Taxpayers pay the price for political stalemates

Published on Thursday, 6 July 2017 19:46
Written by Staff


As we went into the Fourth of July holiday - four days after the start of the fiscal year - 11 states were still without a budget. And then the countdown began ... nine states, then six, including Massachusetts, Oregon, Wisconsin, Illinois, Rhode Island and, of course, Connecticut.

Government shutdowns in New Jersey and Maine ended Tuesday when Govs. Chris Christie and Paul Lepage signed their states’ respective fiscal 2018 budgets.

But we’re not here to complain about legislative inaction. Clearly, it’s a tough budget year, if so many states, with governors and party majorities on both sides of the political spectrum are struggling to create a spending plan.

In fact, we credit our own state leaders for acting in the best interest of their constituents when it could have been so much worse.

We’re thinking, of course, of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s decision to shut down his state on the nation’s birthday. He famously became the poster child for callous inaction when he was photographed with his family alone on a public beach that had been declared off limits to the people of his state.

Compare that to our own Gov. Dannel P. Malloy who signed an executive order funding the state - and welcoming us to Hammonasset, Rocky Neck and the other state beaches for the July 4 holiday.

As we see it, government shutdowns, caused by political stalemates, do draw attention to spending issues but it’s taxpayers who pay the price. Let’s hope our legislators in Washington are listening.

Posted in The Bristol Press, Editorials on Thursday, 6 July 2017 19:46. Updated: Thursday, 6 July 2017 19:48.