Connecticut’s uber-liberal Democratic governor, Dannel Malloy — reelected last year after campaigning to not raise taxes, and who last week signed a budget that raised taxes on Nutmeg State citizens by $2 billion, prompting major corporations like General Electric to threaten to pack up their headquarters and head to friendlier places — today announced that he would trim back the gargantuan tax hike by $220 million dollars, in business taxes.
There is some rejoicing at this news — a little of it understandably deserved, but much of it forest-for-the-trees misplaced. On the latter: The announcement is sure to receive liberal spinnage that Malloy’s move represents a $220 million tax cut. The word “baloney” seems appropriate here.
Should the General Assembly, in a forthcoming (still unscheduled) special session, comply with Malloy’s wish, the result, in total, will be that he and the liberal Democrats will have raised taxes by some $1.7 billion. If Malloy’s move is a tax cut it’s a Rachel Dolezal one.
Still, let’s take pleasure in this backpeddaling, because it’s not every day that sanctimonious, arrogant hacks bend to voter outrage. Deserving credit for forcing Malloy’s announcement are the citizens of Connecticut (I am one) who are in widespread outrage about the state of the economy, the recklessness of a left-careening Democrat Establishment bent on forcing businesses to vamoose, the dearth of jobs, the massive tax load, now even heavier, the Ranks-50th standing in nearly economic study. They people roared, as did GE and other Connecticut-based corporate big boys and small boys. Malloy buckled. And then there is my pal Joe Scarborough, who used Morning Joe repeatedly to mount an anti-tax crusade, bringing national attention and embarrassment to Connecticut’s basket case.
Back to dollars. The fact, grim, remains this: that for Malloy to keep his campaign pledge to not raise taxes, he would need to replicate this $220 million stunt another seven times. If he were to do that the economy of Connecticut would remain at or near the bottom of various economic indicators, giving further credence to the new unofficial state mottos of “We’re No. 50!” and “We’re No. 1 at Being the Worst!” and “Yeah, I Used to Live in Connecticut Too!” (this remains one of America’s premier states for the exodus of citizens). And Malloy and his Democrat pocket-pickers would have to enact this $220 million backpedal yet another 10 times to put Connecticut in a position where it might — might! — be considered capable of beginning an economic recovery. Even that is doubtful.
So let there be some thrill over the liberals’ brief setback and the drama that forced it. But no joy about a “cut.” Let Governor Malloy and his Democrat colleagues have sole ownership of a budget that, even less $220 million, is still massive and destructive — and a tax hike.