Democrats will put BET on a better path

FI-Letter-to-the-EditorTo the Editor

Some myths die hard, including that Republicans are better stewards of fiscal policy than Democrats.

It’s time to dispel the myth. Over the past 50 years, the only presidents to have balanced the federal budget were Democrats. Now, across the board, economists are telling us that Republicans’ obsession with spending cuts is harming job growth, economic recovery and long-term prosperity.

The same story has played out in Greenwich, where Republican control of the Board of Estimate and Taxation is harming the town’s economic well-being, albeit in different ways. That’s why the upcoming municipal election on Nov. 5 is so important.

Whichever party’s BET slate garners the most votes will control the BET and influence the town’s fiscal strategies. I believe the Democratic slate for BET has the better vision for keeping taxes low while investing in infrastructure and public education.

Democratic BET members have advocated for a prudent debt policy that would let the town lock in near record-low long-term bond rates to fund infrastructure investment. But Republican members have opposed it. Their unfounded fear of long-term debt actually raises taxes by forcing us to pay over just a few years the full cost of investments that will deliver benefits for decades. Greenwich has a debt burden of 0.3%, about one-seventh the national average for AAA-rated municipalities.

Democratic BET member Sean Goldrick has put a spotlight on the abysmal performance of the town’s pension fund. According to the Retirement Board’s financial adviser, Greenwich lagged 81% of all public pension funds over the past seven years, costing taxpayers millions in higher contributions. A bipartisan proposal put forward by Mr. Goldrick to hire outside counsel to recommend ways to improve financial returns was rejected by the Republican BET chairman.

Beyond being fiscally prudent, the Democratic slate understands the value of investment in infrastructure that improves quality of life and the long-term attractiveness of our community. For example, it provided unwavering support for MISA, whereas all six Republicans voted against it. It’s time to put Greenwich on a better path forward by voting for all six Democratic BET candidates.

 

Jonathan Perloe
Cos Cob

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