When the Democratic Party ramped up its attacks on Russia during and immediately after the 2016 election, the rhetoric was reminiscent of that used during the Cold War. It portended the hysterical reaction being displayed by political leaders (including our own congressional delegation), the media, neo-cons, and most astonishingly, “liberals” who, after years of rejecting the duplicity of U.S. intelligence agencies and criticizing the U.S. government for its treachery in other countries, now suddenly embrace the establishment’s narrative without any thoughtful analysis.
Aaron, his mother, and I sit together in my pediatric primary care office. He is 16 years old. We discuss his sleep schedule, nutrition, and after-school activities. He’s trying out for the football team, and we talk a lot about concussion safety. He is doing well in school. His physical exam is completely normal. He’s the picture of health — normal weight, blood pressure is perfect, heart sounds are steady and regular, his muscles and joints ready for football practice. I make sure he is up to date with his immunizations. But what I don’t see in his exam —and what Aaron and I need to talk about— are the three most common causes of death in his age group: 1) accidents 2) suicide 3) homicide.
Today, Connecticut exports over $14 billion worth of goods to every part of the world, including transportation equipment, manufactured goods, electronic products and electrical equipment. The state’s major exporters include one of our premier companies, Pratt & Whitney, which employs more than 9,500 state residents with worldwide revenues topping $14 billion. Pratt’s commercial airplane engines currently power more than 25 percent of the world’s passenger aircraft fleet with customers in 160 countries.
Republicans will likely do for Connecticut what they have done for other states and at national level: namely, cut taxes for their wealthy donors, make it harder to vote, make abortion inaccessible, reduce public employee pensions, promote private schools and vouchers, bust unions, loosen gun controls, allow discrimination again, break down the wall between church and State, cut social programs including health care, but ramp up corporate welfare.
Little attention had been paid to a proposed bill — An Act Concerning Human Trafficking — that unfortunately died at the end of the 2018 Legislative Session. Given the significant attention and gains that Connecticut has made in recent years in the fight against human trafficking, it was a heartfelt defeat. For nearly a decade, Connecticut has been a leader in the nation in human trafficking reforms that better protect victims, more vigorously prosecute traffickers, and prevent continued victimization.
The governor of Massachusetts signed a bill into law recently that would create a paid family and medical leave program, which will go into effect in 2021. Massachusetts’ paid leave program is similar to one that was recently enacted in New York state, as well as a program has been proposed in the Connecticut state legislature. It is time for Connecticut to act by passing a bill during the next legislative session to create a paid family and medical leave program in our state.
The President’s war on our fundamental rights is now focused squarely on a woman’s right to choose. It comes as no surprise that a male President — distinguished by his abject disregard for women and the rights of others, generally — seeks to dismantle a well-established system of reproductive liberty and women’s self-determination that most Americans embraced for a generation.
I have long suspected that the statistics used by progressive advocates to complain about income inequality in America were either flawed or misrepresented. In the June 25 edition of the Wall Street Journal an opinion piece co-authored by Phil Gramm, a former chairman of the Senate banking committee, and Robert B. Ekelund, Jr., a professor emeritus in economics at Auburn University, bore out my suspicions.
“The US economy is creating new millionaires at an astonishing rate… more than five times the growth rate of the population” and Connecticut is at the forefront of this trend. Since 2004 the number of state tax filiers reporting annual income over one million has grown by over 3,000 and we have more billionaires than ever. Encouraging as this may seem, all the new wealth has not reversed a decade of economic contraction. Higher paying manufacturing jobs have been outsourced, replaced by jobs paying much less and this exchange has taken its toll. Connecticut has a smaller economy today than it did in 2004.
In 2014, the Department of Revenue Services released a study showing how much Connecticut residents contribute in taxes. The information is illuminating. Earners of $75,000 or less paid at least 14 percent of their income in state and local taxes. Earners of $2 million or more paid at most 6.5 percent. The reason for this inequity? Connecticut relies more heavily on property and sales taxes than other states -– two regressive taxes that hit lower income earners significantly harder than higher income earners.
Dear President Trump, when Mary got pregnant, she was an unwed teenager. Upon finding out that the woman to whom he was betrothed was pregnant, Joseph was appalled and ashamed and made a plan to send her away. After divine counseling, he reversed his decision and married her as planned. Upon giving birth, the young couple found out that the government instituted a law mandating the execution of every child born in the same timeframe as their son. To what will be a great consternation to Attorney General Sessions, they broke the law, choosing instead to smuggle their newborn son out of Bethlehem, thus joining the ranks of the poor and oppressed seeking asylum in a new country.
The legislature, and the Senate in particular, did something remarkable. They voted not to override Gov. Dannel Malloy’s veto of Public Act 18-89, an Act Concerning Classroom Safety & Disruptive Behavior, a bill which received a unanimous vote in the Senate earlier in the session. While well-meaning in its intent, if passed into law, this act would have resulted in a tremendous set-back for our state in the area of school discipline and climate and would have also led to flagrant violations of students with disabilities qualified under the Individual with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA)