Congressional Election 2016, Green Party, Pelto Congressional Election 2016, Green Party, Pelto
Wait, What? Readers:
Below is the press release that was issued this morning. Since my gubernatorial effort in 2014, I’ve learned that the only effective way to get substantive media coverage on the important issues that challenge our state and nation is to be a candidate for office. Since issues like the corporate education reform industry attack on public education and the nation’s unfair tax system that coddles the rich and burdens the middle class deserve far more attention, I have decided to run for Congress under the Green Party banner. Discussing the critical issues we face is the most important step toward educating persuading and mobilizing people to stand up and speak out. Watch for more information and a website soon. Your support and participation would be greatly appreciated.
Meanwhile, Wait, What? will continue its work.
For Release: For More Information Contact:
July 12, 2016 Jonathan Pelto 860-428-2823
Pelto to run under Green Party Banner for 2nd Congressional District Seat
Long-time education advocate and former State Representative seeks to empower voters with issue agenda
(Storrs, Connecticut) Jonathan Pelto, a public education advocate and former Connecticut state representative, announced that he will run for Congress in Connecticut’s 2nd Congressional District this year as a member of the Green Party. The Green Party’s nominating convention will be held on July 30 at Mansfield Public Library’s Buchanan Auditorium.
“I’m running for Congress as a Green Party candidate because this year’s election is so critical for sustaining the future of our democracy.” Pelto said, “I’m not running against Joe Courtney, whose performance in Congress has been extremely admirable, but to ensure that a variety of key issues are raised in this political campaign cycle. Uncontested and under-contested elections reinforce apathy, and this year, perhaps more than any other in recent memory, we need every voter to understand what is at stake and participate by voting.”
The Connecticut Green Party is the Connecticut affiliate of the Green Party of the United States. Ralph Nader, the Green Party’s Presidential candidate in 1996 and 2000, is from Connecticut and signed Jonathan Pelto’s petition to run for Governor in 2014.
“A Congress that will adopt a fair and equitable tax system that requires large corporations and the wealthy to pay their fair share, so that we can pay for vital services and reduce our national debt, is essential for securing the future of our country and create a healthier, safer and more equitable future for all of our citizens” Pelto added.
“In addition to highlighting the importance of an equitable and viable tax system, I will use this campaign to articulate an agenda that stops the privatization of public education and deals with the student debt crisis. Other critical issues include creating a more open and honest government, effective legislation that stops the wealthy from buying political decisions and laws that support, rather than undercut, renewable energy so that we can reduce the devastating effects of climate change. We must also work to convert our defense industry to develop products for commercial markets,” Pelto concluded.
Over the past ten years, Green Party members have been elected to local positions in New Haven, Windham and New London. The Connecticut Green Party holds a ballot line in the 2nd Congressional District, having received at least the required one percent of the vote in every election cycle since 2008.
“Jonathan Pelto is Connecticut’s leading voice on behalf of public education” said New London Board of Education member Mirna Martínez. “His willingness to stand up and speak out on the important issues we face will make him an outstanding candidate. We are looking forward to having him heading our Green Party slate in eastern Connecticut.”
Scott Deshefy, who gained ballot access in 2008 to become the first Green Party candidate to run in the 2nd Congressional District, added, “The Green Party is about educating and persuading voters to become better informed and more active in our democracy. Jonathan Pelto’s candidacy is a major step forward in our effort to reach more voters with our agenda of fairness, equity, social justice and grassroots democracy, which touched off the current progressive movement.”
This year’s race presents an unprecedented an opportunity to raise the visibility of the Green Party and to present sensible and humane solutions to the challenges faced by our country, state, and municipalities
“As Connecticut approaches the critically important 2018 gubernatorial campaign, the party and its Congressional candidate must receive at least one percent of the vote in the 2016 election, in order to maintain ballot access and its minor party status in the 2nd Congressional District. I hope to be able to ensure that the Green Party gets those votes” Pelto said.
Pelto, 55, has long a long record of involvement in Connecticut politics and government. Pelto was elected to the Connecticut House of Representatives in 1984, where he served five terms. During his legislature tenure he served in a variety of leadership positions including deputy majority leader of the House. In 2014 Pelto was an unsuccessful petitioning candidate for governor.
