Carol’s Column: Just Looking Out For #1
Sitting in our family room last night, my eyes fell on a pair of upholstered chairs routinely occupied by my husband and son. The arms of both have grown frayed and a little shabby over time – but they’re like old friends; as a tiny boy, my son would jump and crawl off the sides of his chair pretending to be a superhero. Having them re-covered will mark a bittersweet milestone.
Even so, it would be a good time to have it done, I thought. The upholsterers must need the business right now. I remember so fondly the day they were delivered: A small business, run by two young brothers, proudly delivered the chairs not long after we moved into our home. One of the men had just had a baby girl; he showed me her picture after placing our son’s chair near the window. Last night, I looked at the chair and wondered: has that little family business even survived?
As too many politicians preen and posture in the Capitol today, I think of those two hardworking craftsmen. And I wonder what they think of what’s going on in Hartford. I wonder if they’re as outraged by it as I am.
Look at the agenda and ask yourself: What, exactly, does anything being done up there accomplish for regular people trying to earn a living and just get by?
Struggling with soaring electricity rates, high property taxes, and with more than half a million state residents thrown out of work through the governor’s executive orders during the pandemic, ordinary taxpayers across Connecticut have been treated with nothing but contempt by their state government (at least the feds came up with the Paycheck Protection Program). Even as state government workers – who never missed a paycheck throughout the spring — were treated to their second 5.5% pay increase in two years, all the private sector got was a break on the 10-cent charge on plastic bags. And even that was temporary.
Special session was our elected officials’ opportunity to show they understood what their constituents had been experiencing. It was their chance to make things easier for people who are hurting. But instead, the left-wing politicians seized this moment to look out for #1.
First up? Vote by mail – despite the real concerns about fraud. The boxes being planted all around the state are open invitations for vote stealing, tampering, or destruction.
Police “reform”? Again, another sop to the left’s most vocal constituencies, rushed through without meaningful public input or time for real deliberation. The package ultimately will punish good police officers – forcing them to confront the specter of baseless lawsuits for doing their jobs – while doing nothing to address the grotesque, secret backroom deals “negotiated” by our state’s dominant special interest: the government unions. It fails in important ways to protect Connecticut’s families from abusive state workers in important positions of public trust — including teachers, corrections officers, and social workers. Apparently, there are no cheap political points to be scored by taking on the tough issues even if doing so would actually do more to solve the real problems.
Cheaper insulin? Sounds good – but the most significant portions won’t even go into effect until 2022. This legislation couldn’t have waited until January – of 2021?
What a disgrace. And so it goes, to the detriment of wonderful, hardworking people all across this beautiful state.
The young upholsterers who proudly carried the chairs into our home all those years ago must be middle-aged now, and the baby girl in the picture must be in middle school, at least. But I remember them as young, ambitious, hardworking, and full of dreams for themselves and their future.
Connecticut shouldn’t be the state where dreams of a better life go to die. We deserve so much better from the people we elect to lead us.
I intend to track the upholsterers down and support their business – I will do my part. It is past time for the governor and the legislature to do theirs.