Minter’s tax charge against Scott flops

This commentary is by Emerson Lynn, editor of the St. Albans Messenger
Sue Minter is ignoring a basic rule in politics: Don’t criticize an opponent for actions you might support. Ms. Minter, the Democratic candidate for governor, did that this week when she was critical of Phil Scott, her Republican opponent, for supporting Act 68 in 2003…

…The reason Ms. Minter has lashed out against Mr. Scott’s decade-ago vote is that she’s being challenged for suggesting she would be open to expanding the sales tax from goods to services, something she does not deny. She now defends that decision by saying she would not expand the tax to services that would burden the middle class.

But that’s as vague as it is unsettling. Defining those choices is difficult and highly political, which is why her suggestion has invited Mr. Scott’s line of questioning. What services would she like to tax? How much money would that generate? Is that the state’s only means by which we can increase our revenue?

It’s a tough line of questioning.

But Ms. Minter can’t escape her circumstance by dredging up a law passed 13 years ago; a law she almost certainly would have supported herself…

The full editorial is printed in the September 28, 2016 issue of the St. Albans Messenger