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Political notes from Free Press staff writers Terri Hallenbeck, Sam Hemingway and Nancy Remsen


11.25.2008

 

On the roads again

We gave a preview of this in a story last week, but now the Snelling Center's transportation study is officially out.

Charlie Smith, president of the Snelling Center, said:

Our surveys told us that Vermonters want transportation to be a high
priority. Bridge repair is at the very top of the priority list. While few
people are enthusiastic about new taxes, a large majority supports taxes as part
of the solution.

When asked what tax source they would favor most, a strong majority cited
user-related taxes such as gas and diesel fuel taxes, rather than income, sales
or property taxes. The surveys also indicated support for major public
borrowing to accelerate road and bridge repairs.

For the full Vermont Roads and Bridges report, the Executive Summary, and the Critical Data Guide, go to: www.snellingcenter.org/vermontroadsandbridges.

This report puts the Douglas administration in an awkward spot. Charlie Smith used to be Gov. Jim Douglas' secretary of Administration, overseeing the state budget. Now he has put together a report that runs counter to much of what Douglas has been saying.

- Terri Hallenbeck

Comments:
It's funny how honest Republicans are about raising taxes when they aren't running for office or working for someone who is.

Then again, Republican Rich Westman is the only legislator in the house leadership to support raising gas taxes ...
 
Gee, if only this information had been made public before the election, we might not be saddled with this incompetent fraud for two more years.

Then again, I'm sure the timing of the release of this report is sheer coincidence.

Jim equals jobs for spin doctors.
 
Can't you just imagine the people that support higher fuel taxes? The jws, etc., people that go nowhere and pay no taxes now! Gee, did anyone ask the working stiff that has to drive 100 miles a day to support his family what he/she think? Back when Vermont was a business-friendly conservative state (pre-Kunin) people didn't have to drive halfway around the state to find work!
 
No fears. That Ziconi guy will spin this away in no time.
 
Let's raise gas taxes some more. Our gas prices are already well above the national average.

Maybe if we raise it enough we can chase even more businesses and residents from the state. That will help the tax rolls.

Get a grip. Cut spending. Shrink the size of government. Live within our means. If we need roads, cut other spending to fund it.
 
bubba said, "Can't you just imagine the people that support higher fuel taxes?"

Yes. They are people like REPUBLICAN Richie Westman and REPUBLICAN Charlie Smith.

The gas tax increase was defeated in Vermont becaue there wasn't enough support among democrats in the legislature.
 
Charlie Smith had a brain and ideas. No wonder he ran away from Douglas and Bubs.
 
Awkward spot ?
Governor Douglas takes the federal money that Leahy ,Sanders and Welch have worked to supply.The roads and bridge repair begins and some jobs are made available.He can still oppose the gas tax keeping the no never any taxes position.Next week he goes to meet with Obama in his RGA capacity to put in a good word for more aid money.
 
Yea, Douglas like to spend. That's for sure.

He's spent more money on an anual basis than any governor in Vermont history.
 
Also grew Vermont government to its largest size ever. Bush did the same at the federal level. Douglas forgot his "smaller government" roots a long time ago.
 
Perhaps you morons "forgot" the Kunin years! That's when Vermont became the welfare magnet for the jws and other useless flatlanders. Spend, spend, spend....regulate, regulate, regulate! That's all she knew!
 
Douglas spends more than Kunin ever did.
 
That's all he knows!
 
Even adjusted for inflation, Douglas spends more than Kunin ever did.
 
I thought the legislature had something to do with spending! If they don't, why are they in Montpelier?
 
Anonymous said...

"Even adjusted for inflation, Douglas spends more than Kunin ever did."

Too bad he doesn't spend it on roads and bridges.
 
Hey Bubba maybe you should read your own posts. If Kunin was responsible how is Douglas not? If Douglas is not and its the legislature's fault than it can't be Kunins. Anyone want to guess which party had control of the leg when Kunin was gov?

