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A message to our Governor & General Assembly

We, the undersigned, recognize that Vermont is on an unsustainable path of little or no private sector job growth, excessive government spending and overwhelming tax burdens that are among the very highest in the country. This condition predates the recession.

Our unsustainable and oppressive tax burdens need to be addressed with a comprehensive, Long-Term Economic Plan. One that provides a roadmap of hope and opportunity through economic and productivity growth, leading to the kind of quality job creation and affordable living standards all Vermonters deserve.

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Thomas SopchakWilliston

I was lucky enough to see Tom's presentation over the weekend. Your message is spot on. However we are riding on a run away freight train. Most people are ignorant of the situation and the few who understand it feel helpless to change it. I'm affraid preventing what is about to happen is impossible. I do really appreciate all of your time and efforts to try and educate the public and encourage their support and involvement.

John KennedyWoodford

The state government is a child of the people. If we do not resume our responsibility as parents, we will bankrupt ourselves. Likewise for the federal government, as it bankrolls a third of the state budget.

terry leachsAINT JOHNSBURY
Michael DunneBurlington

I wholeheartedly support the message you folks are trying to get across. Unfortunately, I doubt that there are many out there that are listening. Makes me wonder where this state will end up in 5,10,20 years time and beyond. The term Common Sense has been used a number of times over history to describe and/or outline a logical approach to the relationship between society and government. Thomas Paine made a compelling case in his pamphlet "Common Sense" on why the US should follow the route of independence from Britain. His method of communication was to keep the argument and reasoning simple so that the "common man" could understand. He chose not to rely on any language and/or references so commonly used by the "enlightened" at that time. There have been a number of other "movements" that chose Common Sense as the basis for the political agenda of reforms. The common element in the platform of these movements has been "reducing taxes while balancing the budget by reducing the size and role of government".

As a New England State, common sense is historically one of our core values. I'm no expert, but it seems that it has steadily disappeared from our collective values as government has taken a larger and larger role in our society. I'm sure a lot of us like to think they have common sense, which may be true in how we run our individual lives. But collectively as a state and as a nation, it boggles my mind how common sense has been slowly and surely weeded from the lexicon of our governing powers.

I'm an educated person, and I am a strong believer in education as a means to making our state and country more successful, both in economic and humanitarian terms. However, I am a firm believer in the "KISS" principle. (Not to be mistaken for Mayor Kiss's principles.) As I tell my employees all the time, Keep It Simple Stupid. Probably not the most politically correct thing, but if you can boil something down to the basics of what you are trying to say, accomplish, have a hell of lot better chance of success by keeping it simple.

The regulatory environment, both at local, state, and federal level, has become too complicated. It stifles economic and productive growth, especially for small business. I am not advocating stripping out regulatory controls, but there has to be a way of simplifying it so the common person can understand it and navigate their way through in the most cost effective manner possible.

I don't care what the elites in VT and/or Ms. Markowitz says, it is not a perception issue that VT is struggling with in attracting business to our state. It is a real problem and it needs to change.

Tyler WadeSpringfield

Was impressed with Stephen Holmes presentation tonight in Springfield. He as well as Tom Licata spoke on being informed and taking action! I was glad to see a turn out of 20+, I am doing my part by buying local and the like but my plans include contacting my representative and engaging and expecting them to make a change for the better. I would like to see this problem addressed before we truly do hit bottom.

Dart EverettBrattleboro

Thanks. Too many legislators who put us in the economic position we are in are still in power, some even seeking higher office.

James MinettiColchester

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." Albert Einstein

Thomas O'BrienDanby
Patrick ZacharyS. Burlington
Lenore BroughtonBurlington
john HilfertyMoretown

I cannot wait for next November.
We have pride in Vermont, but not this statistic: Vermont leads the nation in total tax per capita, a deplorable distinction, especially when you consider that the state in the mid-1990s ranked 20th among the 50 states in personal income taxes.

It doesn’t stop there. Here in Moretown, our town budget has jumped 47 percent in five years, and education spending per child has increased 35 percent in the same time span.
One might think that in these harsh economic times, with Vermont facing a $200 million deficit, a responsible Legislature would practice some spending constraints. And though the federal Stimulus Package has benefited Vermont by $282 million, our irresponsible Legislature decided to raise taxes by another $26 million. That’s a child in a candy store with our money. And where has the bulk of the stimulus been spent? On government jobs — a federal Octomom birthing payrolls for unionized government workers. Aid to small businesses? Forget it. Private sector jobs? Out of state, maybe.

Kelly GrenonGrand Isle
John & Fran ElliottWestfield

I feel that the days of unfunded liabilities must end. Between the state and the federal government promising what they do not have, we will bankrupt in the near future. Although the federal government can just print more currency, that will destroy the value of our dollar. Did I hear anyone say time for a "Tea Party"? Merry Christmas to all and hopefully a Happy & Prosperous New Year!

Jeff SandsDorset
Barbara MarchettiManchester Center
Karl Willaimsshaftsbury
Edward McGuireHinesburg
Nancy NorrisHinesburg, Vermont
Thomas M. SalmonSt Johnsbury

"By 2020, Vermont's 20 year olds will have the skills commensurate with a deserved, living wage, with growth opportunity." This outcome, if achieved will attract smart companies, people, and processes while optimizing secondary, technical and higher ed assets. We can only do this if we change the way we think, educate, incent, and act. May God shine courage on Vermont and the USA.

Mark MaloneyWilliston

The lack of awareness of Vermonts'lawmakers concerning the very real problems we face is breathtaking. The thing that is stunning is that they keep getting reelected.