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vt.Buzz ~ a political blog

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



After the deluge

So, you've had a chance to hear the governor's speech or read it.

He delivered a wallop to schools - he wants to level-fund their 2010 spending per pupil. He wants to get rid of income sensitivity for households earning $75,000 or more instead of $90,000 or more.

He says schools aren't feeling the pain the way the rest of society is.

In the Legislature, I think you can spell the response this way: DOA.

Income sensitivity is huge to the Democratic majority. They would love to see everyone pay their property taxes based on income.

Level-funding spending didn't go over very well either.

There were other items in the address that are also likely DOA. Permit reform, for instance. He proposed taking into consideration a project's value to the state in terms of economic development when granting permits and lightening up on the front end of permit regulations while strengthening enforcement if things go awry.

You can read the speech on our Web site: www.burlingtonfreepress.com. Read it over. What do you think? Should the Legislature dismiss education funding constraints? What about permit reform?

- Terri Hallenbeck

I liked the level funding of schools and the consolidation
of state colleges.
Call me crazy, but isn't lowering the income sensitivity level a tax increase? I thought the Gov was opposed to tax increases? Moreover, isn't that counter to his push for affordable housing and attracting and keeping younger workers? How about cap the value of property that income sensitivity applies to, to $300,000 or something like that?
A grownup had to say it.
He has got to know that the union-owned socialists in the legislature will throw tantrums over this, so
what's he up to?
Reminding all you dem/socialists out there, Douglas got more votes than Symington (the socialist) and Polina (the Marxist) combined.
The UVM/State College idea is a good one. Then Chancellor Bill Craig (he would later run unsuccessfully against Snelling in the GOP primary) attempted it in 1976. Cornelius Granai gave an impassioned speech and helped to stop the idea. Why not merge the administrative function?

As to taking the General Fund dollars that are going to fund Teacher Retirement and using them to draw down federal funds via the Global Commitment, great idea! What better way to turn $40 million into $97 million? Sure the Ed fund would have to absorb the retirement costs but at that match rate it would pay to bump the statewide property tax to cover it.
Here in Bennington, we have a 4% decrease in our SVSU Budget and a 1% decrease in the Bennington School Budget, Not bad, others have to follow, the Govenor is correct, all must reduce!!
It took a number of years to pass the current education funding system; it'll take time for a new one.

But now might not be a bad time to start the process. There are more and more people feeling the pain; the numbers in terms of enrollment, spending and staffing levels are so disparate that it's easy to make the case to the public that the system is out of balance; and some Democrats will not have forgotten the Vermont NEA's decision to endorse Anthony Pollina over Gaye Symington.
"Yeah, and two outta every three Vermonters voted for Obama, Shumlin is still Senate President Pro Tempore with a 23-7 Dem Majority, Shap Smith is the new Speaker presiding over the largest Dem House Majority in Vermont History, little factually-challenged fella."

I didn't say the voters were INTELLIGENT.
Obviously people who vote against their own rational interests are not intelligent.
The only people whose interests line up with government are 1) lazy brain dead govt. employees, 2)lazy brain dead losers who want free stuff 3) venal politicians and lobbyists who give free stuff, with my money.
Its easy to see what got the US into this mess.

State and federal goverments that CANNOT reduce spending and continually add more programs.

Goverment never lays off thousands of people when the rest of the country is. They ask for more from our paychecks through taxes of every kind yet we continue to run deficits.

Now it has finally caught up and the reality is the money they need isnt there. And the government like most individuals is having to face economic reality.

Its NEVER easy to say NO to education but that is just one of many areas that spending that will have to be cut.

as a sidenote with all the talk of how stupid everyone is and how bad american students perform compared to the rest of the world; does our education system as currently structured warrant the hefty budget increases seen over the past decade and a half???
As long as the dims are paid off by the VNEA and the environmental lobbies nothing will be done to improve the economic foundation of this state. It is up to the people to start throwing out these liberal hacks that start drooling thinking of their VNEA, VPIRG, CLF, and VNC walking-around money.
Douglas Speech = Lame-O

How does he manage to get all that sand out of his greasy hair once he pulls his head out of that hole to give this speech once a year?
Each year the Governor makes another round of promises.

He never fulfills them.
"Should the Legislature dismiss education funding constraints?"

No they should not, as removing income sensitivity will make my taxes go up.

"What about permit reform?"