Stop making it about party and start making it about policy. Until everyone acknowledges that THEIR party screws things up and does some things well nothing will ever actually get any better for us, Flatlander or Vermonter, doesn't make a damn bit of difference.
 
I have to agree. While the dims are the most irresponsible spenders and waste of time, many "RINO" Republicans are just as guilty. I mean, look at Barbara Snelling, Westman, etc. - they might as well be dims or progs. Same on the national level - Republicans lost their way and started spending like dims. We need more TRUE conservatives on the state and national level! TAKE BACK VERMONT!
 
Bubba agrees! Douglas spends more than any governor in history!

But he isn't a RINO. He's a true blue conservative. Under GW Bush, the GOP has proven that they can't be trusted with taxpayer money.
 
bubba....

I thought the legislature had something to do with spending! If they don't, why are they in Montpelier?

Leaving aside the ludicrous image of you engaged in thought, bubbakis, evidently, they're there to pass legislation for doogie to veto with the help of the obstructionist gop slime in the House, little fella.

Ya know, bubbakis, if Westman's a gop and all gops were unanimous in their support of doogie's vetoes and their obstruction of the Legislature's efforts to override those vetoes, you'd best watch who you're callin' a "rino", little fella.

Especially, now that there's two fewer gops in the House and more Dems than there were. You gop slime need all the help ya can get, so you best stick together.

Then, there's the matter of our Congressional Delegation and a legitimate, competent, President about to enter the White House for the first time in eight years.

At least there's light at the end of that tunnel.

It may be an oncoming train for incompetent gop-slime, but at long last, it's hope for Americans and the rest of humanity.

Christ, Obama's gotta hold a press conference and appoint a new member of his Cabinet and/or economic team every day just to keep the DOW from totally meltin' down every time Paulson opens his trap while shrub goes AWOL. Again.

Well, if nothin' else, we know he knows how to do that.

Always a pleasure.
 
Obama may be your "anointed one" but he is not president yet. The DOW was 12,000 when the dims took over in 2006, one of your heroes, Robert Rubin has taken CITI down the tubes, same for Barney Frank and his lover over at Fanny Mae, so I hardly would consider "the annointed one" competent, as you call him. Proof please?
 
bubba said...

"Obama may be your "anointed one" but he is not president yet."

No, unfortunately, he's not, but since shrub's done what he does best and gone AWOL, again, and the DOW takes a dive every time Paulson opens his trap, Obama's forced to hold a press conference every day to announce another member of his Cabinet and/or member of his economic rescue squad just to keep the economy from totally melting down.

Then again, I suppose it's sheer coincidence that Obama holds three press conferences on three successive days and the DOW posts its first three successive gains of the month.

Shrub was left with a country with a good economy, a record federal surplus, peace, prosperity and a couple of tall buildings dominating the lower Manhattan Skyline.

None of those things are true today and shrub had a gop-slime, rubber-stamp Congress for the first six years of his reign of error and - like doogie - he's been able to veto anything and everything the Legislative Branch sent him that he didn't like.

Like doogie, this is shrub's gop-slime mess from start to finish.

Fortunately, the rest of the country gets a head start on its recovery. Unfortunately, Vermont gets to suffer through two more years of gop-slime incompetence.

Always a pleasure.
 
How is it that Bubba figures that Barney Frank is more powerful than the President of the United States??

Somehow George Bush has been completely powerless over the past eight years and had no way to put our economy on track -- how is that?
 
How is it that the lunatic-fringe likes of bubbakis "thinks" any of the psychotic slop he spews?
 
Anonymous said...

"Bubba agrees! Douglas spends more than any governor in history!

But he isn't a RINO. He's a true blue conservative. Under GW Bush, the GOP has proven that they can't be trusted with taxpayer money."

Gops have proven that they can be trusted to screw up the economy, screw up national security along with education, the environment and civil rights.