Pelto is the founder and coordinator of the Education Bloggers Network, a confederation of more than 240 pro-public education bloggers around the country. For the past six years Pelto has written the Wait, What? Blog, which is purportedly the most read commentary website in Connecticut.
Hillary Clinton, Obama, Pelto Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Obama, Pelto
“With all due respect” to Donald Trump’s supporters, there is absolutely no doubt that Trump is a sociopath, psychopathic, lunatic who would quickly destroy what is left of the fundamental ideals that produced what we nostalgically refer to as The Great United States of America.
That said, for a clue about the Trump juggernaut, one need only read the Washington Post’s article entitled, Charting Trump’s rise through the decline of the middle class. The Post wrote,
“For anyone trying to understand the emergence of Donald Trump as a force in this pre-election year, the Pew Research Center this past week provided some valuable insight. There’s little doubt that what has happened to America’s middle class has helped to create the climate that has fueled Trump’s sudden rise.”
The entire political dynamic is, of course, more complex than can be explained by a single circumstance but there is a disturbing truism about Trump and the Middle Class that can’t be denied.
Trump taps into the bitterness about what can best be described as people’s hatred of “politics as usual.
It is a form of politics we know well here in Connecticut.
Eight years ago, in April 2008, before Barak Obama upended Hillary Clinton’s campaign for President, I wrote a “controversial” commentary piece in the Hartford Courant that led the editorial section that day and generated a good deal of backlash from the power elite.
At the time I was actually a Hillary Clinton supporter, having had the extraordinary opportunity to sit down with her on two occasions to talk policy and politics. Then, as now, there are few that can deny she is extraordinarily prepared to serve as our nation’s President.
But in April 2008, in comment that turned out to be surprisingly controversial, candidate Obama observed that “economically frustrated people in small towns are bitter…”
The comment generated harsh attacks from Hillary Clinton, John McCain and the political establishment.
For her part, Clinton blasted Obama saying, “Sen. Obama’s remarks are elitist, and they are out of touch.” The attacks continued and Obama ended up “walking back” his comments.
As we now know, Obama went on to win and has done a pretty good job keeping the status quo intact.
At the time, I found the whole political debate bizarre considering there were, in fact, lots of middle class people who were angry and bitter about the way the way the rich were getting richer at the Middle Class’s expense and that some of those people, like myself, lived in small towns.
The commentary piece I wrote may be as “timely” today as the day it was published – April 20, 2008.
The editorial was entitled, BITTER? YOU BET!
OUR POLITICAL LEADERS SEEM UNABLE TO GRASP, LET ALONE SOLVE, THE ECONOMIC PROBLEMS CONFRONTING CONNECTICUT AND THE NATION.
Hey, over here – I’m bitter!
The presidential candidates, political pundits and media have plunged themselves into a fevered debate about Barack Obama’s recent comments observing that some hardworking Americans are bitter.
Although I can’t speak for the small-town people of Pennsylvania, I can certainly report that as far as I’m concerned, I’m bitter and getting more bitter by the day.
In fact, as a middle-income American, I’m not only bitter, I’m angry and disappointed as well. Political pandering, mediocrity and incompetence on the national and state levels are undermining many of the fundamental values that we middle-income Americans hold dear, while threatening the economic vitality and viability of our country and our state and undermining the economic health of many of our families.
The damage from failed leadership is evident throughout the political process and across the political spectrum. Perhaps most clearly of all, it can be seen right here in Connecticut, where our state is losing its competitive edge while our leaders are unable or unwilling to confront the challenges of the 21st century.
Take the Connecticut economy. For the 40 years leading up to 1990, Connecticut’s job growth was impressive, but since then, the complete failure of our state to develop a coherent and effective economic development strategy has had devastating consequences.
From 1989 to 2005, while the nation witnessed job growth of 24 percent, the number of jobs in Connecticut dropped by 0.2 percent, placing us dead last – 50th – in the nation in job growth.
As of late 2006, the number of nonfarm jobs in Connecticut was only about 5,400 more than in 1988. Incredibly, according to the Connecticut Economic Resources Center, “Connecticut is notable as the only state in the nation with negative business growth between 1989 and 2004.”
