Foley and Malloy are just plain wrong on taxes

[A special note of thanks to all of you who have posted comments and sent emails of support urging me to continue writing posts Wait, What?  While I will continue to mull over the various issues and opportunities, the following is an attempt to gingerly re-enter the fray by using this blog to raise what I feel are important issues as we collectively seek to educate, persuade and mobilize the citizens of Connecticut to take back control of their state government.]

With that as the backdrop, this blog is entitled, Foley and Malloy are just plain wrong on taxes.

Governor Dannel “Dan” Malloy is fond of saying that he inherited a $3.7 billion budget deficit when he was sworn into office in January 2011.  (The number comes from reports produced by the Legislature’s independent Office of Fiscal Analysis).

The candidate who is sworn in as Governor of Connecticut in January 2015 will be facing a combined budget deficit of at least $4.8 billion over the next three years. YES – You read that number correctly.  Even after taking into consideration increased revenue from an “improving” economy, Connecticut state government will be $4.8 billion short of what is needed to maintain the present level of services and meet its present statutory obligations.

On the campaign trail, Malloy claims that there is “no deficit” in the future; these projections come from the same independent Office of Fiscal Analyses, the entity he quotes in his regular campaign stump speech.

The truth is that Connecticut continues to face a budget crisis, but rather than tell the truth about the fiscal house of cards that has been built up over the past two decades, the two major party candidates have made a calculated decision that politics trumps reality and that their best tactic is to mislead the voters in the hope that Connecticut citizens will remain docile, compliant and unaware of the fiscal crisis that will not only swallow up their economic stability but that of their children as well.

Malloy has based his campaign on a promise never to propose or accept any tax increase in a second term, while telling voters that he will not cut vital services and telling state employees that he will not need to discuss further concessions with their union leaders.

Tom Foley, in turn, has made an equally strong commitment to a “no tax” pledge” saying that he will honor the existing state employee agreement and that he will not use state employee layoffs to balance the state budget.

In a recent attempt to prove that Foley’s “no tax” pledge is bigger than Malloy’s “no tax pledge,” the Hartford Courant wrote that Foley and his running mate, Heather Somers have even launched a new online “No New Taxes Petition.”

The “I’m no tax, no I’m no tax” charade make Foley and Malloy the modern day equivalents of  Frick and Frack, the two Swiss skaters who their fame as original members of the Ice Follies,  doing ice skating tricks while wearing Lederhosen.

But if the Democrat and Republican candidates for Governor succeed in ducking the real tax issue facing the state, the people of Connecticut, especially our middle income taxpayers, will be the true losers.

The truth is that most of the expenses related to the $4.8 billion projected budget deficit over the next three years must be paid.  Neither Malloy nor Foley can wish or lie the problem away.

For example, Governor Malloy’s irresponsible borrowing policies mean that the state MUST increase its debt service payments by at least $672 million dollars over the next three years and mandatory payments to the state employee and teacher pension and healthcare funds will account for an additional $620 million.

Putting aside critically important issues like the increased costs for education, healthcare, transportation, support and services for citizens with developmental chalengees, our public colleges and universities and all the other areas of state expenditures, Malloy and Foley can pledge that they will not raise any taxes all they want, but the winner of the gubernatorial election will need to come up with $1.3 billion over the next three years just to pay the additional debt service on the state credit card and the minimum payments into the state pension and healthcare funds.

On top of which, while the “no tax” pledges sound good in a television ad, the major party candidates owe the voters a detailed list of where they are going to cut billions from the state budget and how they are going to sidestep having to sit down and talk with state employee unions about the financial crisis.

This isn’t a magic show.  It is an extremely serious decision about who will lead the state and how they will deal with the very real issue of increased taxes.

As taxpayers across Connecticut are aware…

When Malloy introduced his record-breaking tax increase in 2011, he increased the income tax rate for everyone except those making over $1 million a year.  He told a joint session of the Connecticut General Assembly that he wasn’t increasing the income tax rate on the wealthy because he didn’t want to “punish success.”

As if Connecticut’s middle class and working families weren’t the ones who really deserved to be called successful.

Furthermore, a growing number of people are aware that in Connecticut, middle income families pay about 10% of their income in state and local taxes, the poor about 12% and the wealthy about 5-6%.

When Malloy and Foley say their will not support any increase in state taxes, what they ARE saying is that the full burden for maintaining our schools and other important local services will fall on Connecticut’s already overburdened local property taxpayers.

In fact, every time a Connecticut voter hears a gubernatorial candidate say they he will not support additional taxes, they should understand that he is saying that he will continue Malloy’s strategy of coddling the rich and dumping the burden on homeowners, car owners and those who pay property taxes through increased rent.

When it comes to the 2014 gubernatorial campaign, one truth stands out.

Foley and Malloy will use their television ads to claim that they won’t raise taxes.

