Gubernatorial candidate David Walker talks taxes, pensions and party politics

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Former comptroller general David Walker is seeking the Republican nomination for the Governor of Connecticut next election. (Photo courtesy of David Walker)

Former comptroller general David Walker is seeking the Republican nomination for the Governor of Connecticut next election. (Photo courtesy of David Walker)

Former United States comptroller general David Walker said he is seeking the Republican nomination for Governor of Connecticut because he feels he is a “proven problem solver” who could restore economic stability and strength in Conn.

Walker was appointed U.S. comptroller general by President Bill Clinton in 1998 and served in that role until 2008. Prior to that he was a practicing certified public accountant with the firm Arthur Andersen, according to his campaign website.

Walker said that if he is elected governor, he would scale down the state deficit and spending and revitalize Connecticut’s economy by “right-sizing” the state government.

“Spending, in this state, is completely out of control,” Walker said. “The government is too big to benefit the people and is promising too much for the budget to handle.”

Walker said that among his fiscal improvement goals is the plan to override the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) Agreement (which is a state employee concessions package), limiting union bargaining to exclude pensions and reforming what he feels is the state’s “overly generous and wasteful” welfare system.

“People must understand that career politicians and union leaders have colluded to enact irresponsible and unaffordable benefits,” Walker said. “The system must be restructured in order to keep Connecticut remaining afloat, but that being said, I’ve been clear I will not cut anyone’s pension check.”

As for taxes, Walker said he plans on eliminating some taxes and fees he believes are unnecessary, along with the estate and gift tax. However, he is not in favor of removing the income tax like some of his opponents.

“I would provide a targeted tax reduction immediately that would allow people to stay in state while we restructure the state finances,” Walker said. “I do not think significant tax reductions would be viable without a comprehensive and credible plan to replace them.”

Walker said he believes that tax plans proposed by his opponents are overly ambitious with no real financial strategy behind them.

“My opponents promise a lot and have no credible plan to achieve it,” Walker said. “I will not promise what I cannot achieve.”

In response to a question about a comment he made on CNBC calling Washington politicians “wingnuts,” Walker said that he believes that party politics has created a polarized environment.

“It’s true that both parties are disproportionately influenced by wingnuts who are pushing the parties to the far left and the far right,” Walker said. “This was not a partisan comment, but I think we forget that 42 percent of voters are unaffiliated.”

Walker said he feels that his background in finance makes him highly qualified for the role of governor at this current point in state politics.

“I am what voters are looking for. I’m not a professional politician, I’m a proven problem solver,” Walker said. “We must put our finances in order or everyone in the state will suffer.”

Walker said that he believes Connecticut has a lot of potential and that 2018 could be a turning point for the state if voters elect leadership that will enact comprehensive reforms.

“Connecticut is a beautiful state with a high quality of life, an educated workforce and a great geographical location,” Walker said. “My vision is to make tough choices to restore Connecticut greatness and make us a top-five state again.”


Andrew Miano is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at andrew.miano@uconn.edu.

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