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Economic Growth & Fiscal Responsibility

Shorter version:

To solve Connecticut’s economic and fiscal crisis and create prosperity for all families, we should pursue three major reforms:

1.) Slash income tax rates for all families for the first time in state history

2.) Reduce wasteful spending and reform state employee packages

3.) Cut red tape to alleviate the burden on workers

Longer version:

The most important issue facing Connecticut is our horrible economy, which has been stagnant for over a decade. Middle class incomes haven’t increased for 30 years. Home values are down, the population has declined, and there has been no job creation for two decades. Regular families in Greenwich, Stamford, and New Canaan are hurting and raising them up should finally be the top priority in our government.

The failure of Connecticut’s economy is completely the fault of its state government, which has punished work, job creation, and investment in our community at every turn. Consider three vital facts explaining our economic failure:

      • Connecticut has the 2nd highest tax burden of any state
      • Connecticut has the 2nd highest debt and unfunded pension liability
      • Connecticut has the 5th highest regulatory burden

It’s not a coincidence that our taxes, debt, and regulatory burden is so high, while our income growth has been so poor. They are the causes, so reversing these realities to stimulate our economy is an imperative. Here is what we should do:

1.) Slash income tax rates for all workers for the first time in Connecticut history

      • Eliminate the income tax for the working poor
      • Slash rates in half for middle incomes
      • Cut the income tax rate by 1 percent for higher incomes
      • End billions of special tax credits and expenditures to offset the revenue lost in dynamic terms

2.) Reduce wasteful spending and reform fringe benefits for unionized state employees

      • Delegate some state social services to our great non-profits who can do a good job costing hundreds of millions less per year
      • Reform unionized state employee’s fringe benefits to bring them closer to normal private sector levels to save hundreds of millions per year
      • Sell or convert UConn Health Center to non-profit status to save hundreds of millions per year
      • Put Connecticut on a “debt diet” that could save hundreds of millions per year

3.) Cut red tape to reduce the burden on workers

      • Require major existing and all new regulations are scored for a cost-benefit
      • Liberalize occupational licensing requirements for skilled workers
      • Eliminate Certificate Of Need laws that make it hard to build new health facilities, there by raising the cost of care and destroying good health care jobs
      • Include cheap, green, imported nuclear power in qualifying renewable fuels to reduce Connecticut’s utility costs, which are highest in the continental US
      • Liberalize childcare regulations to increase availability and reduce cost for parents

We can raise incomes for a middle class that is hurting, support home values, and create jobs in our state. But that can only happen if we correct the mistakes committed by the politicians in Hartford, especially in the last term. Let’s build a coalition across the political spectrum to bring the change that can save our state economy and its families.