I commute to New York daily and the slew of taxes/tolls being proposed by our governor will impact me substantially. My initial reaction to this proposal is that “trickle down economics” has crossed party lines.
When it comes to the Gov. Lamont’s plan, revenue may travel to Hartford, but the burden will trickle down. Instead of difficult economic reform, Gov. Lamont wants to tax everything short of the air we breathe. This proposal includes everything but a, “let them eat cake” decree.
However, Gov. Lamont assumes: 1) The population in Connecticut will not decrease; and B) Individual spending will be identical under this plan. What if both are not true?
I believe it is important to not spend money that I do not have — a worldview that seems to have evaded our state representation. I spend money on what I need, and as much on extras as I can afford. But I draw the line at overspending my means. When money is short, people spend less of it. We revamp our financial priorities.
Gov. Lamont may think this proposal will generate the revenue the state needs. I think he is wrong. If he is going to tax services like haircuts, I will get my hair cut less frequently, or tip my barber less, or get a haircut in New York … hence the trickle down effect. In other words, I mitigate the new taxes by spending less money … and therefore the burden will trickle down to those who are accustomed to my business.
Of course, Hartford will receive additional revenue, but this is where trickle-down is impactful. If the plan costs me $1,500 more per year, I’ll try to cut $1,500 in spending. Increased toll/tax burden will be recouped from money I spend elsewhere … fewer nights out to eat, fewer trips to the mall, etc.
Then the burden trickles down. That’s less money being spent locally. If there are others like me, Hartford may generate revenue at the expense of financial burden that will trickle down locally. When people spend less money, other people make less money. Local businesses fail. And people leave the state.
Gov. Lamont’s plan assumes that residents will not change their spending to compensate. He does not realize that there will be an effort to balance checkbooks, which means cutting back on expenditures.
Gov. Lamont’s plan might benefit the coffers in Hartford, but the burden will trickle-down to punish those in the state who have the fewest dollars to spend.
Gov. Lamont, you can assume that we will bankroll your tax/toll plan by spending money as usual. And if you really believe that, I have a bunch of brand-new bridges you will promise us as a result of your tax plan to sell you.
Reform spending habits in order to combat financial burden. If only our governor could do that.
Michael Spinner