Looney Gets it Right; Malloy May Adjust his Tax Rebate Plan

Say this about Gov. Dannel Malloy—he has the courage to adjust things when new information becomes available even if it’s unpopular. The Shad is convinced he’ll do just that with incoming revenue numbers as it pertains to balancing the state budget. That may mean adjusting his plan to use a portion of the budget surplus to give a rebate to taxpayers.

Thursday state Senate Majority Leader Marty Looney suggested the tax rebate plan might have to be adjusted because revenue is not living up to estimates. Looney, who previously served as finance committee chair and is an expert on the state budget, is also a realist.

Handling questions from the Capitol press corps, Looney said the amount spent on the rebate plan might to be reduced. Under Malloy’s plan, $55 would be given back to all individuals making less than $200,000 per year. Couples earning less than $400,000 would get $110 back. The plan would cost $155 million. Looney said given the relatively small amounts of the rebates, it might make more sense to reduce the number of people getting a rebate than reducing the amount of the rebate itself. And there is always a chance the plan is scrapped altogether.

Looney is right. If revenue doesn’t match budget estimates, adjustments will have to be made. The rebate plan would be a logical place to cut. The Shad doesn’t think Malloy would be adverse to this. Does anyone think he wanted to raise taxes when he took office? Of course not. But he makes the tough choices when it’s necessary.

In the end, The Shad believes Malloy is not necessarily married to the rebate plan as it stands. He is married to a balanced budget and will get there the best way possible. In other words, he’ll do whatever it takes.

On another but somewhat related matter, The Shad was recently called “a Malloy mouthpiece.” First, Malloy doesn’t need me to be his spokesman. His record stands on its own and he has very competent staffers who can articulate it to the people of Connecticut. Second, unlike some bloggers who will reflexively oppose Malloy no matter what he does, I have no myopic view of the governor one way or the other. A little research of my writings shows I call ‘em as I see ‘em. If it happens to be that I support the governor on many issues, it’s because I think he’s right on them. I’ll leave the blinkered view of the governor to those who hold a grudge against him and simply can’t get over a perceived slight.