A bad road, David?
Editor of the Reformer:
In the Nov. 4 column, "Vermont's Democratic Party is taking us down a bad road," Vermont Republican Party Chairman David Sunderland is taking us all down a bad road. The column was about the proposed tax on carbon pollution, an approach to reducing carbon pollution. Such carbon pollution is the factor that even Exxon's scientists knew back as early as the late 1970s was changing our world's climate in significant ways (This is according to an extensive report from the Pulitzer Prize winning Inside Climate News). These changes will make the world a lot less hospitable place for your grandkids and your kids, and us as well.
Mr. Sunderland's article focuses on the proposal to raise the gas taxes significantly over five years. Yes, that is part of the proposal. It is also part of the point. The proposal wants to build in incentives to cut back on carbon pollution, incentives to have people drive less or to purchase more energy efficient vehicles. It also, however, wants to return 90 percent of those same tax revenues to consumers through lower income taxes and potentially a lower sales tax. This is something Mr. Sunderland never mentions in his column. The proposal would also allocate 10 percent of the revenues to such programs as helping homeowners tighten their homes and thus cut down on home heating oil needs. This is also something Mr. Sunderland never mentions.
While this proposal is being put forth largely by some Democrats and some Progressives, it is not an official proposal of the Vermont Democratic Party. There is still much discussion about it. So is Mr. Sunderland's intent to have a real debate about the merits of the proposal, or just to bash the Vermont Democratic Party because, after all, that's what he's been hired to do?
There is much to debate about the pros and cons of the proposal to tax carbon pollution. Debates, however, are only fruitful when all sides are heard. Mr. Sunderland's column did not attempt to do so. Mr. Sunderland's column was a diatribe to serve his political goals.