The state’s failure has damaged families across the economic scale. Over the past 15 years, the income gain for Connecticut’s middle-income families (the middle 20 percent) was barely half the national average, which ranked us 49th worst in the country as measured by the change in average real income.
Although it’s true that some of Connecticut’s wealthiest families have done just fine over the past decade and a half, the level of income inequality between Connecticut’s top- and middle-income families, as well as the income disparity between Connecticut’s top and bottom families, increased more than in any other state in the country.
Rather than step forward with vision and courage, Connecticut has responded to these economic challenges with an extraordinary and mind-numbing failure to make the right policy decisions. Instead of addressing the unfairness of Connecticut’s tax structure, state leaders have made our tax system even more regressive, which in turn has placed an even greater burden on hardworking families.
Lest we forget, the state has raised the gross receipts tax on gasoline four times over the past four years. In addition to the 25 cents per gallon state tax on gasoline, the state charges an additional 7 percent (which equals about 21 cents a gallon).
Then, to add insult to injury, more than half a billion dollars of the revenue from that expanded gross receipts tax that has been raised since 2000 wasn’t even used to upgrade our failing transportation infrastructure, but was dumped into the state’s general fund.
However, it is hard to imagine anything more troubling then the state’s decision to saddle our state, our taxpayers and our children with an extraordinary level of irresponsible and crippling state debt.
Today, Connecticut’s state government faces long-term obligations and indebtedness of more than $54 billion.
Excessive borrowing and the failure to set aside sufficient funds to pay for future costs associated with state employee and teacher pensions, as well as health and retirement benefits, means that a future bill of unimaginable proportions awaits us all. The cost, as of now, is about $15,500 for every man, woman and child in our state.
Imagine that in addition to all of their other troubles, the average middle-income family of four in Connecticut has an “outstanding debt” to the state exceeding $60,000 – on top of their existing annual tax obligations.
Regardless of what Sen. Obama really meant by his recent comments, it strikes me as quite obvious that many families, lower- and middle-income alike, are undoubtedly bitter.
Let’s face it: In addition to the challenges associated with our sub-rate economy, Connecticut families are struggling to pay mortgage and health care bills, while trying to figure out how to pay for the increased costs of gasoline, home heating, electricity and local property taxes (not to mention the problems associated with having to cope with the obscene costs of getting their children a college education).
It’s enough to make anyone bitter.
Jonathan Pelto is a former state representative from Storrs.
Education Reform, Pelto, Thomas Scarice Superintendent of Madison, Wendy Lecker, Yohuru Williams Corporate Education Reform Industry, Pelto, Thomas Scarice, Wendy Lecker, Yohuru Williams
In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act. – George Orwell
Hosted by Robert Hannafin, Dean of Fairfield University’s Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions comes a unique opportunity to hear from Wendy Lecker, Jonathan Pelto, Madison School Superintendent Thomas Scarice and nationally renowned Education expert and advocate Yohuru Williams.
In their one and only joint appearance
March 31, 2015
6:30 p.m. -8:00 p.m.
Barone Campus Center
Open to the public and free [Very much the corporate education reform industry]
CT MIRROR, Malloy, Pelto, State Budget, State Deficit, Taxes CT Mirror, ctcapitolreport, Malloy, Pelto, State Budget, State Deficit, State Taxes
While some tend to fall back on the phrase, “I told you so” much too often, the truth is that rarely does one get a chance to point to someone else confirming an individual’s claim that that they really were right when others were wrong….
So with that as the backdrop and propelled by an opportunity to brag, tempered by an appropriate dose of humility, I am proud to report that ctcapitolreport, the state’s leading news aggregation website, is sporting a headline that reads – The Oracle: Pelto: Told you so…
The reference is to my long-standing and on-going observation that in order to balance next year’s Connecticut state budget, provide sufficient revenue to fund critical services and begin to reduce the unfair tax burden on Connecticut’s middle class, Connecticut’s elected officials must find the courage to actually do what is necessary and that means appending Connecticut’s tax code to require that the state’s wealthy begin to pay their fair share of taxes.
Longer term Wait, What? readers will recall that this blog does cover issues other than the unfair, inappropriate and discriminatory Common Core Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) Testing Scheme.
