Archive - Mar 2010 - Editorial
When the answer to our economic well being depends on consumers being more willing to spend, the last thing you want to do is hide your product, or subtract from its appeal. But that is precisely what the State of Vermont is doing by suspending its Seal of Quality program.
The program is being suspended because the state’s agriculture department doesn’t have the resources to monitor the program. At present all a Vermont food producer needs to do is to send in a check for $20 and the seal is granted.
Count Jon Golnik, a candidate for Congress in Massachusetts, among those Americans who think government can do no right. At a recent Tea Party event in Lowell, Mass., he received an enthusiastic round of applause when he proclaimed: “I don’t know anything government’s ever gotten involved in and made it cheaper and made it better.”
His comment was in reference to the recently passed health care bill, and his object was to bash U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas, D-Mass., for her support of the bill — hopefully helping to unseat her in the fall elections.
Wow, protesters spitting returned to the news for the first time since the Vietnam War.
Except this time, a health care bill protester outside the Capitol on Saturday really did spit, on a Congressman.
Back in the late ’60s and early ’70s, spitting didn’t happen. Try to find one documented account of a Vietnam vet being on the receiving end. Or one single picture. Google “spitting on Vietnam Vets.”
My husband Mark and I have discovered the key to a happy marriage: Insanity.
I don’t mean our mental state after 15 years of being shackled together in wedded bliss. I mean “Insanity,” the hardcore fitness program you may have seen advertised on TV. As far as I know, it’s the first home workout that comes with its own defibrillator.
Montpelier should be trying to make the education tax system simpler and fairer. Instead, in the haste to cut General Fund spending, Gov. Jim Douglas would make it more complicated and less fair—increasing taxes on middle-income Vermonters and lowering them on those with higher incomes. Sound crazy? It is.
Most Vermonters agree that the fairest tax is one based on the taxpayer’s ability to pay: a family’s school tax obligation should go up or down along with its income.
In the wake of the economic downturn, educational systems in the 50 states have been facing dramatic cuts or reform, or both. In Kansas City last week, the school board there narrowly approved a measure (5-4) to close nearly half of that district’s schools in an effort to consolidate and reduce a projected $50 million shortfall. The approved plan calls for closing 29 of the district’s 61 schools. About 700 of the district’s 3,000 jobs, including 285 teachers, are expected to be cut.
I don’t know if it is because I have reached a certain age and look back over a longer sweep of time, or because my children have reached a certain age and I see things differently through their eyes, but I’ve really begun to notice how much things change. I’m only 45 years old, but more and more when I tell my 6- and 8-year-olds about scenes from my childhood I find myself having to explain how things were back then.
By April 15, more than two-thirds of Vermont households will have filed an application for an income sensitivity adjustment to their property taxes. The income sensitivity program is one of the fastest growing parts of the state budget, and probably cannot be sustained in its current form much longer.