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vt.Buzz ~ a political blog

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


12.16.2008

 

Where next with the cuts?

OK, so now we know something about the first $20 million of $66 million in state budget cuts. What, then, can we expect the rest to look like?

We know from what Sen. Susan Bartlett has said that the administration has proposed increases in premiums for those on subsidized health-care programs. The Joint Fiscal Committee wanted the full Legislature to be back before deciding that one.

Where else do you think the cuts will be? What do you think they should cut?

On the pr positions, two vacant ones in Human Services and Public Service (Kim O'Leary's and Steve Wark's old jobs) have been cut.

- Terri Hallenbeck

Comments:
Throw "Wonder Boy" on the streets. Bet that'll save 100k or so. Hell, why not the entire administration. They have mismanaged this entire situation from the beginning.
 
Terry,
Those of us State Employees left behind keep wondering why furloughs, or forced unpaid days off, are not on the table. Most of us would much rather take a pay cut than lose our job or watch our co workers lose their job. Why isnt that being considered?
 
The governor should take a pay cut.

Also his staff is too big.
 
FYI: The governor is taking a 5 percent pay cut. At $150,000, that's $7,500.
- TH
 
DMV Modernization(underway) should eliminate many behind the scene employees and 3rd floor has way too many bodies for what they do up there.
 
I think the elimination of Field Director positions and Assistant Principals to the Commissioner's should go (and let's limit it to one deputy per department). They were an idea of the Douglas Administration that cost money with little to no return.

Also, the Student Assistance Program is a feel-good prevention idea that provides no treatment, just another wellness project in public education and in today's economy that's a luxury we can't afford.
 
Rumor has it that from several hundred to 1,500 layoffs are expected at IBM's Essex site in the coming months. Calculate the multiplier effect on the local economy and we'll go from bad to worse.

Vermont's top two sectors that make up its Gross State Product are Government and Manufacturing. Both are in a free-fall.

Gross State Product is made up of consumer spending; government spending; net exports and investment. With roughly 80% of Vermont's exports coming from IBM, with consumer and government spending in the tank and investment not in the cards for some time, it's time to think long term.

Vermont needs a long term strategic economic plan. One that provides hope and opportunity for its people. Realistically, for the short term - defined as one to three years - avoiding the harsh realities of the economic pain we're about to encounter is unavoidable.

We should take this opportunity to restructure our economy, which would include Act 250, Act 60/68 and income and corporate tax reform.
 
The governor should make no more than $100,000 per year.
 
vt.Buzz said...

"FYI: The governor is taking a 5 percent pay cut. At $150,000, that's $7,500.
- TH"

Wow. So Doogie's gonna have to get along on $143.5K per with benefits, eh?

Gee, the poor bastard.

So much for Dorothy's Sarah Palin shopping spree at Neiman Marcus.
She's just gonna have to slum it at Lord and Taylor.

She's not in the Vineyard or Nantucket any more.

They might have to sell the beach house and rent.

The horror. The horror.

Big deal.

Tell it to the person makin' 50K who took a 100 percent cut and lost their family's healthcare in the process, Terri.

Are you gonna tell me how he's helped solve Montpelier's parking problems now, too, or are ya gonna wait for his held harmless band of hacks to feed ya the talkin' points first.

Let doogie and his army of incompetents take a 50 percent cut.

At 75K, he's still overpaid and making more than most Vermonters do. Even the ones without healthcare.

I'd wager most of them had better years than him, too.
 
This comment has been removed by the author.
 
This comment has been removed by the author.
 
Anonymous said...

"Realistically, for the short term - defined as one to three years - avoiding the harsh realities of the economic pain we're about to encounter is unavoidable."

Not if you're the one responsible for the mess in the first place, little nameless-nitwit evidently.

Clearly, that hack and his helpers can get away pretty much scott free. Feel free to check.

"We should take this opportunity to restructure our economy, which would include Act 250, Act 60/68 and income and corporate tax reform."

Ah, the ol' "it's all Act 250 and the NEA's fault" song and dance.

Gee, who coulda seen that comin'

You're gonna have to do a bit more than crucify CLF or burn Angelo Dorta at the stake to solve this mess, little fella, but doogie's on the right track.

Nothin' lowers the crime rate quicker or makes the streets safer than sudden unemployment and deep cuts to Mental Health Services just before the Holidays.

Then again, that's why doogie's governor and Vermont's where it is today.

If only he could have helped shrub privatize SS or put the lottery in the capable hands of Bed, Bank of America and Beyond, we'd be sittin' pretty.

