Where do Vermont’s new Republicans find their principles? Apparently, under a rock.

With her commentary, “What they’re not telling you about the $15 minimum wage” (April 2), House minority leader Patricia McCoy furthers the impoverishment of our workers at the bottom of the ladder.

First, boosting the wages of the state’s Walmart employees 50 percent, from $10 to $15 per hour, would result in price increases totaling $0.47 per visit, hardly a burden on the "unemployed elderly" who shop there.

Second, any intelligent politician would work to eliminate the income cap on child care subsidies, since child care is one of the key investments in making children ready for their school years. If we had an equitable tax structure (something Vermont’s new Republicans and centrist Democrats have always opposed), this would be eminently feasible.

The same goes for health care. It was proven in our drive for single-payer that Vermont could do it — if it had a practical payroll tax. For lack of implementing a graduated payroll tax (by which small businesses would pay as little as one-900th of what Walmart would pay), then-Gov. Shumlin pulled the plug. If you want children to do better in school, you want both a $15 minimum wage and child care.

Third, a 0.8% growth in the economy is still a positive growth. Why should it have to be bigger? Did the JFO compute the non-material benefits higher wages bring to a working family, such as more spending power, more control over their financial situation and peace of mind? Since it is in the interests of the party to bash the working class, McCoy, true to the vindictive impulses of the state’s new Republicans, only emphasizes the 0.3% drop in SDP rather than point out it’s not really a problem. The old GOP was never like this.

Chuck Gregory


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If the minimum wage bill, as proposed, only applied to Walmart, you might have a point. Unfortunately, that increased economic burden falls on most businesses in our state. To be clear, the proposed wage increase does not apply to farmers and self-employed individuals. Walmart may very well be able to afford the increase, the rest of the small businesses, not so much. However, using your economic theory of randomly applying dollar values to things, while ignoring financial business data, couldn't the state simply mandate that the prices of products and services provided in the state be reduced by, say, 25%? 50%? That would also create a more affordable life here. Why not? It's just as valid.

As for health care, frankly, we all would've better off if the state took the money wasted on their health portal website and just paid some people's over due medical bills.

Prior to government subsidized childcare services, how did our parents and grandparents ever manage?

Where are the Republican principles? I think fighting to allow people to keep there hard earned, over-taxed income; in the face of a throng of emotion driven spendthrifts is the definition of principled. Endlessly coming up with new ways to spend other peoples' money is not.

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