Letters to the Editor (2/25/10)

Feb. 25, 2010


Teachers aren’t in touch with reality

It would seem that teachers in Chittenden South are not in touch with economic reality.

Businesses struggle, employees experience cutbacks or layoffs, food and fuel costs increase. Americans continue to tighten their belts and make decisions between needs and wants, yet teachers in Chittenden South believe they are entitled to larger salary increases and benefits.

Thank you to the CSSU Negotiation Team for recognizing that times most certainly are bad. The teachers union stance is both disrespectful and insulting to hardworking taxpayers who receive no raises, who pay more each year for their health care and who work hard just to get by.

Perhaps the CSSU administration should follow the decision of a school district in Rhode Island, which opted to fire teachers who wouldn’t compromise. Most people I know are grateful to have jobs, much less receive any cost of living increase, and the teachers union would do well to understand that.

Cathy Yandow, Williston


Too much taxation

Vermont’s current General Fund fiscal year 2010 revenue is below the levels of fiscal 2005.

Even with higher taxes we are looking at a $150 million tax shortfall in 2011. That don’t count the couple of hundred million we are borrowing on to keep the unemployment compensation fund afloat. If unemployment rates keep increasing the amount Vermont will need to borrow just to cover those shortfalls will continue to rise.

Federal “funds” now going to Vermont are going to decrease by over $100 million next year. State spending has doubled between now and 1996-97, while Vermont incomes still rank only 25th in per capita income. Our tax rates are at or near highest levels in the nation. Why don’t we just return to state spending levels from a decade ago? This is the best way to give Vermont a competitive edge so that economic activity can be stimulated.

Increasing your credit limit when your spending does not meet your expenses is downright foolish. I’d like to see our representatives make real progress in increasing the wealth of Vermonters. Naturally, that is the same thing as reducing the tax burden. We need to reverse this continued percentage increase in the growth of state and local governments and permit people and businesses to keep more of what they produce, not less.

Things weren’t so bad in 1997, weren’t they? We had half as much unemployment as we do today.

With the large upcoming tax increases scheduled by the Fed for fiscal 2010 we can expect more sharp declines in state tax revenues. Tax revenues normally drop when the tax rates increase. I’d prefer to see the reverse happen. How about you?

Shelley Palmer, Williston