Voting For Jobs, But Where Does It End?
By Mitch Bolinsky
To the Editor:
On Wednesday September 28, the Connecticut General Assembly was in special session. In this session I voted in favor of a $220 million agreement with Lockheed-Martin to keep the Sikorsky Aircraft helicopter business growing for the sake of good Connecticut jobs, the continued well-being of supply chain companies, and for thousands of Main Street businesses - from eateries to retail stores, service providers to local social service agencies - that would be adversely impacted if this critical helicopter contract were to be lost to another state; because, as it turns out, building a new class of heavy-lift helicopters in Connecticut will cost $400 million more than if Lockheed-Martin were to build them in another state. Voting to save this premier manufacturer's presence in our state was the right thing to do, albeit for the wrong reasons.
That being said, I have serious reservations about setting this deal as precedent for other companies in Connecticut. Making special deals behind closed doors, with no public hearings or process is fundamentally wrong. It looks like the dealmakers are trying to hide something. It's also not fair to other employers, innovators, and especially the individual taxpayers of our state who struggle each day under the burden of runaway taxes.
At the opening of 2017's legislative session, we must immediately set our minds to reforming tax policy in this state to make it fair for all and supportive of sustainable, organic economic growth. What made Connecticut an economic powerhouse in the 20th century was our status as an affordable place to live, work, build a business, and innovate. Twenty-five years of uncontrolled spending, taxing, and over-regulating at the hands of our state's majority party has brought us to our knees. Today's Connecticut is not competitive, leaving us to borrow money we do not have to cut special deals when a good employer threatens to leave.
I voted for this "deal" even though it felt a little like extortion. To every person reading this, I implore you to hold our governor and entire legislature, including myself, accountable to doing the right things for the right reasons, without the appearance of back room deals. You should demand of your state that it finally recognize that our high taxes, high cost of living, and aging transportation infrastructure have led us to this position of weakness. Connecticut has passed the tax-tipping point and must stop playing defense as we experience the declining revenue that has resulted from taxing people and employers out of the state.
It is time to go on the offense and fix the root problem before these kinds of deals become the norm and the Democrat majority turns back to their playbook of more borrowing, more tax increases, and the inevitable resulting declines in revenue to pay for these deals. It's time to holler "Enough!"
Cut taxes and recreate a Connecticut that is affordable, draws people, jobs, and affords us all with the quality of life we deserve.
Representing Newtown's 106th District
Connecticut General Assembly ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ October 2, 2016