Always a pleasure.
 
Please delete more. Thank you.
 
JWCoop10:

Government services are paid for through tax revenues. Over time, tax revenues are determined by economic and productivity growth; without growth, we won't have the tax revenues to support the government services we desire. Act 60/68 consumes about 50% of our state and local taxes and is on a run rate to continue to consume an even greater percentage. Act 250 - read the state sponsored O'Neal report of 2000 - confirmed it is a determent to business growth. Without these and other changes, the alternative is a continued lowering of services and our standard of living.
 
You're forgetting (or failing) to mention that the Gov. also rakes in about $14,000 per year in per diems - as recently reported by Seven Days.

I think at $150k he should pay for his own meals. I would love to see the Free Press do a story on how Jim Douglas has become a multi-millionaire on the public dime. He's so overpaid, he's been able to set aside a fortune in deferred compensation. This is outrageous. To portray himself as feeling the pain of Vermonters and "respecting the taxpayers" when he's pigging out like this is shameful.
 
Not to mention that all of his transportation costs (cars, planes) are covered by the state.

Perhaps he can foot the bill for the round trip between Montpelier & Middlebury every day.
 
Anonymous said...

JWCoop10:

"Government services are paid for through tax revenues. Over time, tax revenues are determined by economic and productivity growth; without growth, we won't have the tax revenues to support the government services we desire."

Ah, so by your "logic", little fella, with tax revenues down, in addition to doing away with public education, we should do away with police, fire, emergency, state and municipal services, too, because, if we can't afford them any more, either, we may as well do away with the whole shootin' match while were at it and our tax problems will be solved forever.

I can see why you're the brains of the doogie disciple operation.

As Sgt Bilko used to say, Anonymous, eh? So what was your name before ya changed it?"

After all, nothin' reduces the crime rate like increasingly widespread unemployment, sudden homelessness, hopelessness and despair just in time for the Holidays, but if ya can't afford cops, ya can't afford cops, so they're just gonna have to suck it up and count their blessings on the fingers and toes they haven't lost to frostbite.

Shoot. Turf those firemen and emergency services slobs while you're at it.

Screw 'em! Where the hell were they on 9/11 when shrub was finishin' My Pet Goat because he never starts anything he can't finish, he always gets his man and he didn't want to alarm the children.

Doogie's done gone and spun us a regular Christmas Miracle!!

Well, at least his pr staff and his volunteer auxiliary like you and the Freeps Folks have.

Not only have you helped doogie weave a Christmas Miracle, you've put a whole new spin on the phrase "Burn Baby Burn"!!

Damn. You gops just never stop "thinkin'".

It's too bad that ya start at shortsighted and stupid and tumble down the cliff from there, but in the words of our fearless leader when reminded by a reporter of the fact that there was no al qaeda in Iraq before he went and shocked them all during his current magical "victory" tour, "So what?"

We can't afford schools. We can't afford police protection. We can't afford roads and bridges.

Good "thinkin'", little fella. It's no wonder the USA and the State of Vermont have fared so well throughout our history when gops and conservatives by any other name have run the show.

Maybe doogie can get shrub to pardon bill boettcher and he and richie tarrant can put their heads together to solve the State of Vermont's long term finances after the bang up job they did with FAHC.

They could even bring in Bernie Madoff as a cousultant. Actually, they might have to go to him unless shrub bails him out, too.

No doubt, Vermont will have a regular renaissance and we'll all live happily ever after.

Hell. If ya play your cards right, ya may even get Halliburton and KBR or whatever they're callin' themselves these days to rebuild Vermont's infrastructure while Blackwater handles the security.

After all, those guys always do quality work and come in under budget without rufflin' any feathers or leavin' any witnesses.

Vermont will be a regular privatization paradise.

Lose the name. Bring the cannoli.

Always a pleasure.
 
Anonymous...

"Not to mention that all of his transportation costs (cars, planes) are covered by the state.

Perhaps he can foot the bill for the round trip between Montpelier & Middlebury every day."

Again, doogie's only tight with his own money.

Shoot. If dubie has to start job hunting everywhere but Vermont on his own dime, you're talkin' about real money.

Now matter how ya slice it, we're payin' him an awful lot not to break any tie votes in the Senate.
 
JWCoop10...

"Anonymous said...
Please delete more. Thank you."

"The governor should make no more than $100,000 per year."

No, he should be makin' license plates.

Happy Festivus, little fella.

Always a pleasure.
 
