Governor Shumlin is again calling for budget cuts to forestall proposed tax increases in the latest end-of-session jockeying with the Legislature. Here's what he says on his web page:
I feel that the income tax changes being considered are not geared toward improving our economy or Vermonters’ prosperity. Instead of making these changes and asking working Vermonters to pay more in income taxes, I feel we should do everything we can to reduce spending further and avoid these increases. My message is simple: Let’s find additional spending reductions before we ask Vermonters to pay more income taxes.
I think he's dead wrong here. Look at the cuts he's talking about. The big ticket items that advocates are criticizing include:
$2.87 million in state employee payroll. (On top of the cuts they're already taking.)
All to avoid some moderately progressive tax changes.
It's not everything, but by limiting itemized deductions in general, and the mortgage interest deduction in particular, you're holding harmless the generally lower-income segments of the taxpaying public who can't take advantage of these tax benefits.
At this late date, I say save the programs and raise the money from taxes.