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On A Side Note: It isn’t Connecticut that “sucks”…

In conceding that a House vote on a tolls bill would likely not happen this year, House Speaker Joe Arsimowicz said, “When you have people that want to paint the picture that Connecticut sucks at all costs and any new thing is going to force people out of the state, it’s a tough narrative to overcome.”

With all due respect, it’s not Connecticut that “sucks,” rather it’s the way the state has been run.

It’s the fact that Connecticut’s cost of living has become an unfair burden on the people living here, it’s that no matter how much taxes go up the government still claims to be broke and wants even more tax revenue from the people.

If such a narrative exists, it is not that Connecticut “sucks at all costs,” but that Connecticut sucks because of the costs.

Frankly, it’s about time people became upset enough to push back in a significant way. The tolls argument was the perfect vehicle [no pun intended] for residents of the state to vent their collective anger over years of fiscal mismanagement.

Public policies have consequences, not just political consequences but real-life consequences for individuals and families working hard each day, driving to work, buying food, raising a family.

Connecticut is already a high cost state. Any tax on the people — no matter how small or large — eats into their ability not just to survive, but to thrive.

Life in Connecticut should not be about working hard every day so you can scrape together enough money to eat, pay taxes and then die. No. Connecticut residents want a life where there is more money in their pockets at the end of the day to do fun stuff — go to the movies, take their kids to amusement parks, go on vacation, eat at a restaurant.

Fun money equals economic activity, growth, joy. Fun money in Connecticut would mean a better life for people. It would shift the narrative.

It’s hard enough to get by in a high-cost state, adding additional taxes to the mix — whether they come in the form of tolls or right out of their paycheck — just hurts.

The Speaker decried the “misinformation” surrounding the tolls debate and has repeatedly taken issue with reports about the number of tolls gantries, how much they would cost, how much Connecticut residents would pay, etc, etc.

Leaving aside the fact that Connecticut’s Department of Transportation has already conducted studies to determine all those details, the truth is the people have had enough — they don’t want to pay any more, not one cent more — nor should they.

For example, Speaker Aresimowicz pointed out the I-84 viaduct bridge just behind the Legislative Office Building, marked with white, spray-painted “X’s” where repair work needs to be done, saying he wished someone in the media would take a picture.

CT News Junkie finally obliged him with the photos. The pro-tolls group Move CT Forward — made up of construction unions who would benefit financially from tolls and increased gas taxes — then held a press conference beneath the viaduct to be sure news cameras caught the “crumbling infrastructure” in their pictures.

But despite the repair work being done, the CT DOT confirms the viaduct is safe. Not only is it safe, the repairs being done aren’t all that expensive.

According to DOT, the repair work to the viaduct costs just under $40 million with the federal government funding 90 percent of the project. The state of Connecticut only has to pay $4 million and all those ugly spray-painted “X’s” go away.

Connecticut’s state government spends more money than that on union demands, feel-good projects and corporate giveaways without blinking an eye: lump sum payments to state employees this July will cost $104 million; the state is bailing out Hartford for $36 million every year for the next 20 years; Gov. Malloy just announced $83 million in loans and grants to Electric Boat; CTFastrak costs $18 million per year to operate.

The money is all around them, it’s just being siphoned off into whatever is politically expedient or “fun” at the time. The state government has “fun money” but the people don’t — yet some lawmakers are shocked when people get angry and speak out.

Despite the fear-mongering of collapsing bridges and crumbling streets causing car accidents, Connecticut’s DOT constantly inspects the state’s infrastructure, ensuring residents are safe to travel.

The I-84 viaduct is being repaired, but DOT notes that it will eventually need to be replaced. Proposals as to how and when to do that are still in the works. That project is many years in the future and will cost many billions.

For those big future projects, Connecticut should prioritize its spending now — not every dog-walk or bike bridge project needs to be approved; major corporations do not need taxpayer dollars; and government unions have been satiated long enough.

The time is now to change to the narrative in Connecticut. State lawmakers should either lead by reducing the tax burden, follow the people instead of their big-government puppet-masters, or just get out of the way.

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(14) Comments

  1. Nick

    May 27, 2020 9:02 am

    Bye bye Connecticut!! I have joined the group of people who have had it with your taxes and fleecing of my hard earned income. Thanks to your tax structure you forced me out. I had to leave my home, children, grand children and way of life. I no longer pay income tax on my Social security, pension, or any money from my 401k. that I withdraw. I no longer pay income tax, plastic bag tax, internet sales tax, high gas tax, prepared food tax, sales tax, should I go on, the list is huge. I live better and can use the money you believe your untitled to Connecticut for food and health insurance. Malloy was a great example of how to mismanage a state then voters voted in a governor who raised taxes again and is holding tolls over the tax payers heads. I miss immensely my family, way of life, and the pretty parts of the state but to put it nicely forced out. Keep voting the way you do Connecticut and keep getting it shoved up your back sides. I’m done bending over I’m not taking it anymore. I have more money in my pocket and basically made money moving out.

