Montpelier, VT – The difference between the last budget proposed by Governor Jim Douglas and the budget Speaker Shap Smith and then-Senate President Peter Shumlin imposed — over Governor Douglas’ strenuous veto — was nearly $100-million in combined general and federal stimulus funds. At the time, Governor Douglas insisted that the Democrats were setting Vermont on an unsustainable path.
They chose not to listen.
After 4 more years of reckless spending — and an economy so ill that it is failing to meet even downgraded revenue projections — Vermont is now facing a $112-million budget shortfall.
Over the same period, if the Democrats had simply adhered to the principle of sustainable spending (not growing spending faster than revenue) and grown state government at a rate of 3%, Vermont would have a surplus today of about $150 million.
In the previous two years, House Minority Leader Don Turner and his caucus repeatedly suggested that spending increases in the 3% range would be far more responsible
Again, the Democrats chose not to listen.
The results of the misguided fiscal policies of Governor Shumlin and the Democrats in Montpelier are being felt by every taxpayer, low and middle income working Vermonter and small business owner in our state.
It’s time for a change.