Hey, remember last Friday, when Governor Shumlin had to walk back a budget-cutting proposal he’d made less than 24 hours earlier?
Yeah, embarrassing and sad. I mean, how many people looked over the text of his budget address and didn’t realize that “cutting benefits to poor pregnant women” might cause a kerfuffle? Even if the cuts are counterbalanced by new benefits, that’s the worst possible topline for a sales pitch.
Well, maybe second worst to “confiscating crutches from crippled kids,” or possibly “Scrooge was right the first time,” but I digress.
Shumlin rolled out his kneecap-the-preggers initiative on Thursday, and took it back during a Friday appearance on VPR’s “Vermont Edition.” And just in case the abandonment itself wasn’t bad enough, he went and said this. For real.
“I don’t want to use this as a way to cost pregnant women more money,” the governor said on the program. “I said to my team this morning, ‘Listen there’s plenty of ways to save money in the budget. Go back to the Legislature and give them alternatives of other ways to make savings.’”
“There’s plenty of ways to save money in the budget”?????????
This, from a guy in his sixth year as governor, whose tenure has been marked by penny-pinching and an absolute refusal to raise “broad-based taxes” (as he himself defines the term)?
Tell me, does that “plenty of ways to save money” include past brainstorms like cutting Reach Up benefits or slashing the Earned Income Tax Credit?
I can already see the Phil Scott TV ads.
[Gloomy music, montage of shuttered buildings, unhappy people, property tax bills, and newspaper headlines]
Taxes are too high. State spending is out of control. People are moving out of state. Businesses are cutting back or closing.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Just ask Governor Shumlin himself.
“Listen, there’s plenty of ways to save money in the budget.”
But the Governor has had six years to bring spending under control. And he has failed.
[Cheery music, sun breaking through clouds]
It’s time for a new direction.
[Video montage: Phil Scott talking with “ordinary folks,” scenes from his Jobs Tour, and him and his stock car]
Phil Scott knows how government works. He knows how business works. He knows how to get things done.
Phil Scott is a leader with new ideas for a more prosperous Vermont.
[Closeup of smiling candidate]
Phil Scott for Governor.
Yeah, that should do it. You’re welcome, @VTGOP.