Gee, that $55 looked good

Usually campaign promises are broken after an election, but Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's shameless electioneering stunt to offer taxpayers rebates of $55 to $110 has achieved a rare political distinction: It got taken back long before voters go to the polls.

Although this newspaper has generally favored major components of the governor's overall spending plan we were skeptical of the rebate proposal when he rashly outlined it in January, calling it a gimmick the state could ill afford.

Turns out we and other critics were right.

On Monday, Gov. Malloy reported that because the state's estimated $505 million surplus for this year is now estimated to be several hundreds of millions of dollars below projections, he is dropping the rebate proposal, as well as a separate plan to make an additional $100 million contribution to the employee pension fund.

While we're not too upset about scrapping the rebate plan, we urge the governor to find a way to follow through with additional contributions to the pension fund because, as The Day has reported, that imbalance has for years been a steady drag on state finances.

As for the rebate checks, they were to have been mailed to the state's 2.1 million taxpayers in September, only two months before Election Day.

Now voters have seven months, Gov. Malloy hopes, to forget that he made the offer in the first place.

We implore the governor and his financial advisers to focus on balancing the budget and addressing long-term economic concerns rather than devising any more election-year schemes.

The editorial board is composed of the publisher and four journalists of varied editing and reporting backgrounds. The board's discussions and information gained from its meetings with political, civic, and business leaders drive the institutional voice of The Day, as expressed in its editorials. The editorial department operates separately from the newsroom.


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