By Rob Roper
Senator Randy Brock said it best when reacting to the Democrat leadership’s post session victory lap: “I expected to see Peter Shumlin land on an aircraft carrier in Lake Champlain with a banner declaring “Mission Accomplished” blazing behind him.”
But, as with the original occasion for that imagery, “mission accomplished” is not an accurate description of the status quo. In fact, much of what the Democrats are patting themselves on back for accomplishing (and finishing everything up a week early to boot) is baloney.
They passed a “historic” healthcare bill. They balanced the budget without raising “broad based” taxes. They did it all by “coming together” without the partisan bickering we see too often in other states. Nonsense.
The didn’t raise broad based taxes? They taxed health care $23 millon (something we’re told over and over affects us all. How much more broad based does it get), and raised property taxes $23 million by shortchanging the Education Fund. The property tax is a broad based tax.
There was no partisan bickering for one reason: Republicans were completely shut out of the process. Not a single Republican in the Hose voted for the healthcare bill, and only one senator. Only one amendment offered by a Republican was adopted, and that was to ensure unions the right to collectively bargain under a single payer system. No, Republican’s didn’t bicker. They were bound, gagged and stuffed in the broom closet.
What we just witnessed was one party rule. The democrats didn’t have to listen to anybody, and, you know what, they didn’t. They didn’t listen to the minority party, which is fine. That’s politics and elections have consequences. But, they didn’t listen to our major employers like IBM or Dealer.com either, and this puts our jobs at risk. They didn’t listen to our doctors — look what Democratic leadership did to sabotage Rep. George Till, MD’s, survey of the medical community — and this puts our long-term health care at risk.
Indeed, the Democrats just left in their wake an economic environment of chaotic uncertainty for our employers and employees, our doctors and our patients for YEARS to come.
Ask you legislators next time you see them where is our energy going to come from if VY is closed in 2012? How much will it cost? What are our health care benefits packages going to look like in two years? What will they cost? Are we going to raise $50 million in new taxes next year, or not? And this is just a tiny fraction of the myriad questions created and left unanswered by the Democrat supermajorities and their governor.
Employers aren’t going to hire under these conditions. Businesses aren’t going to come here. Doctors aren’t going to set up practice here. Neat and tidy? This is a BIG mess. In 2010, everybody campaigned on jobs and the economy. Now in office, this legislature has trashed the environment for growing jobs by saddling us with years of uncertainty on major issues for years to come.
Vermonters needed this legislature to provide answers. They provided NONE, and refuse to give any until sometime after the 2012 election. (?!!!) This is not bi-partisans problem solving. This is one party, ideologically isolated and unaccountable, doing whatever it feels like regardless of broad public support.