Letter: Misleading GOP Viewpoint

To the Editor:

In his GOP Viewpoint column on Sept 6, Joe Savino paints a dire, Trumpian portrait of our state. In a true smorgasbord of misery he cites a number sources or lists in which Connecticut places at or near the bottom of the 50 states. Among those are the Mercatus Institute, ALEC (the American Legislative Exchange Council), the CATO Institution and the Tax Foundation, all saying how horrible CT is. There is no question that CT has problems, but GOP “solutions” will make them worse.

When citing sources it’s always a good idea to know something about them. The Mercatus Institute, ALEC and the rest are closely aligned with Charles Koch, who is not reticent about spending vast amounts of money to promote a pretty extreme agenda. One of the problems of having more money than God is that 1) people tell you how smart you are, and 2) you believe them. The fact that his political agenda of reducing taxes and regulations benefits his business interests is probably just a coincidence.

And right on cue, the CT GOP candidates have called for eliminating the state income tax, the estate tax, and corporate taxes. They claim that adding $10 billion to the deficit won’t matter because economic growth will make up for it. It won’t. The GOP wants to do in CT what they did in Louisiana, Kansas and Oklahoma. In each of those states huge tax cuts severely damaged their governments, especially their education systems.

CT, by contrast, ranks in the top 5 in educational attainment (percentages with bachelor's or advanced degrees.)

The effects of a $10 billion cut in state revenue would be severe. By way of illustration, the single largest state expenditure is for transportation, at $9.1 billion. If you zeroed out every penny spent on roads and bridges, it still wouldn’t cover the revenue shortfall. And we would all have to learn to love potholes.

Arnold DiLaura

First Lane, Sept. 10