ECONOMIC REALITY CHECK #3
Democrat’s Spending Deepens Affordability Crisis
Middle class Vermonters, seniors, young people and small business owners are feeling the burden of Vermont’s rising costs of living.
They shoulder this load — in the form of high electricity bills and health insurance premiums, skyrocketing property taxes, new gas taxes and a wide range of other costs and mandates imposed by Democrats in Montpelier — even as the Democrats have done nothing to address a stagnant economy, job losses, growing income inequality and lower wages for many.
The impact of state spending — and elitist, special interest public policy they claim is “progressive” — in the six years that Vermont Democrats have had unfettered control of the budget process has been damaging to the working families of Vermont.
Budgets proposed by Governor Shumlin and passed by Democrats in Montpelier have inflamed our state’s crisis of affordability and increased the financial burden on already overwhelmed Vermonters.
And it didn’t have to be.
The portion of the state budget funded by state dollars has grown at about 5.5% every year for the last 4 fiscal years, when the Legislature and Governor Shumlin knew that state revenues were only growing at about 3% each year and underlying growth was only about 2%
Democrats had all of the data and many voices, starting with Governor Douglas, noting that a growth rate of more than about 3-3.5% was totally unsustainable. 5% was far more than the increases Vermonters were seeing in their paychecks and budget increases of that size would be reckless, many Vermonters noted.
Yet, again, they chose not to listen.
The result of this mismanagement and reckless spending is a projected $112-million state budget deficit for the coming fiscal year. Governor Shumlin is proposing new taxes to help patch the Democrat Deficit that he and he Legislature have created. That means higher and more taxes for the very same Vermonters that are already overwhelmed by financial pressures.