What’s at stake in the race for lieutenant governor

Two hours before dawn on August 22, 1991, a tie vote in the state Senate was broken by Lowell Weicker’s lieutenant governor, whose action guaranteed that a state income tax would be imposed on the people of Connecticut. The spending spree enabled by that infamous vote was the chief cause of our subsequent economic decline.  Since the tax took effect, we rank dead last in economic growth among the 50 states. It matters who breaks ties in the Connecticut Senate.

Connecticut’s pension problems come from over-promising, not underfunding

Based on a new study by Wirepoints released in June, Connecticut once again makes the rogue’s gallery of pensions for state employees. Most analyses of pensions focus on the unfunded liability – amounts due for which no funds have been provided.  This type of analysis leads to the logical conclusion that more funding – more taxpayer dollars – is required to close the funding gap. Connecticut’s current governor and legislature have indeed been very good at raising taxes – the largest increases in our history over the last few years – but still unfunded pension obligations continue to grow.

Trump’s trade war threatens Connecticut’s fragile economy

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.

Tong: I will oppose the assault on women’s reproductive rights

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.

Three key tax reforms to help make Connecticut more fair

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.

Pistone: ‘I’m too conservative for the Connecticut Republican Party’

After careful deliberation, I have decided to pursue a run for the United States Congress in the 5th Congressional District of Connecticut as an independent conservative candidate. My decision came as a result of my conservative views that are not aligned with the Connecticut Republican party, who believe I am “too conservative” besides being an outsider who is willing to challenge the status quo.

XL Center area development needs discussion — not eminent domain threat

It seems that Sen. Len Fasano and his Republican caucus prevented the Capitol Region Development Authority from pulling a fast one last month. Word surfaced on Tuesday the 22nd that the CRDA planned to initiate action at its meeting later that week to seize by eminent domain the section of the XL Center owned by Northland Investment Corp.  A letter from Fasano and other Senate Republicans led the CRDA to remove the proposal from its agenda.

Let’s make Connecticut’s attorney general part of the solution

Connecticut’s Office of Attorney General should model integrity, fairness, and inspire respect for the law. Our courts, the judicial process, and law enforcement officials are vital. They need a strong advocate. Incredibly, a Republican has not won the Office of Attorney General in Connecticut since 1954!  But this year, change is critical to restore our state’s economic competitiveness. And that requires a new brand of leadership from the attorney general.

What’s next for CT’s unfunded pensions, since the legislature did nothing

Connecticut’s unfunded pensions for state employees – about $127 billion in debt borne by today’s taxpayers – are much talked about.
As the legislative session ended, once again, nothing was done to stem the continuing losses and increasing debt payments.  Those who blocked reform may think they won, but the victory is truly Pyrrhic. Likely consequences?

If taxes are raised again, expect to see more and more people moving out of the state.

‘Busway to Nowhere’ is exhibit A in fight against idealogues

I used to be known for fighting Lowell Weicker’s state income tax, that grand error that set us on our road to economic ruin. The sight of the crowd at the Axe the Tax rally —65,000 citizens standing up for common sense– was the defining vision of my political life. Powerfully as the people responded, we lost that battle. I believed then as I do now, that taxes must not be raised, for government has grown far too large, expensive, and intrusive.  Throughout my time in the Senate I have opposed taxes absolutely, yet it’s not for that I am best known.

Let’s decriminalize work and seeing our children

We got rid of debtors’ prisons centuries ago, yet why do we allow the state to imprison our fellow citizens for working? As you know, we have licensing laws for many professions and for many of those professions that is a good thing. It is the extent to which we have licensing that sometimes raises an issue as special interests such as the profession itself or the trade schools get more restrictive rules imposed by the legislature to limit competition or enrich themselves at the expense of the citizen who only wants to work.

Time to confront Connecticut’s looming financial crisis

Here we go again. Less than a year after a record 123 days without a budget, the legislature careens towards yet another budget crisis with 11th-hour negotiations and no clear path forward for addressing Connecticut’s looming financial crisis. Regardless of this year’s “fix,” the next governor and legislature will face a gaping $5 billion hole for the next two years that threatens our families, our jobs, and our employers. Last year’s crisis gave us a preview of what is in store if we stay on the current path: cuts to towns for police; cuts to education for our children; and cuts to programs that support the most vulnerable in our state.