Republicans have the answer – CUT SPENDING !!!

Granted, the 2008-2009 budget was crafted at a time when legislators had no clue the present economic disaster was ahead but the Democrats have their head in the sand thinking they can sustain state government’s current payroll when tax revenue is down 27% and dropping daily.

The Democrats proposed a huge increase in state income taxes, increases in sales taxes on over fifty categories of goods and services, increase corporate taxes by 30% and eliminate job creation tax credits, increase the death taxes by 30% and eliminate the property tax credit for homeowners. $3.3 billion in new taxes! A real nightmare during this bad economy and a good way to assure Connecticut is the last state to recover from this recession.

On Monday, legislative leaders from both parties begin serious budget negotiations with Governor Rell. We’ll soon find out who is running our state government – the elected officials or the state employee unions.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Democrat’s Tax Torpedo Launched Today

Every day at the State Capitol is exciting but I never imagined the recklessness of the majority Democrats’ budget proposal released today. We have a budget crisis and their answer is primarily increasing taxes and borrowing money for operation expenses.

My family income dropped substantially when I won a seat in the State Senate. My neighbors and friends are feeling the pinch of layoffs, salary and overtime cutbacks. Connecticut residents’ spending has come to a grinding halt but state government appears to be out of touch and can’t see beyond the Capitol.

Two words for the Connecticut General Assembly – CUT SPENDING!

Sorry, three words – NOW!

As I sit in the Finance, Revenue & Bonding Committee meeting this afternoon I am wondering how smart people can realistically propose a smoke and mirrors budget. Although the Democrats’ proposal adopts some of Governor Rell’s responsible spending cuts they have totally lost touch with reality. Here’s their proposal to eliminate the tsunami deficit in state government:

“Revenue Increases” (tax increases) – 37%
“Federal Stimulus” (temporary Obamabucks) – 17%
“Rainy Day Fund” (the state savings account) – 19%
“Spending Reductions” (to be identified at a later date…) – 27%

That’s right – only 27% of the $8.7 billion budget deficit is addressed with spending cuts!

So what happens when the “Rainy Day Fund” runs out? What happens when the Obamabucks disappear? What happens is the Connecticut government budget falls off another cliff!

The Democrats’ budget proposal is not about responsibility – it is about passing the buck for another day. If state government does not immediately address a bloated budget that we can no longer afford then our state will take many more years to climb out of this recession.

Try explaining this budget proposal to a student in their first year of accounting. The student will say you’ve failed the audit test!

I am hopeful the rhetoric rolling through the Finance, Revenue & Bonding Committee this afternoon will subside and we legislators can get down to business and act responsibly. Connecticut residents expect us to make hard decisions about our budget just like they’re doing in their own homes.

Connecticut residents are not balancing their home budgets by sticking their heads in the sand – they’re living within their means in this tough economy. Connecticut state government must do the same.