In fact, another primary focus of this blog has traditionally been Connecticut’s irresponsible fiscal policies that have resulted in a truly regressive tax system in which the state’s lowest income families pay about 12 percent of their income in state and local taxes, the middle class pay about 10 percent of their income in state and local taxes and the wealthy, who have been coddled by both Democrats and Republicans, only pay about 5 to 6 percent of their income in state and local taxes.
While the inequities in Connecticut’s tax system have been growing for decades, the problem has become particularly severe as a result of Governor Dannel Malloy’s unending fiscal gimmicks and his unprecedented dedication and addiction to irresponsible fiscal policies.
The article the website www.ctcapitolreport.com is referring to is a news story posted early today by Connecticut’s premier budget reporter, Keith Phaneuf of the CTMirror.
Phaneuf has written another MUST READ story for those who want to understand Connecticut’s state budget and how Governor Dannel Malloy lied his way through the 2014 gubernatorial campaign by claiming there was no state deficit and that if he was re-elected we would eliminate the projected $1.4 billion projected deficit for next year without having to raise taxes or cut services.
Keith Phaneuf’s latest article is entitled “Tax hike ideas abound at the Capitol,” and can be found at: http://ctmirror.org/2015/03/23/tax-hike-ideas-abound-at-the-capitol/
The CT Mirror piece concludes with the following;
Former state Rep. Jonathan Pelto, D-Mansfield, who tried unsuccessfully to petition onto the 2014 gubernatorial ballot, predicted last summer that the big budget deficits projected for the next two fiscal years would eventually force a progressive income tax debate this spring.
“Requiring the wealthy to pay their fair in state income tax is the only responsible way to balance the state budget and begin to reduce the heavy and inappropriate burden on Connecticut’s middle-income taxpayers,” Pelto said last week. “Failure to require the rich to pay their fair share will mean unacceptable cuts in vital services and hurting the middle class and all working families by shifting even more of the tax burden onto local property taxpayers.
Or, in other words, “I told you so.”
Pelto, Wait What? Pelto, Wait What?
With no operating funds from big corporations, foundations, unions or advocacy groups, Wait, What? has been a four year journey funded by personal saving and contributions from some generous readers.
But truth be told, I need your help to keep Wait, What? active and continuing its mission of educating, persuading and mobilizing people on a series of vital issues that impact our nation, state and communities.
Maybe you could dedicate your donation in honor of our surviving #Blizzard2015 or #StormJuno
Or maybe you could donate as part of your on-going commitment to supporting citizen journalism and the role we play in providing The People with the truth about what is happening in their government.
Or maybe you could donate based on your belief that we must continue to push back against the Corporate Education Reform Industry and ensure that the word “public” is truly part of “Public Education.”
Whatever reason you choose, the fact is your financial support is needed.
The time and money to keep Wait What? doing what it does best —– is extensive.
I recognize that that most people don’t have a lot of disposable income these days to donate to vital causes, but your help and support is critically important and truly appreciated.
Please consider making a donation to support the Wait, What? Blog
You can donate on–line by going to: https://fundly.com/wait-what-2015-winter-request
Or you can donate via check; Made out to Wait, What? and sent to Wait, What? c/o Jonathan Pelto, PO Box 400, Storrs, CT. 06268
Contributions are not tax-deductible, but they go a very long way toward helping with the maintenance of Wait, What?
Thank you so much,
Please take a moment today and click on the following link to make a donation: https://fundly.com/wait-what-2015-winter-request?
Pelto, Wait What? Pelto, Wait, Wait What?
Thanks to the extraordinary generosity of those who have provided financial support for Wait, What? – Along with all the people who have read and participated in the dialogue – The Wait, What? blog has become a leading news and commentary site.
The 1,820 blog posts since January 3, 2011 have attracted over 1.6 million visits and an incredible 23,000 comments.
Thanks to all of you, the blog has become a prime example of the importance of investigative blogging, advocacy journalism and the role social media can play in helping to educate, persuade and mobilize people to stand up and speak out about the important issues of our time.
While the primary focus of the blog has been the on-going effort to push back against the corporate education reform industry and re-take public control of public education, we’ve collectively dealt with an impressive array of issues.