Just what are they good at, cross burnings, lynchings and the foxtrot?
 
Vermont is tied for the 11th lowest gas tax in the country as of 1/1/08.
 
How is it that Bubba figures that Barney Frank is more powerful than the President of the United States??

Somehow George Bush has been completely powerless over the past eight years and had no way to put our economy on track -- how is that?
 
If only shrub had been powerless over this economy for the past eight years. We wouldn't be in this fix.

Of course, we wouldn't be in Iraq or bogged down in Afghanistan, either.

There'd still be a surplus, our roads and bridges wouldn't be crumbling around us and odds are the WTC Towers would still be standing.

Just like they were before shrub had power over such things.
 
"Just what are they good at, cross burnings, lynchings and the foxtrot?"

Uh, that was the Dixiecrats what did those things, little fella.

And shame on you for resorting to your racist paranoias in a discussion about the gas tax.
 
From the Snelling Center Report's executive summary: "While few
people are enthusiastic about new taxes, a large majority supports taxes as part of the solution."

I'm puzzled. I just looked at the survey questions asked, and there are only three that seem to come close to supporting this statement.

Two of them ask if the money would be used to fix roads and bridges, which would they prefer as a funding source and provide increasing taxes, fees, or tolls among a menu of funding sources.

The alternative solutions included tranferring less money from Transportation to Public Safety; transferring more money from Education to Transportation; or reallocating money within the Transportation Fund.

The option of say, eliminating income sensitivity for rich Vermonters, or lowering the income eligibility for entitlement programs like Dr. Dynasaur doesn't get asked.

And only 20 percent of the conference participants say raising taxes is their favorite way of addressing the problem of spending on roads and bridges. That's probably pretty close to the number of Democratic politicians, staffers, activists, etc. who were on the conference panel, e.g. Dick Mazza, Ted Brady, Mary Sprayragen, Bill Schubart, Will Patten, David Blittersdorf, Frank Cioffi,Tom Torti, etc.

By contrast, the largest percentage of conferees, 34 percent, identified raising taxes as their least favorite of the offered alternatives.

Then the participants are asked to choose between "political compromise" that includes an equal share from their least favored source, or doing nothing. Wow. Are we amazed that 89 percent of the conferees say they'll favor compromise over doing nothing?

Options like those mentioned above -- cutting other discretionary spending, or means testing entitlements -- or steps like a moratorium on any taxpayer spending on buying development rights through VHCB aren't given.

Don't even get me started on the value, or lack thereof, of the "Web Surveys" that supplies the rest of the justification. A self-selected group? Targeted? How? No information on how the online surveys were conducted.

Sorry, but I don't exactly see that the data backs up the statement that "a large majority (of Vermonters) supports taxes as part of the solution." Show me a scientific poll of Vermonters, not a rigged survey with false choices, and maybe I'll buy it.
 
Hey let's get back to the topic of this post...

The fact is that Douglas will not support raising gas taxes BUT he does support raising motor vehicle vehicles - what's the difference?

Here's a question: when is a fee a fee? And when is a fee a tax?

Easy answer: A fee is a fee IF Gov Douglas proposes it! While a fee is tax IF the legislature proposes it!

This is according to Jim Douglas, Mike Smith, Neale Lunderville, and Jason Gibbs!
 
Anonymous said...
""Just what are they good at, cross burnings, lynchings and the foxtrot?""

"Uh, that was the Dixiecrats what did those things, little fella."

Yeah, before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when former Dixiecrat scum like strom became dixie-gop scum like strom, nixon's southern strategy and the rest of the old dixiecrat scum died off or became dixie-gop scum like strom, little fella.

Ya gonna try to tell me that there's been no cross-burnings or lynchings since 1964, david duke didn't run as a gop and Dixie ain't the heart of the gop-slime base, little fella.

Knock yourself out, nitwit.

Look at a map, mutt. If the gops don't run the confederate states table, they haven't got a prayer of winnin' the White House.