Here is my idea. The state employees union should forego any negotiated contractual pay raise or bonus or lowered health care costs. They should do it freely thereby showing that their employees value their jobs and want to keep as many of their peers employed as possible. Also, they should ask employees if there are any savings that they can come up with. People with their feet on the ground in these agencies probably know better where money can be saved. Just a thought.
 
You guys need to get over yourselves - the Governors salary is not the problem. The problem is revenues - that needs to be solved.
 
Reducing the governor's salary & compensation is not THE answer but it is PART OF the answer.
 
Quit your bellyaching over cuts in state government. This recession is the best thing that could've happened to force us to make cuts that should have been done years ago. Government has grown far too big in Vermont, more than what we can afford. The whining has just begun. Get a grip and tighten your belts. Government was instituted to be a protector of your rights, not a provider of priviledges.
 
Sounds like you are the one that is whining.
 
The Laffer curve is a graph showing the relation between tax rates and government income; income increases as tax rates increase up to an optimum beyond which income begins to decline. This curve can also be applied to regulations put on businesses.

Vermont is to the right of the optimum in relation to both taxes and regulations; thus receiving less tax revenues than the optimum.

If Vermont so values its environment and way-of-life, it should do its best in calculating an opportunity cost to these values and ask voters if this is the best use of the public good and benefit.

Foregoing revenues means less money spent for social services, education, transportation, etc...
 
The Field Directors have no operational authority. They are a figure-head at best. Also, the State does not need 38 District Directors (13 for Family Services, 13 for Economic Services and 12 Field Directors. Very poor Leadership from Dale, et.al.
 
Kiersten Bourgeois is all I have to say- What does she do? Where does she do it? Why is she on the payroll?
 
AOT bosses get to drive state owned trucks to and from work. That has to stop.
 
Cutting Coop's alotment for his meds would save the state big money.

It's not like he's taking them anyway?
 
Anonymous...

"Cutting Coop's alotment for his meds would save the state big money."

Ya know, you can start tryin' any time now, nitwit. I've had plenty of BP.

Get your ignorant anonymous ass a case, a clue and some new material, schmuck.

You've been spewin' the same delusional dreck for 13 months and ya still can't spell allotment.

Then again, spelling has always been the least of your clueless-cretin concerns, little fella.

Always a pleasure.
 
Anonymous...

"Sounds like you are the one that is whining."

Well, in the spirit of the season, put yourself in the little fella's, shoes.

If you were 0-everything like his sorry, psychotic, bupkis-spewin' butt, perhaps you'd be tempted to bark and bay at the moon, too.

Nah, screw that. He's scum. To hell with him.

'Tis the season.

It's time to gather 'round the pole for the airing of grievances.
 
Anonymous

"Kiersten Bourgeois is all I have to say- What does she do? Where does she do it? Why is she on the payroll?"

If doogie says she's essential, she's essential. After all, that's good enough for nekkie boy and whatever bubbakis is callin' himself these days. It oughta be good enough for you, too.
 
Anonymous said...

"The Laffer curve is a graph showing the relation between tax rates and government income; income increases as tax rates increase up to an optimum beyond which income begins to decline. This curve can also be applied to regulations put on businesses."

Yeah, it's all the fault of the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906.

Sure thing, schmuck. Ya gonna tell pull a cheney and tell me that we're in the last throes of the insurgency and that reagan proved that deficits don't matter now, too, knucklehead.

The last person to take the Laffer Curve seriously was Ben Stein's teacher character in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" in 1986 when Reagan was already discrediting that supply-side psychosis by running up huge deficits and up to his sorry, senile butt trading arms for hostages with the Ayatollah in Iran Contra, shrub's old man was outta the loop and incurious george was still, loaded, looped, under the table and still married to Jim Beam.

Take that psychotic supply-side slop, stuff it and set fire to it, schmuck.

That delusional dreck has been discredited, dumped and deservedly deposited in the dustbin of history almost as long as the nitwit notion that the earth is flat, it's only six thousand years old and adam and eve rode dinosaurs to church, chump.

Dismissed.
 
"They have mismanaged this entire situation from the beginning."

Oh please do explain how the Governor has mismanaged a national recession, and explain how you would have done better. I can't wait to hear it.
 
bastard
army of incompetents
little nameless-nitwit
hack
little fella
little fella
you're the brains
Screw 'em!
You gops
shortsighted and stupid
little fella
little fella
nitwit
your ignorant anonymous ass
schmuck
the same delusional dreck
your clueless-cretin
little fella
little fella's
his sorry, psychotic, bupkis-spewin' butt
screw that
He's scum
To hell with him
bubbakis
schmuck
knucklehead
supply-side psychosis
sorry, senile butt
psychotic supply-side slop
schmuck
delusional dreck
nitwit notion
chump
Dismissed
 
"You've been spewin' the same delusional dreck for 13 months"

Yes, indeed you have jw. You really nailed that one.
 