The first blog on Wait, What? was entitled “MIND THE GAAP – Confronting the Cost of Fiscal Honesty 1/3/11).” Less than a week later, the blog of the day was, “Grappling with Connecticut’s Budget Crisis – Part I: What about Education Funding? (1/7/11).”
The article ended with the observation;
“After pledging during the campaign that he would maintain state funding for local education, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy backed off a bit Thursday, saying that is “a goal” that he will “try and accommodate.”
“That’s a goal that I have when preparing the budget,” he said during his first press conference after taking office. “There are many goals that I have. We are going to try and accommodate all of them,”
While some things haven’t changed, other things have. That post failed to generate a single comment and only a handful of visitors stopped by to read it.
Now, with tens of thousands of visitors a month, an individual blog post can generate dozens and dozens of comments.
With 2015 underway, I hope to ensure that Wait, What? becomes an even more vital and important part of the public debate.
And so, I turn to all of you, again.
Over the four years, many of you have made a contribution to help support Wait, What?
And many provided financial support to my campaign as well.
I truly appreciate each and every one of those contributions for they have provided me with a truly unique opportunity to be heard on many of the issues we care so deeply about.
I know that these are difficult financial times for many of us and that the notion of financial security remains out of reach for many, but whatever financial support you could provide would be extremely helpful as I strive to use Wait, What? as a platform to provide news and commentary about the issues of our time.
A donation will help strengthen Wait, What? and the role of advocacy and investigative journalism in Connecticut.
You can donate on-line here:
Or, if you would prefer, donations can also be made by check. Checks should be made out to Wait, What? and sent to Wait, What? c/o Jonathan Pelto, PO Box 400, Storrs, CT. 06268
Contributions are not tax-deductible, but they go a very long way toward help with the maintenance of Wait, What?
Thanks so much,
Your help would be greatly appreciated https://fundly.com/wait-what-2015-winter-request?
Pelto, Truthout Pelto, Truthout
Honored to have my 1st article published in the national website Truthout:
Pelto, Wait What? Pelto, Wait What?
For nearly four years I have written and maintained the Wait, What? Blog as a vehicle to challenge the status quo and try, as best I could, to inform, educate and persuade my fellow citizens to question authority and demand better from those who hold positions of power in and outside of government.
In January of 2011, one of my first posts outlined the primary purpose behind Wait, What? – which was and remains – a belief that we must hold our own (in this case Democrats) to the same standards that we would hold our opponents.
Over the course of 1,761 posts, 26,778 comments and more than 1.5 million visits to this blog, I have tried to remain true to that purpose.
Many people have used their comments to add vitally important information to the discussion, others have simply added their support or observations, and some have vehemently criticized and condemned the content of some articles or the value and intent of the blog itself.
A common refrain has been that by criticizing Malloy and Democrats, among others, I have been siding with the enemy and promoting the success of the Republicans and those who are even more out of step with the needs of our citizens and our society.
As a true believer in our Constitution and the Bill of Rights, I fundamentally respect everyone’s right to articulate their beliefs. That said, skimming back over the many blog posts, I will stand my ground and say that I have not wavered from my belief that we must hold our own to the same standards we hold our opponents and that the transgressions and errors that I have consistently sought to challenge deserved the attention and light of day that I have tried to provide.
We know that real change is not easy. By its very design our government is slow and often cumbersome. While there are sometimes benefits to the notion that a steady pace wins the race, the problems facing our state, country and citizens are growing exponentially and our window of opportunity to change course is closing.
As regular readers of this blog know, a common practice has been to seek out and use a quote that helps to clarify and amplify the points I am working to highlight. With that in mind, I turn once again to one of the greatest Americans in history, Martin Luther King, Jr. who said,
“We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked and dejected with a lost opportunity. The “tide in the affairs of men” does not remain at the flood; it ebbs. We may cry out desperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is deaf to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residue of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words: ‘Too late.”
King opened that speech by reminding his audience and the world that, “A time comes when silence is betrayal.”
I believe that we have reached that time and then some.
There are many battles ahead.
I am not sure to the extent that the Wait, What? blog will be part of the dialogue. As of today I am putting the blog on “pause” as I tackle some other anti-corporate education reform industry projects and consider various options for restructuring Wait, What?
