Today at noon the Governor will give his annual State of the State message. We can expect more spin than a merry-go-round as the ship of State flounders rudderless in the fog of smoke and mirrors. Last year we were told the need for shared sacrifice and given the largest tax increase in Connecticut history.
Now we can look back and see where we are headed and how successful our path has been. Perhaps the best way to evaluate our situation is to look at the opinions coming from around the country. These are not the words of political foes looking for a political advantage these are actual measurements.
1. Barron’s rated Connecticut’s debt situation as the worst in the nation in 2012.
2. The Institute for Truth in Accounting ranked Connecticut’s financial status as the worst in the nation with a $49,000 debt burden per taxpayer.
3. Conning Inc.’s State of the States Municipal Credit Research Report for 2012 rank Connecticut last.
4. TopRetirement.com designated Connecticut as the worst state for retirement.
5. May 5, 2012 was Connecticut’s Tax Freedom Day the latest date in the nation according to the Tax Foundation
6. The Connecticut Council for Education Reform says we have the worst Achievement Gap in the nation.
7. The Cato Institute Fiscal Policy Report Card gave Governor Malloy an “F”.
It is no surprise that Connecticut is also near the top of the list for states people are leaving. Is there some lesson in history we can apply here to figure things out? You bet there is, just look at our cities. Our once vibrant hubs of economic opportunity have seen citizens and businesses flee the burdens of taxation and culture of dependency.
What we have done to our cities is drive away financial opportunities, and increased a culture of dependency all the while increasing the size and scope of government. We have ignored the trends of other states to open the doors of opportunity to attract business and instead blindly continue down our own road of lost opportunities. What we have done to our cities is now becoming a slow erosion to our entire State.
Today we will hear from the Governor, and our Democratic leadership in the General Assembly will pass out rose colored glasses to party members within the Assembly. Shortly after the Governor speaks we will have applause and platitudes as members seek to curry favor with false adoration.
Some of the blame for our misfortune rests within ourselves as we have re-elected the same majority that has created and continued our journey down this road. One can only wonder how bad things must become before we realize the fallacy of our ways.