Montpelier, VT – In his final State of the State address, we fully expect Governor Shumlin to attempt to cast his tenure as a glowing success for Vermonters. But Vermonters know — and feel everyday — this is not the case.
Vermonters know that our state is less affordable and less livable than it was 5 years ago when Governor Shumlin and Democrats took complete control of state government. During those 5-years, Democrats — with the signature of Governor Shumlin — repeatedly passed state budgets that increased much faster than the wages of average, working Vermonters.
In fact, state spending has increased by over $300,000,000 dollars, and taxes have grown on average of $50 million each year, under the “leadership” of Governor Shumlin and the Democrat Majority.
THE TRUTH ABOUT JOBS & UNEMPLOYMENT
While Governor Shumlin will likely highlight misleading numbers for job creation, Vermont media should look much more closely before reporting them — because the facts simply don’t support this claim.
His own Department of Labor clearly shows that there were 7,100 fewer Vermonters working at the end of November 2015 than in January 2011 when he was first inaugurated and Democrats took control. These are 7,100 Vermonters — our friends and neighbors — who were working, providing for their families and paying taxes to support the functions of state government who are no longer doing so after 5-years of Vermont Democrat rule with Peter Shumlin as Governor.
Vermont’s “low” unemployment rate has often been cited as an accomplishment by Governor Shumlin. Vermonters know that, like most of Governor Shumlin’s statements, the full truth lies just under the surface of his superficial talking points. The staggering decline in the size of Vermont’s workforce has much more to do with the “low” unemployment rate than the lackluster effort by Democrats to grow our economy.
Under Governor Shumlin, and Democrat control, our state’s workforce has shrunk by 15,400 workers in just 5-years. These are Vermonters who have left the state to find work, who have completely given up looking for a job, or who have retired and not had their positions filled by younger workers.
Here’s another FACT he won’t mention: Had it not been for this precipitous decline in workforce, Vermont’s unemployment rate would be 7.8% today — a full two points HIGHER than it was when Governor Shumlin first took office.
This is the true economic legacy of Governor Shumlin and the Democrats total control of state government.
While we appreciate Governor Shumlin’s need to project a positive light on his governorship, the facts tell a very different story.
Our state is less affordable, less prosperous and less economically secure because Montpelier, like our state budget, is far out of balance. The lopsided Democrat majority that controls all of our state government continues to insist that the old-government thinking and policies that got us into this mess are going to get us out of it.
It’s time to move past the era of enormous tax increases, unaffordable state budget growth and constant deficits resulting from inefficiencies and failed leadership.
It’s time for a change. It’s time to restore balance in Montpelier.