But I have learned much from this process and assure my readers, both supporters and opponents, that I will continue to do all I can to raise awareness of the problems we face and force the changes we need in order to beat back those who seek to destroy the middle class, create a permanent underclass and continue their efforts to undermine the most basic values that are should be guiding our government and society.
I am but a foot soldier in this larger battle, nothing more. But like all good foot soldiers, I will not be dissuaded for doing all I can to do my part in the effort to create the change we need.
While I recognize that my posts have generated insults, condemnation and even blacklisting from groups and individuals who claim to be the “true” representatives of the people, I honestly believe that I am doing what I can to stand up and speak out about the important issues and challenges we face.
It cannot be compared in any way to what I’ve personally witnessed, for this battle here is minor compared to the truly greater battles that have taken place in our nation’s history, but I can’t help but be reminded by what occurred to Martin Luther King Jr. when he spoke out against the Vietnam War in his famous speech at New York’s Riverside Church on April 4, 1967.
In an editorial in the Washington Post two days later, the newspaper wrote that by opposing the Vietnam War and speaking out against our nation’s constant use of war, violence and destruction, King “has done a grave injury to those who are his natural allies … and … an even graver injury to himself.”
The Washington Post added “Many who have listened to him with respect will never again accord him the same confidence. He has diminished his usefulness to his cause, to his country and to his people. And that is a great tragedy.”
Thus has been the message to those who seek to speak the truth and seek to force a true accounting of the problems we face and the solutions our citizens need and deserve.
It has always been that way and it will undoubtedly continue to be that way, but no matter how small our contribution may be to the greater effort, we must never shy away from standing up and speaking out.
I close this chapter by thanking all of you who have been part of Wait, What? and my associated activities these past few years.
I look forward to continuing to work with you in the months and years to come.
For as I am especially fond of saying to those who criticize our work, upset now?
Just wait for “We have not yet begun to fight!”
Your thoughts, advice, guidance and suggestions are always welcome,
And thank you for all that you have done, all you are doing and all you have yet to do in the future,
Foley, Gubernatorial Election 2014, Joe Visconti, Malloy, Pelto Foley, Gubernatorial Election 2014, Malloy, Pelto, Visconti
With Malloy and Foley having now spent in excess of $30 million to destroy each other and mislead voters, the crushing weight of the corrupt, entrenched and out-of-touch political system has claimed another victim. Earlier today, petitioning candidate Joe Visconti has dropped out of the race of governor and endorsed Tom Foley. If you feel comfortable with the major party candidates, I urge you to vote accordingly on Tuesday, Election Day. However, for those who believe we deserve better or want to send a message to the power elite, I invite you to darken in the bubble that says Write-in Candidate for Governor and then write in the name Pelto or Pelto/Murphy.
“Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone,
you will cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.”
— John Quincy Adams
When assessing the last four years and examining the positions taken by Malloy and Foley during this year’s gubernatorial campaign, the truth is that no matter who wins on Tuesday, the burden to do what is right for the people of Connecticut will rest in the hands of a Democratic legislature. They will either rise to the occasion or they will not. So for those mulling over whom to vote for… If you believe that our elected officials need to stop their unwarranted assault on teachers and the teaching profession, feel free to write in the name Pelto. If you believe the state must derail the Common Core and its unfair, expensive and discriminatory Common Core Standardized Testing Scheme, feel free to write in the name Pelto. If you believe we must push back the corporate education reform industry that seeks to privatize our public schools and replace them with unaccountable charter schools that refuse to educate their fair share of Latinos, students who face language barriers and children who require special education assistance, feel free to write in the name Pelto. If you believe our government must stop coddling the rich and reduce the tax burden on the middle class by requiring the wealthy to pay their fair share of taxes, feel free to write in the name Pelto. If you believe our state must put an end to the outrageous use of corporate welfare and stop giving our scarce taxpayer resources to wealthy corporations, feel free to write in the name Pelto. If you believe that those elected to office must settle the critically important CCEJF v. Rell school funding lawsuit and develop a fair and constitutional school funding formula that will end the pressure on local property taxpayers, feel free to write in the name Pelto. If you believe the time has come to demand that those in office must stop using budget gimmicks and adopt a fair, honest and effective state budget that truly reduces the long-term debt that will destroy our children’s opportunities, feel free to write in the name Pelto. If you feel that we must rid the political system of tainted campaign money and hold those who have violated the spirit and law of Connecticut’s campaign finance laws accountable for their actions, feel free to write in the name Pelto. If you believe our citizens deserve access to an affordable system of public colleges and universities and you oppose what have been the deepest cuts in history to UConn, CSU and our community colleges over the past four years, feel free to write in the name Pelto. Or if you simply feel that enough is enough and that our political leaders have lost their way, feel free to write in the name Pelto for Governor. Because sometimes standing up and being counted is what is most important. And if you intend to write in the name Pelto, please take a moment over the next 48 hours to urge your friends, families, colleagues and neighbors to do the same.
