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. True North Archives 10/17/06

Radio | Editorial | News & Views

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Featured Articles

Grading Bernie Sanders
By Pete Behr
"Bernie’s antics in Washington have made us a laughing stock, harming our image and our economy. Rich Tarrant and Martha Rainville will provide a needed change. Think what Rich can do to attract needed high-tech businesses, and Martha can do to represent Vermont values, including our veterans. It should be no contest, but it’s an uphill battle, and the next month is critical." -- Pete Behr writes a regular column for the Woodstock Standard.

Perhaps our high schools should learn from our nursery schools
By Robert Maynard
"Instead of undermining this one educational advantage U.S. children have in the area of global academic competition, by adopting the less successful European model, it would be a wise course of action to address our current K-12 system where the longer our children are in it, the worse they do in comparison to international students." – Robert Maynard lives in Williston

Sometimes, I’d rather be in New York City
By Kevin Ryan
".... New York residents pay a property tax bill of $3,499.00 per year…. Now, that’s $3500.00 on a home worth $717,900.00, mind you….Turns out, Chittenden County average homeowner property taxes are about the same. Here the average homeowner pays $3,504.00 a year. The four dollar difference doesn’t even get me a Happy Meal, so I’m not gonna worry about it. What does worry me is that Vermonters are paying that bill on a home worth only $223,900.00…." -- Kevin Ryan lives in Burlington and can be contacted at

The Big Mistake of 1986
By John McClaughry
"Twenty years ago this December, a little known but powerful committee of the Vermont legislature made a Big Mistake. Whether it was a good faith decision that turned out badly or a deliberate step to advance partisan political goals, the action itself made a very big difference in our state’s fiscal history." -- John McClaughry is President of the Ethan Allen Institute (

SOS-Vermont: Family budgets vs. big government spending
By Rob Roper
"The next time any candidate tells you that Montpelier just can’t function without a seven, eight or nine percent raise every year, tell ‘em your familiy’s not going to get one this year. Your family didn’t get one last year. Or the year before. Your family dealt with it. Montpelier can, too." – Rob Roper is State Director for FreedomWorks-Vermont ( Learn more about SOS Vermont in the Notes & Events section below.

Campaign ‘06

Administration seeks no-tax increase pledge from lawmakers
By Ross Sneyd, AP, October 12
MONTPELIER, Vt. --Gov. Jim Douglas' top budget aide asked Democratic legislative leaders Thursday to pledge not to raise taxes next year and Democrats immediately dismissed the missives as "political gamesmanship" designed to help the governor's re-election. House Speaker Gaye Symington, one of the recipients of the letters, was particularly angry and fired back a letter of her own.... "I have more respect for Vermonters than to participate in that kind of game playing."

A Diversion Of Attention - Big Time
Caledonian Record Editorial, October 14, 2006
….Symington says that she has too much respect for Vermonters to take that pledge. We wish that she had enough respect for Vermonters to recognize that our tax burden is breaking us without her and the putative future governor laying further straws on the camel's back.

VT Property tax forum gets dicey - Rep. calls for repeal of Act 60, 68
by Dan Bustard, Eagle Times, 10/14/2006
WEST WINDSOR - The fledgling revolt against the statewide property tax used to help fund education is starting to stir things up before next month's legislative elections…. [Democrat Senate candidate Dick] McCormack stood virtually alone, as Republican candidates John MacGovern of Windsor and Kent Butterfield of Stockbridge supported repealing Acts 60 and 68. Rep. Alice Nitka, D-Ludlow, is running for state Senate and has voted for repeal in the past….

Congressional candidates debate
By John Curran, Associated Press, October 13, 2006
…. U.S. Senate candidates Richard Tarrant and U.S. Rep. Bernie Sanders and congressional hopefuls Peter Welch and Martha Rainville traded barbs and policy positions in a spirited showcase….

Vermont Weekly News Round Up

Personal, corporate income tax revenues lower than projected
AP, October 9
MONTPELIER, Vt. --State revenues missed the target for September set by budget writers…. The slight shortfall was in large measure because personal income tax receipts were $1.9 million below the forecast and the estate tax was $2 million below, said Administration Secretary Michael Smith. The corporate income tax also was below projections….

State releases standardized testing scores
AP, October 11
…. The results released Wednesday show 85 percent of second-grade students met or surpassed the reading standard in tests given the last academic year…. Tenth-graders' performance fell from the year before in basic understanding of reading, writing conventions and mathematic problem solving.

States Are Growing More Lenient in Allowing Felons to Vote
By Erik Eckholm, New York Times, October 12
…."If you’re not willing to follow the law, then you shouldn’t claim the right to make the law for someone else," said Roger Clegg, president of the Center for Equal Opportunity…. Only two states, Maine and Vermont, have no restrictions, even permitting inmates to vote…. 

A Quiet, Back-Door Subsidy Renewal?
Caledonian Record
"Frank Mazur, in an "In My Opinion" article in this paper, questioned the economic viability of railroads in Vermont. His article is well worth reading. He documents the economic anemia of the railroads that we have, and he questions the wisdom of spending even more money on the laughable notion that investing in smaller rail cars at an expense of tens of millions of dollars of Vermont taxpayers' money will increase ridership and make rail passenger service profitable….

Related: Frank Mazur’s Article can be found here


Why faith requires freedom
By Dick Armey, October 12
…. I believe that economic freedom is vitally important in the defense of the American family. Big issues like retirement security, tax reform, school choice and spending restraint will determine whether or not families will be dependent and subservient to government. Who owns your retirement? Who decides how you provide for your family’s future. Can you leave your estate to your grandchildren, or is it the government's? Will the government socially engineer your life through the tax code? Will liberal education bureaucrats determine your child’s education?...

New York Post, October 12, 2006
President Bush took a moment yester day to point with pride at a re election campaign promise kept: He vowed two years ago that his tax cuts would produce enough new revenue to cut the federal deficit by half in five years, and the latest figures show they've done just that - three years early…. A recession was already under way when Bush took office in 2001, and 9/11 severely damaged the economy (especially in New York). But then came the tax cuts - and swiftly the economy was growing at a 4 percent annual clip. Some 6.6 million new jobs were created since 2003 -- and unemployment has practically hit rock bottom….

Home builders seek to construct a deal for Russian lumber
Chicago Tribune 10/10/06
U.S. home builders, concerned that an agreement between the U.S. and Canada to manage the lumber trade might lead to shortages and price increases, began meetings Monday in Russia intended to secure new import sources….







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