VPR’s Kinzel reports on the Douglas administration’s desire to return to a system whereby the first 40% of capital gains remain untaxed – a change that would (naturally) yield dramatically disproportionate benefits to the wealthy and open up another $10 million budget hole that he (presumably) would then want to fill by firing more Vermonters and cutting off their social services. This is the Grover Norquist shrink-government-so-we-can-drown-it-in-the-bathtub philosophy in action. From the report:
Administration Secretary Neale Lunderville says the new system is having a negative impact on job growth:
(Lunderville) “These tax rates are forcing folks out of Vermont. They are creating disincentives for businesses to invest right now and to grow jobs at a time when we need them to do that most.”
This is the line routinely parroted by Lunderville, Douglas and others. Kinzel – as they all do – repeats it uncritically in his report.
Just once, wouldn’t it be nice to hear a reporter ask Lunderville (or whoever) for evidence backing up this assertion? Wouldn’t that be amazing? Just a simple follow up… “do you have evidence that this is occurring?” From what I’ve read there is none. GOPers always lean on the anecdotal, particularly this Op-Ed from poor victimized rich guy Glen Wright announcing he was “abandoning” Vermont and moving to Florida, absurdly describing it as the “only possible alternative.”
But even that’s bunk. He hasn’t abandoned anything, and is in fact the Finance Chair for Republican Phil Scott’s campaign for Lieutenant Governor. At best, then, he’s simply decided to use his own privilege to hide his wealth through the purchase of a second home and the pretense of residence elsewhere (which has been a tried and true practice of the wealthy GOP set). Puts “only possible alternative” in a different light, eh?
Why won’t Kinzel or the others challenge this assertion, which they’ve allowed to become conventional wisdom through its uncritical repetition?