Governor Malloy gave his inaugural address today and instantly one out of touch State Senator Edith Prague gave a dramatic comment that illustrated the very reason we find our State in what Governor Malloy called, “an economic crisis”. The new Governor was clearly sending a message that business as usual in Hartford was over and Edith Prague demonstrated with lash of her tongue exactly how we got into the crisis.
Our new Governor pointed out we have challenges to face when he said, “Today I see an economic crisis and an employment crisis, both fueled by an unfriendly employer environment, a lack of educational resources, a deteriorating transportation system, and an enormous budget crisis of historic proportions.” Governor Malloy was not shy about putting the spotlight on just how we got into this situation when he told the audience the problem exists “by a habit of political sugarcoating that has passed our problems onto the next generation.” His call to action and warning was clear when he said, “Well, ladies and gentlemen, the next generation is here.”
When asked about the day senior Democratic Senator Edith Prague (from another generation) who recently turned 85, verbalized the attitude that has led our State into the crisis Governor Malloy has inherited. Senator Prague was quoted as saying, “Today is going to be beautiful, I’ll worry about tomorrow tomorrow.” Yes that has been the attitude of too many political leaders in Hartford and Coventry. Kick the can down the street and bury their heads in the sand rather than solve the problems when they are relatively small compared to the crisis they will create.
Now our new Governor is calling for sacrifices. In the words of the Governor, “I believe the people of Connecticut are willing to make sacrifices if ‘shared sacrifice’ is really shared, that we understand where we’re going, and that it is sacrifice with a purpose.” Get ready that sounds like a warning bell for a tax increase coming soon to your household.
We as a State have ignored the warnings of previous Governors when they called for a reduction in the size of government. We have ignored the calls for smaller government and fewer mandates. We have lived above our economic capacity fueling a spiral of governmental costs and now the time is coming to pay the bills.
At 85 Edith Prague may not be worried about the problems of today and may be willing to push them off until tomorrow that’s what she has supported in the past, but there are only so many tomorrows in a lifetime. For many parents the world of tomorrow is a time of hope for their children, a time when opportunities for their children will provide a better life over the horizon, for those parents now is not the time to pass our problems to the next generation. Now is the time to face reality, to face our challenges and solve our problems.
The solutions will not be easy and we will surely not all agree on the approach but the one thing that is certain, the problems must be address now. We can not longer be known as the generation that never grew up and only played “kick the can” when challenges arose.