Does Staying in Connecticut ‘Make Any Sense’?

Union Bosses’ Monopoly Power Drives Away Taxpayers of All Kinds

(Source: July 2015 National Right to Work Committee Newsletter)

According to the nonpartisan, Washington, D.C.-based Tax Foundation, this year on average citizens of forced-unionism Connecticut are surrendering well over 36% of their personal income to pay their federal, state and local taxes.

Gov. Mike PenceA key reason why Connecticut taxes are so exorbitant is the state’s bloated, Big Labor-controlled government sector.

State’s Government Sector Eight Times as Unionized As Its Private Sector

According to labor economists Barry Hirsch and David Macpherson, last year 64% of Connecticut’s government workers were subject to union monopoly bargaining. That’s a union density 8.3 times as great as in the Nutmeg State’s private sector!

The wealth and power of Connecticut union bosses are, therefore, dependent on ever-expanding government.

That’s why Big Labor Gov. Dannel  Malloy (D) and his fellow union-label politicians in the Legislature refuse even to consider streamlining government workplaces and reforming the way public employees are compensated. They’d rather keep hiking taxes on all kinds of citizens.

Nutmeggers bear a heavier tax burden, measured as a share of income, than the residents of any other state, a burden 20% greater than the national average and 24% greater than the average for the 25 states with Right to Work laws on the books. Connecticut’s overall state-local tax burden has consistently been well above the U.S. average for more than two decades.

And thanks to the Nutmeg State’s Big Labor-dominated Legislature and Mr. Malloy, Connecticut residents’ total tax burden will soon be even more onerous.

In early June, state lawmakers in Hartford rammed through a $40.3 billion two-year budget including a net tax increase of $1.5 billion. (In response to the intensely negative public reaction to the move, Mr. Malloy has since indicated he will seek minor spending cuts to scale back the tax hike modestly.)

After Connecticut’s latest massive tax increase was rubber-stamped by legislators last month, a large and venerable company that is headquartered in Fairfield issued a press release protesting the move.

Such actions, the release explained, make “businesses, including our own, and citizens seriously consider whether it makes any sense to continue to be located in this state.”

‘Friends Don’t Let Friends Pay Higher Taxes’

Indeed, over the decade from 2003 to 2013, the total number of forced-unionism Connecticut residents aged 35-54, commonly known as the “peak earning years,” fell by 7.7%.

Meanwhile, the aggregate peak-earning-year population of the 22 states that had Right to Work laws on the books for the whole decade increased by 5.4%.

“Americans across the country lose valuable economic opportunities as a consequence of government-imposed forced unionism,” commented Matthew Leen, vice president of the National Right to Work Committee.

“But there is a silver lining for ordinary citizens, business leaders, and elected officials in the 25 Right to Work states: Today they benefit from the extra talent, energy and experience they have as a consequence of the massive net migration out of forced-unionism states that has occurred over the course of the past several decades.”

Pro-Right to Work Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R), whose state became the 23rd to prohibit compulsory union dues and fees in 2012, has been especially aggressive in trying to recruit overtaxed and overregulated Nutmeggers.

On June 10, the state of Indiana ran a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal decrying Connecticut’s “looming tax increase” and declaring that “friends don’t let friends pay higher taxes.”

Mr. Pence also sent letters to several CEOs of companies headquartered in Connecticut inviting them to consider moving to Indiana.

“While Mike Pence’s recruitment efforts have directly targeted business leaders, Connecticut employees are receiving the same message about how a Right to Work state like Indiana rewards the productive instead of penalizing them,” observed Mr. Leen.

“Judging by the long-term migration data, Connecticut employees as well as Connecticut businesses are likely to be very receptive to this message.”