Paid for by Pelto 2014, Ted Strelez, Treasurer, Christine Ladd, Deputy Treasurer, Approved by Jonathan Pelto
Gubernatorial Election 2014, Joe Visconti, Malloy, Pelto, State Budget, Taxes, Tom Foley Foley, Gubernatorial Election 2014, Malloy, Pelto, State Budget, Taxes, Visconti
In a September 3, 2014 Wait, What? post entitled, Foley and Malloy are just plain wrong on taxes, the blog explained that Malloy and Foley are being fiscally irresponsible with their pledge not to propose raising taxes if they are elected. The article begins with the following;
Although 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 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 it is needed to maintain the present level of services and meet its present statutory obligations.
As a result of Governor Malloy’s irresponsible borrowing policies, the state MUST increase its debt service payments by at least $672 million dollars over the next three years. The additional mandatory payments for the state employee and teacher pension and healthcare funds will require an additional $620 million.
And that doesn’t even count the minimum increases needed to maintain the most vital state services.
There is absolutely no way to balance Connecticut’s state budget without additional taxes. The question is not whether we will have tax increases, but who will be providing that additional state revenue.
Furthermore, by pledging not to “raise” taxes at the state level, there will be no meaningful state increase in state aid to municipalities and that will translate into massive increases in local property taxes, as towns face the growing costs of education, public safety and other local services.
While Malloy and Foley can try and claim they won’t raise taxes, by forcing higher local property taxes, the two major party candidates will – in fact – be raising taxes that disproportionately hit middle-income families and small business that are particularly hurt by the way in which Connecticut raises revenue at the local level.
But Malloy and Foley’s “no-tax” pledge is even more unfair than it seems because they are promising to maintain the existing tax system that coddles the rich.
As the non-partisan CT Voices for Children has reported;
- In Connecticut, wealthy residents pay a smaller share of their income in state and local taxes than the rest of us, while families raising children are uniquely hurt by Connecticut’s present tax system.
- After federal income tax deductions, Connecticut’s wealthiest families pay an average of 5.5% of their income in state and local taxes, while the middle class pay 10.5%, and the poor pay 11% of their income in state and local taxes.
- In addition, Connecticut is one of only two states that make no adjustment in their income taxes for the cost of raising children. A family with $60,000 of income with three kids owes the same as the family with $60,000 of income and no kids. It is a tax policy that is hardly pro-child.
The candidates for governor who have made a “no tax pledge” is not only being fiscally irresponsible, but is sending a loud and clear message to Connecticut’s middle class. What Malloy and Foley are saying is that not only are they refusing to take responsibility for properly running the state of Connecticut, but they are admitting that they will be leaving Connecticut’s unfair tax structure in place while increasing the burden on local property taxpayers.
As of now, the Democrat and Republican candidates for governor have made a strong case for why they SHOULD NOT BE ELECTED. Only 3rd Party candidates Joe Visconti (and I) have had the courage and wisdom to admit that the next governor needs to keep all the tools of governance on the table.
It is time for Malloy and Foley to admit their no-tax pledge is bad fiscal policy.
Or worse, while they know that additional taxes will be needed to balance the state budget and reduce the burden on the middle class, they’ve decided to lie rather than tell the truth in an attempt to get elected.
Paid for by Pelto 2014, Ted Strelez, Treasurer, Christine Ladd, Deputy Treasurer, Approved by Jonathan Pelto