Fairfield County Letter: Focusing On What Connecticut Needs Now

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State Sen. Toni Boucher is a Republican from Wilton.
State Sen. Toni Boucher is a Republican from Wilton. Photo Credit: File

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- The Daily Voice accepts signed letters to the editor. Send letters to wilton@dailyvoice.com.

To the editor:

Several weeks ago, I announced that I was exploring the opportunity to run for Governor of Connecticut. Since then, I have spent the better part of every day listening to the residents of our state. They tell me what concerns them most and what they expect from a leader. I believe this is where the focus of discussions about our state should be over the next few months.

People are hurting financially and they are angry. They don’t see the rosy picture the current administration paints of its fiscal policies and the state’s economy. The facts don’t support it either. Connecticut is the only state with a negative GDP. Life here has become unaffordable, with residents, who are taxed beyond their level of tolerance, moving out of state in droves. Unemployment in our cities is in the double digits. There are few jobs for young people and no job security for people lucky enough to be employed. While the national GDP growth rate for urban centers was 2.5 percent in 2012, after inflation, it was 0.4 percent in Fairfield County, and it shrank in our other counties by anywhere from 2.2 to 0.4 percent. With diminishing disposable income, people cannot buy houses or goods and services to fuel the economy.

What people want and expect from state leadership is clear. They want to be able to afford to live and work in Connecticut – to own or rent a home, raise a family, run a business, and retire here. They can’t afford more taxes than they’ve ever had to pay on income, pensions, gas, business profits, real estate, inheritance, and gifts. They want a job market that offers opportunity and security.  They want their roads, bridges, and trains fixed before the state builds anything new. They want higher education to be affordable for their children. They want their high-performing schools and healthcare plans left alone, and they want to ensure that vulnerable populations, like seniors and the disabled, are well served.

To accomplish this, we have to preserve and expand Connecticut’s tax base, by making it attractive for people and businesses to come here, and to stay. This means creating a favorable tax environment for businesses, and a climate of support for their success. Business creates value for everyone, because jobs are the best antidote to poverty. A pro-business climate is possible only if leaders believe that business is good, and that profit is good. Government should create a supportive climate for businesses, and then get out of the way.

The first step in reducing taxes is reducing state government spending. State employee compensation and benefits plans represent a huge portion of state expenses, and we must work with all stakeholders to bring these expenses in line with the private sector. Other states, both Democrat- and Republican-led have done this successfully, getting costs under control and ensuring the solvency of retirement and healthcare plans. There are hundreds of millions potentially to be saved by eliminating duplications, waste, and fraud. We must identify services that can be performed better and more cost efficiently by community-based nonprofits. We must restrict bonding and borrowing to essential capital improvements, and bring debt in line with guidelines for strong agency ratings. And we must prioritize infrastructure investments to ensure safety, efficiency, and access.

The objective of our state’s leadership should be to make Connecticut once again the envy of the country for its low taxes, friendly business climate, excellent schools, and a superior quality of life, and to ensure that it’s a place where hard work and success are rewarded and people feel they have a future.

Connecticut’s problems are complex and challenging, but they can be solved. To do so, I believe that we must raise the standard of government and give people and businesses confidence in their leadership. This means fostering a culture of transparency and accountability, insisting on rigorous financial management, and putting the interests of the public first. I look forward to interesting and fruitful discussions on these critically important subjects throughout the coming months. That’s real leadership: focusing on what Connecticut needs now.

Toni Boucher is a Republican state senator representing the 26th District, which contains Bethel, New Canaan, Redding, Ridgefield, Weston, Westport and Wilton. She has formed an exploratory committee for the opportunity to run for governor.

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Comments (22)

Keep blaming the "other guy" and nothing will improve

Boy you right wingers just hate it when someone points out 1 of your many many faults.

This county is losing it's Historically Registered buildings!
The Stamford Post Office on Atlantic St. Is scheduled to
Be sold to a local developer. For a Museum, a public collection,
A library ?????? No, the USPS is breaking their Congressional laws to
Make a quick, unannounced sale to a developer with no vision except rental
Return. Where are the elected Officials? Historic boards?

