Few people were surprised when Gov. Dannel Malloy described his time with President Barack Obama at the winter meeting of the National Governors Association as “the most inspirational meeting [he’s] ever had.”
Indeed, Malloy’s actions both before and since the March meeting have been in tandem with the actions of the president.
With Obama’s election to a second term and at least another two years for the Malloy administration, here is a simple comparison of some of their policy initiatives so far:
Obama’s signature bill in office has been the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a healthcare overhaul focused on mandated coverage (now a “tax”) and broadened Medicare spending. In typical fashion, Malloy not only fully supports the president’s plan but has publicly announced plans to implement some of the measures Obama failed to pass. Only in a state as blue as Connecticut could Malloy get away with saying he supports “government sponsored competition” in healthcare through a public option. Following the Supreme Court’s upholding of the Affordable Care Act, Malloy had this to say: “Well, it’s a great ruling… we did everything we needed to get our exchange up and running by January 2014, and we’ll continue to do that now.”
Obama has been quite vocal in his self-validation regarding his stimulus bill, bank bailouts (TARP) and lesser known government-funded loan programs like the Public-Private Investment Program (PPIP), FDIC Temporary Liquidity Guarantees (TLG), Targeted Investment Program (TIP) and a slew of other alphabetically ambiguous ventures. Recipients of Obama’s corporate welfare read like a who’s who of financial and industrial giants. Malloy similarly has adopted two unabashedly government-run grant and loan programs in the state, the First Five Program and the Small Business Express Program. The First Five Program represents an unprecedented, hundred-million-dollar-plus bribing of businesses to keep them in our business-averse state, while in the express program the state chooses (seemingly arbitrarily) which small businesses receive grants or loans.
When the SEIU PAC alone donated more than $27 million supporting Obama’s first bid for president, it only served to cement the relationship between Democratic politicians and employee unions. It came as no surprise, therefore, when the top visitor to the White House in Obama’s first five months in office was SEIU President Andy Stern, who made the trip 22 times. Malloy has similarly been quite cozy with Connecticut unions, a fact he cemented with Executive Orders 9 and 10, orders expanding the union dues base by forcing home health assistants and home daycare workers to join unions.
When Obama recently announced plans to stop deporting young illegal immigrants who entered the United States as children it seemed to be a radically new immigration policy. However, Malloy has been a frontrunner in this category. In 2010 Malloy was quoted saying that he chooses “to make sure that people who are living in our community received appropriate services and required federal services regardless of their status.” In an even more radical step, one that made Obama’s own administration angry, Malloy announced in February that he would decide on a “case-by-case” basis which illegal immigrants discovered in Connecticut he will turn over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Zack Albert was a summer intern at the Yankee Institute. He is a junior studying political science and economics at Fairfield University. He lives in Southington.