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Spend & Tax - The Legislature Cannot Make Hard choices


Governor Douglas has recently written to Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin stronglly urging him to deal with the tough decisions necessary to establish a sustainable Vermont budget and set Vermont on a better economic course. The Legislature seems unable to make the admittedly difficult decisions to cut spending and not raise taxes.The recent announcements by dealer.com and IBM that will add jobs in Chittenden County is good news. We wish the Legislature would control spending and taxes so that more businesses would create jobs in the state. Perhaps they will do so before adjournment, but their record in supporting economic growth is poor. We encourage them to do better before adjounment.The Governor's letter is attached. 

Invest in the VT economy rather than punish it, please


I have read how certain legislators do not like the budget that Governor Douglas put forth for the coming state fiscal year. Apparently they don't like the reductions in social service spending, among other things. And as we now know, many are also picking apart the Challenge for Change initiative and the $38 million in spending reductions that was supposed to deliver - almost half of which was from the Social Service delivery system.

None of us like cuts that hurt people, but when you don't have enough tax revenue to pay the bills you have to cut something. And when the majority of your spending is in social services and education, something in those spending line items is going to have to give.

The Responsibility for our UNaffordable Housing Problem


My thought of the day is about how many legislators, particularly those in the Chittenden County area whose voices I hear most often due to the local press, are frequently complaining about the lack of affordable housing in the area.

That is ironic since they are the ones at the controls of housing prices.

If you want affordable housing you have to relieve the cost pressure on construction via permit reform and you have to reduce property taxes and other mandated costs of owning and operating housing units.

I happen to own a four unit apartment building (1 bedroom in each unit) on a public street adjacent to the UVM campus. I lived in one of the units from 1997 to 2003 when I finally decided I needed more than 500 square feet of living space and would benefit from having a garage at my then 35 years of age.

Single Payer in Vermont would further damage our employers and state economy


Based on various sources of input I am starting to get quite concerned about the momentum building to establish an employer funded single payer health care system in Vermont.

Many of the people behind this movement are either being intellectually dishonest or have no idea how an true healthy economy functions as some of them are actually claiming that this will help our employers and our economy. In my opinion, based on my 19 plus years in the business world helping companies survive financially, nothing could be further from the truth.

My opinion is that an employer (or high income earner) funded single payer system will only further reduce our dwindling tax base by driving more employers entirely or incrementally out of Vermont. And with them will also go a material portion of the individual income tax revenues as well.

The Beachead of American Socialism from the former governor of the commune


An editorial written by Tom Licata:

“Governor Dean, you want a more robust Public Option?”
“I think the bill still has some fairly significant flaws but you know we can work with this. This is what Mitt Romney did essentially in Massachusetts, but it’s going to take a long time but it’s going to lead to reforms ultimately. I wouldn’t call this bill reform but I do think it can lead to reform…it’s going to take a lot more work”

“Governor Dean, Philosophically… do you think your party knows…we’ve chosen a different type of society, more akin to Europe?”
“…when it gets [social inequality] out of whack…you need to do some redistribution. This is a form of redistribution.”

This CNBC Squawk Box interview occurred on March 25th; two days after President Obama signed into law the most significant major legislation since Medicare, in 1965.

Spend and Tax! This Legislature's Not Business-Friendly


This from Associated Industries of Vermont once more demonstrates that Vermont's business-unfriendly reputation is reinforced by the House Ways and Means Committee.

 

We understand this committee is not responsible for appropriations, but Chair Obuchowski should demand further spending cuts from his colleague, Appropriations Chair Martha Heath to avoid more taxes.