Opinion: Inflation is compounding CT’s affordability problem

With credit card bills coming due from the holidays, it is clear that the cost of almost everything we purchase is going up. This increase in inflation is making Connecticut's affordability problem that much worse and it is especially harmful for seniors and the poor.

Our affordability problem stems from decades of one-party rule in Connecticut’s Legislature that has driven up the cost of living, the cost to open or run a business and the cost to retire in Connecticut, forcing seniors to leave our state in droves. This problem is compounded by the fact that municipal aid to well managed towns like Fairfield has been slashed by big city progressive legislative leaders these past few years. Now more than ever we need more balance and bipartisanship in Hartford.

One-party rule, regardless of the party, is problematic as there are no checks and balances. And in the case of Connecticut, there have been no guard rails to our Legislature’s progressive public policies that increase the size of government and create unfunded mandates for towns like Fairfield that lead to higher property taxes. We need more balance with our state government and adults in the room that can manage our state’s budget responsibly.

This past year with an influx of one-time federal money pouring into the state, our Legislature ignored Connecticut’s fiscal crisis and we now have a biennial state budget of over $45 billion. By the end of 2022, all that one-time federal money that fell in our lap will run out and Connecticut’s working families will once again be stuck with the bill at a time when we can afford it least with prices on the rise at the gas pump, the grocery store and everything in between.

Our Legislature needs to get serious about the cost of living in this state. It is obvious to anyone that is paying attention that working families and those on a fixed income can no longer afford the high cost of living coupled with an increase in inflation that is not going away anytime soon. To address the high cost of living and affordability in our state, I implore our state legislators this upcoming session to follow this simple principle: do not spend more than we take in and do not borrow more than we can pay back. We just cannot afford it any longer.

Brian Farnen

Former state representative, Fairfield


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