In addition to continuing shameless self-praise following Vermont’s community efforts after Irene, Peter Shumlin recently defined his budgetary plans to “help our fellow Vermonters get back on their feet.” In the governor’s own words: “To fix long-simmering problems, we must make sure we are spending our resources.”
“Grateful” for Vermont’s unemployment rate, Shumlin also cites a statistic that Vermont’s “revenues have rebounded by 27 percent since the depths of the Great Recession.” Manipulative marketers with a masked agenda find ways to spin statistics in their favor. Truth is, relative to most of America, Vermont did not suffer extreme depths during the nationwide recession. This is because people who built our great state fiercely fought for conservation of many treasures that Peter Shumlin irreverently calls “resources.”
In Vermont’s history, homespun communities and legislative policies have steadfastly aligned against rampant industrialization and extremes of corporate takeover. Vermont didn’t fall too far, because we were mostly grounded to begin with. Until now. In a fatally flawed crusade, Peter Shumlin is openly leading the charge to “spend” Vermont’s resources — our treasures and homespun values. His uncompromising, high-risk strategy is revealed not only within curious accounting and revenue-touting spin. It especially becomes self-evident within an unrelenting intent to tear apart our mountains and small communities for a misplaced and theorized promise that industrial wind can not only save the world from global warming, but also create jobs and revenue for Vermont.
The self-proclaimed “education governor” writes that his budget “focuses on ways we can ensure a better future for our children.” It is a dangerous day when government leaders pride themselves on eager willingness to “spend resources.” The better future will occur when we teach children that Vermont’s treasures are not to be easily spent, they are to be purposefully protected.
CHARLES M. SMITH
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