Meanwhile, the state still continues to struggle to create jobs, attract business, and jumpstart our stagnant economy. Governor Malloy is taking a victory lap for relocating a Connecticut corporation while our state faces an uphill battle to climb out of the current economic sinkhole. And make no mistake about it, we are in a sinkhole.
Connecticut was recently named a “Sinkhole” state, a label earned by being one of five states with the worst financial situations. Over the past decade, various government agencies and watchdogs have ranked Connecticut eighth from the bottom in private sector job growth, ninth from the bottom in friendliness for entrepreneurship, and third from the bottom in small business tax environment in the United States. This means that not only does Connecticut have one of the worst economies in the country, it isn’t even taking steps towards attracting businesses to create growth!
Pile on additional statistics like our rate of state spending – up more than 600% in the past 50 years – and state debt – up more than 330% during the same period – and a picture begins to become clear.
Our state is suffering from an illness that requires a solution beyond simply relocating businesses within the state. We need an economic policy that encourages businesses to come to Connecticut rather than just move around within its borders. But in order to do so, the government must take basic steps to change the way that business in conducted within the state. This starts when the government stops using taxpayer dollars to pick winners and losers. It isn’t working and it’s making losers of us all by sinking our state deeper into debt and an economic sinkhole.
Politicians have to come to terms with the fact that the money they spend on their favorite “jobs programs” comes right out of the pocket of your average Connecticut citizen. In 2011 alone the State of Connecticut gave away 2 billion dollars to corporations…but this money went to companies like UBS, NBC, ESPN! Newsflash: this isn’t how you jump-start an economy!
The state’s current failed policies have only caused our state dig itself into a deeper and deeper hole. This Alexion move is literally a shell game, just moving from place to place while the average families wait for real reform.
It’s time for Connecticut to embrace the free-market, lower small-business tax rates, and reduce government regulations. This will happen when the people of Connecticut decide they are tired of living in a sinkhole.
JR Romano is State Director of Americans for Prosperity – Connecticut.
Correction: A previous version of this article misstated a dollar amount in “millions” instead of “billions”.