‘Stars’ Align Against Malloy’s, Dems’ Budget Deal—GE, Aetna, Travelers, Courant, National Media Lash Out at Tax Increases

In a day that hasn’t been seen since the imposition of the income tax, some major state employers are hammering the budget deal put to together by Gov. Dannel Malloy and legislative Democrats. It is enough to send the Dems back to negotiating table if not the drawing board.

GE, and Aetna and Travelers insurance companies all hinted that if the package passed as is, they question whether they could remain in the state. The Hartford Courant was out almost immediately with a big thumbs down. Even MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” show—once a frequent and friendly place for Malloy—flamed the Connecticut Democrats saying the state economy would “further tank” with this budget. Co-host Joe Scarborough labeled House Minority Leader Joe Aresimowicz “third grade stupid” for his “one day less day on the yacht” comment.

“I guess the difference between a weekend on the yacht and a regular trip to the grocery store — they can take a weekend off from the yacht,” Aresimowicz said. Yikes. Talk about fueling the often-argued point that Democrats engage in class warfare let alone not recognizing the thousands of middle-class folks who have jobs at the companies.

(For all the hammering of the Connecticut Dems, Scarborough did label the Courant’s Chris Keating “a legend.”)

As Keating reports, “One of the biggest problems that has been cited by business lobbyists is the so-called ‘unitary’’ tax that would be imposed on Connecticut corporations for the first time. The system involves combined reporting for companies with operations in multiple states, such as GE. Currently, multistate companies like Wal-Mart, Walgreens, CVS and others pay Connecticut taxes only on their Connecticut operations. Under the unitary system, their taxes would increase by at least $27 million in the first year, legislators said.”

The Democrats have at least for now have postponed the vote on the agreement and are apparently reworking aspects of the plan.

The current deal raises some $700 million in new taxes including new burdens on corporations and higher income taxes on the wealthy. However despite multiple claims that the middle class is protected by the budget deal, the middle- and lower-income folks get slammed with a $100 reduction in the property tax credit used to help offset their income tax burden. It also makes changes to the HUSKY-A state health insurance plan for middle- and low-income parents of children on the HUSKY plan.

The Shad was unable to get a straight answer Monday on just how HUSKY-A was changed but it appears eligibility has been tightened. That could leave tens of thousands of parents without health insurance.

Chances of debating and passing a budget by the constitutionally mandated session adjournment of Wednesday at midnight are slim. There is question now as to whether a deal will even pass—especially in the House—unless major changes are made.