5 QUESTIONS GOVERNOR SHUMLIN SHOULD ANSWER TODAY
Montpelier, VT – It’s fully expected that Governor Shumlin will use today’s State of the State Address — his final one — as an attempt to shore up his legacy after five boisterous, but ultimately unimpressive, years in office.
In what has become typical for him and the Vermont Democrats, he will undoubtedly attempt to use misleading data to make his tenure as governor appear better than what a detailed examination of the facts clearly display.
In order to give Vermonters the truth about the consequences of the Old Government policies of Vermont Democrats, we hope Vermont media will make a point to pose these questions to Governor Shumlin:
- When you were first inaugurated — at the depths of the Great Recession — 338,550 Vermonters were employed in our state according to your own Department of Labor report. At the end of November 2015, there were only 331,450 Vermonters employed according to these same reports. That’s a drop of 7,100 employed Vermonters under your watch and under the Democrat’s control of state government. Which of your fiscal and/or economic policies do you think is most responsible for this sharp decline in employed Vermonters and what specifically do you intend to do, that is truly meaningful and transformative, in your last year to try to rectify it?
- During your tenure, Vermont’s workforce has experienced a decline not seen since at least 1999. In fact, for the first time in more than 50-years, Vermont’s total population has declined in three of the last four years. In total, as of the end of November 2015, your policies — with the support of your Democrats in the legislature — have resulted a loss of 15,400 Vermonters in our workforce. These are Vermonters who have left the state to find a job, gave up looking for work, or who retired and did not have their positions filled with younger workers. How badly do you think this drastically reduced workforce will impede your successor’s efforts to grow Vermont’s economy and what actions do you think you should have taken to prevent this decline?
- With the full support of the Democrat majority in the legislature, you consistently proposed or approved state budgets that grew at rates twice that of the growth Vermonters were seeing in their paychecks — or even more. In total, you and your Democrats have increased state spending by more than $300,000,000.00 during your time in office. Do you feel that this is responsible spending growth — and wise leadership — given the financial struggles that many working Vermont families are facing?
- You and your Democrat majority in the legislature have increased the tax burden on Vermonters by an average of $50,000,000.00 every year that you have been Governor. Do you feel that this has made Vermont more or less affordable? What concrete and specific actions do you plan to take in your last year in office to reverse at least some of these oppressive tax hikes and bring some financial relief to Vermonters — including our working families, seniors and young people — who are working harder to simply make ends meet?
- You have less than 12 months left in office, and an opportunity to do what is right, not what is politically popular among your base of Old Government Democrats. Will you pledge to Vermonters to hold the line and veto a budget that grows faster than wages did last year, any new tax or fee increases, any new taxes or fees or any legislation that adds to the cost of living?