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



Is it really raining?

As the snow accumulates outside, here's the question for you all: Should the state use the rainy-day fund or not to close the ever-widening budget holes?

Some have suggested if not now, then when; it's raining like never before.

Secretary of Administration Neale Lunderville says no way, it's too hard to tell how long it'll keep raining and how many more cuts are on the horizon. "That's really deferring the tough decisions," he said.

Bill Sorrell, who is now attorney general but used to have Lunderville's job when Howard Dean was governor, agrees. "I think it's too early to go to the Rainy Day fund, personally," he said. "i would be very reluctant or go to it for only a few million dollars."

- Terri Hallenbeck

Of course they should dip into the Rainy Day Fund.

Doogie's not only takin' credit for ridin' Obama's coattails when he supported clueless mcsame and more of the same, he's gone hat in hand to testify before the incoming Congress to have them and Obama bail us out of the mess caused by his brain-dead policies and incompetence and that of his boy, shrub.

As for when the rain will stop, if they really give a damn about the answer to say nothing of the State of Vermont, boy blunderville and doogie can start by looking in the mirror.

The sooner they tender their resignations and disappear, the sooner the doogie deluge will end.
Terri, didn't you tell us the Free Press was working on getting rid of the troll a few weeks ago?

How are you coming on dealing with the problem that calls himself JWCoop10?
It has not just raining hard out for some time now, but it is definitely high time to build an ark.

In my opinion, the state should enact a 3 step 1/3 formula solution: i.e.,

1. Tap up to 1/3 of the rainy day funds to address the current budget shortfall;

2. Create a tax scheme along the lines of what Governor Dick Snelling and the state legislature had done in 1991 both to help raise up to 1/3 of the current shortfall as well as having any excess over that amount help build back up the tapped rainy day (reserve) funds;

3. Cut an amount equal to 1/3 of the current shortfall from the budget. However, this time around, make sure to cut the fat where the fat truly exists: i.e., At the top and mid level regions of the higher paid and positioned bureaucracy in state government, starting within the administration itself and ensuring that the rank and file state workforce that delivers direct services to the citizens of the state are able to be held harmless. In addition, put a permanent cap on or stop to all salary increases er, bonuses er, merit increases or whatever they are termed across state government, including and starting with the administration; this policy should be kept in place until the economy fully recovers and, also not be ceased until all human services program cuts are then fully restored to what they were prior to the series of cuts that have been made within the last year or so as well as any forthcoming cuts too of course.
Lunderville's as big a wussy as he looks to be. Kind of a mini-me to Douglas.
Tough decisions like where to eat today that won't put you over the $54 meal per diem taxpayer gift?
Its important to sit up and take notice when sorrell and douglas finally agree on something like the rainy day fund. Come on folks, its not raining hard enough yet! This storm is just begining to brew. Its time to reevaluate how government delivers services. Maybe we should start looking at this as an opportunity. When times are tough, businesses take stock and reevaluate how they do business. The State should be no different. Reevaluate, reassess and get rid of the business as usual attitude.
Thanks Neale. Tell it to someone who's buying the line.
Well, I am of the female persuasion, not Neale but thanks (I think) for the compliment!
Maybe the legislature can get some impeachment resolutions moving. That should be a good use of taxpayer funds. Maybe we can impeach Rod Blogejevich. Oh - wait - he's a Democrat. We only impeach Republicans in Vermont.
^^ Wow! That really moved the discussion forward!
We really do need to look at what we do as a state and how we pay for it. Democrat or Republican - is just not right to do "business as usual".
"the mess caused by his brain-dead policies"

Exactly which of Douglas' "brain dead" policies caused the national recession or the Vermont sub-recession, you dishonest hack?

Lots of rhetoric but no evidence? Yeah, that's what I thought.

Prove that it isn't the Legislature's notoriously anti-business policies that made Vermont's situation worse than it otherwise would be.
So how many years in a row has there been a budget problem?

It's been long enough for the legislature to realize government in VT is and has been too big for the revenue base supporting it. It is time for the leadership to get serious... reduce expenses permanently or get serious and put a real plan in place to expand the tax base by attracting new business to the State.

You can't have it both ways...if you want to preserve the VT brand that's fine but it comes at a price. If you want big government, that's fine too but you have to find someone willing to pay the tax bill that comes with it. So far no one has been lining up at the door to pick up the tab. If fact quite the opposite with the number of business leaving the State.

It's time for Montpelier to get of the fence and act.

Captain America
And where does Jim Douglas fit into your fantasy?
"And where does Jim Douglas fit into your fantasy?"

Where does Douglas fit? He is part of the problem. He needs to figure out how to get it done with a legislature that is underqualified to hold the trust they have been given and would rather tax and spend than be fiscally responsible.

As for my fantasy, Montpelier has been in a fantasy world for the last 10 years pretending this problem wasn't real. Now the economy is slow, the tax base doesn't cover the bills and there is no more capacity to add new taxes. We are seeing the impact of the lack of vision of Schumlin and Symington in prior years. Their chickens have come home to roost.

Captain America
"Is the Vermont doogie inherited from Howard Dean better or worse off economically than it was when the doogie darkness first descended upon the state six years ago, little nameless-nitwit fella?"

The Democrats in the Vermont Legislature have had the largest majority in Vermont history since 2004, and that Party has had unfettered control of the Legislature and all but two of Vermont's statewide offices since Dean left office in 2002. Is the Vermont that the Democratically-dominated Legislature inherited better or worse off economically than it was when Dean left office in 2002, little nameless nitwit fella?
Get coops medication - fast!
So how is it you people have not gotten rid of Coop yet?

Terri you said weeks ago that no one wanted to get rid of him more than the Free Press but here he is tonight spewing his abuse.

Did he throw a tantrum and you decided to give him just one thousand more chances to be a good boy?

What gives kids?
Thanks for the kind words and cereberal reply Coop. You are such a warm and charming guy. You should be getting my Christmas card anyday now.

Captain America
The charm! What kindness! Such wisdom! JWCoop10 for president in 2012! Who's with me?!
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