A round table on was held by some local Republican leaders, led by Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, R-Fairfield, and House Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero Jr., R-Norwalk. The purpose was to work through the various positions on the state budget crisis. Republicans are for cutting spending, Democrats are for increasing taxes. Actually, its more nuanced than that, but it changes daily so we’ll stick with the archetypal themes because they are mostly irrelevant. The real purpose was:
“We’re at a tipping point,” McKinney said, opening the discussion and describing the state’s budget problem as a pitched battle over taxes and spending cuts. He and Cafero described the meeting as a dose of reality from which they hoped to galvanize more support for Republican proposals to cut back spending to 2007 levels instead of placing more burdens on business people such as those around the table, who create 80 percent to 90 percent of the jobs in the state.
Right, the typical go out and get support from key businesses to support tax cuts. Naturally there were protests.
While this was going on inside, the Working Families Party’s “Billionaires for Budget Cuts,” a group that has been staging protests against Republican proposals by dressing up in ball gowns and high fashion, and offering mocking support, was demonstrating outside. The group supports a Democratic-led proposal to increase taxes on individuals with adjusted gross incomes of $500,000 or more.
After we chew through the how raising corporate taxes will harm small manufacturers, we get to the real crux of the problem:
Paul Timpanelli, president and chief executive officer of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council and one of the three registered Democrats at the table Tuesday, said the overriding issue isn’t the budget crisis.
“This is about structural problems in the state of Connecticut,” he said.
There are huge structural problems in Connecticut. The cost of electricity is one. The fact that no one in the legislature has paid attention to the high tech world is another. Why aren’t the leaders of high tech industries being consulted on how to make Connecticut a more business friendly state? Maybe because there are hardly any located in Connecticut. They should be asking themselves why. It would start with electricity costs, those server farms use up electricity, and end with the usual suspects. Affordable housing for the workers who want state of the art accommodations after 16 hour days in the cube farm, stuff to do when they are not working and easy access to lots of these workers. Why work in Connecticut, where you spend you free time in traffic when you can live and work in a state that actually cares. As long as legislators in Hartford keep thinking that their sole focus in life is to debate spending and tax cuts instead of identifying what businesses actually grow economies then we will be stuck in a groundhog-dayesque cycle of debate about the past.
source: Advocate, Republicans at round table get dose of reality, By Rob Varnon, August 12, 2009