Gov.-elect Dan Malloy got a nice spot in the 24-hour news cycle that is cable TV this week when he appeared on MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown” with NBC News White House White House correspondents Savannah Guthrie and Chuck Todd. Malloy was sharp, telegenic and on-point. Unfortunately, he was also extremely truthful which has gotten him some not-so-flattering and somewhat unfair headlines about the appearance.
Malloy was trying to make the point that his administration would review current state tax law that allows some entities or items sold to be exempt from levies such as the state sales tax. Todd asked him for specifics. Malloy would probably have been better off begging-off being specific. He offhandedly mentioned “newspapers and haircuts” as two items that are exempt from the state sales tax but that do nothing “to create jobs.” (He’s right. They don’t. And there is no good reason why they should be exempt and other goods and service aren’t.)
Malloy then got saddled with the simplistic, “newspapers and haircuts” line. The popular website CtCapitolReport.com ran a headline, “Malloy Wants to Tax Haircuts” and provided a link to a story on the MSNBC appearance.
Malloy was in fact, clear. “We have about $5.5 billion in tax expenditures [loopholes],” he said. “Things that we don’t tax because we think it does us some good…A lot of these tax expenditures are as a result of a belief that it creates a job. But as we look at these there’s no proof it creates a job.”