Ya can tell the same lies and spew the same psychotic slop over and over again, little fella, and given the fact that's the extent of your act, I've got no doubt you'll continue to spew just that, little nameless-nitwit fella, but they're still gonna be ignorant trash lies and you're still gonna be the same ignorant anonymous trash with bupkis ya were before I got here, schmuck.

Like your coalition of the clueless cretin comrades, you were dumb, you were scum and ya had bupkis before I got here and you'll be dumb, you'll be scum and you'll have bupkis when I'm gone.

Don't go changin'.

Always a pleasure.
 
Anonymous..

Hey let's get back to the topic of this post...

The fact is that Douglas will not support raising gas taxes BUT he does support raising motor vehicle vehicles - what's the difference?

Here's a question: when is a fee a fee? And when is a fee a tax?"

Good point. It's all money out of the fee/taxpayers pocket no matter what doogie has beeper boy try to call it.

An increase in the cost of living is and increase in the cost of living and those long-neglected roads and bridges aren't gonna hold a bake sale or a 50/50 raffle to pay for their own repair.

The longer we wait, the more it's gonna cost and the more damage the doogie/dubie debacle gets to do to Vermont.

Of course, bubbakis and the brain-dead bupkis brigade are still trying to blame it on Kunin 20 years down the road and after the fact.

Then again, they've got to resort to fantasy. Lord knows reality and the facts ain't doin' 'em any favors.

Of course, they never do.
 
"Then again, they've got to resort to fantasy."

Pot, Kettle; kettle, pot.
 
Dumb. Scum. Bupkis.

Always a pleasure.
 
Again with the charm, little fella?
 
7 posts in 2 days:

gop slime
little fella
gop slime
incompetent gop-slime
gop-slime
gop-slime incompetence
lunatic-fringe
psychotic slop
spews
cross burnings
lynchings
scum
gop scum
scum
gop scum
little fella
cross-burnings
lynchings
gop-slime
little fella
nitwit
mutt
lies
spew
psychotic slop
little fella
spew
little nameless-nitwit fella
ignorant trash lies
ignorant anonymous trash
bupkis
schmuck
coalition of the clueless cretin comrades
dumb
scum
bupkis
dumb
scum
bupkis
brain-dead bupkis brigade
Dumb. Scum. Bupkis
 
Anonymous..

"Again with the charm, little fella?"

Again with the nameless nonsense, nitwit.

Nice try, little fella, but you're gonna have to do more than shrub shill and steal my stuff to come up with somethin' beyond bupkis, 'cause you're dumb, you're scum and that's all ya got.

Ya still got no answer for the fact that it was doogie's boy who put the study together, that shrub and doogie let the roads and bridges decline to this point and no answer for how we're supposed to pay for fixing them.

They ain't gonna get any cheaper to repair, little fella, if ya wait for them to collapse like the one between over the Mississippi between Minneapolis and St Paul that killed and maimed a few people when it collapsed.

Then again, with all his pull with shrub, they had an incompetent-trash, gop-slime governor helpin' the people of his state, too.

Gee, is your ignorant anonymous ass gonna tell me that an I-35 Bridge is a "state's rights" issue like ya spewed about I-91 recently, little nameless-nitwit fella.

Or was that the other nameless nitwit with bupkis, bonehead.

Always a pleasure, punk. Always a piece of cake.
 
nameless nonsense, nitwit
little fella
bupkis
you're dumb
you're scum
little fella
incompetent-trash, gop-slime
ignorant anonymous ass
nameless nitwit with bupkis
bonehead
punk

Again with the persuasive reasoning, little fella?
 
Again with the nameless-nitwit nonsense, little fella.

Always a pleasure.
 
ban coop please.
 
Pollina for Governor!!! Ha-Ha
 
Pollina for Governor . . . of the Vermont Milk Company!!! Ha-Ha.
 
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