Redistribution of income through taxation does not bring prosperity
The State Senate seems to want to take us back to 2009, in the darker days of the Great Recession. The proposals to raise taxes to redistribute income do nothing to boost the economic growth and vitality that the Committee on Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth said we need, nor will they create the first job. or the possibility for the disadvantaged to improve their lives.
First, let’s recognize that the government’s social safety net has shown its gaping holes during the COVID pandemic. A democratic state, ostensibly controlled by unions, could not even pay unemployment to laid-off workers who had never sought a government program. People addicted to the system have been stuck with no money for months, with all of the cascading issues associated with it. This is called an abject failure which proves that our state government should not launch any other program until it is able to do correctly and reliably what it says it already does. To say it was a disaster misses the point: government is not there for the good times, but to help solve problems and disasters that go beyond the ability of individuals to cope. .
President Ronald Reagan talked about government downsizing, but I think he was talking more about expensive government programs that are expensive to administer and provide relatively few comparable benefits to recipients. We should be talking about an effective government, which delivers excellent customer service results with little friction or hassle for the recipients or the taxpayers who fund it.
I have spent my entire life in a small business, starting with myself and now employing 16 people with health insurance and retirement programs available. When I read stories of “wealthy businessmen” cheating on their employees, it is me and my colleagues who support half of the Connecticut workforce that I read. It is a false story to drive fear and jealousy in people. Most of us have shed liberal amounts of blood, sweat and tears in our businesses and have faced a number of obstacles over the years. Hundred hour weeks have been common realities for many of us, but time and persistence have paid off, giving us good life and financial security for ourselves and our staff.
If we are serious about helping our underprivileged population, we should stop choosing cronies and political contributors for government aid and create a truly level playing field so people with good ideas can be successful. More people may want to become self-employed and adopt their own version of the “pursuit of happiness”. Whether it’s construction, landscaping, food production or preparation, manufacturing or other services, there are many opportunities to serve the public.
For the government to step back and let people realize their dreams would do more to lower the costs of social services and grow the economy to pay the pensions of state employees and teachers, than any other program to which the Senate state can think of.
Chip Beckett lives in Glastonbury.
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