Another view: Vermont's Democrats are taking us down a bad road

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Just when you thought they couldn't make the state's affordability crisis any worse, Vermont Democrats are now rushing to develop a new, highly regressive (would hurt the poor and middle class the most) tax on gasoline that they plan to extend to other forms of energy like home heating fuels.

Democrats in the Legislature are unleashing another assault on working Vermonters, struggling young people and senior citizens by proposing an 88-cent per gallon tax hike on gasoline, calling it a "Carbon Tax."

They say they will pursue this tax hike, like all the others they've imposed, with vigor when the Legislature reconvenes in January. This isn't just bad public policy — it is dangerous, punitive, regressive economic policy at its worse. It's about punishing people and setting them back, it's not about lifting them up so we can all move forward. It's really, in a word, disgusting.

The sponsors of the legislation say their plan to address global climate change is to make fuel so expensive that working Vermonters can't afford to drive to work, take their kids to extracurricular events or camping, or heat their homes.

That's important enough to repeat another way: The Democrat's "solution" to living in a rural state where you have to drive to a job is to make it more expensive — perhaps impossible for some struggling rural Vermonters — to drive to your job.

How is that going to make Vermont more affordable, create good jobs across all economic sectors, increase wages for the working class, help us retain and recruit new employers and grow the tax base so we can afford to make investments in the services of state government we all value?

It's not. It's entirely counter to those goals. It is, however, a perfect illustration of the governing philosophy that is driving jobs and working Vermonters out of our state and a terrifying reminder of why we need balance in Montpelier again.

Don't believe their election year economic rhetoric. Every year they say the same thing, but their words are disconnected from their deeds. The reality is Democrats aren't listening to working Vermonters who can no longer afford to live here. That may be why not one single Democrat candidate for governor has spoken out in opposition to this outrageously irresponsible proposal.

So you have to ask yourself, is this really the government I voted for? Is this the progress you believe we need to achieve?

Vermont Republicans will defend working Vermonters and struggling families in our beautiful state. We will speak on behalf of those who have already been asked to shoulder more than their fair share. We will focus like lasers on pro-growth, job creation policies that make Vermont a more affordable place to live, work and have a business. These are our priorities.

Over the next several weeks and months, we will engage Vermonters in support of responsible fiscal policies and in opposition to this reckless and irresponsible proposal. This will not stand.

If you believe it's time for balance in Montpelier, time to make Vermont affordable again and time for some positive change — please join us.

David Sunderland is the Chairman of the Vermont Republican Party. He can be contacted at vtsunderland@gmail.com.


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