Letter — Not impressed with governor candidates

To the Editor:

The latest issue (August 23) contains statements from both candidates for governor, and I'm not impressed by either.

Bob Stefanowski talks about eliminating the state income tax, without any details about what he'll do with the 55% of the budget that the tax currently pays for. This is irresponsible, to say the least.

On the other hand, a lot of things Ned Lamont says sound very good, and true: "The budget is a mess ...with high costs, high taxes, and a stagnant economy.": "We need to give relief to the middle class." "We must start by fixing our budget crisis and ending deficits - and we have to start on day one."

He's right in all of those statements. Balancing the budget, cutting spending, and cutting taxes all need to be done, starting on day one. Unfortunately, none of the things he proposes would do any of that. Look at the specific things he mentions. "Investing in education" - in other words, spending more, which means either increasing taxes or increasing the deficit. "Invest in transportation" - again, spending more, and increasing taxes or the deficit. "Implement a $15 minimum wage and paid sick leave" - at a time when Connecticut needs jobs, making it more expensive for an employer to create them.

As for high taxes, he only mentions cutting one: "we need to ease the burden by cutting property taxes." That sounds nice, but he's leaving out the fact that property taxes are paid to the town or the city, and not the state. Cutting them will hurt Connecticut's cities and towns, and leave his own budget untouched. Apparently it's only the taxes collected by other people that he wants to cut, not the ones that he and the state will be collecting.

And while he is again correct in saying, "we need leaders who aren't afraid to take on their own party", isn't every specific thing he mentions - spending more on education and transportation, a $15 minimum wage, free paid sick leave - something his party already endorses? Isn't cutting property taxes something Governor Malloy wanted to do?

Mr. Lamont says, "The same old politicking, with the same old dishonest promises, will not deliver change in Hartford." This is absolutely true; but isn't the same old politicking and the same old promises just what he's offering? For years and years Connecticut has been increasing taxes and increasing spending, and getting itself into worse and worse shape. While his letter is full of fine words, is there one specific thing in it that shows Mr. Lamont would not be doing the exact same thing?
Greg Darak