The State’s impending takeover of one sixth of Vermont’s economy via the implementation of government-run, single payer healthcare plan is a serious event. The ramifications for our economy are tremendous. The implications for our health and well being are far reaching. We are, after all, talking about doubling the size and scope of government virtually overnight, and injecting government into the most intimate and private aspects of our lives.
So, it does not inspire confidence when the governor responds to a question about how we’re going to pay for his signature policy with a snarky quip about “bubble gum and lollipops.” This is certainly not an appropriate response when we are three years past the passage of Act 48, which put Vermont on the path to single payer, and over a year past the statutory January 2013 deadline in act 48 that required – by law — the Shumlin Administration to spell out a financing plan. A deadline that was, and apparently will continue to be, ignored.
Meanwhile the state’s last major takeover – the takeover of the property tax with passage of Act 60 – is unraveling. Thirty-four towns rejected their school budgets as property taxes continue to rise despite successful efforts at the local level to contain budgets. The governor’s reaction? A call to lower the expected 7¢ increase in the statewide property tax, which follow last year’s 5¢ increase, through “magic.”
Unfortunately, bubble gum, lollipops and magic will not solve Vermont’s major challenges, but, our governor doesn’t appear to have any better ideas. This is alarming.
– Rob Roper, president of the Ethan Allen Institute