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Gilmer would work to reinvigorate region's economy

Eastern Connecticut has been plagued for over a decade by stagnant job growth and an ever-increasing number of residents fleeing the Constitution State. That, on top of an overly progressive agenda by state and federal representatives, has driven a further wedge between the upper and middle class.

As the Second Congressional District’s federal representative, Joe Courtney continues to support bills that raise taxes nationally, as the flames of the once flourishing manufacturing and defense industry in Eastern Connecticut dim to an alarming flicker.

Over a year and a half ago my family and I decided that we needed to bring positive change to Eastern Connecticut and that change would only come if we could shake up the policies that for the last 13 years have put the Second Congressional District in last place. In a study published by the Yankee institute it was found that Connecticut has only recovered 80% of the manufacturing jobs since the economic recession in 2008. That number holds true even though the 2017 economic relief bill proposed by Rep. Tim Scott, R-S.C., and signed into law by President Trump, created hundreds of thousands of new jobs across the nation and one of the lowest unemployment rates in the past 50 years.

The voters of Eastern Connecticut are tired of the misrepresentation by our current congressman who has refused to address issues such as affordability, federal infrastructure funding, opportunity zones, supporting our police, and protecting our constitutional rights. Instead, his voting record has made it perfectly clear that the needs of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the progressive agenda outweigh the over 700,000 constituents he represents.

One of the top issues that we have all faced, especially in the COVID-19 economy, is affordability. Regulatory policies that have been voted and passed in bills to satisfy the desires of special interest needs are now coming back to hurt the working class. I am sure we have all recently felt the pain from the increase in energy costs on our utility bills. Some of us will blame the energy companies, but really our legislature is to blame. The more red tape that our government puts into law the higher our shared cost is to satisfy and grease the squeaky wheels of the ever-inefficient bureaucracy. I plan to work hard to slash regulations, which will then decrease the overall shared cost to the public.

Amid an impending economic crisis, we must also look to fight raises in taxes. Bills like H.R 5377 entitled “Restoring Tax Fairness for State and Localities Act” aim to increase the top income tax rate from 37% to 39.6%. The last thing the House should be considering at this moment is raising taxes. Instead we should be focusing on stimulating the economy, investing federal dollars into our community’s infrastructure to entice and incentivize growth — not forming more oversight committees.

Another important issue is the encroaching assault on our Bill of Rights, specifically the Second Amendment. In the State Capital we have seen bills proposing 35% tax on firearms. Federally it has been proposed through H.R 5717 a 50% tax on ammunition and 30% tax on firearms. Bill proponents say they are pushing such legislation to curb gun violence throughout our nation, while allowing the legal purchase of firearms. However, most legal gun owners see this as just an increased cost aimed at making it nearly unaffordable to exercise their right to bear arms. Instead of a tax, why isn’t our current representative working with federal law enforcement agencies to provide them the funding and intel needed to help clean up the crime in our communities and promote firearm safety?

In less than 100 days we are going to have to make a choice on our ballots, deciding if we are OK with accepting the status quo and continuing to hemorrhage jobs and residents from our neighborhoods.

In less than two weeks, in the Aug. 11 primary, Connecticut Second District Republicans are going to have to make a decision on who they would like to represent them in challenging the status quo that has left us limping down the economic trail, falling behind the rest of the Union.

On May 11, the Republican State Party gave me its blessing to challenge Joe Courtney. I am asking you to do the same. Together we can bring positive change to Eastern Connecticut.

Tom Gilmer is the Republican Party endorsed candidate in the Second Congressional District. The Day also offered his primary opponent, Justin Anderson, the opportunity to write a commentary in advance of the Aug. 11 Republican primary. We await his submission.



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