Not to be without options... Legal fees are needed
Center for art and mindfulness,INC. das651@ msn.com

Evelyn
Clearly you as most Republicans forget that Malloy inherited the mess that he is s repairing ffrom the past 2 Republican Governors.. TIn the same way Obama inherited the mess that he is repairing from the 8 years of the Republican war criminal Bush.

Cut government spending or CT dies.

The Dem controlled state senate can lead the way....if they really want to do what is best for state viability.

Look at Detroit. That's what happens when Democrats control a city since 1961.
At some point the money runs out. More tax payers , not more taxes.
Obamacare = Death to Businesses

Lookk at the near depression that Bush caused. That's what happens when you have 8 years of a Republican as President.

Amazing how the ignorant angry right wing Republicans cant seem to realize that todays issues are due to the failures of the past.
This is the same ignorant tactic they attempted in Washington as they actually believe the war criminal Bush never existed. The strange thing is the right wing wackos are now attempting this tactic in CT...
The good thing is the smart people will not fall for this nonsense.

True Elizabeth
The Republicans seem to forget that they created the mess both on a state and national level.

I just thought the angry democrat should read this line again:

"Focusing On What Connecticut Needs Now"

That is the title of the article. The key word being the last word which is "NOW".

SPAMMING old stats, and blaming others is pretty cool. But why not help figure out how to fix the problem instead of daily rants?

Offer at least ONE solution for anything you post. Just one. Credibility is fairly important in politics FYI...

You mention credibility..
Are you referring to the republican Rowlands time in prison or the war criminal Bush starting 2 wars on lies?

Hey Einstein
One needs to look at the failures of the past (Republicans) as not to create the same mistakes in the future.
also what is it about the right wingers how they just hate facts.

HAHA
This is coming from ffctguitar who doesn't even live in CT. He just comes to this board to post his spam. You have proven time and again to have Zero credibility just of like past Republican Governors as in Rowland and past presidents as in the war criminal Bush. It is beyond me how any with at least a 3rd grade education would vote republican as they are the ones that destroyed the economy,

The increase in taxes in Ct are unfortunately necessary due to the years of financial mismanagement of past Republican Governors.

Useless and fact less Republican talking points as usual.

Let us not forget if was the Republican criminal Rowland and grandma Rell that destroyed CT.

Rowland in office January 4, 1995 – July 1, 2004
Rell in office July 1, 2004 – January 5, 2011

Between 1996 and 2006 – before the financial meltdown and recession — the number of Connecticut small businesses declined by 2.2 percent, while the average experience of all 50 states was a 10 percent increase. Only Ohio and West Virginia did worse than Connecticut. Its small businesses account for about half of the state’s private sector jobs.

Connecticut imposed a temporary 20 percent surtax on top of its flat 7.5 percent corporate income tax, in effect raising its rate to 9 percent. This 20 percent surcharge is an increase on a supposedly temporary 10 percent surcharge that has been in place since 2009.

LOOKS LIKE AN ISSUE CREATED BY ROWLAND AND RELL....BOTH REPUBLICANS.
Of course the Republicans will not be able to understand these facts as they just hate facts.

"To do so, I believe that we must raise the standard of government and give people and businesses confidence in their leadership. This means fostering a culture of transparency and accountability, insisting on rigorous financial management, and putting the interests of the public first."

AMEN! CT taxes are ridiculous, and yes there is plenty of money to be made in FF County, it's not like it was 10 years ago, that is for sure. The tax and spend has to stop, and jobs need to be created.

Have to hand it to Toni,while our Norwalk politicians are cutting ribbons and taking great photo ops,seems only Jim Himes is speaking out on issues that are directly effecting all of us.The wise men in Norwalk hide behind the issues only stepping out into the spotlight for feel good ribbon cuttings.It takes an election for the children and elederly to get anything.The cycle of handouts and feel good press only happens during the elections as Toni has pointed out we as a state have done little to fix problems most of the politicians have created.Of course our three state reps know what to suggest they helped create the problems the suggestive fix only comes during the election cycle. Politics in Norwalk are disgusting and not many could argue that point.

Relocating to CT from another state was the worst financial move our family ever made.

Wow....this is spot-on Senator Boucher!! Finally a CT state elected official talking about our reality. Anyone standing behind this message will absolutely have my vote....THANK YOU!!

Key word is talk as that's all it is.