Archive - 2010 - Editorial
As America greets the New Year, we wonder if this nation has the collective resolve to true our wayward ship, to shake off the doldrums, renew our spirit of individual responsibility and regain our status as the inspirational leader in the world of new ideas.
To do that, we would first need to pay less heed to the naysayers, to honor those who seek to improve their communities and the common good — not those who benefit at the expense of others to the detriment of the national character and strength.
Middlebury could be poised for a resurgence in job growth with families moving back into town to fill vacant school desks, enliven athletic programs, create a need for home construction, fill stores with shoppers, prompt retail growth to meet local needs and infuse the community with the energy inherent in a town that has a vision for sustainable prosperity.
But, as in all things in business, such growth won’t happen without commitment and a willingness to invest.
As these 12 days before Christmas loom before us — family is coming, there are meals to prepare and presents yet to buy — remember to relax and enjoy the rich traditions of this holiday season that make it so worthwhile.
The holiday focus in Middlebury — as in Brandon, Bristol and Vergennes — is about community festivals, contributing to several wonderful community causes, listening to chorus groups ring in the season with bells and beautiful voices, and for many it is a season for worship and reflection.
Did President Barack Obama cave in to Republican leaders when he didn’t need to? Would it not have been better for Democrats to let the tax cuts expire on Dec. 31 — along with unemployment insurance for 2 million jobless Americans — and then watch to see if House Republicans would continue to push tax cuts for millionaires, while the unemployed went hungry and tens of millions of middle-class Americans contemplate tax increases?
If you’re wondering why a few Republican leaders are pouncing on President Obama’s alleged dismissal of “American exceptionalism,” it’s mostly politics, not substance. These would-be presidential hopefuls are suggesting that Obama is undermining American values in an attempt to smear his reputation among voters. The hope is that Americans will turn against the president not because of what he will have accomplished or believes, but by how Republicans characterize his views as “un-American.”
It is, in short, another shameful episode of the ‘culture wars’ waged by the Republican Party.
Four weeks after a hard-fought election, Governor-elect Peter Shumlin continues to surprise and impress with his choice of department heads and the speed with which he is assembling a very capable cabinet.
The recent appointment of political rival Doug Racine, a state senator in Chittenden County for 14 years (along with six years as lieutenant governor) who lost the gubernatorial primary race to Shumlin by a razor-thin 203 votes, not only demonstrates Shumlin’s willingness to mend fences but also to reach out to the best leaders available.
Gov.-elect Peter Shumlin’s selection of his inner circle early this week set an important tone for the upcoming session: one of fiscal restraint and pragmatism. That’s particularly true of his selection of State Treasurer Jeb Spaulding as secretary of administration and Susan Bartlett as special assistant to the governor — both moderate Democrats known for their conservative approach on fiscal matters.
The news Tuesday that Congress will place a ban on earmarks — spending items by lawmakers directed to their home states, also known as ‘pork’ — must be taken as a misguided blow against practices that inflate the national deficit by naive Tea Party activists, and those who fear them.