I feel for you. I really, really do. On one hand you want to make the state more fiscally solid so that it can have a good, strong economy. Apparently the State’s income vs. outgo requires cuts be made somewhere, and your inclination is to spend money on roads, infrastructure, etc, rather than on human services like mental health care and social services. While I fully believe in mental health and social services (those things are my jobs) and would choose for them, I also drive to work right now (and used to take the train) and realize that if the roads aren’t in good shape, I can’t get to work. Also, I’m aware of Flint’s infrastructure problems and realize that we — for our own sanity — may need to look at our pipes as well.
I wouldn’t want to make the choice between human needs and… well, human needs. On the other hand, as you said, “You can’t spend what you don’t have”. Math still being math, it doesn’t seem like you have a choice. Something has to give.
That “something” should be our way of thinking. For more years than I can remember (since Ella Grasso?) the State has followed a policy of austerity regarding services. In what I’m sure seems to be a non sequiter, Taxes have gone up for the majority of citizens, but — between work we have put off and the cuts to services, we are getting “less bang for our buck” and paying more for it.
It may well feel like Somebody needs to be “robbed” to pay for all that needs to be done. The great majority of people in this state have already been robbed over the course of the years. As someone who used to live in a bankrupt Bridgeport while out neighboring Fairfield County boasted the highest income per person in the country, I would like to suggest something. In the words of bank robber Willie Sutton, when asked why he used to rob banks, he said, “because that’s where the money is”. .
In other words, take from the people that have it — The 1%. I’m sure that somewhere in Fairfield County, individuals in the top 1% of income ought to pay more of their share. The money they have ought to temporarily cut down on the list of Things That Need To Be Done. Decrease the cost of living for those who need it while increasing the cost of living for those who have it.
A government “of the people, by the people, and for the people” ought to try to meet the needs of those same people. It can’t do that with our present system so we need to do something differently. The problem isn’t that the money isn’t out there. It’s that we’re not bringing it in here.
I wish you well.