But there should be a huge disclaimer on those ads that should read:

If this candidate wins, vital state services will be cut and Connecticut’s middle class will be facing massive local property tax increases or face unparalleled cuts to their local public schools.

And no voter, liberal, moderate  or conservative, should cast their vote for either Malloy or Foley until each is willing to explain how they will actually deal with the fiscal realities that are facing Connecticut.

  • buygoldandprosper

    Perhaps Danny will build a bigger suggestion box that will result in more than $200M in savings?
    We have a $300M surplus so Dan can brag about that.
    And the bus to nowhere…the revenue from that could leave the state swimming in cash!
    No worries. None at all…
    Worst case? More “shared sacrifice”.

  • buygoldandprosper

    I was out of town and missed this…a must watch of Dan lying as he usually does:
    I really like one of the two “body guards” carrying Danny’s jacket. Your tax dollars, hard at work.

  • msavage

    Yay! Still blogging! This is one of the things that aggravates me about both candidates equally. They are both willing to outright LIE to the public about the serious financial situation we face. Who knows what either one will do once they actually win the election? My guess is that either will slice and dice union employees–regardless of any campaign promises. Foley might attempt to do away with unions altogether. That’s the ultimate goal, after all, of the Party of Once Percent, to which both candidates belong. If Dan wins, he’s more likely to actually get AWAY with any damage he tries to do to the middle class–because legislators, as usual, will roll over and do anything he asks of them.

    If they actually keep campaign promises and leave the unions alone, the rest of the middle class will face an increasingly heavier burden, as local property taxes increase, the price of gas, utilities, etc. increase. This will serve to further increase the animosity between the union and non-union middle class. The rest of the middle class will push back harder and harder against the unions, begin to clamor for their destruction. Eventually, the Party of One Percent gets its way.

    • X13sy5ui5i5ktykfxxxxxxxxxh

      Next year, the Governor can use the threat of defunding the unions by terminating union dues deductions from the source. Getting rid of the unions will only serve the quicken the race to the bottom, which the rich favor. If you listen to the rich, you would think that there’s class warfare against then, but actually it’s the rich against everyone else, and the rich are winning. Remember Nixon’s secret plan to get us out of Viet Nam? Weicker, Rowland and Malloy lying about their tax policies? Americans accept campaign promises on blind faith, without challenges. We need to know how Foley will flat line the budget through June 30, 2017, instead of accepting that on blind faith. We need to know how Malloy will avoid any more that increases, especially after his mostly regressive tax hikes of nearly 4 years ago. The candidates need to be candid, and the candidates need to be interviewed with specific tough questions.

      • msavage

        “We need to know how Malloy will avoid any more that increases,
        especially after his mostly regressive tax hikes of nearly 4 years ago.
        The candidates need to be candid, and the candidates need to be
        interviewed with specific tough questions.”

        Doesn’t matter what they say, what questions they’re asked, or what promises they make now. We can see the agenda laid out before us–it’s taking place all over the country. One way or another, the goal is to further erode the middle class and funnel more up to the very rich. The unions stand as one of the last barriers against doing this more efficiently. They will be trying to eliminate them in any way possible. And they’ve got a vast number of middle-class Americans brainwashed to take their side. Take a look at the comments under the articles re the protests by fast-food workers. I’ll admit–I think $15 is a bit excessive for McD’s. But a significant rate increase is clearly needed–especially within corporations where CEO’s make more than 300 times what the average worker is paid! But so many Americans would rather claw each other down rather than focusing on better pay for everyone. It’s pathetic. The oligarchs have convinced other middle-class Americans to participate in the blocking of the creation of new unions, and in calling for the destruction of existing unions.

  • JMC

    The Blue legislature writes the laws. The Blue legislature determines the budget. The governor executes (from Latin exsequor exsequi, exsecutus sum, to carry out, accomplish) the Blue legislature’s will. This has been the case for decades. It will continue to be so, and there are consequences to it. The Blue legislature taxes, spends, indebts, and entitiles. People need to stop deluding themselves and take responsibility for what they have voted for. Looking for bogeymen to blame is a cop-out. The bogeyman is in the mirror.

    • msavage

      Who are you addressing, JMC? To which “bogeymen” are you referring?

      • JMC

        Malloy, Rell, Rowland, and Foley, and anyone who has occupied, will occupy, or is occuping the seat in the branch of our State government known as The Executive.

  • buygoldandprosper

    Job creation, Malloy style…
    “REM Connecticut Community Services plans to lay off 342 employees and close group homes it operates in 18 towns by the end of this year, the agency says in a notice filed with the state Labor Department. The agency attributed the actions to dwindling state funding.”

  • R.L.

    Write it in!

  • Castles Burning

    Music to my ears (and I am sure many others’): “as we collectively seek to educate, persuade and mobilize the citizens of Connecticut to take back control of their state government.”

    May opportunities come forth that dazzle you . . .