Posted on February 5, 2019 by jpheasant
A month into the legislative session, “let’s have a conversation” has been the favored phrase of Democrats who control the state’s purse strings.
Unfortunately, that “conversation” has centered on proposals far afield from what’s needed to get our state’s finances back on track and our economy finally firing. Rarely has that “conversation” turned toward tackling issues driving our state’s biggest problems, such as unfunded pension liabilities. Instead, they’ve used the word to deflect hefty criticism that’s come each time they’ve unveiled ideas they say got them elected.
Many of the majority party’s early proposals have focused on taxes—yes, increasing them again! So far, they’d like to have a “conversation” about hiking the sales tax rate, creating a statewide property tax, and even taxing groceries and prescriptions. Unsurprisingly, the installation of tolls is also back on the table. There’s also a payroll tax to create a state-run family leave program, an ammunition tax, and a new urban-centric car tax that would rob suburban communities like ours of critical revenue needed to pave our roads and keep our schools performing well.
I’m all for having “conversations,” but their failure to ignore necessary budgetary changes while pushing policies that would exacerbate our state’s problems is frustrating.
If we’re serious about growing our economy, or about making our state more affordable, the legislature must entertain an altogether different “conversation” than majority legislators are used to having.
That means reducing taxes, supporting job creators, and giving municipal and school leaders a stable vision to allow them to build their budgets.
I’ll continue my efforts to turn the “conversation” in that direction, and I look forward to keeping you updated along the way.