More R's needed in Legislature

To the Editor:

America is under assault by terrorists that say "See you in New York!", and by well heeled pressure groups that seek to destroy the freedoms that make America great, especially the freedom to keep and spend your own money.

Vermont in particular has been singled out by groups outside the state as an experiment in undermining America's basic freedoms. As a new candidate for State Representative I have been bombarded by special interest groups with surveys to see if their group wants to endorse me. Many of these groups have worthy sounding goals, but most of them want a commitment to spend money on some item important to them. If you get fully endorsed you would enter the State Capitol pre-committed to spending a lot of taxpayer money, or sponsoring legislation forcing private citizens to spend their money on special interest goals. I made it a policy not to respond to any of these surveys. I made one exception; the National Rifle Association (NRA). They did not ask for spending any taxpayer's money, and I am an NRA member.

With a Democratic supermajority in the legislature for the last several years, the state spending has increased every year faster than Vermonters' income. The recent budget cuts occasioned by the inevitable shortfall in state revenue below expectations are only the beginning of financial problems caused by reckless spending. This spending culture is largely driven by an ideology that says that government spending is good and private spending is greedy selfishness As a traditional Republican I believe the general welfare is best served when people can keep their own money in their pockets to spend, save or give away as they see fit. Any taxes over those necessary to support basic government operations such as law enforcement, road maintenance and care for the truly desperately needy is a ruthless exaction. By and large Democrats vote for these budget increases and taxes to support the spending, and Republicans oppose them. Cynthia Browning, who is currently one of the two representatives for this house district is an outstanding exception to the lockstep Democratic voting pattern.

If you think taxes only affect the rich, think again. The gas tax increase of around 7 cents a gallon affects everybody who drives, and disproportionately takes money away from low income people. The recent 7 percent increase in non resident property taxes is paid by you in the form of higher prices when you patronize any business that owns or rents its property. The 6 percent state sales tax is another contributor to raising the cost of living in Vermont. High taxes and the relentless increases as Vermont tries to compete with California and New York for the title of most taxed citizens has led many taxpayers and employers to leave the state, reducing the tax base.

This has the effect of increasing the tax burden on the residents still here while at the same time reducing their chances to make a decent living.

The answer is to use the ballot box to get a more balanced approach to the state's finances by electing Republicans.

Tony duPont

Candidate for State Representative



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