Anonymous said...

""They have mismanaged this entire situation from the beginning.""

"Oh please do explain how the Governor has mismanaged a national recession, and explain how you would have done better. I can't wait to hear it."

Nice try, nitwit. Ya had no luck with me with this psychotic slop of yours so ya figure you'd try your luck with them, eh?

Lose the strawman, schmuck. Nobody said doogie's responsible for the national recession. He just supports the illegitimate trash who is and he's responsible for takin' the infinitely healthier Vermont he inherited from Howard Dean and stuffin' it in the toilet with his brain-dead policies and harem of incompetent hacks.

Spare me the Shumlin and Symington psychosis, schmuck. With the help of the obstructionist gops in the House, he's vetoed everything they've handed him that he didn't like so Vermont's where it is and you're where you are.

Still dumb. Still scum and still bearing bupkis.

Unlike McSame, Doogie was just lucky enough to fool enough of the people enough of the time and get past 11/4 before the wheels fell off with the help of a lazy-ass sclm. Too bad Vermont wasn't as lucky as the rest of the Country.

Disappear.
 
Nice try, nitwit
psychotic slop
schmuck
illegitimate trash
toilet
brain-dead policies
incompetent hacks
schmuck
obstructionist gops
Still dumb
Still scum
bupkis
lazy-ass
Disappear
 
"Doogie was just lucky enough to fool enough of the people enough of the time"

Oh, that's the best you can do, eh? Doogie only won because he "fooled" 55% of the voters? Vermonters are too stupid to vote for your candidate? The same voters who also pulled the lever for Obama?

You're pathetic.
 
Anonymous...

"Doogie was just lucky enough to fool enough of the people enough of the time"

"Oh, that's the best you can do, eh? Doogie only won because he "fooled" 55% of the voters? Vermonters are too stupid to vote for your candidate? The same voters who also pulled the lever for Obama?"

Evidently, I'm goin' too fast for ya again, little factose-intolerant fella, so I'll try to slow it down and break it down for ya.

Ya see, it's like this. When two out of three Vermont voters go for Obama and doogie pulls 55 percent, he's not foolin' everybody all the time.

Shoot. They could get doogie on tape knockin' over a string of convenience stores and the 30-35 percent of you clueless cretins comprisin' the scum vote would blame it on the media and still pull the lever for him.

Besides, he's an incumbent. He was always gonna get his 40-45 percent.

He's incompetent, but it's not like he's ruth dwyer, john gropper or clueless mcclaughry for Christ sake. That's why he managed to get himself elected in the first place.

Feel free to list all the Vermont Governors over the past 30 years who didn't serve at least two terms, little slow on the uptake fella.

Spare me, schmuck. Snelling croaked the second time around, little fella. He doesn't count.

Pay attention. The 10-15 percent of the 65 percent or so who went for Obama and still pulled the lever for doogie to give him his 55 percent were the ones who were fooled.

If they weren't fooled, they're just plain fools to vote for this incompetent hack in the first place.

Unfortunately, they were the people who put him over the top, little fella.

Hence, he managed to fool enough of the people enough of the time.

He already had you loons and the "if it ain't broke bunch" in the bank. That got him to 40-45 percent.

He didn't have to worry about the lunatic-fringe likes of you, little fella. You scum vote clowns come pre-fooled.

Christ, you loons would vote for bubbakis or nekkie boy if they were on the ballot with an R after their names.

If the gop-slop had hit the fan and these cuts and budget projections had happened two months ago, doogie'd have been toast.

This happened on his watch and he's been able to veto everything he didn't like, so ya can't blame it on the legislature.

This is his mess and he would have been held accountable for it that 10-15 percent of Obama voters who punched his ticket if they knew then what they know now.

Hence, he managed to fool enough of the people enough of the time and get himself reelected before the wheels fell off and the gop-slop hit the fan.

Let me know if I'm still goin' too fast for ya, little fella.

Always a pleasure.
 
