It has been two months since Fairfield's Representative Town Meeting approved the 2014 budget, and yet the cries of acrimony continue over the fact that RTM Republicans imposed a limit to the year-over-year spending increases. Last week, a very enthusiastic freshman representative, Elizabeth Zezima, added her voice to the choir of discontent.
In her letter to the editor (July 4, "Town's GOP leaders put town's future at risk"), she articulated an ideology of spending without consideration for the adverse impact of higher taxes. It is a recipe for economic failure, and it is an ideology which evidently seems to be held by many if not most on her side of the aisle. Because they see all things budgetary through the prism of that ideology, that world for them appears to be upside down.
For them, the problem is not taxes and spending, the problem is any degree of spending restraint. They believe that being fiscally conservative is synonymous with being fiscally irresponsible.
They label sate Reps. Tony Hwang,R-134th District, and Brenda Kupchick,R-132nd District, as extremists because Tony and Brenda would draw a line on borrowing and would not support bonding which disproportionately advantages certain cities like New Haven over certain towns like Fairfield. Tony and Brenda might even hold that Connecticut ought to exercise the same degree of fiscal restraint that responsible adults and good business people exercise in their personal and professional lives.
The Democrats will not allow themselves to believe that spending more than you have or borrowing more than you can repay represents a problem, and when confronted by the fact that Connecticut leads the nation in highest per-capita debt, most unfriendly environment for business and other dubious distinctions, they bury their heads more firmly in the sand.
They believe that government spending renders our communities and state more attractive to individuals and businesses who might consider moving here despite the fact that spending results in higher taxes. They maintain that belief even though we know from businesses that have already exited the state that it was higher taxes as well as onerous regulations which drove them away.
In every budget cycle in my experience, RTM Democrats have voted in lock step against all efforts to make reductions. By contrast, RTM Republicans have often traversed party lines. Despite that fact, Democrats conclude that it is the Republicans (not themselves) who embrace the philosophy of extremism and reject bipartisanship. The convoluted logic of that interpretation speaks for itself, but again seen through the prism of their ideology, they accept it as if it were actually true.
RTM District 8