  2. Jeff

    April 24, 2020 9:49 pm

    Connecticut does suck. High taxes and over bearing government that treats it’s citizens like they are cattle to be lead around by their masters. That’s why people are moving out of this state by the droves.

  3. Mark Daniele

    April 23, 2020 10:06 pm

    Connecticut does suck it is a sanctuary state and will welcome illegals and drive out the loyal inhabitants with much pleasure and glee.If the state is blue than it is tresounous and must be abandoned.

  4. Phil

    February 13, 2020 5:43 pm

    Yes Ct. SUCKS I’ve lived here all my life , lost the American dream here and have worked 2 sometimes 3 jobs , I’m an electrician whose wages have been the same for the last ten years and am now renting , just scrape by in this state. Hope my ten year old vehicle doesn’t break down. I wish the politicians that live great lives would think about those who don’t. I’m not a rocket scientist but REALLY !! Do your job ! I do mine and pay all your ridiculous taxes that no benefits seem to develop just more and more taxation. DO YOUR JOB and stop being so greedy.

  5. Sheldon C.

    January 23, 2020 6:04 pm

    So what do you suggest? Voting does not seem to work. It only moves crap from right to left and nothing ever gets achieved. We pay more, we make less, we are not making any gains. The rich get richer, the cops get paid, as the 1% rules. Tell me what is the solution? I work fulltime, I have worked 2 jobs, nothing works.

    • Paul

      May 27, 2020 2:56 pm

      Move out.. Connecticut if full of Democrats so you can’t win. The general population is so numbed they won’t rebel. It also a sanctuary state so you supporting non working or non tax paying immigrants. If your poor or non working you have more rights than the working tax payers. The state government also hasn’t funded the pension agreement it made 40 some odd years ago. Forget it, it’s a democratic state and the liberals give give give the bank away. Moving is the only escape. That’s why Connecticut is the only New England state losing population. Wait for the tolls, with that a high motor vehicle tax and one of the highest gas taxes. You will be paying to drive to work, making a wage and paying taxes on it then driving home paying toll costs. Can’t win

  6. Paul

    November 3, 2019 7:19 pm

    I for one have had it. To put it bluntly Ct sucks and the people voting are as stupid as it gets. I’m so done here …?I was born here , lived and worked here and my life is here. I’m packed and have just moved to a income free tax state. I will never return to the tax rolls if the State of Ct. again. The golden rule should be live here then retire and move or just move and go to a more tax friendly place… Good ridden Ct.

  7. Ted

    June 12, 2019 9:33 pm

    House for sale norwalk

  8. Alexander

    June 12, 2019 9:17 pm

    D.O.C takes a huge chunk as well.. Eliminate that and ct saves ungodly money

  9. Michael

    November 7, 2018 3:47 pm

    If someone expects some fiscal responsibility from Lamont….good luck.

    Connecticut is in trouble.

  10. Frank

    August 5, 2018 3:59 am

    We are leaving the state due to the taxes. living out of motel room homeless currently. Still have to pay 1000 dollars on property tax on my car. Can not get any assistance even with health care because I work a job making minimal wages. The whole state needs to follow conservative fiscal values. Why do I have to pay some one elses misfortune when I can not even afford a good meal to eat.

    • David Pinette

      April 6, 2020 11:40 pm

      Glad I left lived there for 50 years horrible state stupid politicians with stupid ideas destroyed a once fine state ..so happy in TN

  11. James Keller

    July 3, 2018 11:31 pm

    Marc Fitch great article. your so right.. run for governor I’ll get you the votes…

    • Charles

      June 2, 2020 8:30 am

      To the author of the article, those who’ve read it and those who comment… stop voting for the people who are currently in charge! Stop voting for a political party that doesn’t care about you or your future. I must disagree with the articles author, Connecticut does suck right now, but that doesn’t mean it can’t get better. If you live in one of the cities, vote for change. If you’re looking for a better future, encourage everyone to vote for new leadership. It’s true that Connecticut is failing it’s residents, and sadly it’s also a one party state. Honestly ask yourself why they are still in power after years of failures, taxes, high crime and crumbling infrastructure. I don’t blame anyone for moving, some choose to vote with their feet. But… For everyone who decides to stay, if you continue to vote for Democrats you deserve what you get.

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