Governor Dannel Malloy’s disapproval rating at Mid-March was a hefty 68 percent, according to a recent poll published by Quinnipiac College. The low approval rating of 23 percent marks Mr. Malloy, head of the Democratic Governors Association, as the most unpopular governor in the nation, only a few weeks after Mr. Malloy was awarded the Kennedy Center’s Profile in Courage Award.
A previous Connecticut Governor, Lowell Weicker, also received the same award shortly after his popularity rating in the state plummeted during his contentious term in office, in the course of which Mr. Weicker had vetoed three non-income tax budgets and finally succeeded in forcing the General Assembly to impose an income tax on a state that once had attracted businesses because it was a low tax, low regulatory Eden.
Not anymore; the Weicker income tax was the snake in Eden that allowed spendthrift legislators to save themselves and ruin the state. The profile of the state began to change during the Weicker administration. Following the path emblazoned by Mr. Weicker, Mr. Malloy, the first Democrat chief executive since Governor William O’Neill had refused to run again for office, discharged a hefty multi-billion dollar deficit by imposing on his state the largest tax increase in its history, which was followed by yet another multi-billion dollar deficit, which was followed by the second largest tax increase in state history, which was followed by yet more deficits. For twenty five years in Connecticut, no serious attempt has been made by the Democrat dominated General Assembly to institute permanent spending cuts.
The Kennedy Center Profile in Courage Award, named after President John Kennedy, is fast becoming the pacifier given to governors who show courage by pursuing policies that ruin their states. One does not expect the Kennedy Center to bestow its award on its present Governor, Republican Charlie Baker, who recently welcomed to his state a tax-battered refuge from Connecticut, General Electric, a company that recently moved its executive office from Connecticut to Boston Massachusetts, the seed-bed of the Kennedy clan, some of whom have drifted very far from John Kennedy’s vision of a prosperous economy as reflected in his most important speech on the economy, his 1962 address to the New York Economic Club:
“There are a number of ways by which the federal government can meet its responsibilities to aid economic growth… the most direct and significant kind of federal action aiding economic growth is to make possible an increase in private consumption and investment demand -- to cut the fetters which hold back private spending. In the past, this could be done in part by the increased use of credit and monetary tools, but our balance of payments today places limits on our use of those tools for expansion. It could also be done by increasing federal expenditures more rapidly than necessary, but such a course would soon demoralize both the government and our economy. If government is to retain the confidence of the people, it must not spend more than can be justified on grounds of national need or spent with maximum efficiency. “The final and best means of strengthening demands among consumers and business is to reduce the burden on private income and the deterrents to private initiative which are imposed by our present tax system – and this administration pledged itself last summer to an across-the-board, top-to-bottom cut in personal and corporate income taxes to be enacted and become effective in 1963.”
Mr. Malloy, borrowing an arrow from Mr. Weicker’s quiver, has said consistently he does not care about polls, an indispensable precondition for receiving the Kennedy Profile in Courage Award. Mr. Malloy first alienated Republicans by refusing to allow them to assist in fashioning budgets, one of the few undeclared pledges to dominant Democrats he has faithfully kept. He later alienated the Middle Class by imposing upon productive workers two massive tax increases. He and his confederates in the General Assembly flogged General Electric out of the state. He has now alienated unions by cutting state funds to the most unfortunate citizens among us. He continues to take money “from those who live under bridges,” in Anatole France’s crisp formulation, giving some of the money – in bribes -- to the richest among us: Does Bridgewater, the largest hedge fund in the world, really need the widows’ mites Mr. Malloy has given them? The answer is “Yes.” And why? Because if Mr. Malloy does not bribe Bridgewater, poachers may lure it to other states, where taxes and regulatory impositions are much lower.
Connecticut’s economy is now in a tailspin, and some people are now beginning to ask: Who else is on Mr. Malloy’s enemies list? According to a report in CTNewsJunkie, Comptroller Kevin Lembo, a prominent, straight-shooting Democrat some are considering a replacement for the severely damaged Mr. Malloy – only 3 percent of Connecticut voters are “very satisfied” with the way things are going in the state, according to the Q poll -- may have made his list.
Mr. Malloy has vetoed a bill strongly supported by Mr. Lembo that would have given “a legislative committee the ability to evaluate the state’s tax incentive program for recruiting and retaining businesses,” such as Bridgewater. Mr. Lembo vigorously and publically opposed Mr. Malloy’s transfer of tax funds from the Middle Class to Bridgewater – all of which will not qualify the Comptroller for a profile in courage award given out by the Kennedy Center.