Hey JW, unlike you and the bathrobe brigade, I'm a state employee that was just informed of staff and pay cutbacks on Monday. A joyous season for my family it is not. And if you want to know what people INSIDE state offices are saying - cause you obviously have no clue, no evidence, and no idea what you are talking about - is that 'THIS IS WHAT WE GET FOR HAVING 26% OF OUR POPULATION ON MEDICAID" I have heard it at least half a dozen times over the past two days. State employees will be losing their jobs, or having hours cut, or pay cut, but nobody will dare face up to the fact - stated by people in both parties for many years now - that the Medicaid beast is eating our state budget alive. Hundreds of millions of dollars, dude. Hundreds of millions.

Might I suggest you get a clue before pontificating? Your ignorance is stunning. Absolutely stunning.
 
JWCOOP said: "I live in Montpelier, schmuck. I'm surrounded by State Workers of both parties. Nary a one of them had your MEDICAID malarkey crackin' their top 100, little fella. Nary a one."

Right, like anyone is going to believe that neighbors talk to you out of their own free will. Living in your mom's basement in Montpelier doesn't make you an insider.
 
Anonymous....

JWCOOP said: ""I live in Montpelier, schmuck. I'm surrounded by State Workers of both parties. Nary a one of them had your MEDICAID malarkey crackin' their top 100, little fella. Nary a one.""

"Right, like anyone is going to believe that neighbors talk to you out of their own free will. Living in your mom's basement in Montpelier doesn't make you an insider."

In other words, you're still dumb, you're still scum and ya still got bupkis. Thanks for clearin' that up, little fella.

Gee, I hate to keep confusin' ya with the facts, little fella, but my Mother's been dead for over 20 years now and she never lived in Montpelier.

Feel free to check, chump. Unlike your ignorant anonymous ass, I'm in the book.

Always a pleasure.
 
Hey, JW (stands for Jackass Wuss). I am a state worker, thank you very much. People are saying what I said about Medicaid. You want my state # to call me at? Want me to tape my conversations to "prove" it to you? Or would you prefer to come down here and talk with us personally? I'm sure we would have a lively debate with your stupid, clueless, ignorant ass in the mix.

Do you even have a real job buddy? Cause you certainly don't have the brains or professional demeanor it takes to work where I work.

Stay ignorant, schmuck.
 
Perhaps you should not be using a state computer to read this blog on state time.

Publish your office number here and let's see what your boss has to say about it.
 
not at work, bud. my hours got cut!
 
State workers are pissed that Douglas doesn't have a clue how to get some new revenue so he just gets rid of the working stiffs and lets people suffer. He's not losing any sleep about it. Thinks he's doing the right (wing) thing.
 
Medicaid is too generous a health insurance plan. If the rest of us who work and pay for our health insurance received the benefits that medicaid recepients received, our premiums would be through the roof. We need to cut way, way back. We need to rethink how we deliver all of the social benefits that we deliver. You shouldn't run to the emergency room when you have an ear ache and have had it all day. Make a doctor appointment like the rest of us and wait till morning.. don't rush to ER. Its easy to make these kinds of mistakes when no cash has to leave your pocket.
 
Medicaid is the only thing keeping a lot of Americans out of the ER.

Without Medicaid, these people would not be able to see a doctor for an ear ache. Their only option would be to goto the ER.

We'd still be paying ... but we'd be paying much, much more than we do now.
 
Most of the Medicaid increases have nothing to do with ER visits. The biggest increases are due to more people requiring nursing homes.

I guess we could kick the old people out of the nursing homes ...
 
Medicaid has been proven to be one gov't program that acutally works. 60 Minutes did a story about how well it works.
 
Typical. Don't blame the fat cats at the top who make the decisions and don't suffer from them. Blame the guy less fortunate than yourself.
 
Health insurance premiums would not be "through the roof" if we eliminated the profit-seeking middle man and went for single payer government sponsored health care.
 
I thought I hear a sonic boon but then I read rick hube's piece in the paper and I know what it was now. That was rick's head popping out of jim.
 
Let's spend less on prisons.

Don't put people in prison for smoking pot.

That'll save a bundle right there.

(and no, I don't smoke pot ... but I don't care if my neighbor does!)
 
We can see why Coop complained about reducing mental health funds!
 
We spend too much on corrections.

We spend more per prisoner than we do per student.

There is a big problem there.
 
We spend too much on corrections.

We spend more per prisoner than we do per student.

There is a big problem there.
 
You people are truly insane - my bet is none of you work, or have done anything with your lives. Get a job, stop complaining and grow up.
 
"Why waste money educating kids so they can grow up to be productive, taxpaying members of their communities"

Is that your excuse pal. "ya didn't git no larnin' down in Joisy?"

I suppose it would help explain your writing style and inane charm.
 
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