Shumlin’s Economic Policies Hurting Vermonters

The following is from our friends at the Vermont GOP:

Governor Peter Shumlin campaigned on a promise to boost Vermont’s economy. But after 8 months in office, Vermont’s economic recovery is losing steam and our jobless rate is on the rise. The Shumlin administration has introduced uncertainty into an already uncertain economy with its undefined single-payer plan and raised taxes on hard working Vermonters.

In its overview of New England Economic Performance in 2010, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston said of Vermont, “economic activity in the Green Mountain State expanded by 4.0 percent between December 2009 and December 2010. Not only did that exceed the performance of all other New England states and the nation, but was also one of the fastest rates of growth nationwide.” In fact, Vermont led New England in net increase in employment and ended the year with the 5th lowest unemployment rate in the country. In 2010, Vermont exports reached a record total of $4.1 billion, growing 28.3 percent from 2009. After struggling through the Great Recession, Vermont was among the national leaders in recovery by the end of last year (New England Economic Indicators Second Quarter 2011).

Unfortunately, that leadership is faltering. According to a recent report by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia that looked at July growth in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Vermont is one of 13 states that likely fell into recessionary territory last month (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia 8/23/11 and Wells Fargo 8/23/11). For the past three months Vermont’s unemployment rate has ticked upwards as well.

“Jobs are job number one for Vermont leaders,” said Pat McDonald, Vermont Republican Party Chair. “At the end of last year, before Governor Shumlin took office, Vermont was among the nation’s leaders in terms of our recovery. Unfortunately, the new administration has taken its focus off jobs. Governor Shumlin’s push for single-payer, without telling Vermonters what will be covered, how it will be paid for and what impact it will have on small businesses, has created uncertainty in our economy. And raising property taxes this year certainly hasn’t help either.”

“With our economy on the verge of slipping back into recession, it is time for our leaders to focus on a pro-growth agenda. That agenda includes policies working towards a business-friendly environment, proven health care reforms that deliver quality service at lower costs and ensuring that Vermont maintains a balanced energy portfolio with the lowest electric rates in New England. These are policies that Vermonters will support and Vermont’s economy will respond to. A vibrant economy leads to prosperity and stability for individuals and businesses alike. We need to change uncertainty into opportunity.”