This commentary is by Gregory Thayer of Rutland. He is a candidate for lieutenant governor.
The Democratic leadership in the Vermont legislature has proven themselves irresponsible and with no respect for every Vermont citizen. These people do not care about you as demonstrated by their disrespect for the unintended consequences of their legislation and how it will negatively affect every Vermonter, especially low income and working families. Their march to total government control and a Marxist agenda is hurting every Vermonter and business owner.
Mary Hooper, D-Montpelier, the chair of the House Appropriations Committee, said on the House floor that our challenge is to balance the needs of Vermonters and to create a strong state. Madam Chair, We The People cannot be all things to everyone’s needs. Government is to do the bare minimum and then teach people how to do things themselves. You and the Democratic leadership are trying to create a nanny-state caring for everyone and their every need.
In 1995 our state budget was $655 million dollars — in 2001 it was $2.6 billion. In FY 2022 the budget was $7.1 billion dollars, and last week you led the charge in the House for a $8.1 billion state budget. Up a billion dollars in one year, with $120 million in one-time spending money that goes away in the next fiscal year but taxpayers will still need to fund. Leadership created programs that will not be sustained. This spending is out of control and that is hurting everyday Vermonters.
Vermonters are already hurting in the wallet, at the gas pumps, home and business heating costs, and when we go the the marketplace to purchase consumer products as prices are up, inflation is through the roof here and across America. The Democratic leadership wants to spend, spend and spend more!
The Democratic leadership’s budget and policy agenda are irresponsible, leaving thousands of working Vermonters and small business owners having to pay more money. You removed a $100 million dollars in economic development spending for entrepreneurs and you adopted spending for elected Democrat’s social justice agenda, in the name of equity and inclusion being forced on every Vermonter, but especially on students in PreK–12. You scratched $15 million for housing for overburdened middle income Vermonters too.
Democrats are still playing games with state employees’ retirement plans. The state pension programs must be honored. Planned Parenthood is being appropriated a million dollars — why? Leadership is overspending in green energy, with pie-in-the-sky plans forcing Vermonters to go green with unsustainable wind and sun energy. These sources cannot energize our state. Then there is the Capital and Transportation bills and other money bills being adopted in the People’s House.
The Democratic leadership’s priorities need major adjustments — stop trying to be all things to all people. As your next lieutenant governor, I will work daily to bring common-sense spending to you and stop the overspending priorities of the Democrats. Montpelier needs to start listening to Vermonters and give less listening to special interests!
Here’s a hint: return the $95 million to taxpayers, it’s their money! Stop the leadership’s pet projects.
5 thoughts on “Gregory Thayer: Irresponsible Democratic leadership”
Hey don’t cut off the state funding for the. Democratic Party! Cutting off planned Parenthood, is how tax payer dollars find them! it’s the biggest money laundering scheme invented, well second to EB-5.
Well maybe it’s third place after the solar gravy train. Oh maybe it’s fourth place after the affordable housing scam. Maybe it’s fifth place after the ethic committee scam, maybe it’s sixth place after the grant funding abuse….huh, lot of scams and swindling of the taxpayer dollar for such a little state.
If anybody looked under the hood of VERMONT Government, they’d say the engine is in Togo shape.
Thanks sticking up for freedom and against petty little dictators like Trudeau. Sorry you were the only Republican on the bridge. At least the bridge kept you away from the RINO scat. There are many who support you. Keep up,the good work.
Another thing to ponder and worry about? Back to the Unions…State, Teachers and Municipal Unions and all the salary, benefits, pensions, health etc…..including being safely padded in retirement? I believe that the number of UNION members is about 20,000? Call it 3% to 4% of the TOTAL population of VT? How is it 3% to 4% of ANY population – is happy to saddle the other 97% of Vermonters…many are poor and lower incomes… with their lavish pay, benefits, retirement and perks? It is a classic “Let Them Eat Cake” attitude – of all UNIONS…….basically, these 3% to 4% have saddled the other 97% with billions & billions of unfunded liabilities that are NOT fully adjusted to the Union member…they get inflation protections… Of course we know the answer? WHO do all the UNION members give their political $$ money to….to keep their power in the Legislature & on the “gravy train”? Can you guess ?
The far better use of Vermont’s revenue windfall is, first and foremost, paying off all current unfunded retirement obligations. All of them. At the same time, most importantly, eliminate the taxpayer guaranteed rate of return on those retirement accounts. The retirement funds are owned, and should be managed, by those who have earned the benefit. It’s their money. Let them invest it as they see fit – and accept responsibility for the resulting rate of return.
Vermont taxpayers have no business managing (i.e., guaranteeing) a fixed rate of return on any investment. After all, ‘past performance is no guaranty of future results’ – by any other investment manager. Why should Vermont taxpayers make that guaranty when no one else will?
You also have to get rid of of the UNION retirement perks….forget about pension….Unions get annual cost of living pension increases. Look at inflation! But private sector pensions don’t get any cost of living increases….you are FIXED! UNIONS also get great post retirement health benefits. Most private pensions offer NO health benefit and no cost of living increase (my wife and I). I also recall….but need to check for sure…that UNION post reirement health benefits…the STATE pays 85% of the cost till they die. BUT! UNIONS padded themselves so that any ANNUAL INCREASE in cost of health benefit CANNOT GO HIGHER than 5% increase per year. SO? If health benefit costs go up 15% – 20% in a year…as they have….the UNION retired employee will NOT have to pay any more than 5% increase on the 15% they pay….STATE pays 85%!….It then falls on the STATE to absorb the othher 10%- 15% increase. My insurance went up 20% a year for last two years. SO IMAGINE the STATE absorbing ALL those increases, above 5% a year…and compund that year after year. after year…$$$$ and the “max” a UNION retiree will pay – is 5% increase. Maybe Mr. Thayer, or someone else, can verify this ?
$8.1 billion budget? Insane. VT population about 625,000. About 43% of population is 19 or under and 65 & older. They don’t pay that much in taxes. There are about 345,00 employed in VT…vast majority of them are lower to middle incomes……as it stands now, about 70% of Vermonters have their property taxes subsidized. SO WHO PAYS THe FULL BOAT FOR THEM? VT also get’s about 65% of it’s income taxes from about 20?% of the population….upper incomes who are already being soaked in property taxes. When the COVID free money runs out and VT is used to $8 billion spending, then $9 billion… soon to be $10 billion budgets – for 625,000 people? WHO do you think will be asked – likely legislatively forced – to pay?…the 15% to 20% of Vermonters who are supposely rich. WHAT if they all start to leave. I did and I save up to a few tens of thousands a year in my retirement… to a warm, sunny, low tax state with no Progressives to steal my hard earned money. :)…..My advice is to get out while you can – while you have a chance at getting a decent price for your house. It will not last when your property taxes skyrocket even more.,..If you can’t leave for a couple more years, sell your house now and rent for a while. Liquidity is key, and you cannot stay in VT in your retirement – if you are upper income…they will just take it…Get out while you can. You are on this earth only once. Don’t be a sucker to pay for the Socialist Folly Dreamland 🙂
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