If insanity can be defined as doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result, the governor of my home state of Connecticut, Dannel Malloy, should get his head checked.
Within a month of taking office in 2011, Malloy called for the largest tax increase in state history to close a multi-billion-dollar state deficit. His Democratic legislative allies delivered the hike, along with the spending increase he also requested.
Four years later, faced with a comparable deficit, Malloy offered the same prescription: a multi-billion dollar tax increase and more state spending. Democratic legislators once again obliged.
Two years after that, when 2017 brought yet another deficit, the General Assembly delivered a tax increase and a spending boost without any prompting from Malloy. Republican cooperation meant the tax hike was smaller (hundreds of millions instead of billions), but state spending levels remained liberal (up nearly 9 percent from 2015), and the governor signed the General Assembly’s bill into law.
That was eight weeks ago. Now the current year’s budget is over $200 million in the red, and the shortfall in the next biennial budget promises to be the largest yet: over $4 billion. Our state’s economy is collapsing before our eyes — and what does Malloy propose? More hikes, this time to the sales tax, the cigarette tax, and the real-estate-conveyance tax, as well as entirely new taxes on hotel rooms and e-cigarettes.
If that’s insanity, it is not confined to Malloy. The left wing of his party demands ever-higher taxes on top earners, ignoring the exodus of wealth such increases have caused. The fact is that Connecticut’s wealthiest residents are moving away, and taking billions of dollars of income with them. Our most promising youths, our most innovative entrepreneurs, our most iconic businesses, our parents, grandparents, neighbors, friends, children, and families are moving away, too. Who can blame them?
Doctors for centuries bled their patients as a form of treatment. Of course it didn’t work, but what doctor committed to the practice could acknowledge even to himself the harm he had caused? Likewise, the politicians who bleed us through taxation refuse to recognize the injury they have inflicted on our economy. Instead they wish to bleed us more, even as the pulse of industry in our state fades away.
Committed liberals simply cannot change their minds. If we want a different direction for our state, we must elect new leaders. Given our history over the last couple of decades, citizens who vote Democrat can count on more spending and higher taxes; expecting any other result would be insane.