BP’s oil spill in the Gulf Coast has prompted older stories of BP’s mismanagement to rise to the fore. The stories are of political favoritism involving the White House, Department of Justice and the EPA, all undermining the good work that was trying to be done by bureaucrats doing their job.
As Gov. Douglas contemplates vetoes of last-minute bills passed by the Legislature, many of his supporters over the past eight years are appealing for his support of H.485, a bill that reforms the Current Use law. Douglas is considering a veto presumably because it restricts a landowner’s ability to enroll the land in Current Use for a short time to avoid higher taxes, then take the land out of the program to sell it at a premium. It is, in short, a loophole in the 30-year-old law that was created in the 1990s when a “development penalty” was weakened.
Note to voters: Vermont State Auditor Tom Salmon has a hot temper, is crude, doesn’t think doing things that are illegal is any big deal, and is not very smart.
But don’t take my word for it.
You be the judge.
The Middlebury selectboard’s decision Tuesday night to create an ad hoc committee to study ways to boost the local economy is a welcome move that offers much potential, first by pushing more aggressively for economic development, and secondly, by doing more to help promote the town’s events and activities that helps keep Middlebury’s businesses vital and greatly enhances the town’s quality of life.
Nor is it a moment too soon.
As seniors in high schools across the country approach graduation and fateful decisions about their future, it’s interesting to note that more students than ever are continuing their educations in college. It’s not surprising, as the world economy is becoming more knowledge driven and the prospects for labor-intensive jobs diminish, though the difference in wage opportunities are worth careful study by all prospective graduates.
Trust in government is at a recent low. The Pew Research Center made national news recently with its annual survey revealing that four in five Americans said they had little faith that government could solve the nation’s problems and that they had little trust that government would do the right thing on any major issue. The impact of those findings, the report said, could have implications in mid-term elections this fall.
Political cartoonist Jeff Danziger nailed public sentiment recently when he captured the outrage Uncle Sam, and the nation’s taxpayers, feel after bailing out the largest national banks and financial firms only to now see them wallowing in obscene profits. The cartoon shows a fat-cat banker sporting a sinister grin with his arm around Uncle Sam’s shoulder and a coin poised on thumb and forefingers ready to flip the coin. The caption says: “C’mon… You’re a sophisticated investor. Heads I win, tails you lose…”