Thanks to 24-hour coverage of the current presidential contest, we can’t avoid becoming acquainted with each candidate’s plans and platforms. Of course, by this point it’s no secret that Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders would like to raise taxes exponentially. Analyst and author Rick J. Newman calls Sanders’ plan “so utopian as to be hopeless,” noting that Sanders’ goal of bringing in about $1.5 trillion in new tax revenue per year would boost the federal government’s tax grab by about 46%.
For now, this is all in the realm of speculation. Sanders is giving idealistic speeches, and analysts and economists are crunching the numbers and making predictions. What’s interesting, though, is how Sanders’ tax-and-spend approach is mirrored in his home of Vermont – and to the state’s detriment.
Last month, the Vermont House of Representatives approved a $48 million hike in taxes and fees. The package, which is now in the hands of the Democrat-controlled Senate, would raise levies on a variety of items, including home heating oil and an Employer Health Assessment Tax on businesses who do not provide health insurance for their employees. If the bill gains approval by the Senate and then receives the blessing of Democratic Governor Peter Shumlin, it will be yet another anti-growth blow to a state that routinely loses residents (and their incomes) to states with lower tax burdens.