Any change that limits stakeholder input from the public is anti-democratic, so, no.
Spoken like a true communist.
Douglas wants to increas taxes on married couples who make $75 to $90 per year.

That's outrageous.
Well look at it from another angle. Why should a married couple making $91,000 per year be paying for not just their proportionate share, but also subsizing their neighbors next door who make $90,000 per year?

The money for income sensitivity does not materialize out of thin air. It is paid for by those not income sensitized: commercial property owners, non-residents, and those above the threshold. That is how we arrived at a situation where neighbors can have identical houses, identical property values, yet the couple making $91,000 per year is paying THOUSANDS of more in taxes than the couple making $90,000 per year.

So please, tell me how and why that is fair . . .
Of course it is not fair. But the leftist scum long ago discovered that there are more "poor" people than "rich" and that they could exploit human nature to want to steal from your neighbor! This is why the left dominates in states with a less-than-intelligent voting populous that prefer to steal from others rather than earn it on their own. If it weren't this flaw in human nature there would be no dimocrats.
Have you checked the educational attainments in red states vs blue ones. ROFL
Ugh mediocre results vs. slightly above mediocre results. It's not funny at all, dude.

Have you checked the educational attainments in Europe and Asia compared to the U.S.?

ROFL indeed.
And do you have a clue how much money those countries spend on education?
Frankly, every one of the Governor's proposals including level funding school budgets will still result in an increase in property taxes.

Ed Spending has increased an average of 5.1% per year over the last 4 years.

There are 4 major sources to the ed fund. Here's a look at the last 5 Fiscal Years (05-09)

1) 1% purchase and use tax - this year will see a decrease in $$$ but in general is less than inflation.

2) Vt Lottery profits - average increase is way less than inflation.

3) General Fund Transfer - has averaged 4% per year

These 3 funds have actually averaged about 1/2 of 1% inflation for each of the last 5 years.

That leaves the statewide property tax to pick up what's left -- to the tune of about 7.7% increase per year.

That's the real reason why prop tax increases have increased faster than ed spending.
The State should merge community college and the VT tech to save money and create more opportunities for young people
"Douglas Speech = Lame-O
How does he manage to get all that sand out of his greasy hair once he pulls his head out of that hole to give this speech once a year?"

Gee, too bad your Vermont brethren have voted him into office 4 times, including, this last time around, even a majority of voters who voted for Obama.

Sore loser.
"Any change that limits stakeholder input from the public is anti-democratic, so, no."

What the hell is a "stakeholder," dude?

You're not a "stakeholder" on what I do with my friggin property as long as I'm abiding by the zoning regs and not breaking the law.

I've just decided I'm going to be a "stakeholder" in how you raise your children, okay? Cuz, after all, I live in Vermont, and we are all "responsible" for our collective children, right? So I'm going to be involved in your everyday, intimate, personal family child-rearing decisions from now on, okay?

"Stakeholder" is another weasel-word coopted by a group of people who want to interfere in other people's personal business.

Guess what? You're not a "co-owner" of my property. Your name's not on the deed.

So enough already with ridiculous words like "stakeholder" and get the hell away from my property.
Douglas put his finger on a big problem when he identified education finance as an area needing cuts and reform. Staff is soaring while the number of kids drops.

But he did a poor job of building support for his effort. He can't pass anything without working with the Dems in the Legislature.

This makes me wonder if he is serious, or is just setting up a confrontation he can use when he runs again in 2010.
Douglas was a good functionary in state government. As an idea man or someone who makes things happen, not so much.
Hey, can someone explain something to me?

Why is the question of "leadership" in government almost always defined in terms of creating new programs? Sort of the same way "political courage" is almost always defined in terms of raising taxes, or increasing the size/scope of government?
I don't feel so bad, either, because I voted for Obama, too. Douglas and Obama. Just like a good portion of the DEMOCRATS in the state. Did you get that, jwloser? Douglas got elected with the votes of Democrats who voted for Obama. You can't stand that, can you, but it's true. And it's awesome!

Ooooh, that just is eatin' you alive, isn't it, little fella? EATIN' YOU ALIVE.

I'm loving watching your insides churn and your brain burn!!!!!

Oh, it's so frickin' awesome!

Nope. Voted for Obama. And Douglas. Just like a lot of your friends and neighbors. Well, in your case, neighbors anyway.

And it's killin you!

Oh, so if I want to put a wind turbine on my property, you get to say no because you are a "stakeholder?" No, you're not a "stakeholder" and you have nothing to say about it, so get lost.
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