While GE leaves for Boston, Himes runs from Hartford

Here we go again.

In November U.S. Rep. Jim Himes quipped at a town hall meeting that employers “can’t necessarily trust what we hear out of Hartford,” all while acknowledging that the state’s continuing financial woes and unpredictable fiscal policies are both driving employers from the state and hurting Connecticut residents. At that point, GE’s departure was still uncertain, but little was done by our federal representatives to address the situation.

This week, the HAN Network reported that Himes now finds GE’s departure “troubling,” but again directed blame to the state’s Democratic-controlled government.

“What Connecticut did wrong,” Himes said, “we didn’t provide any certainty.” Mr. Himes is correct, “we” did not.

Of course, such epiphanies mark the beginning of Mr. Himes’ biannual effort to distance himself from his own party and his own policies. Himes’ hollow rhetoric will not work this time because, like the current leadership in Hartford, he has proven himself to be a big borrow, big tax, big spend Democrat who believes in a big centralized government. Mr. Himes’ regressive policies and his contribution to the state’s continuing problems cannot be hidden by another round of election year camouflage.

Indeed, like his Democratic colleagues in Hartford, Mr. Himes continues to support increases in government borrowing and taxation to pay for the gluttonous growth of our federal government’s size and spending. Himes has proudly supported (and continues to support) the “affordable” care act, as well as every federal spending and “stimulus” boondoggle and the related debt imposed on future generations.

Like his Democratic colleagues in Hartford, Mr. Himes has also supported a concentration of power away from the legislature and to the executive — as evidenced by his support of President Obama’s reckless deal with Iran, and his support of secretive “fast track” trade agreements that go beyond free trade, and shut out elected representatives and relevant citizens groups.

Lastly, and like his Democratic colleagues in Hartford, Mr. Himes continues to support polices that, once stripped of the canned rhetoric, actually hurt our ability to improve our local communities.

Indeed, the federal government takes nearly the most per capita from Connecticut taxpayers to pay for its massive spending and debt, and sends us nearly the least per capita along with federal mandates that negatively impact state functions. Hartford then drains what is left in the private sector by increasing state spending and debt, and thereafter increasing tax rates and regulations to fill the massive holes in our state budget. This continued cannibalization of our state’s private sector to pay for our gluttonous federal and state governments has put us in a deadly cycle that is, yet again, evidencing itself in the loss of employers, population and opportunity.  

All in all, Himes’ policies have caused federal spending and our national debt to explode, and our state economy to fester. The Himes/Hartford big tax, big spend, big government approach has left this district — one of the wealthiest in the country — with too many schools, programs and infrastructure projects that are either broke or broken. Blaming D.C. politics and his fellow Hartford Democrats for his failures ignores both his own positions and the fact that, for most of his service in Congress, Himes was in the majority. Sadly, our state has little to show for it, but for more debt, less opportunity and a continuing fiscal crisis.

Talk is cheap, but properly funding local needs is not. Yelling “I’m not with those Hartford guys” every two years will neither change these facts nor help improve our communities.

John Shaban (R-Redding) is a state representative serving Redding, Weston and Easton. He is a candidate for Congress in Connecticut’s 4th Congressional District.

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