In an article published by the Connecticut Post last Friday, state legislator John McKinney’s plan to eliminate middle-income taxes for those making less than $75,000 per year was put into question.
McKinney, the state Senate minority leader, said the $746 million cost of the tax break for a million Connecticut residents would be covered by laying off middle-management positions in state government, forcing concessions from state unions and ending the Earned Income Tax Credit for Connecticut’s poorest residents, among other things. He said he plans to cut more than $1.4 billion from the $19 billion state budget.
The proposal, which would take effect in 2017, was immediately criticized by McKinney’s political opponents, labor leaders and a University of Connecticut economist, who warned that the spending cuts could hurt the economy.
McKinney was put under the microscope by Larry Dorman of the Council 4 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees who said that McKinney’s plan is a “bad idea from every conceivable angle”.
Dorman claims the plan would weaken the middle class in the State and changes to the to state pension would require approval of the employees. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees represents 16,000 state employees.
Fred Carstensen, the director of the Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis at the University of Connecticut, said the plan was “ill-considered” and didn’t make sense. Without hard numbers the plan can not be fleshed out.