That was a famous quote from a child in the movie Poltergeist II in response to the return of ghosts that haunted her family’s house in the original 1982 movie. It also seems to be the response of Democratic Party officials to the return of “Vermonters First” to the political arena. The response was to two new ads run by the group taking Democrats to task for pushing for yet more tax increases. These ads started to run on Wednesday. Here is the first one:
Here is the second one:
Here is the objection by Democratic Party spokesman Ryan Emerson in a Vermont Digger article:
Ryan Emerson, a spokesman for the state’s Vermont Democratic Party, said the ads are an unsurprising but “disconcerting” attempt by Vermonters First to lump Democratic politicians together as supporters of new taxes, at a time when Democrats haven’t reached consensus on these controversial measures.
“This is another attempt by Vermonters First to muddy the waters,” Emerson said. “It’s too early in the session to see where the budget ends up. … There hasn’t been any broad-based agreement on the budget thus far.”
The article goes on to insist that it is not clear that all of the proposed tax increases will be acted on during this legislative session. Such arguments are a red herring and a blatant attempt to “muddy the waters.” Neither of the ads claim that the proposals will be enacted this session, nor that Vermont Democrats have “reached consensus on these controversial measures.” The ads simply state that Vermont Democrats are PROPOSING $70 million in higer taxes and that specific proposals like the gas tax increase and the properyt tax increase will hurt working Vermonters. The wole idea of such an ad is to generate opposition to such proposals BEFORE a consensus is arrived at and BEFORE they get enacted.
Another inaccurate objection was that: “The $70 million [figure] may come from the projected budget shortfall,” Emerson continued. “If that’s the case, there’s a number of ways to address that, not just raising taxes.” To imply otherwise, Emerson said, “is just being dishonest to Vermonters.”
Of course the budget shortfall could be addressed in other ways than just raising taxes, but the ads say nothing about the budget shortfall. They merely state that the sum totlal of proposed tax increases by Vermont Democrats comes to $70 million. Actually, the proposed tax increases add up to more than $70 million, so the number in the ads is a conservative estimate of the sum of the tax increase proposals.