Before Connecticut lawmakers could finish patting themselves on the back for a General Assembly session that left the state in a deeper fiscal crisis, worse business climate and with a downward spiraling economy, word broke that Texas Governor Rick Perry is planning a visit.
Perry’s visit to Connecticut marks the latest attempt by the Lone Star State to woo businesses into uprooting and heading for friendlier pastures. The Governor promises businesses and tax payers a land that would seem like a sanctuary to conservative Nutmeggers, with lower taxes, less regulation and a growing economy.
Despite Texas’ booming economy and Perry’s remarkably high approval ratings, Connecticut leaders including Governor Malloy can’t help but view this visit as a joke. This week Malloy told reporters that Perry’s visit is no more than a “lame publicity stunt.”
The fact that Governor Perry has put Connecticut in his cross hairs should be embarrassing to our state’s leaders. This visit puts us on yet another shameful list, the list of fledgling, weak, overburdened nanny states being hunted by Texas. The states that Perry has targeted thus far include some of the most notoriously bankrupt or corrupt in the union including Illinois and California. New York-also being visited by Perry- ranks 50th in economic outlook and joins Connecticut on his list of losers.
Of course those who have been paying attention know that Connecticut’s lawmakers are running a state that ranks 46th in economic performance, 50th in places to retire, and 43rd in economic outlook. The state is hardly a friendly place to do business and it shows through the out-migration Connecticut has suffered from. Meanwhile 1400 people a day are moving to Texas.
State Rep Matthew Lesser (D-Middletown) is also apparently unimpressed with Perry’s achievements. CTNewsJunkie reports that Lesser said:
“Their economy has done well but they’re an energy producing state. We don’t have oil. But if you stack up Connecticut and Texas, I’d much rather be Connecticut,”
Mr. Lesser should not chalk Texas’ recent business acquisitions up to pure oil prospecting. In a 30 second add that will presumably be run here, Texas champions itself as a “leader in the biotech revolution”. This is interesting considering that the Malloy administration has been specifically manipulating the Connecticut market-via fast 5- to favor companies in the biotech industry. After a New Jersey biotech company accepted millions of dollars in grants Malloy said that his efforts are helping to “make Connecticut a leading nation center for the bio-sciences ” Enter Rick Perry attempting to spoil that plan “zero income tax, low overall tax burden, sensible regulations and fair tax system.”
Let’s take a look at Texas’ recent track record in attracting business. California Governor Jerry Brown called Perry’s $24,000 attempt at advertising in the California market “barely a fart”. Over the past 20 years California has been farting over businesses to Texas at the rate of roughly four per week. In the wake of California’s Prop 30 passage which adds up to a 3% tax on income, the amount of Golden State businesses inquiring about relocating to Texas has tripled . If only Connecticut’s 27 million dollar “Still Revolutionary” campaign could have that effect.
Connecticut leaders should not view Perry’s visit as just some radical right wing bible clinging rednecks pulling a publicity stunt. Texas has already courted our firearms industry convincing Colt and possibly Stag to do some relocating.
This is no joke; these are people’s jobs and lively hoods that are at risk due to overburdening taxes and regulations. Perry’s visit should serve as an embarrassing wake-up call to the people and leaders of Connecticut.
Andrew is a political science major at CCSU and a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. Check out his blog Conserve Our Country